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Masters of Horror

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  14 ratings  ·  4 reviews

Introduction by Sam Moskowitz
A Piece Of Linoleum by David H. Keller
Before I Wake by Henry Kuttner
Blind Man's Bluff by H. R. Wakefield
Dracula's Guest by Bram Stoker
The Candy Skull by Ray Bradbury
The Transformation by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
The Were-Wolf by Clemence Housman
The Women Of The Wood by A. Merritt
The Yellow Sign by Robert W. Chambers
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 1968 by Berkley Medallion Books
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As I've said in other reviews - the horror anthology as a form fascinates me - the thought that goes into assembling collections, the intended audience, etc. Usually, such behind the scenes information can only be gleaned through examination of the artifact and rarely do we have much information beyond that. This nice little anthology (with quite a well-done cover) allows us a small peek into the editor's intentions as Sam Moskowitz explains that the reason behind this book was to present rare o ...more
An oldie but goodie (which I've managed to hold onto over the years). Great anthology that contains the names of some people I had not heard of at the time I read it (Chambers, Merritt, Houseman). Two real gems: Bram Stoker's "Dracula's Guest," and Houseman's "The Were-wolf," (best werewolf story I've ever read).
Stacy Simpson
This was supposed to be a book about scary stories but they all were horribly lame. The writing styles are wretched and the stories themselves are awful. I would without hesitation throw this book into the flames.
David Pollison
All of the stories in this collection are top notchbut my two favorites were BLIND MAN'S BLUFF by H.R. Wakefield and THE WOMEN OF THE WOOD by A. Merritt.
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Horror Times Ten Hauntings and Horrors: Ten Grisly Tales Great Untold Stories of Fantasy and Horror The Space Magicians Award Science Fiction Reader

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“You see, a witch has to have a familiar, some little animal like a cat or a toad. He helps her somehow. When the witch dies the familiar is suppose to die too, but sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes, if it's absorbed enough magic, it lives on. Maybe this toad found its way south from Salem, from the days when Cotton Mather was hanging witches. Or maybe Lafitte had a Creole girl who called on the Black Man in the pirate-haven of Barataria. The Gulf is full of ghosts and memories, and one of those ghosts might very well be that of a woman with warlock blood who'd come from Europe a long time ago, and died on the new continent.

And possibly her familiar didn't know the way home. There's not much room for magic in America now, but once there was room.

("Before I Wake...")”
“McKay had worn the wings in the world war with honor, flying first with the French and later with his own country's forces. And as a bird loves the trees, so did McKay love them. To him they were not merely trunks and roots, branches and leaves; to him they were personalities. He was acutely aware of differences in character even among the same species - that pine was benevolent and jolly; that one austere and monkish; there stood a swaggering bravo, and there dwelt a sage wrapped in green meditation; that birch was a wanton - the birch near her was virginal, still a-dream.

The war had sapped him, nerve and brain and soul. Through all the years that had passed since then the wound had kept open. But now, as he slid his car down the vast green bowl, he felt its spirit reach out to him; reach out to him and caress and quiet him, promising him healing. He seemed to drift like a falling leaf through the clustered woods; to be cradled by gentle hands of the trees.

He had stopped at the little gnome of an inn, and then he had lingered, day after day, week after week.

The trees had nursed him; soft whisperings of leaves, slow chant of the needled pines, had first deadened, then driven from him the re-echoing clamor of the war and its sorrow. The open wound of his spirit had closed under their green healing; had closed and become scar; and even the scar had been covered and buried, as the scars on Earth's breast are covered and buried beneath the falling leaves of Autumn. The trees had laid green healing hands on his eyes, banishing the pictures of war. He had sucked strength from the green breasts of the hills.

("The Women Of The Woods")”
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