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The Mammoth Book of Monsters
edited by Stephen Jones
Robinson, 499 pages

The Mammoth Book of Monsters
Stephen Jones
Stephen Jones is the winner of multiple World Fantasy Awards, the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker Award and International Horror Guild Awards, British Fantasy Awards and a Hugo Award nominee. A full-time columnist, television producer/director and genre movie publicist and consultant, Stephen Jones is also one of Britain's most acclaimed anthologists of horror and dark fantasy. He has edited and written more than 50 books, including: Shadows Over Innsmouth; Exorcisms and Ecstasies, a Karl Edward Wagner collection; and Clive Barker's A-Z of Horror. He is co-editor of a number of series including Best New Horror, Dark Terrors and Dark Voices. He lives in London, England.

Stephen Jones Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror #17
SF Site Review: Shadows Over Innsmouth
SF Site Review: Dark Terrors 5
SF Site Review: White of the Moon
SF Site Review: Dark of the Night

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Mario Guslandi

Monsters represent a standard, time-honored theme in horror fiction. They haunt our dreams, lurk in dark corners, stalk us in dark alleys. It was high time, therefore, that one of the various Mammoth anthologies would be devoted to monsters and who more suitable than Stephen Jones to deal with the task?

The volume assembles twenty-two stories, mostly reprints and a few originals, featuring various types of monsters, both old favorites and brand new creations.

In "Down Under," a masterpiece of terror from Ramsey Campbell's golden period, monsters hide in the basement of an office building, while in Scott Edelman's "The Man He Had Been Before" we get, through the eyes of a teenager, a grim, apocalyptic view of a world populated by zombies.

R Chetwynd-Hayes provides "The Shadmock," a delightful and very entertaining yarn blending horror and humour.

The disquieting "The Medusa" is yet another of Thomas Ligotti's elegant samples of philosophical horror, in which a man obsessed with the myth of the Medusa finally finds out what actually lies behind it.

"Downmarket" by Sidney J. Bounds is a terrifying tale about an odd monster demanding human sacrifices and Robert E. Howard's "The Horror from the Mound" a classy, charming variation on the subject of vampirism.

By contrast, Brian Lumley's "The Thin People" constitutes a fine example of subtle horror fiction featuring unfathomable alien creatures who love privacy and hate cars.

Tanith Lee provides a new story, the outstanding, creepy "The Hill," possibly the best piece in the book, telling in a solid, fascinating narrative style how the house of a missing scientist becomes the center of a series of sinister events.

Basil Copper ("The Flabby Men") and Robert Holdstock ("The Silvering") contribute stories with a strong SF taste depicting alien creatures either malevolent and deadly or ready to love and be loved.

In the superb "Someone Else's Problem," written by Michael Marshall Smith in his usual extraordinary style, inexplicable, monkey-like monsters haunt a train running from London to Cambridge.

"Rawhead Rex" is vintage Clive Barker, one of his most scary creations, a memorable, ageless, ever hungry monster.

In short, The Mammoth Book of Monsters is a veritable feast for horror lovers, providing excellent material apt to suit all tastes, even the more sophisticated and demanding.

Copyright © 2007 by Mario Guslandi

Mario Guslandi lives in Milan, Italy, and is a long-time fan of dark fiction. His book reviews have appeared on a number of genre websites such as The Alien Online, Infinity Plus, Necropsy, The Agony Column and Horrorwold.

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