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Prime evil : new stories by the masters of…
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Prime evil : new stories by the masters of modern horror

by Douglas E. Winter (Editor)

Other authors: Clive Barker (Contributor), Jack Cady (Contributor), Ramsey Campbell (Contributor), Dennis Etchison (Contributor), Charles L. Grant (Contributor)8 more, M. John Harrison (Contributor), Paul Hazel (Contributor), Stephen King (Contributor), Thomas Ligotti (Contributor), David Morrell (Contributor), Peter Straub (Contributor), Whitley Streiber (Contributor), Thomas Tessier (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 4 of 4
A big collection of mostly so-so tales by major horror authors of the late twentieth century. Maybe it's just the frame of mind I was in when I read the book, but these stories registered as little more than faint blurs at the time, and my opinion hasn't changed. Paul Hazel's "Having a Woman at Lunch" is just silly, and Peter Straub's "The Juniper Tree"--while certain of its ingredients are pivotal to the brilliant novels Straub has written during the latter phase of his career--is a weakish story on its own terms. Things get a little better with Stephen King's contribution, "The Night Flier"; it's not top-drawer King, but is at least lively and readable. The best stories here are Charles L. Grant's "Spinning Tales with the Dead", an uncomfortably spooky mood piece, and Jack Cady's novella "By Reason of Darkness". Carefully layered, telling the reader enough to profoundly unsettle him (or her) but always holding something back, Cady's tale is both immediately jolting and disturbing upon later reflection.

Three stars for the inclusion of the Grant and Cady pieces; without them, Prime Evil would have been a real bust. ( )
  Jonathan_M | Oct 11, 2016 |
good collection of short horror from the modern greats ( )
1 vote WonderlandGrrl | Jan 29, 2016 |
Anthologies like these can be a great way to discover new authors. This is a particularly strong sampling of late-80s horror writers, covering terrain from King to Ligotti. I really suspect your mileage may vary when it comes to the individual stories, but if you are a horror fan you will certainly come away enjoying some of the stories, perhaps discovering a new author. There weren't any stories I would have described as bad, but there were definitely a good share (ironically the Straub, Etchison, and Strieber pieces come immediately to mind) that really weren't particularly scary or creepy. Of particular note:

King's "The Night Flier" had some nice tension and a clever scene of horror at the end, but the protagonist Richard Dees is kind of a bore.

Clive Barker's "Falling into Grief" was a nice bit of quiet horror, perhaps a bit surprising from someone more associated with shocking violence.

Ramsey Campbell''s "Next Time You'll Know Me" is a pretty creepy and somewhat odd piece of psychological horror. A disturbed man thinks someone is stealing his stories.

M. John Harrison's "The Great God Pan" is another piece of quiet horror, this one leaning a bit towards the obtuse. Still creepy and would probably merit a re-read.

Thomas Ligotti's "Alice's Last Adventure" is a surreal look at the rather bizarre end of a children's book author.

Jack Cady's "By Reason of Darkness" plays like an odd riff of Apocalypse Now on American soil.

David Morrell's "Orange is for Anguish, Blue is for Insanity" is the story of a Van Gogh-like painter who met a horrible end. A young scholar tries to find the secret of his work, but gets a little too close. ( )
4 vote CarlosMcRey | Jun 29, 2008 |
Good stories ( )
1 vote rzornow | Sep 9, 2006 |
Showing 4 of 4
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Winter, Douglas E.Editorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barker, CliveContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cady, JackContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Campbell, RamseyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Etchison, DennisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grant, Charles L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harrison, M. JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hazel, PaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
King, StephenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ligotti, ThomasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morrell, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Straub, PeterContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Streiber, WhitleyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tessier, ThomasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brèque, Jean-DanielTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Canty, ThomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sappinen, Jorma-VeikkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
... faranno dei cimiteri le loro cattedrali
e delle citta le vostre tombe.


—DARIO ARGENTO

(... for the cemeteries shall be their cathedrals,
and the cities shall be your tombs.)
Dedication
for Hilary Ross
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What makes great horror fiction? (Introduction)
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Book description
Contents:

Introduction - Douglas E. Winter
The Night Flier - Stephen King
Having a Woman at Lunch - Paul E. Hazel
The Blood Kiss - Dennis Etchison
Coming to Grief - Clive Barker
Food - Thomas Tessier
The Great God Pan - M. John Harrison
Orange Is for Anguish, Blue for Insanity - David Morrell
The Juniper Tree - Peter Straub
Spinning Tales with the Dead - Charles L. Grant
Alice’s Last Adventure - Thomas Ligotti
Next Time You’ll Know Me - Ramsey Campbell
The Pool - Whitley Strieber
By Reason of Darkness - Jack Cady
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Excellents echantillons de recits horrifiants forment une anthologie originale et faisant appel aux grands representants de cette formule fantastique ou l'horreur fait concurrence a la terreur.

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