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Nightmare Chronicles The Mass Market Paperback – Sep 3 2002

42 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Dorchester Leisure; First THUS edition (Sept. 3 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 084394580X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0843945805
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.7 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 172 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,001,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Clegg's (The Halloween Man, etc.) collection of 13 tales takes risks and is full of passions that sometimes burst forth violently. But his skill at elucidating the psychological lives of his characters in precise, revealing prose makes these emotions more disturbing than the violence itself. In the best selection, "The Rendering Man," a girl's lifelong obsession with the creepy local who turns dead animals into consumer goods discloses her own festering psychopathology. Subtle seeding of the tale with images of death and transfiguration gives its climax a haunting and visceral inevitability. The narrative device into which the stories are pluggedAeach is presented as a nightmare inflicted by a monstrous boy upon his kidnappersAis flimsy but succeeds in calling attention to several recurring themes: the predatory nature of human sexuality ("Chosen"; "The Night Before Alec Got Married") and "the secret rituals that all families have that would seem insane to outsiders" ("Damned If You Do"; "The Hurting Season"). Clegg's use of innovative metaphors catapults each story beyond a landscape crowded with the horror genre's usual monsters and madmen into a territory he alone can claim. (Sept.) FYI: Clegg is the author of Naomi, the much-touted e-novel in progress.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"...Without doubt, [The Nightmare Chronicles is] one of the best collections of the year." -- HorrorOnline

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Smith on Dec 22 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For those that think depth is a heroin-filled needle hanging from your arm in some condemned, rat-infested apartment, you'll love Douglas Clegg.
The characters are rarely multi-faceted and layered. The plots are mediocre, standard stuff, bordering on uncompelling. The tone is always hopeless. And the language is pseudo-literate that gets in the way of the story telling.
There is a reason why he's written so many books and hasn't become popular. Read this book and you'll discover why.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Nightmare Chronicles by Douglas Clegg is one of the most page turning collections of stories I've read in many years. Some of the stories are quiet subtle horror tales, and others, like White Chapel, I Am Infinite I Contain Multitudes, and Underworld are big stories of love lost and terror found.
These are some of the most original tales of horror I've read, and are right up there with Straub's (Magic Terror) and even some of Joyce Carol Oates. If you're looking for blood'n'guts, you'll find a couple of extremely brutal stories here, but in general, the stories have a brief shock illuminated by a psychological insight into a character's existence.
The faint-hearted should be warned off the two best stories: White Chapel and I Am Infinite I Contain Multitudes. Clearly these are amazing tales, but also they are as brutal as can possibly be imagined. The stories that were funny to some extent include The Night Alec Got Married, which begins as a bachelor party and turns into a reason to avoid intimacy, also, the story called Only Connect was odd and funny in a way because of the secrets within secrets and the paranoid sense of life Clegg manages to create in it.
Another favorite is Fruit of Her Womb, about an aging couple who discover that a mythos-tragedy has happened in the house they've bought. The husband in discovering an old murder mystery, finds some transcendant horror in it.
Some of the stories seem sketchy but interesting, like The Little Mermaid and The Rendering Man. Both are about transformations of sorts.
All in all, this is a satisfying grouping of stories, and leaves me hungry to try out one of two of Clegg's other books.
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By Hobbes on June 5 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first Douglas Clegg novel I've picked up and, I have to say, after hearing so many wonderful things about him, I was disappointed.
This book is poorly crafted at best. It is severely lacking in narrative structure, even within the individual stories, and the half-hearted attempt to tie them all together detracted more than it added. I found myself continuing to read mostly just for the sake of finishing the book, rather than because of any particular feeling for the characters, or even a desire to know how it ended.
Clegg skirts around points that would seem to be essential to understanding the story, leaving the reader feeling, not pleasantly confused and hungry for more as I'm sure was his goal, but rather cheated, as if one had been listening to a long joke that at the last minute failed to deliver a punchline. At the same time, Clegg browbeats the reader with thinly veiled religious symbolism, and characters who experience moments of enlightenment, to which the only proper response can be a groan.
If you're looking for the bizarre, something to keep you glued to your seat, I reccommend P.D. Cacek, Dean Koontz, or John Steakley, to name a few. I doubt I'll be checking out any more of Clegg's work.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Don't let the title of this review frighten you off. This collection of stories, strung together in a beautifully sickening manner by Clegg seems both a tribute AND a modern take on the tales of the Bradbury masterpiece. The handful of stories, which includes his well known "I Am Infinite: I Contain Multitudes", as well as the amazing "Rendering Man" and "White Chapel" are wrapped within the tale of a strange boy who is kidnapped by a mother and her two sons. Of course, this boy is much more than he seems. Much more terrifying and nowhere near as meek and innocent as initially believed. With each vignette and subsequent tale, one descends deeper into Clegg's world - not a pleasant thought for those who wish to retain a cheery outlook on society. His writing is surprisingly vivid and literate for the genre (a talent not seen too much in the "Bestsellers" list these days other than for the big names). The visions he molds in the reader's helpless minds helps to firmly embroil each tale while not allowing the connection vehicle (the boy & his kidnappers) to wallow as simply tasteless filler. If you enjoy this, please take the time to peruse Clegg's other works. With each effort, the man displays more talent, and a greater grasp of what horrifies the everyday person.
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By A Customer on Nov. 15 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
No wonder this book won both the International Horror Guild Award and the Bram Stoker Award. Clegg is one of those writers whose artistry is only matched by his sense of story. He builds mythologies within the smallest of stories, and deconstructs the essence of the horror tale (with echoes of Hawthorne and Machen and even Shirley Jackson and Joseph Conrad) in some of his longer tales.
I never come at books as mere entertainment, although even the most literary novel had better involve me. Clegg, with The Nightmare Chronicles, has managed to create a body of entertaining fiction as well as some serious notions about horror and love, all exploding within these pages. Clegg doesn't shy from ambiguity either.
In his first story here, "Underworld," a man has recently lost his pregnant wife. She was murdered violently. When he goes to a small restaurant in an old alley in the city, he thinks he sees her through the portal window of the kitchen. When he eventually pursues this further, the story takes a twist into what feels inevitable but unexpected. The ending (don't worry I won't reveal it) is both emotionally moving and a stunningly quiet and perfect climax to the events leading up to it. In some ways, it's an illuminating thought about what it means to go through the human nightmare.
The stunner of the collection, "White Chapel," comes next. In "White Chapel," nearly a novella within the collection, a journalist gets the scent of a fascinating but psychotic mystery: a man who has become a legendary torturer and killer, who lives now in the jungles of some Asian/Indian outpost. This is where the Joseph Conrad echo comes in. "White Chapel" is a distant cousin of _Heart of Darkness_.
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