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The Penguin Book of Horror Stories
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The Penguin Book of Horror Stories

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  60 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Here are the depths of fear and darkness, the furthest limits of agony in mind and body...

Born in the eighteenth century, the horror story produced a literature of terror filled with werewolves and vampires, and which borrowed many elements from its sister genre, the ghost story.

Many famous writers were tempted by it, including Maupassant, Poe, Gautier, Conan Doyle, L.P. H
Paperback, 607 pages
Published October 25th 1984 by Penguin Books Limited (first published 1984)
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Feb 03, 2017 Graham rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, anthology
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Tom Ruffles
Jan 21, 2013 Tom Ruffles rated it really liked it
Despite the title, nowadays most of the stories included in this mammoth compilation would I suspect be classified as uncanny rather than horror. This is because the definition of horror has evolved over the last thirty years, largely under the influence of increasingly-explicit filmic depictions. That editor J A Cuddon’s view of the form was somewhat dated even as he drew up his list is suggested by his observation that while it also applies to novellas and novels, the horror story is usually r ...more
Tim Pendry
Sep 09, 2008 Tim Pendry rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Literary collectors
Shelves: horror
This 1984 collection has some gems and a certain breadth but suffers from a weak almost nerdy academic introduction filled with fact but weak on interpretation. A Wikipedia article before its time.

The definition of horror is very wide. The brutal realism of Prosper Merimee's primitive and vengeful 'Mateo Falcone' sits alongside a pulp tale of derring-do (the oft-anthologised 'Leiningen Versus The Ants') and a sardonic and satirical horror tale like Robert Graves' 'Earth to Earth'. But yet there
Chris Dufresne
Dec 20, 2013 Chris Dufresne rated it really liked it
"The Penguin Book of Horror Stories" edited by J. A. Cuddon was a great read. I am definitely one for the horror genre and this book really delivered that scared feeling while reading. The book, consisting of about forty plus short stories, each specific and horrifying was really entertaining and an all around "edge-of-your-seat" suspense really boosted the book's fantastically scary concept. From the distraught adventures of one kid, to horrifying experiences of a doctor, this book will keep yo ...more
Jul 26, 2013 James rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-horror
According to the OED the word horror was used in the sense of a "loathing fear, feeling terror or repugnance", as early as the fourteenth century with one example cited from no less than Chaucer in "The Parson's Tale" from his inestimable Canterbury Tales. So the notion has been around a long time and in use by a broad range of authors.
This anthology provides just such a broad range of writers both famous and those not so well-known. Writers include expected representatives like Poe, Henry Jame
Jan 21, 2012 TrumanCoyote rated it really liked it
The editor definitely casts his skein a bit broad, with curious results. The early anonymous stuff was hardly worth trudging through, and I definitely could've done without Faulkner's contribution and that silly "Comrade Death" thing. On the other hand, there were a few marvelous items that would not ordinarily have been included under the "horror" aegis: "Activity Time" by Monica Dickens, "The Portobello Road" by Muriel Spark, and "The Terrapin" by Patricia Highsmith, all of them gems (with nar ...more
May 22, 2016 Themightyx rated it really liked it
Lots of nifty treasures tucked in its pages, lots of ordinary horror, some plain bad horror, and a very few really strange stories.

My particular favorites were:
- "The Sea Raiders," by H.G. Wells
- "The Derelict," by William Hope Hodgson
- "The Fourth Man," by John Russell
- "In the Penal Colony," by Franz Kafka (this one was of note because I read "The Trial," and "In the Penal Colony" sounded very much like a proto-"The Trial," only from the government's side of the story, which is no less absurd
Jul 28, 2011 Carolee rated it it was amazing
A very thoughtful gift from my brother-in-law & wife for Christmas ('03 or '04) and completed May '05 ... I even left myself a reminder note on the inside cover for recall later. There's over 600 pages (40+ stories). Fabulous anthology ... it has an esteemed place on my bookshelf. Cover to cover goosebumps.
Matthew Butler
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Dec 06, 2014
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Sep 11, 2012
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