I will offer a different view from those who are raving about the book -- I didn't like all of it overall. Ditko himself (quotes included in the book's introduction) dismisses a lot of these early efforts as complete junk, done whilst he was a struggling student, running from agency to agency, hustling for any work he could find, and cranking out some pretty low grade work.
Perhaps he is right to distance himself from them.
Don't get me wrong -- the artwork is really excellent, imaginative, edgy and very representative of its time, much of it evocative of early 50's TV shows, cult movies, and avant garde styles influenced by German expressionism and cinematic styles of Fritz Lang etc. That is a very worthy aspect of the volume -- without doubt. If you are buying it for the art, you will not be disappointed. It is amongst the best of its genre, and Ditko's mastery is apparent in almost every frame. The colouring is excellent too, with beautiful shading and tones. Ditko was a visionary in that regard, predicting and foreseeing many of the aspects that would drive later art movements, such as Warhol's pop art, and the cinematic styles of the 60's and early 70's.
But, the stories, plots and narratives here are just very low grade stuff.
Comic book fanatics know very well, that there is 'bad' comic book writing -- yet it actually works, and is sought after, precisely because it is so bad, it is off-the-wall crazy in its eccentricity. Much of the pre-code comics meet that definition of 'bad.'
And then, comic book fans know equally well that there is comic book writing that is... just...well...really, really bad: and these Ditko stories are the latter.
In the end, it completely brings down the overall charm and quality of these Ditko nuggets.
I wouldn't fully recommend the book without some reservation. Ditko's art skill is outstanding, for sure; that is beyond doubt -- but ultimately, most of the stories' plots, prose and sense of continuity are junk : hurried, rushed, charmless, and with very few redeeming qualities, and with very little wit and intelligence.
If you are after pre code horror, you are way better off buying "The Horror the Horror", "Four Colour Fear" and the "Mammoth Book" first.
So -- five stars without a doubt for Ditko's flawless artwork -- but one star for the stories.