Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror

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Like all anthologies, there are some stories I felt blah about and others I really liked. What surprised me was how my expectations flipped around. I did not greatly enjoy the stories with traditional monsters ghosts, vampires, a werewolf, zombies even though I am a monster-lover, and the authors I thought I would slobber over George R. Martin and Poppy Z. Brite left me, surprisingly, cold. Brite does zombies in India. Which is a great idea. Every time the Zombocalypse befalls us, the rest of the world gets seriously ignored.

Despite the great location, this tale was pretty much dead on arrival, pun intended. Similarly, I liked George R. Martin way before he moved into fantasy. At least, not horror in the conventional sense, although what happens in the story is quite horrible. It breathes with a life of its own. Other stuff I liked: It was about some sort of creature with a tentacle instead of a face. Anyway, it reminded me of that story, but not in a here-comes-your-pastiche way.

Martin weaves a sinister yarn about a young woman encountering a neighbor who is overly enamored with her in "The Pear-Shaped Man. Paperback , pages. Published March 1st by Tachyon Publications first published January 1st To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Darkness , please sign up.

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Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror

Lists with This Book. Some of the stories in this very uneven collection are really good, but too many entries just did nothing for me. I abandoned it a little less than halfway through so feel free to judge me and this review accordingly , because I have a huge stack of stuff that I genuinely want to read, and life's too short. View all 6 comments. Nov 24, Maxine Marsh rated it really liked it Shelves: So when I realized that Darkness was one of my reads for the Horror Aficionados yearly challenge from the Nightmare Top Horror Books list , I cracked this puppy open!

After the first few stories I was glad that I did. Most of the selections are top notch, with only a few that didn't seem up to par with the others. The most striking stories included: Brite's dark vision of Calcutta in the midst of a zombie plague, "Calcutta, Lord of Nerves" - "The Tree is My Hat" takes us to a small Pacific island guarded by the old gods, courtesy of Gene Wolf - "Stitch" by Terry Dowling will leave you speechless, truly satisfying in the most horrific way I really liked reading this collection, more for the fact that it helped me narrow my likes and dislikes when it comes to horror, than because the stories were all consistently good.

There were some true gems and some real bombs in here, but I guess that's to be expected in an anthology. Overall I recommend this book, especially if your looking for a sampling of what the genre has to offer and some new authors you may not have heard of before. Her Will and Testament Gory and twisted, with interesting complex characters and great writing.

Surprising, yet ultimately not horrifying enough. The realities of street life had more impact than the climax of the story. Totally forgettable, not scary, and uninspired. Creepy stalker body horror, with a helping hand of paranoia and the supernatural bumping up against the everyday. A slightly disjointed account of one boy's loss of innocence in his local movie theater.

Not really horror, more of an account of one boy's sick encounter with a pedophile and the psychological repercussions. This had some good writing and imagery, but overall left me wanting more. Too many unanswered questions and the convoluted technobabble was a miss. Excellent writing, unapologetic, vivid imagery, and an awesome character study of a total psychopath. Might just be my favorite story of the collection. This tried too hard to be a deep and philosophical study on modernity and the suburban lifestyle's effects on the human condition. However, it was a pretty decent portrait of one man's sexual and homicidal deviance being awakened.

Just skip this one! Not scary at all or creepy in the least. Just kind of laughable really. An oddly unique story about transformation and what it means to be dead inside. Really interesting story, with visceral horrifying imagery and a mythological slant on zombies. The young female character was also a strong point to the story, being interesting in and of herself.

Fantasy just isn't for me and this was no exception.


  • Title: Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror!
  • Highlander in her bed (Forbidden Fantasy Book 2).
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It just didn't grab me. Not sure if I just missed the point or if there wasn't one. The story was cut off prematurely, there was no horror anywhere, and it just kind of petered out. Good writing that went nowhere. I liked this one quite a bit. It had an excellent build up and a supernatural twist which I'm learning that I like in my horror. Really really like this one! A claustrophobic and imagery laden story about being pushed to your limits and the horrifying things humans do to one another.

An intriguing exercise in exploring memory and the fallibility of our minds, but a little too vague to actually be horrifying or shocking. An interesting writing device in the form of a black rectangle is used to represent lost or blocked memories, but even that wasn't as effective as it could have been. What a bizarre story. Weirdly sexual and dark, this was unexpected from what I've read of Gaiman's other works. I think this would have been better had the style been less gimmicky and more straightforward, as the format seemed to limit the amount of details, which I think the story needed to be more effectively horrifying.

Really good atmospheric writing and an all around interesting addition to the gothic haunted house genre. I wish there was a little less ambiguousness, but it was still pretty creepy. Love the descriptions of the old mansion. What a stupid and pointless story. I hated the writing style, it was full of wooden and stilted characters, silly asides, and purposefully vague nonsense. Not scary or tension filled in the least and the "poignant" ending was anything but, because at that point who cares. I have no idea how anyone could think this story was worth putting in a collection like this.

I liked this story but did not find anything significantly interesting about it or particularly horrifying. Instead it was a slow pardon the pun burn about one woman's attempts to deal with tragedy and the toll it's taken on her psyche. Boring, not well plotted and frankly a waste of time. Not scary or even suspenseful and the ending felt rushed and like it came out of no where.

While somewhat suspenseful and interesting, I was looking for more. More intrigue, more sinisterness, more fear, more everything really. While the story boasts a nice twist, I didn't care enough about the characters for it to be impactful or horrifying. Just another ok selection in this collection.

Didn't like this one either. Boring and not interesting at all. Way to mystical and not scary in the least. I enjoyed this story.

Review: Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror

It was well written, mysterious, intriguing, and magical without being ridiculous. The parents' disturbing behavior and oddness gave the story tension and the mother was just weird.


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  4. While I wish there had been more clarity about what was going on, it made sense that the story left me with questions as it was told from the POV of the young son, who also didn't have a clue. Jan 09, Robb Bridson rated it liked it. It's what you expect from a horror anthology: My personal favorites from this collection are the Stephen King, George R.

    Title: Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror

    Oct 29, Rachel Hall rated it it was ok. Honestly I was really disappointed with this horror anthology. I have been looking forward to reading this for a while especially because of the selection of horror authors, which was truly impressive. But I'm not really sure the editor has a very clear picture of what horror is, and it seemed very apparent because of the selections made. I wouldn't really recommend this to anyone, although it was not wholly awful there were a handful of creepy tales. I say if you're thinking about picking thi Honestly I was really disappointed with this horror anthology.

    I say if you're thinking about picking this up for a read just go ahead and put back. Feb 06, Kasandra rated it liked it. A decent collection of horror, though a couple of the stories were so boring I couldn't get through them. A good one by Clive Barker, a very upsetting story by Peter Straub that I'd already read, a fantastic one by Pat Cadigan whom I'd never heard of before, something typical but fun from Stephen King, and a dreamily sick piece by Joyce Carol Oates which was worth going throug A decent collection of horror, though a couple of the stories were so boring I couldn't get through them.

    A good one by Clive Barker, a very upsetting story by Peter Straub that I'd already read, a fantastic one by Pat Cadigan whom I'd never heard of before, something typical but fun from Stephen King, and a dreamily sick piece by Joyce Carol Oates which was worth going through the book to get to.

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    Jun 03, Joel Nichols rated it really liked it. I really liked the ones from Edward Bryant, a really queer take on alien invasion, and Poppy Z. Brite's, which was traditional zombies in Calcutta. The Dan Simmons one is interesting but instantly forgettable. There's probably stories you've already read though, like the still excellent stuff from Kelly Link, Joyce Carol Oats, Stephen King, etc.

    The last story in this one is from Joe Hill, and is vivid, uncanny and cree varied anthology that's pretty readable right through and with a few gems. The last story in this one is from Joe Hill, and is vivid, uncanny and creepy and seductively convincing all at once. It's the first time I've read any Hill and I liked it. Jun 06, Steven Carter rated it it was amazing Shelves: None of it is scary or frightening but yes, all of it is horrific.

    Each and every offering is in its own, unique way horrifying, offering a vignette — or a revelation — of the macabre intruding, coalescing into the mundane world. Are you a dog person? Do you like trinkets and brick-a-brack? Are you comfortable in your routine? Do you think that you have a special insight into something sacred? Do you trust or distrust your government? This volume is a nearly ideal sampler for anyone wanting to get into the genre, get out of the everyday or just to poke at the edges of their own self and find out what they feel before, during and after.

    Some pieces took a little more thought. But I keep thinking. Some… just made me wonder if I missed something then again, I kept thinking about what I did see. Dec 22, Jay McCue rated it really liked it. The collection was a little uneven. Martin had some interesting stories. A few others felt a little flat. Steve Rasnic Tem's "Heat" was also mildy intriguing for me. Dec 27, Steve rated it really liked it Shelves: Solid collection, but a bit long. Jan 04, Nicole Cushing rated it really liked it. This anthology compiles a fairly broad array of short horror fiction published from It's a valuable resource for the newer horror author or, for that matter, anyone who loves the genre to use to get the "lay of the land" of recent developments in the field.