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The Dark: New Ghost Stories

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  321 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Modern audiences have long inured themselves to fear, trained themselves to shut off their childish nighttime terrors and scoff in the face of deliberate scares. But award winning anthologist Ellen Datlow--called "the genre's sharpest assembler of strange, dark fictions" by William Gibson, author of Neuromancer--was convinced that there was life in the ghost story yet. So ...more
Paperback, 378 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Tor Books (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,077)
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Zach
Jun 10, 2016 Zach rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Almost a year since I read this one, but I just stumbled across my notes, so let's see how much has stuck with me (and how much sense I can make of said notes). Datlow's introduction says she set out to collect "very scary" ghost stories, but many of these stories don't even make a pretense of trying for that affect (surely Kelly Link did not intend "The Hortlak" to scare anyone, for example, unless they have a morbid fear of pajamas), so I'm not sure how successful she was. That aside, this is ...more
Bark's Book Nonsense
Feb 04, 2010 Bark's Book Nonsense rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Though there are a few small duds, the majority of the stories here were genuinely creepy.

Jeffrey Ford's "The Trentino Kid" starts things off on a slightly creepy note. It's about a guy who has frittered his youth away in what he thought was an easier route. He's regretting the choices he's made when he comes across a ghost that will force his hand in a new direction. This is a story that will resonate with anyone who wishes they had taken a different path years earlier. I know it certainly str
...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
This was a good book of ghost stories. As the blurb on the back says, no two are alike. They take the reader in different directions. I like this anthology because it shows how versatile the the ghost story is. And what defines a ghost is in the eye of the beholder, and the storyteller. None of these stories would keep me up at night, but there is a lingering unease as I remember reading some of them. Various settings are used, and the imagination of the writers seems limitless to me. Read these ...more
Renee
Dec 09, 2009 Renee rated it liked it
Collections of stories from different authors are always hard to rate. One author could come up with something amazing and another could write a story that requires more expletives than the English language has in order to review it. Luckily, in this case there weren't any in the latter category, though there were several that I found too boring for a collection of ghost stories. In the interest of not being too negative, I will recommend my top three favorites here.

1. Absolutely read The Hortl
...more
Tifany
Aug 15, 2009 Tifany rated it really liked it
This is a good collection of its sort, with some genuinely frightening and strange stories--and it introduced me to Kelly Link. But the real standout for me--and worth the price of the book all on its own--was the story "The Silence of the Falling Stars" by Mike O'Driscoll. This story was a beauty--metaphysically as well as narratively intriguing, elegiac, and also profoundly Western--as, in the American West--despite being by a Londoner. Ghost story aside, this is one of my favorite short stori ...more
P.
Apr 07, 2015 P. rated it really liked it
There were about 3 stories that were duds for me, one of which I skipped after the ghost was revealed because it was too long and badly written) but most of them I thoroughly enjoyed even if they all weren't creepy. And each story was appended with a paragraph about the author's favorite ghost story which gives me more reading material (a high percentage listed Haunting of Hill House, yessss)

List of stories and books mentioned by authors:
"The Phantom Rickshaw" Rudyard Kipling, from Plain Tales f
...more
Josh
Oct 23, 2007 Josh rated it it was amazing
This is full of some incredible ghost stories. It is dedicated solely to ghost stories, not slashers, not blood and guts, but eerie ghost stories.
One of my favorites, One thing about the Night by Terry Dowling, takes place in a psychomantium, indeed has filled me with a desire to visit a quality psychomantium.This was a truly eerie tale.
A truly enjoyable ghost story collection from one of the top regarded editors in the field.
Reba
Oct 17, 2014 Reba rated it it was ok
My race this month is slow and steady. Almost every book I am reading is an anthology or a collection and I'm trying to read one story a day. So far this is an interesting collection. While not traditionally scary, I love the atmosphere created by Mike O'Driscoll for his entry, "The Silence of Falling Stars." I'm currently in the middle of "Seven Sisters" by Jack Cady, and he also does an impressive job with setting and atmosphere.

Granted, some of the stories are creepier than others, "Feeling R
...more
Tracey
Nov 16, 2007 Tracey rated it it was ok
Shelves: libraryread
Checked it out from the library as one of the stories was by Lucius Sheperd, who I've had strongly recommended to me.
The collection was.... okay. Sheperd's contribution "The Hortlak" was one of the stronger ones, but I didn't get too many really good shivers overall. Decent library read, but I wouldn't have spent any money on it.
E.S. Magill
Jan 20, 2013 E.S. Magill rated it it was amazing
How did I miss this anthology? I absolutely love these stories. For the last several days I've been sick, but I went out yesterday to stock up on tissues, cold medicine and a good book. This is the one I chose and it's perfect for curling up with.
G. Munson
Aug 09, 2014 G. Munson rated it really liked it
A great collection of ghost stories. Some were "classic" ghosts, others were a new take on an old tale. None of the stories came across as cliche, which was nice considering the theme.
Of the 16 tales, I liked almost all of them and loved a few stories enough to make up for the couple I absolutely hated. That's not to say there were bad stories in here, but...well, yeah, there were a couple duds, but not enough to take away the awesomeness of the rest of the stories. Besides, my favorites might
...more
SmarterLilac
Oct 17, 2010 SmarterLilac rated it really liked it
Good stuff! I especially like the segments in which the authors of the included stories describe their favorite horror pieces.
Arthur
Aug 25, 2014 Arthur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good mix of cerebral, chilling, slightly far-fetched or just plain loopy fare in this anthology and quite satisfying for this reader who likes diversity in his stories.
Amy
Ellen Datlow is a very consistent, good editor. So, maybe I just wasn't into the subject matter of these stories, even though I prefer the creepy to the bloody in my horror. "Feeling Remains" by Ramsey Campbell was definitely creepy, capturing the spread of insanity in a horrific way. The stories by Tanith Lee, Jeffrey Ford, and Kelly Link ("The Hortlak," which I'd read before - great story) were also good - all of these writers are, again, consistent. For the first time, though, I read a short ...more
Sian Jones
Solid stories, but oddly enough, not terribly haunting. Standing out more memorably for me than the rest: "The Dancing Men" by Glen Hirschberg and "Seven Sisters" by Jack Cady. I did find Kelly Link's story, "The Hortlak," to be pretty much incandescent, but I also think it was in this collection under false pretenses, because other than the title, there are no real ghosts to be found therein.
Lynn
Nov 10, 2014 Lynn rated it it was ok
These were just OK. I was expecting more.
Jennifer
Sep 27, 2008 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
A collection of new ghost stories. If you are a fan of Ellen Datlow's editorial work, you will probably enjoy this. Some terrific stories, some a little less so.

A bio for the author appears before each story, and an afterword discusses the author's favorite ghost story. Those are fun.
SmokingMirror
Jun 23, 2015 SmokingMirror rated it really liked it
Tanith Lee "The Ghost in the Clock" A heroine beset by personal problems, particularly with the men in her life, enters a situation of dependency even more awful than her previous one. Then the supernatural enters in. A Tanith Lee stereotype? Not this time.
Paul  Perry
Leaving the house without a book this morning meant that I *had* to go book shopping at the first opportunity. This collection was an excellent find; it will be interesting to compare it to the collection of classic ghost stories I picked up a while ago.
Fred Dickson
Delightfully creepy! None of them really got under my skin, but I enjoyed most of them, and the few I didn't like were so short I didn't feel like I was wasting my time. I love me some ghost stories, and this delivered exactly that.
Don
Some great short stories here. Good collection.

16 new ghost stories, varied in locale, period, and style, including westerns, faux memoirs, and romance.

Many sorts of themes and story lines, all pertaining to a disembodied soul...
Allison
Dec 08, 2009 Allison rated it it was amazing
A generally good collection. A few of them were... strange in a not very good way, but for the most part, chilling in the most fabulous sense. Especially "One thing About the Night." That had me leery of mirrors for months!
Rob Sharp
Jul 02, 2015 Rob Sharp rated it it was ok
This was an audiobook, not overly impressed. There were a handful of good stories, but also more than I would have liked of those that were just uninteresting. Some of the narrators were pretty poor also.
Kirsten
Mar 15, 2008 Kirsten rated it it was amazing
FANTASTIC collection of ghost stories. There were stories I didn't like as well as others, but there are no duds in this collection. Particularly good is Kelly Link's story "The Hortlak." It has zombies!
Matt
Aug 17, 2009 Matt rated it liked it
Somewhat uneven in terms of quality. Quite a bit of run-of-the-mill stuff, but the entries from Kathe Koja and Lucius Shepard floored me. The Daniel Abraham story was like a punch in the gut, in a good way.
Wsprag
Feb 09, 2011 Wsprag rated it did not like it
Only a couple of stories in this book were worth reading. It seems like most of the authors just sat down and hacked out the first thing that came to mind. Don't bother with it.
Rebekah
Aug 09, 2013 Rebekah rated it liked it
3 1/2. When the stories are good, they're very, very good but there are quite a few not so good ones that I had to skip past.
Sarah
May 09, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it
Picked this up at the Goodwill down the street..very nicely written ghost stories of all kinds. Very good.
Becca
Mar 28, 2013 Becca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy, 2013
For imagery, "Seven Sisters" was my favorite. "Feeling Remains" was the scariest for me.
Eric
Sep 05, 2015 Eric rated it really liked it
Solid collection of ghost stories by a great editor.
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Ellen Datlow has been an award-winning editor of short science fiction, fantasy, and horror for over twentyfive years.

She is editor of the Best Horror of the Year and has edited or co-edited a large number of award-winning original anthologies. Her most recent are Supernatural Noir, Naked City, Blood and Other Cravings, The Beastly Bride, Teeth, Trolls Eye View, and After (the last three with Ter
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