Definitely glad I picked it up, but I have a bit of trouble giving it more than three stars--this is a must-read for any completist, but I found about...moreDefinitely glad I picked it up, but I have a bit of trouble giving it more than three stars--this is a must-read for any completist, but I found about half the stories to be fairly rocky.(less)
(Dammit, I didn't make a note of when I started reading this. Probably within the month.)
A solid collection with one weak point and a few very good on...more(Dammit, I didn't make a note of when I started reading this. Probably within the month.)
A solid collection with one weak point and a few very good ones. There was a distinct disunity of style and format (teleplays and scripts) that was actually rather appealing.
The Bradbury story that opened the collection struck me as the weakest of the bunch, and it's pretty hard for me to say that; I love Bradbury. It felt almost absurd, and not much else. Contrast the script/vignette by the Mathesons, "Madri-Gall", which felt absurd in much the same way but that I also found deeply funny.
The other scripts were solid, but I found them less engaging. Nolan's (nearly-)autobiographical piece and Robinson's essay weren't what I'd call horror stories, but I was glad to read them, and glad they were included.
Smith's "Love and Magick" was interesting; while the style initially seemed almost a parody, it settled into itself, and I was getting faint echoes of Piccirilli's Necromancer and Self stories. Smith said he was trying to write a horror story that wasn't simply a morality tale, and I think he managed to avoid both that and the "bad things happen because bad things happen" trope very well.
On particularly good notes, I found Tem's story "Red Light" to be the most affecting of the bunch; it did a beautiful job of painting a protagonist that I didn't particularly like, felt sympathy for despite some of the things that came up, and was horrified for, and with, at the end. The anthology also has Goodfellow's "At the Riding School", which I was glad to see again; it got picked up for The Best Horror of the Year Volume 3 and it's a smart, dark, upsetting, sad piece. I was glad to see it again.
(Also: One of the stories made me want to throw the book at the wall, and I don't treat books that way. I wasn't particularly familiar with the writer's work, and while their writing was enjoyable besides that, I won't be going looking for more.)(less)
...well, yes, I can definitely see the mind of the man who wrote halfhead at work here. (He thanks his first agent for being the one "who suggested I...more...well, yes, I can definitely see the mind of the man who wrote halfhead at work here. (He thanks his first agent for being the one "who suggested I stop writing all that SF rubbish and try a serial killer novel instead." Now I'm wondering what else he wrote, besides halfhead...
Kind of surprised to find out that McRae's encounter with Angus Robertson predates the first book. I was coming to this vaguely sorry that I already knew the resolution of the first story, and am pleased that this is not the case.
Alright. The cover blurb is "Riveting and gruesome"; it is definitely the latter, and I had real trouble putting it down (as evinced by the fact I went through 600 pages in two days). Fast, enjoyable (I mean, presuming that fictional horrible crimes are something you read about for enjoyment), decent and varied cast of characters that I am planning to catch up on. Satisfying without being simplistic or muddled, which is a neat trick and a harder balance to hit than you might expect.
Avoiding spoilers; recommended to anyone who thinks, based on the summary, that they would enjoy this kind of thing.(less)
Very good follow-up to the first Logan McRae book; possibly slightly more unsettling, although I suspe...more...well I did not expect some of that to happen.
Very good follow-up to the first Logan McRae book; possibly slightly more unsettling, although I suspect that's a personal preferences thing. Glad to see returning characters, and really pretty pleased with how everything wrapped up.(less)