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Haunted Legends [Hardcover]

Ellen Datlow , Nick Mamatas
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Price: $27.99 & FREE Super Saver Shipping. Details
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Book Description

September 14, 2010

Winner of the 2010 Bram Stoker Award for Best Anthology!

Darkly thrilling, these twenty new ghost stories have all the chills and power of traditional ghost stories, but each tale is a unique retelling of an urban legend from the world over.

Multiple award-winning editor Ellen Datlow and award-nominated author and editor Nick Mamatas recruited Jeffrey Ford, Ramsey Campbell, Joe R. Lansdale, Caitlin Kiernan, Catherynne M. Valente, Kit Reed, Ekaterina Sedia, and thirteen other fine writers to create stories unlike any they've written before. Tales to make readers shiver with fear, jump at noises in the night, keep the lights on.

These twenty nightmares, brought together by two renowned editors of the dark fantastic, are delightful visions sure to send shivers down the spines of horror readers.


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Datlow (Lovecraft Unbound) and Mamatas (Spicy Slipstream Stories) collect 20 original stories based on ghost legends from around the world. A few famous figures appear (such as the mysterious hitchhiker in Kaaron Warren's "That Girl" and Gary A. Braunbeck's "Return to Mariabronn"), and lesser-known regional tales inspire two top-notch stories: Jeffery Ford's intriguing "Down Atsion Road," set in southern New Jersey, and Laird Barron's incredibly creepy "The Redfield Girls," about a haunted lake in Washington State. International entries include Ekaterina Sedia's disturbing "Tin Cans," about girls murdered by Stalin aide Lavrenty Beria, and Catherynne M. Valente's "15 Panels Depicting the Sadness of the Baku and the Jotai," a whimsical and dreamy foray into Japanese myth. Another standout is the riveting "The Folding Man" by Joe Lansdale, featuring a mysterious, murderous pack of nuns. Only a few weak choices feel more like rehashings than retellings.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Praise for Ellen Datlow's The Dark: New Ghost Stories, Winner of the International Horror Guild Award for Best Anthology of 2003:

"Sure to provide a yardstick by which future ghost fiction will be measured." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"What better way to spend a cold winter night than curled in front of the fireplace with a good ghost story or sixteen?" --The Dallas Morning News

--This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765323001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765323002
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,308,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
(11)
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Creepy Quality Stories October 26, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
I very, very much enjoyed Haunted Legends. I'm a sucker always for great short stories, ghost stories and creepy stories and found a lot of entertainment in this selection - highest marks to the marvelous Caitlin Kiernan (for the wonderfully eerie "Red As Red"), Ekaterina Sedia's Stalin-era horror ("Tin Cans"), Cat Valente's gorgeous Japanese myth ("Fifteen Panels Depicting the Sadness of the Baku and the Jotai"), Jeffrey Ford (for "Down Atison Road" which makes me want to explore the Pine Barrens right now) and Laird Barron (for the wonderfully ominous "The Redfield Girls"). And Richard Bowes "Knickerbocker Holiday" too - and since these are my favorites, you will find your own too.

Datlow has given us numerous terrific anthologies before - Haunted Legend will be up with Lovecraft Unbound on my shelf of diverse winners containing a few stories I will re-read again (and again) when I want a good creep.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and creepy! January 15, 2011
Format:Hardcover
I am a sucker for all those books telling the stories of hauntings and spooky legends at various places I've visited. So, I was pleased to discover this truly wonderful anthology, Haunted Legends. The writing in these stories is oh-so-much better than can be expected in stories of this nature, and, with little exception I was thoroughly mesmerized by every tale.

Good book!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Collection of Stories... January 31, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm a huge fan of oral folklore and urban legends. I teach a short section on Florida's Cracker culture and some of the local oral folklore a couple of times every year here at FSCJ, and my students really seem to enjoy investigating the local legends. I've taken student groups to St. Augustine and Fernandina Beach for guided ghost tours. Northeast Florida is rich with haunted history, and it's been a neat learning experience to watch them unravelling some of that stuff through research and composition.

So it was with great anticipation that I got my copy of Haunted Legends, an anthology edited by Nick Mamatas and Ellen Datlow. The goal here was pretty simple: enlist some of the finest speculative authors in the field to interpret a "true" urban legend. It's this nebulous kernel of belief--that quasi-historical notion that fuels urban legends--that gives so many of these stories their charm. I found the afterwords, attached directly to the tales themselves, very illuminating and a nice touch in explication.

I read every story in the anthology and found them all enjoyable, though a few really did stand out as excellent. In no particular order, here were my favorites:

"The Folding Man" ~ Joe Lansdale. Pure horror fiction here. Lansdale plunges us ass-deep (there's a catalytic mooning in the first paragraphs that gets things going) into a tale of murderous "nuns" and their eponymous folding charge. A gory, chilling pulse pounder, this could only come from the imagination of Joe Lansdale.

"Down Atsion Road" ~ Jeff Ford's story is one of the best at really capturing the narrative aesthetic of an effective urban legend. Told in the first person, this story focuses on a community's visible eccentric--a local artist called Crackpop by the kids. Crackpop lives deep in the Pine Barrens, protected from New Jersey demons by a shallow moat and a well-kept secret. It's a legend within a legend, and the partially revealed story of Ginny Sanger provides the chills in the story's third act. I scoured the phone book, paid for an Internet trace, stopped and talked to old people when I'd see them out in their yards along Atsion Road. Nobody had ever heard of Ginny Sanger...Really interesting story.

"Oaks Park" ~ M.K. Hobson's story is one of the most emotionally riveting tales I've read in some time. This story is about personal grief and the dissolution of family. It's about renewal and cyclical sorrow. There is a watershed moment late in this story--a narrative set in Oaks Park, where I once attended a company picnic--that is really well written and very cathartic for the reader. Highly recommended.

"The Redfield Girls" ~ Laird Barron's take on The Lady of the Lake is keen. Like much of his fiction, there is a kinetic tension that just builds toward payoff. His fiction has a serious hum to it, and this one, a very sad piece, is entirely satisfying. The writing gets under the skin: The storm shook the house and lightning sizzled, lighting the bay windows so fiercely she shielded her eyes. Sleep was impossible and she remained curled in her chair, waiting for dawn. Around two o'clock in the morning, someone knocked on the door. Three loud raps. She almost had a heart attack from the spike of fear that shot through her heart.

There are many fine, emotionally resonant stories here. I think that's an important point to make in this discussion. Oral folklore is often dismissed as fluff, as inconsequential yarns designed merely to illicit a startled yelp around the campfire or at the sleepover. But these tales' cultural significance--as cautionary narratives and moralistic teaching tools--can't be overstated. They communicate important lessons on what it means to be human. Carolyn Turgeon's haunting "La Llorona" delves into the parental response to the loss of a child. It's a particularly hopeful interpretation of a chilling legend. John Mantooth's superb "Shoebox Train Wreck" is a journey of investigation, an examination of how guilt can scar us in perpetuity, remaking the core of personal identity until death becomes a welcome transition.

Overall, the anthology succeeds in its charge to reinvigorate a collection of world legends, making them bright and shiny for the next generation to investigate, disseminate, and enjoy...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great concept executed perfectly
"Haunted Legends" is an excellent collection of short stories inspired by local/regional/urban legends and interpreted by top horror / dark fantasy authors. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Paul Cardullo
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Exactly What I Expected...
This past Halloween, I participated in a lot of chatter about that scariest of spooky story collections - actually, it's a trilogy - compiled by Alvin Schwartz and terrifyingly... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Yolanda S. Bean
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Foxes" is a stand out story!
No-one here has yet mentioned what I consider to be the best story in the book: "The Foxes," by Lily Hoang. Read more
Published 18 months ago by The Mad Blonde
3.0 out of 5 stars Relatively Satisfying
I have long been a fan of Ellen Datlow's editorial skills. I own many of the anthologies she is associated with. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Rebecca DeLaTorre
3.0 out of 5 stars Haunted Legends reviewed
20 stories based on haunted legends around the world. Standouts include:

Richard Bowes "Knickerbocker Holiday" some horrors never die
Ekaterina Sedia "Tin Cans" a... Read more
Published on January 24, 2011 by Brian Rosenberger
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Very Spooky
A generally disappointing collection that is rather uninspired, considering it was inspired by "legends" such as phantom hitchhikers, ghostly shipwrecks, Japanese folktales, urban... Read more
Published on November 24, 2010 by hauntedpen
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly haunting locales
I have never been disappointed with any anthology edited, or co-edited, by Ellen Datlow, and HAUNTED LEGENDS continues that trend. Read more
Published on October 31, 2010 by Anthony R. Cardno
5.0 out of 5 stars spirited fun anthology
These twenty regional ghost stories based on local legends around the world make up a spirited fun anthology that will have readers keeping the lights on for two or three weeks. Read more
Published on September 19, 2010 by Harriet Klausner
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