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Book Title: The Height of the Scream|
ISBN 13: 9780870540752
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 38.63 MB
The author of the book: Ramsey Campbell
Edition: Arkham House Publishers
Date of issue: June 1976
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2897 times
Reader ratings: 3.8
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A creepy collection of horror stories from an author in his prime. Ramsey Campbell is regarded by many as Britain’s answer to Stephen King, and this is one of his most intriguing, if not totally successful, collections.
It kicks off with THE SCAR, a truly nasty effort about a sinister doppelganger. The author leaves no stone unturned in his quest to disgust and frighten the reader. Relentlessly horrible, this. Then we move onto THE WHINING, in which a man befriends a stray dog. It’s Campbell exploring his favourite topic – psychological torment – with lots of cold realism and hidden metaphor. MISSING is less successful, detailing social decay and horror; it’s short and seemingly plotless, but still gripping.
REPLY GUARANTEED is a chilly ghost story about a woman in a hospital bed haunted by a man in a wheelchair. It sounds odd and it is, an M. R. James type story updated to the 1970s. Even better is JACK’S LITTLE FRIEND, a modern updating of the Jack the Ripper story, which is one of the author’s best of all time.
BESIDE THE SEASIDE is another Jamesian effort, quite remarkable in places, and suitably atmospheric. THE CELLARS concerns the fungus spores that infect a subterranean labyrinth, a simple story with appropriately horrible situations. The titular story, THE HEIGHT OF THE SCREAM, is one I didn’t like; the telepathic story seems all over the place, and the characters unlikeable.
LITTER is a predictable but atmospheric little yarn about sentient evil; CYRIL seems to be non-horror on the face of it, but has a nightmarish climax. SMOKE KISS sees the protagonist pursued by evil smoke, following on from the evil sand, litter and dust we find elsewhere in this volume. THE WORDS THAT COUNT is something else entirely, a puzzle in short story format; it’s actually an acrostic, and makes sense when read as such.
ASH is another fairly creepy ghost story, this time about sentient ash (do I see a theme yet?) but THE TELEPHONES had no substance behind it and was another I found disappointing. IN THE SHADOWS is another lacklustre one, but things pick up a little for HORROR HOUSE OF BLOOD, a ‘fun’ outing inspired by the grisly shockers common in British cinema during the 1970s.
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Read information about the authorRamsey Campbell is a British writer considered by a number of critics to be one of the great masters of horror fiction. T. E. D. Klein has written that "Campbell reigns supreme in the field today," while S. T. Joshi has said that "future generations will regard him as the leading horror writer of our generation, every bit the equal of Lovecraft or Blackwood."
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