Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
like the SeaHarp HotelJan. 23 2015
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I started my vacation in Greystone Bay with this, the last of four books in this series of "shared world" anthologies. These are anthologies by popular (and good) horror writers of the 80's and 90's. I noticed that this book, at over 300 pages and only seven stories, seemed to shift the focus from shorter to longer stories (looking at the tables of contents for the previous three volumes reveals more stories in each.) Charles Grant is known as the premier American proponent of "quiet" horror (as evidenced by a recent collection of his works, "Scream Quietly.") Quiet horror is horror that emphasizes slowly building atmosphere, and emotion rather than shock and visceral thrills. The stories in this book seem to go along with that. I'm not sure if Grant picked authors to participate in this project because he was aware that their work matched his in this respect, or if they wrote that way for this anthology out of respect for him. In any case, these stories don't have much blood or violence, though they seethe beneath the surface with unspoken fears and passions. I picked this one up because I am a huge fan of Grant's "Oxrun Station" stories and novels. I was hoping for the same kind of detailed background and repeated settings, and a city with a special mood all its own. You don't quite get that in Greystone Bay, at least in this volume. The stories mention a few commonalities, like the SeaHarp Hotel, but I didn't get a strong sense that the authors had even read the other stories before writing theirs. Of course, the stories were all written at about the same time (1993), so this would have been difficult. As for mood, the city takes on a different shade of mood with each author. But I ended up liking that. There was just enough unity to make reading them all in order feel a bit like reading a novel, but not so much that you ever get bored with it. I highly recommend this, especially the creepy story set in an old folks home written by Kathryn Ptacek, Grant's wife. I will seek out previous volumes in the series. Note for Grant fans: except for brief introductions, this volume is the only one to actually feature a story by Charles L. Grant. I wonder ... was it originally Grant's intention to open up his own Oxrun Station to other writers?