Monday, 3 October 2011

LADY ELEANOR HORROR REVIEW: House of Fear - Ed. Jonathan Oliver

Release Date: 01/10/11


The tread on the landing outside the door, when you know you are the only one in the house. The wind whistling through the eves, carrying the voices of the dead. The figure glimpsed briefly through the cracked window of a derelict house.

Editor Jonathan Oliver brings horror home with a collection of haunted house stories by some of the finest writers working in the horror genre, including Joe R. Lansdale, Sarah Pinborough, Lisa Tuttle, Christopher Priest, Adam L. G. Nevill, Nicholas Royle, Chaz Brenchley, Christopher Fowler, Gary Kilworth, Weston Ochse, Eric Brown, Tim Lebbon, Nina Allan, Stephen Volk, Paul Meloy and more.


Readers by now will know that I’m a huge fan of horror books so when this one landed it pretty much was one that, for me, was worth abandoning what I was currently reading in favour of having my favourite genre to sink my teeth into. Whilst this book had a few positive things going for it, I want to start the review with a negative and to be honest with you it’s quite a big one.

What’s that? Well to be blunt it’s that I feel that too many people think that they can write a good horror story and that its an area where anyone can tread. It’s not. It’s a genre that requires certain skills and for me, saying that any writer can jump in to create it is akin to saying that any cook can bake a superior cake. Some can, most can’t and to prove my point I’d like to go straight to the Adam G Nevill story, for me it was the books best tale and demonstrated that it was hands down another level compared to the vast majority in here. That’s not to say that there weren’t some other decent tales here but against Florrie they showed a marked difference in giving the reader what they wanted almost as if some of the authors were half hearted in giving in to their darker side such as the Doll’s House story by Jonathan Green where I felt that the ending would have been improved had the author gone for what I felt was a better more gruesome ending.

All in, it is a fair book and the story by Adam G Nevill merits buying this title by his fans for this alone but when an author is clearly well ahead of the game from others within the feature it might be time to narrow down your requests further still to those who write exclusively for the genre.

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