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Old 05-25-2015   #41
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Re: Best Anthologies You've Read

Quote Originally Posted by ChildofOldLeech View Post
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Allen, Mike. - Unseaming
Just wrapped up Clive Barker's Books of Blood vol. I (good) and Enter at Your Own Risk: Old Masters, New Voices (Firbolg Publishing) (also good), and came back here to find my next read.

I'm going to give your Mike Allen suggestion a try.

Lots of solid suggestions in the thread. I've read many of them. Others I searched for on Amazon only to discover that they're no longer in print and only available through third party dealers. Unfortunate that so many worthy anthologies and collections are out of circulation, and only a few bookworm larvae away from being lost entirely.
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Old 05-25-2015   #42
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Re: Best Anthologies You've Read

Well, ChildofOld, my response time to your post set a new ignominious record for Yours Truly. Somehow, I missed that post until now. I apologize.

I'm not enthusiastic about the SoCal writers in general. I'm not a fan of Matheson but his two novels, I Am Legend and Hell House, are remarkably able bits. While the subject matter might often be similar in a Matheson and Beaumont tale, the quality of writing was very different. Unlike Bradbury and Sturgeon (the latter a significant influence on Beaumont), Charles Beaumont never favored an in your face prose style that screamed "I'm a stylist." But he was. His mastery of words still fascinates me. In The Howling Man the writer adapts his style to a Decadent flavored prose quite brilliantly; and in Free Dirt we findsome remarkable [paragraphs opening the story:

No fowl had ever looked so posthumous. Its bones lay stacked to one side of the plate like kindling: white, dry and naked in the soft light of the restaurant. Bones only, with every shard and filament of meat stripped methodically off. Otherwise, the plate was a vast glistening plain. The other, smaller dishes and bowls were equally virginal. They shone fiercely against one another. And all a pale cream color fixed upon the snowy white of a tablecloth unstained by gravies and unspotted by coffee and free from the stigmata of breadcrumbs, cigarette ash and fingernail lint. Only the dead fowl's bones and the stippled traceries of hardened red gelatine clinging timidly to the bottom of a dessert cup gave evidence that these ruins had once been a dinner.

So subtle most readers never realize the beauty of such prose!

Davidson is a fine writer and I'm glad you enjoyed The Boss. Masters of the Maze has a certain Lovecraftian resonance and is a fine little novel by another formidable stylist from the Past. It's too bad that these writers, so well known 50 years ago, are now somewhat 'obscure.' But no one ever said it was a fair world.
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