I thought this was a great book & thoroughly enjoyed it. The only slight disappointment was Ramsey Campbell's story. Not that there was anything wrong with it as a story - in fact it was great - it's just that I'd be rooting for anyone/anything, even voracious fungoid blobmen, against the Inland Revenue...
I thought this was a great book & thoroughly enjoyed it.
Same here. Of the stories, the ones by RCH, Lee, Lumley, Lansdale, Wagner, Copper, and Silverberg stand out the most in my memory. I haven't read "The Humgoo" or seen the movie version of The Monster Club, so I have no basis for comparison there. Lumley's "The Thin People" isn't one of his Lovecraftian tales, which is a good thing in my book--as with Derleth, the Mythos theme seems to bring out the worst in him. Lansdale's tale is a hoot. Wagner's ".220 Swift" seems like a Manly Wade Wellman tribute at first, but then goes in a different direction.
Brian Lumley - The Thin People: "Barrows Hill" [Crouch End], London. Balmy Bill, The Railway's resident alcoholic, relates his experiences of an incredibly tall, skinny race who hide behind lampposts, disguise themselves as drain-pipes and neatly fold things. Lumley doesn't believe him until the kids find a novelty rubik's cube in a rubbish skip ....
Michael Marshall Smith - Someone Else's Problem: Easygoing John is imposed upon by useless boss, Egerton, to sacrifice his weekend, take the intercity from London to sort out a computer malfunction in the Birmingham office. His fellow passengers comprise four comatose-drunk businessmen, power-dressed 'Ms. Organised' of the lovely handwriting, and, fleetingly, what he first takes to be a small, blue-eyed monkey. After a nightmarish experience in the buffet car, John decides it's time he stopped caring about everyone else, looked after number one from now on, which is very bad news for Ms. Organised.
I loved this one, it's coming from very similar territory to Wire's The Other Window on the superlative 154 album. Possibly MMS wrote this as a companion piece to Rain Falls in Mammoth Book Of The Werewolf/ Wolf Men or vice versa.
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.
Have been reading a few of these and ended up adding a couple to my newly started little list of favourite short stories. 'Ramsey Campbell's - Down There' being one, and 'Brian Lumley's - The Thin People' the other. I've been plodding through the stories in order so far and have enjoyed all of them, with the possible exception of 'Tanith Lee's - The Hill' which may have been entirely my fault since the tv was on in the background and that's never a good idea with me, far too distracting. I may have to re-read it.