cover image The Jewish Book of Horror

The Jewish Book of Horror

Edited by Josh Schlossberg. Denver Horror Collective, $15.99 trade paper (358p) ISBN 978-1-73419-177-6

Schlossberg (Malinae) brings together a superior anthology with a fascinating origin story: his grandfather left him a rough manuscript of 22 stories that were “like bare bones folktales told by illiterates,” each ostensibly derived from phrases engraved on a boulder found by the biblical Moses years before encountering God in a burning bush. As the manuscript wasn’t publishable, Schlossberg recruited 22 authors to rewrite its contents. The result ably demonstrates the compatibility of Jewish tradition, history, and folklore with the horror genre. The legend of the golem is given new life in a modern setting in Simon Rosenberg’s “The Rabbi’s Wife,” which centers on a college student’s crush and cleverly uses quotidian details to encourage suspension of disbelief. “Demon Hunter Vashti” by Henry Herz puts King Ahasuerus’s first queen, Vashti, center-stage and provides a very different explanation for her downfall. Richard Dansky’s “On Seas of Blood and Salt” is another high point, featuring Jewish pirates beset by a ship of the undead. This is sure to please fans of folklore-infused horror. (Dec.)