Book review: Six Scary Stories – Anthology of stories selected by Stephen King

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Well, this is a truly odd collection of “scary stories” selected by the king of horror, Stephen King! Apparently, King thought these stories were so good, they just had to be published…

I love, love, love Stephen King. He was my introduction to horror fiction and the man could do no wrong (until now). Hell, even his average books are better than a lot of the stuff out there! Sadly, King dropped a bollock with this one. Really, this book should be renamed, “One okay story and five shit ones”. Let’s have a little look…

The competition winner of the Bazaar of Bad Dreams Hodder-Guardian competition, Wild Swimming, is the first story up after a big build up from Steve. It is the best tale by some margin and has a genuinely disquieting atmosphere. The cover art for Six Scary Stories is based upon the tale by Elodie Harper. A sunken town, missing residents and ghostly figures under the water make for a pleasing and spooky start. Sadly, it’s all downhill after that! Eau-De-Eric by Manuela Saragosa is a story I found to be both unoriginal and not even the slightest bit scary. I mean, come on, possessed teddy bears!! nothing to see here, move along please…Things get worse with The Spots by Paul Bassett Davies; a story in which I found myself thinking about what I was going to eat for dinner the following night, such was my boredom reading this story. The Unpicking by Michael Button was marginally better….marginally, however, I got to the end of the book and couldn’t honestly remember a great deal about it. Something about stuffed animals? I don’t know? There are only six stories here in total, so yeah, that’s not good. The less said for Le Mort D’ Lamant the better. A story about a stupid cop. It’s short and a very shit. The final story, Bear Trap was the icing on a rather foul-tasting cake. Unbelievably predictable, it is the sort of tale I have read numerous times, and by now I really want to throw myself out of the nearest window.

I don’t like criticising books. If they are as bad as this then I tend not to review them at all, but, I paid for this with my hard-earned cash so I refuse to let it lie. I don’t know what King was thinking here. The first story aside, I honestly cannot imagine him thinking these tales are scary. Maybe somebody made him an offer he couldn’t refuse? Who knows? One thing I know is, this book represents 1.5 hours of my life that I will never get back. Not ever.

2/5 scares from the Grim Reader.

Pick up a copy from here.

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