A Book of Horrors

A Book of Horrors - Stephen Jones Going to leave little reviews as I make my way through the stories. May or may not be in order.

LITTLE GREEN GOD OF AGONY
- STEPHEN KING **** Four Stars

Even though the premise and resolution is a bit silly in hindsight, Stephen King does a great job pulling the reader into the tale and keeping the chills going up until the last word. This is the best thing I've read by King in a long while; though not essential by any means, I found it to be far more enjoyable than Throttle, Mile 81 or In the Tall Grass. An easy one-sitting read.

CHARCLOTH, FIRESTEEL AND FLINT
- CAITLIN KIERNAN **** Four Stars

This tale of the dark fantastic, not horror by any means, could be the younger sister of Elizabeth Hand's (another author featured in this book with the novella, FROM ZENNOR) short story CLEOPATRA BRIMSTONE, at least in its literate flowing style and references to fiery things. It's a very short read, with a slightly historical macabre flavor, and reminded me a little bit as well of the old Twilight Zone episode, THE HITCHHIKER (though the story is quite different). I enjoyed this one, and will be checking out more work by this author, whose style I adored.

NEAR ZENNOR
- ELIZABETH HAND ***** Five Stars

Again, another story that barely could be considered horror (especially given the promise of the book's title and the gruesome cover), but a wonderfully told tale nonetheless.
NEAR ZENNOR is a novella that moves slowly and gracefully, like a symphony of words that evokes a sense of place and feeling that is at once understated and profound, but never lags with forward momentum and the desire to read on. Elizabeth Hand's writing is like a sensual massage for the eyes and the mind. My brain feels all relaxed and awash in happiness. If hardcore horror and thrills are what you crave, this is not the story for you. If you liked THE WOMAN IN BLACK, then you will likely enjoy this, too.

ROOTS AND ALL
- BRIAN HODGE ***** Five Stars

Finally, some true horror - and as poetic as the previous stories. I've not read anything by Brian Hodge before, but I guarantee you I will. Loved this story and the writing so much!