Monday, 3 October 2011

House of Fear - the first reviews

House of Fear (the new horror anthology from Jonathan Oliver*) was only officially released on Saturday and yet the reviews are already starting to come in.

Now, Oscar Wilde famously said, "The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about." Well, I am talked about in both of the reviews I've read so far, and you couldn't really have two more opposing points of view. And both critique my story in the collection in relation to Adam Nevill's Florrie in one way or another.**

Here's the first...

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 book's 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.

And then there's this...

For more overtly horrifying tales, Jonathan Green ("The Doll's House), Adam Nevill ("Florrie") and Weston Ochse ("Driving the Milky Way") will all make you lose sleep. Mr. Green, known more for his swashbuckling fantasy series, unveils an unexpected dark side in this tale of a crumbling family and the difficulties of raising a child. Adam Nevill's tale has a similar theme, but in the case of "Florrie", it isn't about children, it is about the elderly. Mr. Nevill makes a grandmotherly parlour into a truly horrible place. Mr. Ochse's haunted house is a caravan in the middle of the desert - a playhouse for children over the summer and the gateway to a terrible obsession.

Anyway, to decide for yourself which of these you agree with you need to get yourself a copy of House of Fear now and read The Doll's House for yourself. Just don't have nightmares...

* And I quote, "the hottest new horror editor to come out of the UK since Stephen Jones".

** This in itself it highly flattering - it was something Adam said at the launch of
The End of the Line that inspired the approach I took when writing The Doll's House.

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