This news item is very special indeed. I've just got back from Edinburgh's best book shop and witnessed these books in all their glory. The only thing that stopped me from buying all of these books was knowing just how much I had left in my bank account. These books are a joy to behold, they would look brilliant on any book lovers shelf. The books are of a new six-volume series of the best in classic horror, selected by award- winning director Guillermo del Toro.
Filmmaker and longtime horror literature fan Guillermo del Toro serves as the curator for the Penguin Horror series, a new collection of classic tales and poems by masters of the genre. Included here are some of del Toro's favorites, from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Ray Russell's short story 'Sardonicus', considered by Stephen King to be 'perhaps the finest example of the modern Gothic ever written', to Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and stories by Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, Ted Klein, and Robert E. Howard. These stunningly creepy deluxe hardcovers will be perfect additions to the shelves of horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal aficionados everywhere.
Haunted Castles is the definitive, complete collection of Ray Russell's masterful Gothic horror stories, including the famously terrifying novella trio of 'Sardonicus', 'Sanguinarius', and 'Sagittarius'. The characters that sprawl through Haunted Castles are frightful to the core: the heartless monster holding two lovers in limbo; the beautiful dame journeying down a damned road toward depravity (with the help of an evil gypsy); the man who must wear his fatal crimes on his face in the form of an awful smile. Engrossing, grotesque, perverted, and completely entrancing, Russell's Gothic tales are the best kind of dreadful.
The Raven: Tales and Poems is a landmark new anthology of Poe's work, which defied convention, shocked readers, and confounded critics. This selection of Poe's writings demonstrates the astonishing power and imagination with which he probed the darkest corners of the human mind. 'The Fall of the House of Usher' describes the final hours of a family tormented by tragedy and the legacy of the past. In 'The Tell Tale Heart,' a murderer's insane delusions threaten to betray him, while stories such as 'The Pit and the Pendulum' and 'The Cask of Amontillado' explore extreme states of decadence, fear and hate. The title narrative poem, maybe Poe's most famous work, follows a man's terrifying descent into madness after the loss of a lover.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809 - 49), was born in Boston, USA. He was a short-story writer, editor and literary critic, and is considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor the detective-fiction genre.
Howard Phillips Lovecraft's unique contribution to American literature was a melding of traditional supernaturalism (derived chiefly from Edgar Allan Poe) with the genre of science fiction that emerged in the early 1920s. The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories brings together a dozen of the master's tales - from his early short stories 'Under the Pyramids' (originally ghostwritten for Harry Houdini) and 'The Music of Erich Zann' (which Lovecraft ranked second among his own favourites) through to his more fully developed works, 'The Dunwich Horror', 'The Case of Charles Dexter Ward', and 'At the Mountains of Madness'. The book presents the definitive corrected texts of these works, along with Lovecraft critic and biographer S. T. Joshi's illuminating introduction and notes to each story.
Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) was born in Providence, Rhode Island, where he spent most of his life. His relatively small body of work - three novels and sixty short stories - has nevertheless exercised an incalculable influence on horror and supernatural fiction.
The epic battle between man and monster reaches its greatest pitch in the famous story of Frankenstein. In trying to create life, the young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor himself to the very brink. How he tries to destroy his creation, as it destroys everything Victor loves, is a powerful story of love, friendship ... and horror.
Mary Shelley was born in 1797, the only daughter of writers William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin. In 1814 she eloped with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, whom she married in 1816. She is best remembered as the author of Frankenstein, but she wrote several other works, including Valpergaand The Last Man.
The best-known of Shirley Jackson's novels, and the inspiration for writers such as Neil Gaiman and Stephen King, The Haunting of Hill House is an immaculate examination of how fear can make us our own worst enemy, published in Penguin Modern Classics.
Four seekers have arrived at the rambling old pile known as Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of psychic phenomena; Theodora, his lovely and light-hearted assistant; Luke, the adventurous future inheritor of the estate; and Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman with a dark past. As they begin to cope with chilling, horrifying occurrences beyond their control or understanding, they cannot possibly know what lies ahead. For Hill House is gathering its powers - and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.
Adapted into a film, The Haunting, starring Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Owen Wilson, The Haunting of Hill House is a powerful work of slow-burning psychological horror.
Shirley Jackson (1916-65) was born in San Francisco. She first received wide critical acclaim for her short story 'The Lottery', which was published in 1948. Her novels - which includeThe Sundial, The Bird's Nest, Hangsaman, The Road through the Wall, We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Haunting of Hill House - are characterised by her use of realistic settings for tales that often involve elements of horror and the occult. Raising Demons and Life Among the Savages are her two works of nonfiction. Come Along With Me is a collection of stories, lectures, and part of the novel she was working on at the time of her death.
American Supernatural Tales is the ultimate collection of weird and frightening American short fiction. As Stephen King will attest, the popularity of the occult in American literature has only grown since the days of Edgar Allan Poe. The book celebrates the richness of this tradition with chilling contributions from some of the nation's brightest literary lights, including Poe himself, H. P. Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and-of course-Stephen King. By turns phantasmagoric, spectral, and demonic, this is a frighteningly good collection of stories.
S. T. Joshi is a freelance writer, scholar, and editor whose previous books include Documents of American Prejudice; In Her Place: A Documentary History of Prejudice against Women; God's Defenders: What They Believe and Why They Are Wrong; Atheism: A Reader; H. L. Mencken on Religion; The Agnostic Reader; and What Is Man? And Other Irreverent Essays by Mark Twain.