Next book


A mixed bag of horror fiction from three of Britain's most innovative practitioners—Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, and transplanted Texan Lisa Tuttle—in the third volume of an ongoing series. Editor Martin introduces the fare by delivering the sort of "horror fiction is literature" testimony that today is de rigueur for any horror collection with literary, pretenses—like this one. Martin promises that this "showcase anthology" gives its writers "freedom, and the challenge of producing the very best work of which they are capable" in 30,000 words each. Who says the British love a challenge? Overall, the work here is a cut above average for the genre, but only at par for the represented authors. Of Campbell's seven stories, only the first, "In The Trees"—a spooky gem about a man lost in a woods haunted by what appear to be animate, craved walking sticks—and the last, "Bedtime Story"—an unsettling tale told from the point of view or a boy who may or may not be a psychopath—rise sharply above the drearily experimentation of the others. Tuttle's three stories share the vagueness of Campbell's, but, in a refreshing change of pace, all feature female protagonists; the best of the lot is "The Dragon's Bride," detailing the eerie ways of a matriarchy of—dragons? Rounding out the collection is Barker's contribution, "The Hellbound Heart." Although not creme de la creme Barker, this novella is a nerve jangler—and confirmation of why his is the most exciting voice in horror fiction today: a deft blend of poetry and gore about a lacquered-box puzzle, whose solution permits access to a fantastic world of excruciating, overwhelming sensuality. A sturdy collection, somewhat disappointing given the proven talents of the contributors, but still better than most of its kind.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 1986

ISBN: 0913165123

Page Count: 225

Publisher: Dark Harvest

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1986

Next book



Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Next book


This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

Close Quickview