Syd Bentlif (ed.) - Horror Anthology (Mayflower-Dell, 1965)
Elizabeth Howard and Robert Aickman – Left Luggage Edgar Allan Poe – Silence Ray Bradbury – The Dwarf Isabel Colegate – The Nice Boys Edgar Allan Poe – The Tell-Tale Heart M. R. James – The Uncommon Prayer Book Jerome Bixby – It’s a Good Life Algernon Blackwood – The Terror of the Twins Joan Aiken – Marmalade Wine
Blurb Horror Anthology: Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allan Poe, Algernon Blackwood, Jerome Bixby, Joan Aiken, M. R. James
Great tales Of The Macabre By World masters in their field.
There was a trend in the 'sixties and seventies for these slimline, eight-ten story collections of horror standards plus one original by a contemporary author, cases in point being Paperback Library's The Dark Shadows Book Of Vampires & Werewolves ("Dolly"s The Vampire Nemesis, and Fred Pickersgill's And Graves Give Up Their Dead, No Such Thing As A Vampire and Horror 7 each of which debut stories by Richard Davis). Horror Anthology has a rare (?) excursion into the macabre by novelist Isobel "The Shooting Party" Colgate, and it's very good indeed.
Isobel Colegate - Nice Boys: When fiance Jacob leaves her for a younger, prettier, wealthier model, our unnamed narrator spends October in Venice to brood on the happiest weeks of their romance/ wallow in melancholy. The 'nice boys' are Poney and Sig, two affluent, fun-loving English toffs who, she suspects, are homosexual. They certainly have a flair for cross-dressing. Soon she has reason to believe that they are the thrill killers responsible for the recent axe murder of the Anderson family of Epping. It's also apparent that Frau Engels, their doting, masochistic landlady, is not only aware of their crimes, she condones them. And now the nice boys realise their fellow guest is on to them.
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.