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This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
A mixed bag here. I gave every story a chance, but if I wasn't engaged withing the first five minutes, I skipped to the next one. Several engaged me:
The Little Green God of Agony Stephen King (listened all the way through)
Blackwood’s Baby Laird Barron (abandoned after twenty minutes)
Black Feathers Alison J. Littlewood (abandoned after twenty minutes)
In Paris, In the Mouth of Kronos John Langan (abandoned after twenty minutes)
Little Pig Anna Taborska (listend all the way through and enjoyed)
The Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine Peter Straub (abandoned after about half an hour)
In the end, I only finished two stories: King's The Little Green God of Agony, which wasn't one of his best, and Anna Taborska's Little Pig, which was the only story in the whole bunch that I actually enjoyed entirely.
I almost made it through Peter Straub's Ballad of Ballardm, which was very engaging and narrated extremely well, but after awhile it meandered and I realized I didn't care about either character or their situation, so I bailed.
Would you ever listen to anything by the authors again?
I'd give every one of these authors another listen. Some of this was just bad storytelling, but some of it was stiff narration too. For the worst of the stories it's hard to lay the blame completely on the author or narrator's shoulders.
How did the narrator detract from the book?
Some narrators were fantastic. Others sounded stiff. As if they were trying so hard to pronounce everything so perfectly that their narration had no natural cadence.
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 4?
I would have scoured the volumes of Cemetery Dance and Nightmare Magazine, and Dark Discoveries from this particular year and come up with a much better list of Best of Horror.
Any additional comments?
It was pleasant to discover the one decent story (Little Pig), but not worth the effort of slogging through all the others. I'll be returning this one.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
What did you like best about The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 4? What did you like least?
The performances are excellent, but the stories themselves are the most boring, least frightening "horror" stories I've heard in years.
What could the authors have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
Better editing, I suppose - these stories are not "horror" as I use that word, they are, as best, moody & atmospheric.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I can't give a full review of this title, because I couldn't get past the third story. For all I know, everything after that may be utter genius, but I was so bored after the third story that I gave up.
The initial story, by Stephen King, starts promisingly enough, but degenerates into almost laughable shlock horror. I miss the old Stephen King, who wasn't just phoning his stories in.
The second, while interesting to begin with, due to its setting among the First Nation peoples of the far northern Americas, lost my interest mainly because too much remained unsaid - I felt I was expected to be shocked, horrified and so on, but hadn't been given enough information about the culture to allow me to understand the nuances of what was happening.
The third, set on the hills of the Lake District, had a lot of promise. As I listened further, however, I found the characters rather two-dimensional. For example, the number of sentences which consisted solely of a single swear word left me feeling that the author couldn't think of any other way in which to convey the characters' emotions.
It may have been more enjoyable with a better reader - the person reading this story had a terrible sing-song style which alienated me even further. It gave the impression that the narrator didn't really care about what was happening to him and his companion, because every sentence sounded as though he was shrugging while saying it.
Definitely not recommended.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book written by the authors or narrated by the narrators?
I would try other work by some of the authors, but run a mile from a couple !
The story by Simon Westick about mist on the moor was absolutely dire, and the narration even worse!
I have, however, now discovered Livia Llewellyn who has a story in this collection, and although it's graphic and shocking, it's at least introduced me to her work.
What did you like best about this story?
The imagery was amazing. It's not an easy story to listen to but stick with it.
What about the narrators’s performance did you like?
I have got used to American narrators since joining audible, whereas previously I wouldn't have purchased a CD with an American narrator.
Do you think The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 4 needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
I think a follow up book would be a good idea for showcasing new talent, but shouldn't have poor quality stories from more famous authors just to lure the reader into buying.
Any additional comments?
0 of 1 people found this review helpful