Alone with the Horrors: The Great Short Fiction of Ramsey Campbell, 1961-1991

Ramsey Campbell, Author, J. K. Potter, Illustrator Arkham House Publishers $32 (515p) ISBN 978-0-87054-165-0
The marrow-chilling tales in this comprehensive, chronologically arranged collection, selected from Campbell's 30-year career, demonstrate the ways this sophisticated British writer inspires fear without resorting to blood and gore. From his excellent early pastiches of H. P. Lovecraft's tales (``The Room in the Castle'') through his early work in his own style (``The Man in the Underpass'' and ``In the Bag'') and up to such recent entries as the high-tech ``The End of the Line,'' Campbell ( The Parasite ) subscribes to the less-is-more school of horror: a sudden cold touch on the back of the neck elicits far more terror than might any torn-off limb or chopped-up torso. Campbell's use of narrative pacing has matured over the years, as has his command of language. The only flaw here is the repetitiveness of tone; if the stories are read at one sitting, their structures become routine and their weird touches predictable. Taken one at a time, however, these 39 eerie tales, many illustrated by J. K. Potter's manipulated photographs, will yield 39 sleepless nights. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 10/04/1999
Release date: 10/01/1999
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 448 pages - 978-0-7653-0767-5
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-7653-0768-2
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