ALONE WITH THE HORRORS: The Great Short Fiction of Ramsey Campbell, 1961–1991

Ramsey Campbell, Author . Tor $26.95 (448p) ISBN 978-0-7653-0767-5

Campbell (Told by the Dead ) won a World Fantasy Award for this career retrospective, first published in 1993 with slightly different contents, and its 37 stories—three of which themselves won World Fantasy and British Fantasy awards—represent some of the best short horror fiction written in the past half century. In "Mackintosh Willy," a dead derelict haunts the boys who desecrated his corpse, leaving only tatters of filthy clothes and graffiti scrawls as signs of his pursuit. "The Voice of the Sea" features two emotionally troubled men who see in the seemingly random patterns of sand disturbed by wind and waves the blueprint for a malignant alternate dimension. Though the basic themes of Campbell's tales are common, his approach to them is not, and is best summed up by the character in one who says, "I was eager to let my imagination flourish, for it was better than reading a ghost story." Each tale is a precision-crafted piece in which Campbell creates horror from menacing ripples in the surface of the ordinary, compelling readers to fill in what is not shown with their own worst imaginings. His confident reliance on style and language rather than shock effects has produced masterworks of modern horror certain to endure for generations to come. Agent, Kirby McCauley at the Pimlico Agency. (June 2)

Reviewed on: 05/31/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 515 pages - 978-0-87054-165-0
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-7653-0768-2
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