edited by Andy Murray
what itís about, the space between eavesdropping and
experience, the unknowability of other peopleís lives. We all
live on the edge of the dark; here, you can step over that edge "
Reviewed by Vanessa Gebbie
found myself reading this book backwards. The contributor bios are so
impressive that I read those first. Then, on the basis that the last
story in a collection ought to be one of the strongest, I read and was
impressed. A good start. Robert Shearmanís Mortal Coil is
wacky and hilarious, dark and sparkling. It didnít scare me
at all. Ramsey Campbellís Digging
It taps into the most basic of fears, that of being buried alive, and
despite the most modern of saviours - a mobile phone -(sorry,
youíll have to read it).
is as far as you could get from the gratuitous guts n gore
clichť-ridden genre writing that fills so many horror
ezines. This is sharp, subtle and well written for the most part, and
left me disquieted. I had my cage rattled. Modern horror it is indeed.
Not just mobile phones, but other everyday things took on a disquieting
power to disturb. The
Deadly Space Between by prolific thriller writer Chaz
Brenchley has a reclusive and weird artist making a secret installation
in a space created by accident in a converted flour mill, and contains
some fabulous writing.
and post-eco-disaster social breakdown is explored in By the River by
Maria Roberts, and although the topic holds resonance, I
didnít feel it was exploited quite to the full, as this one
seemed to take a long time to pick up speed. As did Hanif
Kureshiís very short The
Dogs, although the scenario is an appalling one to
contemplate. Menacing these stories were, in spades, generally. In The Coue by Jeremy
Dyson, Safe as Houses
by Christine Poulson, Lancashire,
by Nicholas Royle, there is plenty of menace liberally scattered
between the pages.
But I think the
hardest part of a horror story is the end. One or two of the stories
here were great reads, but you got to the end and they ended a little
predictably, as though the ride had been what it was about, not the
destination. But they are all good reads, thought provoking,
disquieting in their own ways. And yes, scary. I now expect to see a
silver balloon in the next carriage on the tube with a smile painted on
the sideÖand shiver, thanks to Matthew Holness and Sounds Between,
another story that exploits the ghastly possibilities of the mobile
phone very well.
story? Difficult. But Iíll plump for Paul Magrsí The Foster Parents.
Very slick, accomplished stuff. Like a lot of the collection. If you
like being shivery - well written shivery - go get it.
review was first published in Cadenza.)
fiction is widely published and has won many awards including prizes at
Fish 2007 and Bridport 2007. Her first collection, Words from A Glass
published by Salt Publishing, Cambridge in March 2008. Her
novel-in-progress won a first prize at The Daily Telegraph novel
Publisher: Comma Press
First anthology?: No
Campbell, Hanif Kureishi, Jeremy Dyson, Matthew Holness, Frank Cottrell
Boyce, Robert Shearman, Chaz Brenchley, Paul Cornell,
Christine Poulson, Nicholas Royle, Paul Magrs, Conrad Williams, Emma
Unsworth, Lavinia Murray, Maria Roberts
you liked this book you might also like....
Ramsey Campbell "The Inhabitant of
the Lake and Less Welcome Tenants"
Stephen Jones (ed) "Dark Terrors"
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