This unarguable classic collection of stories appeared at the end of the 1980s. Horror fiction, or what publishers chose to market as horror fiction, was big business. However, there is a large variety of styles under this arbitrary umbrella ("Horror isn't a genre, it's an emotion", editor/author David Hartwell). Authors such as Stephen King and Dean Koontz had become best sellers with novels often using pulp-orientated elements (vampires, ghouls, werewolves, or assorted permutations) that invade our modern society. Others wrote popular horror novels with the villain(s) being psychotic or sociopathic, but an explainable (and real) element in our society. One of my favorite styles of horror, however, could best be described as "hallucinatory nightmare", which is rarer and probably more difficult to pull off. Ligotti succeeds time and time again with a rich lyrical style that is varied, multi-leveled, and often witty as well. There are the former mentioned types of tales here. There's a great vampire story, and you'll meet a few psychos, one for instance who loves flowers, but it's the stories of reality rotting away or perhaps take place entirely in an askew dream fantasy where Ligotti makes his mark. Stories like "Dr. Voke and Mr. Veech", or "the Greater Festival of Masks" take place in the landscape of a surreal nightmare. In one of his best stories, "Alice's Last Adventure", a twisted ode to Lewis Carroll, the narrator's reality may have literally turned inside out. Amongst all the vacuous abstract blather about literature and art, good fiction's ultimate goal, along with telling a good story, is to create the mental state in the reader of a "waking dream", as the late John Gardner accurately described it. A world is created in the reader's imagination and he or she, while reading, forgets it's merely words on paper. For myself, good horror fiction, for perhaps a number of reasons, has always produced the most vivid "waking dream" state, and the hallucinatory nightmare style best of all. Probably since the logic is often skewed or hidden as in actual dreams. "Notes On Horror: A Story", which unfortunately does not appear in his later comprehensive collection, "The Nightmare Factory" makes a great litmus test for whether you're a lover of "weird fiction". If you finish it and question what is this Ligotti guy's problem, this type of horror probably isn't for you. On the other hand, it may thrill, delight, and amuse you and you may after all, as Ligotti says, "find it all so easy".