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Ghosts and Grisly Things

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  131 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Ramsey Campbell's novels have justly won him acclaim as one of the best writers of the age. A three-time winner of the World Fantasy Award and an eight-time winner of the British Fantasy Award, his writing has struck a chord with readers worldwide.

But throughout his career he has also written insightful, terrifying, and disturbing short fiction. Ghosts & Grisly Things
Paperback, 300 pages
Published October 11th 2001 by Tor Books (first published 1998)
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A collection of Campbell's short stories. He's the master of dingy, claustrophobic horror -- these stories are peopled with petty, small individuals who get caught up in horrors they can't begin to understand, even though in most cases they've brought them on themselves. Often, the normal humans are almost as awful as the supernatural horrors haunting them. I utterly enjoyed this collection, even though I felt vaguely like I needed a shower afterward.
This book was a bit difficult to get into, but I think this was more due to cultural differences than actual the writing.

Even though most of Campbell's stories took place after 1975, some of the references were as foreign to me as reading Poe or some other century old horror novel. Some things Campbell seems to focus on: fog, loss of control, mental insanity.

I suppose for him, the sense of losing oneself to insanity is a lot more horrible than anything that may be hiding in your closet or unde
Rather than detailing carnage and grue, Ramsey Campbell writes the sort of horror stories that slowly suffocate you to death all the while convincing you that this is perfectly normal and reasonable and why on earth are you frightened?

The tales which make up Ghosts and Grisly Things span Campbell's career from the early 1970s to the mid 1990s. A constant recurring theme is just how close the mundane, everyday world can exist to unimaginable terror when one considers how easily one may slip into
Robert Beveridge
Ramsey Campbell, Ghosts and Grisly Things (Tor, 1998)

I sometimes wonder where books get their titles. In this case, I have to lay the blame on some copy editor at Tor who hadn't even bothered reading the manuscript, or at best skimmed it a tad. There's the odd ghost in this collection of stories, and a grisly thing or two, but anyone who's read Ramsey Campbell before should be well aware by now that the horror which Campbell makes his stock in trade has far less to do with such external fear-ind
Although I cannot fault the writing, the subject matter is highly unpleasant. I am a horror fan, but this book of short stories is unrelenting in its nastiness. It's mostly about mental illness -- delusions, hallucinations, paranoia -- with some supernatural elements thrown in. It wears you down. In part this might be because one story goes a long way; after a half-dozen, it becomes repetitious and nauseating. After a few more, it feels like an exercise in self-torture. The structure of each tal ...more
Robb Bridson
This is a collection of short stories by Campbell. Personally I didn't care for most of them. These are the sort of story where it's all about the ending, and the endings were usually not satisfying.
I suspect maybe Campbell's novels are better.
This is a wildly uneven collection of Campbell's shorter works. While some stories shine many are abysmal. Which is really unfortunate as I consider him an effective writer of the truly spooky short story normally. This collection includes:
The Same in any Language
Going Under
The Alternative
Out of the Woods
A Street was Chosen
McGonagall in the Head
Through the Walls
This Time
The Sneering
Between the Floors
Where They Lived
Root Cause
Looking Out
The Dead Must Die
A Side of the Sea
Missed Connection
The Chang
Nice stories, but not really my style.
John Hepple
Another brilliant selection of dark and grim horror.
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John Ramsey Campbell is a British writer considered by a number of critics to be one of the great masters of horror fiction. T. E. D. Klein has written that "Campbell reigns supreme in the field today," while S. T. Joshi has said that "future generations will regard him as the leading horror writer of our generation, every bit the equal of Lovecraft or Blackwood."
More about Ramsey Campbell...
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