Synopses & Reviews
Edgar Allan Poe did not invent the tale of terror. There were American, English, and Continental writers who preceded Poe and influenced his work. Similarly, there were many who were in turn influenced by Poe's genius and produced their own popular tales of supernatural literature. This collection features masterful tales of terror by authors who, by and large, are little-remembered for their writing in this genre. Even Bram Stoker, whose may be said to be the most popular horror novel of all time, is not known as a writer of short fiction.
"Klinger (The New Annotated Dracula) mixes well-known and obscure authors in this solid anthology of 20 short tales of terror. Prominent names include Arthur Conan Doyle, M.R. James, Ambrose Bierce, and Bram Stoker, though some of their stories aren't their most reprinted (e.g., James's 'Lost Hearts'). But even aficionados of the genre may not be familiar with such selections as Hanns Heinz Ewers's 'The Spider' and Dick Donovan's 'A Night of Horror.' While all the entries will raise subtle chills, the standout is Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 'The Yellow Wallpaper,' first published in 1891 and inspired by Gilman's own struggles with postpartum depression. The narrator and her physician husband have just moved into a colonial mansion, right after the birth of a son, and she's troubled by the 'lame uncertain curves' of her wallpaper that, when followed, 'suddenly commit suicide' by plunging off at 'outrageous angles.' This volume provides a good introduction to dark fiction of an earlier age." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A masterful collection of horror fiction by widely acclaimed authors whose contributions to the genre have been lost in the shadow of Poe, by one of America's foremost anthologists.
About the Author
Leslie S. Klinger is one of the world's foremost authorities on Sherlock Holmes. He is the editor of the three-volume set The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes. The first two volumes, The Complete Short Stories, won the Edgar for "Best Critical/Biographical" work. He has just completed The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft. Klinger is a member of the Baker Street Irregulars and lives in Malibu.