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The Small Assassin: Haunting Tales of Horror by the Master

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  256 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Thirteen Capsules of Terror - Not to be Taken at Bedtime

Here is a fantastic journey into a world of terror with thirteen of Bradbury's very best. A baby born with the irge to kill... the couple who leave for a honeymoon - in a cemetery... a husband and wife who have an unpleasant experience with some mummified Mexican corpses... the tombstone in the bedroom... a little boy
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Paperback, 174 pages
Published 1986 by Grafton Books (first published 1962)
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(showing 1-30 of 617)
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Greg
May 09, 2013 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This a well-crafted collection of short stories that had been written early in the career of this well-known author.

The horror in many of the stories is gradually unfolded with the deteriorating sanity of the protagonist, or with the protagonist's growing awareness that something is not quite right. Deteriorating sanity features in the eponymous story of the collection when a mother fears her newborn wants to kill her; a tourist develops an obssessive desire to leave a Mexican village after see
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Gene
Nov 06, 2013 Gene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
After reading the Martial Chronicles and wanting more Bradbury, I heard that The Small Assassin was a good book to pick up, next. That seemed like pretty good advice.

This book is a collection of short stories, all with a twist. It looks like the collection was intended to fall into the sci-fi/horror genre. The books weren't all that scary, but I liked the twist that each of them had at the end.

Sadly, many of the stories were predictable. But the reason to read Bradbury isn't because of the myste
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Greg
Aug 27, 2012 Greg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bradbury has a marvelous way of putting things, and for the last few years he has been counted among my favourite authors for just that reason. The worlds he creates are always so vibrant, full of life. Even the ones found here, though they are primarily about death and decay, and the strange thing is that it is never too much, despite the amount of detail.

But it is a trick....

For as long as I've known him, Bradbury has always possessed the uncanny ability to take those worlds and stitch them se
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CAW
Jul 03, 2012 CAW rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book...this book influenced my early writing so much, both by teaching me that fantasy - or horror - didn't have to be done a certain way and that there were authors out there who could make a sentence sing like a bird.

Rereading recently, I found sentences I'd magpied and cached, slightly mangled, into my own teenage scribblings as and when I felt there was no better way in existence to put what he had expressed. I don't quite know the little volume by heart, but if I mention that I last re
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Anna
13 captivating and disturbing short stories. The Small Assassin, The Next in Line, The Lake, The Crowd, Jack-in-the-Box, The Man Upstairs, The Cistern, The Tombstone, The Smiling People, The Handler, Let's Play Poison, The Night, The Dead Man. I particularly enjoyed the Crowd, people who always turn up after an accident and chose to terminate a life sometimes.
Michael
Sep 26, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror-macabre
The first story in this collection is the title story and it is really creepy! A mother nearly die in childbirth and develops the delusion that her new-born baby is trying to murder her - but is it a delusion?

The other stories are a mixture of psychological horror, chillers and "tales of the unexpected". Bradbury successfully conjures up images of stifling small-town America and fever-dreams that are sometimes reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe. There is also in many of the stories a rye and macbare
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Natalia
Jan 18, 2014 Natalia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing yet scary. There's no contradiction.

Ray Bradbury's writing, like always, makes you empathize with the characters. Unless you are not ready to be open-minded about certain things even in fiction, the story will grasp you tightly and won't let you go long after you've read it. Probably not a good choice if you are really impressible and may get anxiety (it *is* creepy, no doubt) - it's so realistic and full of small significant details that it makes the story frightening.
Kylie
The Small Assassin is an excellent collection of 13 horror stories. I didn't find them too gory at all, but I was very disturbed by some of them. Ray Bradbury is an excellent writer and really has the ability to put you in the situation, almost as though you're watching a movie. His descriptive writing is really something to behold.[return][return]There are a complete variety of stories here, and they generally keep you guessing right till the end. One story was written in the 2nd-person, which ...more
Jennifer
Oct 05, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
1) THE SMALL ASSASSIN: omg. I will never have children. Ever. So creepy!

Otherwise the rest so far (I'm at "The Lake") was kinda predictable... mh.. I shall read on.

Now, more than one year later, I've managed to finish it. The thing is...it's not really my genre and I don't like short stories (for no apparent reason. There is only one of Neil Gaiman's short stories that I like and I love his writing to death).

What I liked about it is, how ordinary people and events are turned into creepy occurren
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Raj
This is a collection of short horror-themed stories and despite the fact that I'm not normally a horror person, I really rather enjoyed it. Bradbury's horror isn't that of blood and guts, it's the horror of the mundane with a twist, the familiar suddenly made horribly strange. From a mother whose fear of her baby may be well-founded or may be post-natal depression to the man who believes he's dead, but falls in love.

Written with Bradbury's trademark flair and thoughtfulness this isn't a book tha
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Del
May 22, 2016 Del rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
My favourite story in this volume: The Night.
Whitney
Mar 31, 2010 Whitney rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: evil-children
I wish I would have read Ray Bradbury instead of every Goosebumps book I could get my hands on. A few of the stories in this collection fell flat, but, then, a few others made up for it. I especially liked the evil children stories, which was why I read this collection in the first place.
Anne
I can't rate it because every story in this book was in another of his collections. I'm getting confused - trying to read all of his books but there is so much overlap. I should have done my research first, I guess. Still, some of my favorites are in this collection.
Christina
Mar 27, 2013 Christina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm only referring to the title story; I haven't read the collection. The title story is terrifying and horrifying, in ways modern writers can't match.
Sean
May 14, 2012 Sean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had no idea how weird Bradbury was. These stories were more interesting (also, much nastier) than The Martian Chronicles.
Ronna
Dec 27, 2013 Ronna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathleen
Jun 14, 2013 Kathleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1991
Cassettes. Better Read.
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American novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and poet, was born August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois. He graduated from a Los Angeles high school in 1938. Although his formal education ended there, he became a "student of life," selling newspapers on L.A. street corners from 1938 to 1942, spending his nights in the public library and his days at the typewriter. He bec ...more
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