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The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 20 (The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror #20)

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  159 ratings  ·  18 reviews
This annual collection of exceptional horror and dark fantasy fiction stories is the essential must-have for horror buffs. The 20th edition of this showcase of horror includes a comprehensive overview of international selections, an impressively researched necrology, and a list of indispensable contact addresses for the dedicated horror fan and aspiring writer of true horr ...more
Paperback, 541 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by Running Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 403)
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Shawn
Another one down - the "Year In" and "Necrology" this time are the usual (as I've said I actually find myself enjoying them more with each edition, and actually reading them - YMMV) with the "soapbox" this time reserved for musing on how few anthology series have ever lasted 20 years. Jones has earned a right to crow...

Without having much to say about that, then, let me use this space instead to gripe about something else. Story introductions - I'm sorry, man, but someone has to say it - an edit
...more
F.R.
For the second year in a row I’ve read all the stories in Stephen Jones’s annual compendium one after the other, rather than dipping in which has previously been my wont. I’m not sure the overall quality is as good as Volume 19, but there is some very entertaining tales behind this year’s more abstract front cover. Like last time the below list is not comprehensive, just my personal favourites this book around:

Feminine Endings by Neil Gaiman
Hilariously creepy little story where one of those huma
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Gavin
The first 15 percent is a bizarre round-up of the year in fantasy/horror books and the effects of the financial crisis on the publishing industry. I guess if you want that then this is the book for you!

The stories themselves range from great (in the shape of Cold Rest, The Oram County Whoosit and The Beginnings of Sorrow), through to utter piffle, special mention to Stephen King's farted out non starter and the offensively Daily Mail "Hobby Hoss" by someone who used to write for The Bill. And ho
...more
Caton
Different cover for the UK version (more stylish). Jones does an intro/review of horror in 2008 at the beginning, and he has the last word, with a list of the famous and semi famous who passed away over the previous year. The good news there, is you can skip his ego stroking and start the book 80 pages in and look like you've reading like hell, and you know you've got 80 pages at the end to give you'll probably never read. (And this is a bonus, because if you ever have to use the book to prop up ...more
Randolph Carter
I'm not real impressed with these "Best of" annual anthologies after reading a couple. A better title would be "Mammoth Book of Pretty Okay Horror." The "Horror in 2008" and the Necrology are largely dross and seem like filler to me. I found a third of the stories above average, a third average, and a third bad (by page count). This is just too much inferior material in a year that couldn't have been that lean and an anthology that only has 21 stories. Two of the longish stories are just awful, ...more
Crystal
By reading this book, I had hoped to discover horror genre authors that could write something that I would find scary. The authors Lynda E. Rucker, Paul Finch, Albert E. Cowdrey, and Pinckney Benedict who were featured in this book were all pretty good and I can see them writing novels that would actually scare me. I do love the author Neil Gaiman but his stuff doesn't really scare me and sometimes can be funny instead. I had a good time with this book!
Megan
Not the strongest collection in this series, with more forgettable entries than usual and King's first contribution here an unfortunately weak one. Brian Lumley's "The Place of Waiting" was absolutely painful to slog through. It did have some high points, with Pinckney Benedict's "The Beginnings of Sorrow" standing out strongly as one of the better pieces, and a surprising one, but overall not quite the quality I've come to expect from this series.
Katy Bennett
My personal favourites were:

Under Fog by Tanith Lee - A look at the dark secrets harboured by a community struggling to survive.

The New York Times at Special Bargain Rates by Stephen King - King always sucks you into his characters.

The Beginnings of Sorrow by Pinckney Benedict - Unusual story of change and living with fear.

The Place of Waiting by Brian Lumley - I'd avoided reading Lumley up until now, this story looks at death, grief and the afterlife. Left me with a sense of unease.
Felix
Another solid year's best anthology. Some good stories, some bad stories, a lot of solid well-written stories that nevertheless weren't really remarkable.

Liked:
Neil Gaiman: "Feminine Endings"
Gary McMahon: "Through the Cracks"
Ramsey Campbell: "The Long Way"

Didn't like:
Stephen King: "The New York Times At Special Bargain Rates"
Simon Strantzas: "It Runs Beneath The Surface"
Tanith Lee: "Under Fog"
Dennis Cooper
I've been reading this series since the start. Maybe not all but certainly a good few of the volumes. So I know what to expect. I enjoy most of the stories. I would tell you which I liked but my choices won't be yours so discover your own by reading the book. Another fine volume. Oh if you're looking for blood and gore then you'll be disappointed.
Teipu
I was kind of disappointed of this one.
I really enjoyed reading the 21st edition of this series and only had one or two stories I didn't like. This one though had a lot of boring stories and only a few good ones. Only one or two were genuily creepy.

Breakdowns on all stories will come soon.
Rowan MacBean
I don't think there was a single story in this book that I didn't enjoy and a couple of them actually made me a little nervous. One even managed to make me turn on some extra lights because I started seeing things out of the corners of my eyes.
Jet
Mar 21, 2011 Jet marked it as to-read
started, but didn't get too into it, plan on giviing it a go again. Sometimes short stories and I don't mesh:)
John Casey
A nice collection of short stories, some better than others of course, but on the whole, quite a good read.
Lena
Typical anthology. I loved some stories and others were meh. Overall a good read.
Amanda Coder
Good collection by some very well known authors.
Kevin Gallan
Mar 13, 2011 Kevin Gallan marked it as to-read
78/541
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Stephen Jones is an eighteen-time winner of the British Fantasy Award.
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“I nearly forced my own way through the undergrowth to leave the sight behind. I was afraid I'd encouraged the figure to advance by trying to see it, perhaps even by thinking about it. ("The Long Way")” 2 likes
“Well, we all come to it in time - we are broken down to ground-level, and must construct ourselves anew. If we survive, we become stronger: with few exceptions we do not become better. For most of us, when all else has failed, turn to the demon. ("The Overseer")” 2 likes
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