Masterpieces of Terror and the Unknown

Marvin Kaye, Editor
Marvin Kaye, Editor St. Martin's Press $24.95 (573p) ISBN 978-0-312-11026-0
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Kaye's companion volume to his Masterpieces of Terror and the Supernatural pulls together nearly 60 works by some of the finest writers of the past century, including Bram Stoker, H. G. Wells, H. P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury and Richard Matheson. There are some pleasant surprises, too: stories by Joyce Carol Oates, Willa Cather, Stephen Crane and Winston Churchill. Although few of the tales are truly terrifying, many of them do indeed qualify as ``unknown.'' Kaye's eclectic gathering, organized under categories such as ``Ghosts and Miscellaneous Nightmares,'' ``The Beast Within,'' ``Acts of God'' and ``Fiends and Creatures,'' includes Darrell Schweitzer's and Jason Van Hollander's ``The Throwing Suit,'' a disturbing portrait of gnosticism, artistic impression and damage to the immortal soul; Theodore Sturgeon's ``Bianca's Hands,'' a surreal tale of one man's obsession with a disturbed girl's hands; Emilia Pardo-Bazan's ``The Pardon,'' a suspenseful rendering of a husband's feared revenge, and Jack Snow's ``Midnight,'' a nightmarish account of the eternal hell on earth that an occultist visits upon himself. While readers may question the choice of certain works, bristle at Kaye's self-promotional references in several of the introductions and dismiss some of the older tales as dated, most horror fans will find ample enjoyment here. Science Fiction and Doubleday Book clubs selections. (June)
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