Thursday, September 17, 2009


I absolutely devoured the first two short story collections edited by Deborah Noyes. To this day, Gothic: Ten Original Dark Tales remains one of my favorite anthologies of unnerving stories. I recommend it all the time. I also enjoyed and blogged about The Restless Dead: Ten Original Stories of the Supernatural. So when Sideshow: Ten Orignal Tales of Freaks, Illusionists, and Other Matters Odd and Magical came out, I could barely contain my glee.

I read it all in one sitting last night. Of the three anthologies it is probably the least strong but there were a few stories that really made the whole volume for me. The most memorable for me was "The Bread Box" by Cecil Castellucci. I'm still turning over that story in my mind today. Definitely, my favorite of the bunch. Very unsettling. "When God Came to Kathleen's Garden" by David Almond was also very satisfying, though it felt quite different from the others in the volume. Variety is the spice of life. "Jargo" a graphic tale pleased me quite a bit too. And any collection that includes Aimee Bender gets my immediate seal of approval, even if her story ended a bit too abruptly for me. What can I say? I don't want Aimee Bender stories to end. By the way, I meant "graphic" story in the sense of a graphic novel, not violently graphic. None of the stories are bloody, just unsettling. In total, there are three graphic stories in the collection, and I enjoyed their inclusion.

If you like creepy carnivals and creepy short stories, give this one a try. Then read Gothic, while you're at it too.

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