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Horror 100 Best Books BARGAINS  $6.79 
9780786705528

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HORROR: 100 BEST BOOKS.

Edited by Kim Newman and Stephen Jones.

OVERVIEW: The continuing growth in popularity of speculative fiction (an all-encompassing term for horror, fantasy, and science fiction) has resulted in a recent spate of suggested reading lists. Strangely enough, these two collections, while possessing corresponding publishers, titles, and concepts, utilize vastly different approaches to compile their best of lists.Of the two, Jones and Newmans entry is more interesting, as they have imbued their book with a bit of novelty by garnering the opinions of 100 authors, editors, and others in the genre. Each contributor offers a personal essay on why they made their selection. Contributors include the fields current bestselling authors (such as Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Robert McCammon) as well as deceased luminaries (such as Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Howard, and H.P. Lovecaft). Chronologically, the selections range from The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus (Christopher Marlowe, 1592) to Dark Feasts (Ramsey Campbell, 1987). By soliciting the opinions of so many varied voices, Jones and Newman avoid overloading the list with personal bias, and they achieve an eclectic touch that makes the choices extremely interesting. Acknowledging the potential quirky nature of such a selection process, a further recommended reading list is appended, giving the reader enough material to keep him or her busy into the next century. Taking a somewhat converse approach, Cawthorn and Moorcock simply list their personal selections for the 100 best books in the field of fantasy. While the editors credentials are clearly topnotch, the uniform viewpoint doesnt measure up the variety offered in Jones and Newmans collection. To their credit, the picks of Cawthorn and Moorcock are wide-ranging, spanning from Gullivers Travels (Jonathan Swift, 1726) to Expecting Sonteone Taller (Tom Holt~ 1987) chronologically, and encompassing commensurate ground thematically. Indicative of the narrow, sometimes imperceptible boundary between definitions of fantasy and horror is the fact that fourteen works have achieved mention in both of these lists. Regardless of the dissimilar methods used in compiling these two listings, theres no question that both offer plenty of interesting and provocative suggestions for future reading. -- From Independent Publisher

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Carrol & Graf trade paperback, 256 pages. New. List Price $12.00

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