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Alone with the Horrors: The Great Short Fiction of Ramsey Campbell, 1961-1991 (1993)

por Ramsey Campbell

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348474,153 (3.89)6
Ramsey Campbell is perhaps the world's most decorated author of horror fiction. He has won four World Fantasy Awards, ten British Fantasy Awards, three Bram Stoker Awards, and the Horror Writers' Association's Lifetime Achievement Award.Three decades into his career, Campbell paused to review his body of short fiction and selected the stories that were, to his mind, the very best of his works. Alone With the Horrors collects nearly forty tales from the first thirty years of Campbell's writing. Included here are "In the Bag," which won the British Fantasy Award, and two World Fantasy Award-winning stories, "The Chimney" and the classic "Mackintosh Willy."Campbell crowns the book with a length preface which traces his early publication history, discusses his youthful correspondence with August Derleth, illuminates the influence of H.P. Lovecraft on his early work, and gives an account of the creation of each story and the author's personal assessment of the works' flaws and virtues.In its first publication, a decade ago, Alone With the Horrors won both the Bram Stoker Award and the World Fantasy Award. For this new edition, Campbell has added one of his very first published stories, a Lovecraftian classic, "The Tower from Yuggoth." From this early, Cthulhian tale, to later works that showcase Campbell's growing mastery of mood and character, Alone With the Horrors provides readers with a close look at a powerful writer's development of his craft.… (mais)
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I'm not putting this on hiatus(turns out I lied and have put it on my hiatus pile anyway), even though I've only got half way through, for the simple reason it'll be there forever. I've a tendency to do that with anthologies and collections. I'll read a few stories then put it to one side for years, and I'll happily do this with anthology after anthology and collection after collection until it comes full circle and I pick up one I put down years earlier, whereupon I'll proceed to read a few more stories before starting the whole cycle again.

Anyway, I got about 40% into this before getting distracted enough to have to give up getting it renewed and take it back to the library. It's collected in date order, so I probably only reached the mid seventies I think, but what I read was good enough to hold my interest and I recognize a couple of other stories from later in the collection that I've read previously and loved('Down There' in particular is worth hunting out a copy for if nothing else). I suspect this would have turned out to be a 4 star collection had I not been diverted by Richard Laymon novels.

This isn't generally considered to be his best collection as far as I can tell so I'll no doubt dive into a couple of other collections by Mr Ramsey Campbell before too long. I'd still recommend dipping into it, especially if you're a little less likely to be as easily distracted as I tend to be.

Go for it. I liked what I saw.
( )
  SFGale | Mar 23, 2021 |
An amazing view of thirty years of short stories, and watching Mr. Ramsey's style and skills develop. I think, however, if you're looking for the monster that jumps out at you and says, "Boo!" this is not the collection for you. Almost every story is driven by the reader's slow realization of what's going on, on a fictional level, and what the author's really talking about--which means that some stories you're left with questions, and other stories feel a little flat, depending on whether you have the realization at the perfect moment or not. Mostly I did.

Favorite: "The Other Side." I picked up on this one almost immediately and could see how it was probably going to play out, and yet I found it the most moving of the stories. ( )
1 vote dknippling | Dec 15, 2014 |
Ramsey Campbell is one of my favorite horror writers, because, for the most part, he writes horror that is cerebral -- much like Lovecraft, this man has the ability to set the scene and build up the feelings of horror in the pit of your stomach, then leave it all to the reader to figure out what's just happened or is going to happen next. I bought this one because of the Lovecraft influence on some of Campbell's stories and was not at all disappointed. However, beyond Lovecraft's influence, Campbell has a wonderful style all his own which will leave you wanting more at the end of most of these stories. I didn't like a couple of these, but you know, when you have an anthology, you can't expect to like each and every story between the covers. However, if you want a good sampling of Campbell's work, then this is definitely the book to start with before you branch out (and you will...this man is a genius).

There are 37 stories here so I can't possibly comment on all of them. Suffice it to say that I definitely recommend this for those who like to think about what they're reading as far as horror goes; if you are into the slasher/guts/gore crap then you may find this one tame. ( )
1 vote bcquinnsmom | Apr 13, 2007 |
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Ramsey Campbell is perhaps the world's most decorated author of horror fiction. He has won four World Fantasy Awards, ten British Fantasy Awards, three Bram Stoker Awards, and the Horror Writers' Association's Lifetime Achievement Award.Three decades into his career, Campbell paused to review his body of short fiction and selected the stories that were, to his mind, the very best of his works. Alone With the Horrors collects nearly forty tales from the first thirty years of Campbell's writing. Included here are "In the Bag," which won the British Fantasy Award, and two World Fantasy Award-winning stories, "The Chimney" and the classic "Mackintosh Willy."Campbell crowns the book with a length preface which traces his early publication history, discusses his youthful correspondence with August Derleth, illuminates the influence of H.P. Lovecraft on his early work, and gives an account of the creation of each story and the author's personal assessment of the works' flaws and virtues.In its first publication, a decade ago, Alone With the Horrors won both the Bram Stoker Award and the World Fantasy Award. For this new edition, Campbell has added one of his very first published stories, a Lovecraftian classic, "The Tower from Yuggoth." From this early, Cthulhian tale, to later works that showcase Campbell's growing mastery of mood and character, Alone With the Horrors provides readers with a close look at a powerful writer's development of his craft.

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