The Mammoth Book of Angels and Demons

Edited by Paula Guran. Running Press, $13.95 trade paper (512p) ISBN 978-0-7624-4937-8
Guran’s enjoyable but uneven anthology of 27 stories shines the spotlight on angels and demons alike. Straightforward adventures, such as Richard Parks’s Heian fantasy “Sanji’s Demon” and George R.R. Martin’s horror story “Only Kids Are Afraid of the Dark,” are overshadowed by the subtler charms of Genevieve Valentine’s “Demons, Your Body, and You,” a gently satirical tale of demon-induced teen pregnancy. Other standouts include the stomach-churning Southern Gothic horror of Jay Lake’s “The Goat Cutter”; the doomed romance of Sarah Monette’s “Elegy for a Demon Lover”; and Neil Gaiman’s classic “Murder Mysteries.” Except for Parks’s story, Lucius Shepard’s expatriate-in-India tale “The Night of White Bhairab,” and Tanith Lee’s flat-earth story “The Man Who Stole the Moon,” the inclusions mostly derive from European and American traditions. The wonderfully realized New York Jewish family of Peter S. Beagle’s “Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel” becomes striking in its specificity, in addition to being a beautiful and haunting tale of a painter and his otherworldly model. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/06/2013
Release date: 07/01/2013
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