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Where the Summer Ends: The Best Horror Stories of Karl Edward Wagner,…

– tekijä: Karl Edward Wagner

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
612347,150 (3.79)5
The first volume of Karl Edward Wagner's horror fiction collects the title story, the classic Lovecraftian "Sticks," "The Fourth Seal," "Beyond Any Measure," and other classic horror tales by a unique Southern voice in American fiction. Lavishly designed and illustrated, Wagner's psychological portrayals and ingenious use of Southern landscape make this publication an event.… (lisätietoja)
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näyttää 2/2
This collection was my first experience with KEW outside of his signature work within the sword & sorcery genre. And for as much as I enjoyed the literary adventures of Kane the barbarian, I find myself admitting that Wagner's true talent lay in the field of 'weird fiction.'

This volume is an incredibly strong collection of Wagner at his peak and all but two of these stories are 5/5's for me. The creep factor runs high (very high in 'In the Pines', 'Where the Summer Ends', and '.220 Swift') throughout and 'River of Night's Dreaming' incorporates one of the most deliciously unreliable narrators I've had the pleasure of running across. From little green men to rat-monkeys, ghost stories and Victorian S&M, these tales are unconventional, unsettling, and unparalleled. His genre-bending take on a favored horror trope in 'Beyond All Measure' also deserves mention.

It's a damned shame that KEW's own internal demons drug him down before the age of fifty, as his immense talent and dark creativity bespoke a marvelous future for him and, by extension, for us as readers. Still, this stuff was the cream of the crop before he started faltering under the weight of self-destruction and I'll take what I can get.

If you don't know who he is, he's worth seeking out if this sort of material is anywhere near your wheelhouse. High, high marks from me indeed. ( )
  Daninsky | Aug 19, 2017 |
I bought two copies of this almost a year ago along with two copies of the second book. It's a limited edition & each book was $45, way out of my normal price range, but my son & I are both huge KEW fans & his stories are hard to come by. Even old paperbacks of his can cost as much, so this was a perfect Xmas present, although it's been hard holding off so long.

I think I've read all of these stories before, although some were edited in other editions. I won't bother rating them individually. Just figure they're 5 star unless I say otherwise. KEW was seriously one of the best horror writers out there. His training as a shrink & his own demons provided the perfect base for his writing.

The cover art by [a:J.K. Potter|58223|J.K. Potter|http://www.goodreads.com/assets/nophoto/nophoto-M-50x66-e07624dc012f2cce49c7d9aa6500c6c0.jpg] is awesome. The front cover is a tribute to "Sticks", one of KEW's best, the second in this volume. The back cover is half a pile of cars that's neat, too.

I own [b:Exorcisms & Ecstasies|1793684|Exorcisms & Ecstasies|Karl Edward Wagner|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1188428255s/1793684.jpg|1792680] (E&E) which was put together by [a:Stephen Jones|6943|Stephen Jones|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1250876610p2/6943.jpg]. He wrote the introduction to this volume. As a long time friend of KEW's, he certainly knows many of the inside stories & wrote a good intro, but he excuses KEW's drinking, which killed him before he was 50, & that ticks me off. He did include quite a few photos of KEW, many with other famous authors, through the years at conventions. They were cool.

Note to self: Keep an eye out for a porn book, "The Other Woman" by Kent Allard 1973. This was one of 3 apparently written by KEW according to E&E - what/where/when are the others? I recall E&E making it seem as if he had written them at the end of his life to make ends meet, but he didn't die until 1994.

"In the Pines" - is wonderfully macabre. The descent of the main character is perfectly done & more horrible for its relation to the author.

"Sticks" - I like it when I have difficulty telling when I stepped out of reality & into the supernatural. Perfect!

"The Fourth Seal" is perhaps one of the best & most believable conspiracy theories I've ever read.

"Where the Summer Ends": Wow. I last read this years ago & remembered it as creepy, but ... wow. Such a cool idea & so well done. I felt the heat of the night.

".220 Swift" takes several tropes that Robert E. Howard used in his stories, an old Greek myth, blended uniquely & served superbly! I kind of knew where it was going, but the ending still horrified me.

"The River of Night’s Dreaming": So often the supernatural element is obvious. In this story, the POV is so unreliable as to toss reality up for grabs. What really happened? I'm not sure, but it was one hell of a trip. I'm not sure it's over, either. How cool.

"Beyond Any Measure": Why hasn't this happened more often? It's such a wild twist, but seems almost obvious when it finally happens. A woman is reincarnated & takes revenge on the vampire inhabiting her former body. Seriously, this should be held up as a standard for all these PNR/UF writers. They could learn a thing or three.

"Neither Brute Nor Human": The writing game is a tough one & the fans can be tougher. There's more than a bit of autobiographical info here, I believe.

"Blue Lady, Come Back" starts out OK & I thought I knew where it was going, then it took a left somewhere & wow. Great.

The afterword by Laird Barron is a better review than I've done. He points out that Wagner deconstructs tropes & builds them into something new & unique. Yeah, that's what I was trying to say...

Overall, it was a fantastic collection of some of the very best horror I've ever read. On to the second book, [b:Walk on the Wild Side: The Best Horror Stories of Karl Edward Wagner, Volume 2|11976382|Walk on the Wild Side The Best Horror Stories of Karl Edward Wagner, Volume 2|Karl Edward Wagner|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1336512554s/11976382.jpg|16939546] ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
näyttää 2/2
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The first volume of Karl Edward Wagner's horror fiction collects the title story, the classic Lovecraftian "Sticks," "The Fourth Seal," "Beyond Any Measure," and other classic horror tales by a unique Southern voice in American fiction. Lavishly designed and illustrated, Wagner's psychological portrayals and ingenious use of Southern landscape make this publication an event.

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