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Horror: 100 Best Books [Paperback]

Stephen Jones , Kim Newman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 2 1992
The top 100 horror books ever written, chosen by some of the top names in in the business today. King, Barker, Gallagher, Lansdale, Simmons, McCammon, Pratchett are some of the authors mentioned.

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First published in 1988, Horror: The 100 Best Books has remained the only book of its kind: a solid (and entertaining) annotated reading list spanning the range of horror fiction from the 16th to the 20th century. The device of asking 100 horror, fantasy,and science fiction writers to write about their favorite horror books might seem at first to capture an idiosyncratic sample, but through diplomacy and diligence, editors Stephen Jones and Kim Newman succeeded in obtaining short essays on most (if not all) of the well-known classics, as well as many more lesser-knowns that are well worth discovering. Readers who follow up on these recommendations will find tips about books by writers mostly known for other genres--such as Iain Banks, Robert Holdstock, Lisa Tuttle, and David Morrell.

Also valuable are write-ups on literary works not always acknowledged as horror, such as Kingsley Amis's The Green Man, Jerzy Kosinski's The Painted Bird, and John Gardner's Grendel. And the write-ups offer a fascinating peek into the minds of the contributors, who include just about all the top horror writers of the'60s-'80s. This 10th anniversary edition makes no changes in the list of 100 books, but updates the entries and includes a 9-page reading list of titles from 458 B.C. to 1997. --Fiona Webster --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

James Marriott is the author of "Virgin Books' Tourist Trap, Danger Down Under" and "Holidaymakers from Hell" (all written as Patrick Blackden).


Kim Newman is a novelist, critic and broadcaster. His fiction has been translated into many languages and he is a past recipient of, among others, the Horror Writers of America Bram Stoker Award and the International Horror Critics' Guild Award for Best Novel. He is also the editor of "The BFI Companion to Horror."
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
If you buy this book you'll just have to buy another one down the line. My current copy is falling apart from the constant use. The one I had before that still hasn't been returned. So with the next one I buy I'll be on my third copy in just under a year since my initial purchase. For the horror fan who doesn't have the time or volition to check out the horror websites or sift through all the rotten horror novels and anthologies, this book is perfect for you. In this volume of articles by distinguished writers and anthologists you get a taste of everything from splatterpunk to Gothic. Writers as diverse as Harlan Ellison and Richard Laymon (even going back as far as Poe) get to put their two cents in. You find established classics like Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and underappreciated gems like Carroll's The Land of Laughs. You get writers who you never associated with horror like Shakespeare(article for Will writen by writer/director Clive Barker) and Melville. Of course Stephen King and Peter Straub, the modern heavyweights, are included, it wouldn't be a party without them. Once you see the Hundred choices made and read the articles, you will understand why they are there(even if you disagree with the choice). Reading this book sent me out to my used book store in an attempt to locate the out of print volumes, but somebody else must have beat me to it. And I still have yet to go through the dozens and dozens of books listed in the recommended reading list at the back of the book. So do yourself a favor, don't buy this book, you'll just have to buy another copy and you'll find yourself hunting for books like Sarban's The Sound of His Horn or Laymon's The Cellar. It is an addiction worse than smoking. It is a fear addiction, and there's no patch for it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Subjective, but thorough June 23 2004
Format:Paperback
I have had a copy of this book since the early 90's and I come back to it often to read and re-read the comments given by the various authors on their favorite horror books. It is an interesting experience to be able to see, within these covers, the growth and evolution of horror, inspiring itself over and over to become the phenomenon of today. From The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (the first work chronologically) to Dark Feasts (the last, this selection was printed in 1988), we get to see a veritable timeline of horror.
Lists of this sort are invariably subjective. The authors commissioned for this were asked to write about their favorite book, not to describe the best books so some great works are going to be left out. But it is an excellent starting point and this list (along with the Suggested Reading in the back) should keep any horror afficionado trembling for years to come.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good list, no longer timely June 27 2002
Format:Paperback
I have had a copy of this book since the early 90's and I come back to it often to read and re-read the comments given by the various authors on their favorite horror books. It is an interesting experience to be able to see, within these covers, the growth and evolution of horror, inspiring itself over and over to become the phenomenon of today. From The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (the first work chronologically) to Dark Feasts (the last, the book was printed in 1988), we get to see a veritable timeline of horror.
Lists of this sort are invariably subjective. The authors commissioned for this were asked to write about their favorite book, not to describe the best books so some great works are going to be left out. But it is an excellent starting point and this list (along with the Suggested Reading in the back) should keep any horror afficionado trembling for years to come.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A horror aficionado's guide to great reading! Aug. 22 2001
Format:Paperback
This updated version of the 1988 Bram Stoker Award winner is appealing for several reasons. First, it's a modern classic in horror scholarship, a survey of horror literature spanning fifteen centuries, several genres, and a plethora of authors. Second, there's the thrill of reading great writers' thoughts about their favorite authors--Stephen King on Robert Marasco, Peter Straub on King, and Ed Bryant on Dan Simmons among others. Third, it's basically a big list of good books. The 100 entries combined with an extensive list of recommended titles (now updated through 1997) have enriched my reading for years. Plus, I'm always gratified when knowledgable people reel off their recommendations--their picks send me scurrying to used bookstores in search of new treasures.
In their introduction, Messrs. Jones and Newman express their hope that the book is "...informative and fun," also stating that it "should offer a guide for the relative newcomer to the subject, but also some meat for the veteran afficionado. We hope we've succeeded in giving a working overview of an often maligned field of literature." I, for one, think they've achieved their goal--Horror: 100 Best Books is a worthwhuile addition to library of any horror maven, a useful, entertaining work that belongs on the shelf next to books like King's Danse Macabre, Winter's Faces of Fear, Skal's The Horror Show and Wiater's Dark Thoughts on Writing.
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