Dark Screams: Volume One edited by James Freeman and Richard Chizmar
Random House Publishing Group – Hydra
Publication Date: December 9, 2014
Date Read: November 19, 2014
I received an advance
reader edition of this book from Random House Publishing Group – Hydra via Net Galley for the
purpose of providing an honest review.
As with most anthologies, I felt that some of the stories were very good and some I wish I had skipped. I originally sat down to read a romance novel the night I read this book but I realized that I was not in the mood to read romance so I decided to start on this book of horror short stories instead. These stories are very short with the entire book being only around 100 pages so the authors really do not have a lot of time to develop the stories. I really liked the Stephen King and Kelley Armstrong stories. I thought that Bill Pronzini’s story was okay but I didn’t enjoy Simon Clark or Ramsey Campbell’s at all.
“Weeds” by Stephen King
I noticed that this story was originally published in 1976 before starting the story. That did not change my enjoyment of the story but just a warning that you may have already read this one to all the King fans out there. I am very new to reading Stephen King and have exactly one book under my belt right now and I found that I really enjoyed this short story. I felt that this story really should be classified as science fiction rather than horror.
“The Price You Pay” by Kelley Armstrong
I have always wanted to read Kelley Armstrong’s work so I was eager to read this short story and it turned out to be one of my favorites in the book. It was the story of two young women who have been friends since they were small children. The way this story ended was really surprising to me. I am convinced that I need to read more of Armstrong’s work.
“Magic Eyes” by Bill Pronzini
This story was told as journal entries of a man in an insane asylum. I really liked having the story told in such a unique manner. I think that the author was able to write the paranoia the main character felt quite well.
“Murder in Chains” by Simon Clark
This story was not one of my favorites. It was about a man who finds himself chained to a murderer. I did not understand the point of the story and to be honest felt a bored while reading it. There was a lot of action in this one but it was not for me.
“The Watched” by Ramsey Campbell
I fell asleep reading this short story….twice. It is about a young boy living with his grandmother who is asked to watch his neighbors. I found this story to be quite boring.
I would recommend the Stephen King and Kelley Armstrong stories to other readers. This set of anthologies is one that I would recommend reading only the stories that appeal to you. I will keep my eyes open for other Dark Screams anthologies and depending on the authors included would pick another set up at some point.