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Demons By Daylight

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  375 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Potential [Severn Valley] - (1973)
The End of a Summer's Day - (1973)
At First Sight - (1973)
The Franklyn Paragraphs [Severn Valley] - (1973)
The Interloper - (1973)
The Sentinels - (1973)
The Guy - (1973)
The Old Horns - (1973)
The Lost - (1973)
The Stocking - (1968)
The Second Staircase - (1973)
Concussion - (1973)
The Enchanted Fruit - (1973)
Made in Goa
Paperback, 190 pages
Published 1979 by Jove/HBJ (first published 1973)
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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 ·  375 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good one! I've had it since the 1980's, and it's survived all my book scourges! I can't recall a damn thing about any of the stories! Nothing! But, again it survived all the scourges. The biggest and most heartbreaking scourge was in 2010. That's the year I got rid of over 2000 books. Sure, I still have a few thousand, but..😢
Yet, somehow, I have kept this, and all Campbell's books. He is that good! If you had only seen all those popular author's that I gave away, just to keep Campbell!
Janie C.
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of horror stories has its own singular style and sense of atmosphere. Each story is darkly enchanting and finely written. Some stories are stronger and more fully realized than others, though all are cloaked in a sense of portentousness. Denouements are not always revealed as solid events, but are hinted at through occurrences with suggestible endings. The author creates environments that can be seen in detail by the mind's eye and are as tactile as the book we hold in our hands. ...more
Dec 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, horror
My first introduction to the work of Ramsey Campbell was, I have to say, quite a shock. He's not going to be for everyone, that's for sure. What you have here are not coherent stories relayed in a conventional manner and the horror is not conventionally scary. His stories are more oblique and scary in more subtle ways. They seem to get more cryptic as the collection progresses. The number of stories I feel I fully got my head around were definitely in the minority.

On top of that is his sparce, j
Bill Hsu
Jun 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Dec 2019: revisiting some old pieces.

The section "Errol Undercliffe: a tribute" contains two stories. "The Franklyn Paragraphs" seems to be one of Campbell's least collected pieces. I vaguely remember enjoying it decades ago, so am curious why it's not in (for example) the Tor edition of Cold Print, or the omnibus Alone with the Horrors. The "lost books/vanished writers" trope is pretty well-worn by now, but this was an early 70s take, solidly situated in its time. Campbell slaps on an extra lev
Die Booth
Oct 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
I found this collection very hit and miss.

Ramsey Campbell certainly doesn't belong to the 'slasher' generation of horror writers who rely on gore and shock to get their message across, his is an entirely more subtle kind of horror. Even as fond as I am of 'a vague sense of unease' I did find this collection slightly too subtle.

It's undeniable that Campbell is very adept at creating atmosphere and that's what carries this collection through. There's a lot of beautifully written and surprising d
Armand Rosamilia
May 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with any collection, there are some great stories and some average ones. Luckily this collection has many more great ones in it. None of them are bad, although it was hard to follow a few because of my decidedly non-British upbringing and having to figure out a few words here and there. I don't think I'm an idiot, but the author is so much smarter than me it feels like it, haha...
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've been dipping into this book since April, so I really took my time finishing it. Returning to this book was always a treat however, and rarely did I find a story here I didn't like.

Campbell got away from the Lovecraftian influence in this book, and really wrote some insidious, menacing stories which are subtle and get under the skin.

"Potential" is a very weird story, the end didn't make complete sense to me however.

"The End of a Summer's Day" didn't exactly scare me the first time I read it,
Bryan Alexander
May 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gothic
Ramsey Campbell is one of the best-known and important horror writers of the past 50 years. He's known for crafting a certain kind of tale: quiet and understated, laced with dread, set in British towns and cities of varying degrees of decline and bitterness. He's also a very gracious and thoughtful person, based on the several occasions I've met and heard him.

I grabbed this collection on a Kindle sale. I think I have a copy, but my horror books are still in storage (which is a daily horror not a
Zantaeus Glom
Feb 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
I enjoyed most of these stories immensely, and Campbell writes with a bravura, oblique style which at best engenders a cloying,unsavory atmosphere; but sometimes I did find myself a little alienated by his idiosyncratic style of prose. (no fault of Campbell's artistry, just personal taste)

My favorites were: 'The end of a summer's day' - A brief, yet wonderfully unsettling nightmare. 'The Franklyn Paragraphs' - This made the collection for me; truly sublime weird fiction in the classic Lovecraft,
Sep 04, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm absolutely shocked that this is a collection of Ramsey Campbell's stories. For the life of me, I could barely understand what was happening in any of them. Mostly, they consisted of people having banal conversations and somehow the reader is supposed to glean what's going on by reading between the lines. Except in most cases there's only confusion or nothing of consequence actually happening. And most of the tales have no inkling of terror, except for something hinted at on the final pages. ...more
Jim Smith
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My favourite Campbell collection and among the essentials of modern horror's development. Ingeniously supple prose and subtlety of narration.
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This collection of short stories is very different from ‘The inhabitant of the Lake and Less Welcome Tenants’ which was the first collection that Campbell released. His prose improved greatly and developed into something dreamlike and very unsettling.
You can see that Campbell found his own style and he really ran with it, the stories are wonderfully weird and very well written. I often found myself confused due to the stylistic choices but I found that this added to the atmosphere.
My favorite
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent first introduction.

The title isn't totally accurate. I've read a few of Campbell's stories here and there, but never a full collection. Having a full collection of his work to read has given me a greater appreciation for his style and pacing. Ramsey's horror is a visceral madness hiding in the mundane. It is a thing waiting for a character to look out their peripheral vision at just the wrong angle, and then it reconstructs the world around that. This is a wonderful book.
Mar 03, 2011 marked it as to-read
Stephen King recommended author and book.

Noted as "important to the genre we have been discussing" from Danse Macabre, published in 1981. Author discussed in chapter 9.
Beyond-excellent short stories by Ramsey Campbell. So disturbing I can hardly describe these to you. Just read them.
Greg Kerestan
Nov 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Ramsey Campbell is an acquired taste; more oblique than Stephen King or Clive Barker, and less showy in prose than Lovecraft or Ligotti. Instead, what you get is a foggy psychological atmosphere, the kind which casts everything you read in doubt. Some of the stories, like "The Guy," are immediately gripping, though slightly predictable, horror in the classic British-uncanny style. But others, like "Potential" or "The End of a Summer's Day," leave you scratching your head, unsure if what you thin ...more
Robyn Citizen
I have a bit of trouble with Ramsay Campbell's style of writing. When it's good, it's near-brilliant hallucinatory, impressionistic fever dreams that somehow indirectly get to the core tragedies and absurdity of human society and psychology. When it's not good, the stories are near incoherent. A solid 1/3rd of the stories in this collection I could not tell you what actually happened or the point of the narrative. The stories can be too circuitous, too meandering in their attempt to create atmos ...more
Ryan Pidhayny
I believe Ramsey Campbell is something of an acquired taste. He is touted as one of the greats of British horror, but his work has just never really clicked with me. A number of his stories are quite good, including a few in this collection, but the majority haven't appealed to me. I find that too many of the stories are confusing and hard to follow, but not as clear as much of the rest of the weird genre. That being said, Demons by Daylight is still a decent collection. If nothing else, it's de ...more
Joe Silber
Gonna be straight here - I was pretty disappointed in this book. I've read "The Grin of the Dark" by Campbell, which was very very good, and I've read a couple short stories by him that were quite solid as well. At least half the stories in this volume were borderline incoherent. Finished them and couldn't tell you what happened, let alone what the "point" of the story was. I certainly couldn't remember them the next day. The final three: "Concussion", "Enchanted Fruit", and "Made in Goatswood" ...more
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Mostly Disappointed

These short stories were very difficult to read. They jumped around a lot and most of the dialogue and narration gave me the impression that they were rushed.
Also the stories continue to keep you confused all the way to the so called endings.
If you like reading a bunch of ramblings​ stories that​ will never give you closure then this is for you.
I personally wished i never read it.
Richard Howard
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2018
What a dire collection of aimless stories. Most ramble on in an excess of style with nothing really happening. The dialogue is stilted and unconvincing: Does everybody call their partner 'Darling!' every utterance they make? Every sentence seems to require at least three semi-colons and two commas to fabricate meandering sentences that only serve to extend the ennui. Not one story raised a semblance of a frisson. And, finally, 'Demons by Daylight'? Nearly every tale takes place at night!
Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it
It's very hard for me to rate this collection. Some stories are fragments from a nightmare, disorienting to try to find a plot. Others create a chilling horror that can't be adequately described, more atmospheric dread. Several are hallucinogenic, some describe horror lurking in the natural world that hates humanity. The stories range from incomprehensible to outstanding.
Jason Fetters
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great short story collection by a writer who shed his Lovecraft influence and discovered his own unique voice. Budding writers take note, this is how you develop, and once you find your voice take it as far as you can.
barry lindfield
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Strange but good

I have read Ramsay Campbell before and although this is not an out and out scare you book. It has you the reader thinking about the darkness in your mind and things that go bump in the night.
Apr 13, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Worst

This was absolutely the worst anthology of short stories that I have suffered through in a long time. Only two of the stories made it possible for me to get through the entire book . (The Sentinels and The Old Horns)
J.J. Tuite
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 Stars

I’m impressed with Ramsey’s writing style. It’s a style I have yet to see from anyone in the horror community. I’m looking forward to reading more by Ramsey.
This collection was dull and dated. In the future I’ll stick with Campbell’s novels, I’ve read 2 of those and enjoyed both.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Complicated relationships between characters, something weird hovering at the edges. M. R. James meets Raymond Carver.
Oct 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
Lots of literary campfire tales. The Lost was a stand out but the rest were weak.
Steve Goble
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
A bit of a mixed bag of short stories. Some of this is vaguely Lovecraftian, some is mere supernatural spookiness and some involves murderous secrets. While Campbell's stories are always unsettling, I sometimes finish a story and feel like I don't really know what took place, or that maybe I missed something. I do not feel that way often, but it is a feeling I get with Campbell about half the time -- and more so with this collection.
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Ramsey Campbell is a British writer considered by a number of critics to be one of the great masters of horror fiction. T. E. D. Klein has written that "Campbell reigns supreme in the field today," while S. T. Joshi has said that "future generations will regard him as the leading horror writer of our generation, every bit the equal of Lovecraft or Blackwood."

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