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The Mammoth Book of Monsters by Stephen…
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The Mammoth Book of Monsters

by Stephen Jones

Other authors: Clive Barker (Contributor), Ramsey Campbell (Contributor), R. Chetwynd Hayes (Contributor)

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This book, The Mammoth Book of Monsters, was great. Although it was not very 'horror'-y, it was still a very good anthology with many different talented writers. Each and every story had it's own feel to it, and had satisfying endings. The monsters in this anthology were varied. From tiny monkey things to mutated goo monsters to Godzilla! Godzilla's Twelve Step Program was particularly good, same with Rawhead Rex. The stories were all easy to understand and follow (except for The Medusa, but the foggy atmosphere does wonders for that story) and there was a good mix of funny and seriousness. Once again, a very good anthology, and I recommend it to anyone looking for something interesting to read. ( )
  jacklynch | Jun 7, 2011 |
I've decided I need to read more anthologies. I found a number of The Mammoth Book of... anthologies on sale and picked them up. I started with The Mammoth Book of Monsters simply because it seems to be the least reviewed.

I enjoy reading anthology introductions and was looking forward to what Stephen Jones would have to say as he is such a well known and respected editor of horror fiction. I stopped reading it because it seemed to serve mainly as a laundry list of the monster in each story: "'Blah Blah' is an example of a modern vampire story, followed by So and So's story 'Blah Blah' which deals with werewolves." I'm surprised in all his years of editing, Stephen Jones isn't better at writing introductions. Starting the book with spoilers for each of the stories in the collectionis not a good idea. Ah well, on to the stories.

Unfortunately the first story in the book, 'Visitation' by David J. Schow, got things off to a bad start. The story felt fifty years out of date. A sort of modern version of William Hope Hodgson's Carnacki the Ghost Finder stories that just didn't work for me. Things weren't much better with Ramsey Campbell's 'Down There'. A story with a promising setup and fine writing that is just missing something at its core.

Things picked up a bit with Scott Edelman's 'The Man He Was Before', a sort of I Am Legend take-off, except the survivors are a dysfunctional family. Works better than I am probably making it sound.

From there (almost) each story was an improvement on the previous one. I really enjoyed Michael Marshall Smith's 'Someone Else's Problem', Sydney J. Bounds 'Downmarket' and Kim Newman's 'The Chill Clutch of the Unseen'. But the problem is that the good stories weren't quite good enough to make up for the poor ones and there were too many stories that were just so-so.

Even the stories by very good, known writers tended to be far from their best. For instance, Clive Barker (one of the best short horror writers I've ever read) is represented by 'Rawhead Rex' one of the cheesiest stories in his excellent Books of Blood collections.

It's doubly disappointing because a collection of monster stories offers such a wide canvas. In one way or another almost any horror story could fit that requirement. So why isn't this one better? A selection of okay stories and duds with an exceptional story or three does not make for a very good collection. And front loading the collection with two disappointments kind of affected my view of the book.

I will read further 'Mammoth Horror' volumes, but would be hard pressed to recommend this one. ( )
1 vote jseger9000 | Sep 27, 2010 |
After going through vampires, werewolves, frankenstein monsters, zombies, etc., apparently they thought a compendium of more esoteric beasties and baddies would be a good idea - but it does include examples of the former, as well.

At 3.43, a reasonable book, but a few weaker stories than in some of the other volumes I have read.

Mammoth Book Of Monsters : VISITATION - David J. Schow
Mammoth Book Of Monsters : DOWN THERE - Ramsey Campbell
Mammoth Book Of Monsters : THE MAN HE HAD BEEN BEFORE - Scott Edelman
Mammoth Book Of Monsters : CALLING ALL MONSTERS - Dennis Etchison
Mammoth Book Of Monsters : THE SHADMOCK - R. Chetwynd-Hayes
Mammoth Book Of Monsters : THE SPIDER KISS - Christopher Fowler
Mammoth Book Of Monsters : CAFÉ ENDLESS: SPRING RAIN - Nancy Holder
Mammoth Book Of Monsters : THE MEDUSA - Thomas Ligotti
Mammoth Book Of Monsters : IN THE POOR GIRL TAKEN BY SURPRISE - Gemma Files
Mammoth Book Of Monsters : DOWNMARKET - Sydney J. Bounds
Mammoth Book Of Monsters : THE HORROR FROM THE MOUND - Robert E. Howard
Mammoth Book Of Monsters : FAT MAN - Jay Lake
Mammoth Book Of Monsters : THE THIN PEOPLE - Brian Lumley
Mammoth Book Of Monsters : THE HILL - Tanith Lee
Mammoth Book Of Monsters : GODZILLA'S TWELVE STEP PROGRAMME - Joe R. Lansdale
Mammoth Book Of Monsters : .220 SWIFT - Karl Edward Wagner
Mammoth Book Of Monsters : OUR LADY OF THE SAUROPODS - Robert Silverberg
Mammoth Book Of Monsters : THE FLABBY MEN - Basil Copper
Mammoth Book Of Monsters : THE SILVERING - Robert Holdstock
Mammoth Book Of Monsters : SOMEONE ELSE'S PROBLEM - Michael Marshall Smith
Mammoth Book Of Monsters : RAWHEAD REX - Clive Barker
Mammoth Book Of Monsters : THE CHILL CLUTCH OF THE UNSEEN - Kim Newman

Paranormal overload ending.

4 out of 5

Rattypuffs.

3.5 out of 5

No hugging the undead, son.

4 out of 5

Doing the body part operation.

3 out of 5

Interesting staff guest.

3.5 out of 5

'You're telling me I have to go to my boss and warn him that insects' souls are coming back inside soulless people?'

3 out of 5

Japanese club sucker.

3 out of 5

Snakes alive, stone surprise.

3 out of 5

Wolfy handy.

3 out of 5

Chained for suckers.

3.5 out of 5

If an old priest tells you that the body in the tomb is an undead Spanish nobleman, and you happen to be a credulous cowboy, next time, believe him!

4 out of 5

Body Barrel Of Monkey men.

4 out of 5

The Man Who Didn't Fold Himself.

3.5 out of 5

Lizard meat puppets.

4 out of 5

Not quite there reptile.

2.5 out of 5

Hit man underground eating.

3.5 out of 5

Jurassic Parked messiah.

4.5 out of 5

Swallowed up attack.

3 out of 5

Selkie deep skin.

3.5 out of 5

Writing odd.

2.5 out of 5

Exhumed carnage.

3 out of 5

Monster graveyard invisible man kill.

3.5 out of 5

http://notfreesf.blogspot.com/2009/02/mammoth-book-of-monsters-stephen-jones.htm... ( )
  bluetyson | Feb 24, 2009 |
Showing 3 of 3
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Jonesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barker, CliveContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Campbell, RamseyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hayes, R. ChetwyndContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786719761, Paperback)

Monstrous stories by the top names in horror writing such as Ramsey Campbell, Kim Newman, Harlan Ellison, Joe R. Lansdale, and many more.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:01:38 -0400)

Vampires, werewolves, zombies, ghouls - these and a grim host of other creatures of the night star in this bumper collection of stories by such authors as Clive Barker, Harlan Ellison, Ramsey Campbell, Michael Marshall Smith, Kim Newman and many others.… (more)

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