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.