Thursday, November 05, 2009

Book Review : 20th Century Ghosts - Joe Hill****



This is the second collection of horror short stories I have read recently, and Hill's wildly inventive and eclectic collection is far superior to the formulaic repetition of tales by Ambrose Bierce that I struggled through.

As with all short story anthologies, there are some good stories, and some not so good, but the good ones in 20th Century Ghosts are really good, clever, inventive and unsettling.

'Pop Art' which sought to explain the problems of being an inflatable child born to normal parents was wonderful, a simple but weird idea well explored, 'Voluntary Committal' has an autistic boy who builds models and cardboard castles, and gates, gates which lead to other places, 'Bobby Conroy Comes Back From The Dead' showed a really neat twist on the horror theme in which a couple playing the part of zombies in a film explore their past and current relationship.

Good stuff, and it made me want to read some more of Hill's material, some of the stories have a Stephen King feel to them, and that's no bad thing in the realm of terror and suspense.

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