Here’s another collection of tales of the macabre from one of my favorite horror writers, Anthony Horowitz! BLOODY HOROWITZ — the title lacks ingenuity, I know, but it doesn’t matter — features fourteen horror stories, most of which are not for the faint of heart.
Contrary to the title, the stories did not all feature blood and gore, only some of it. Many of them weren’t even at night — the most convenient setting if you want to scare someone. That’s what endears me to horror stories — the capability to scare me even when it’s a regular day, under regular circumstances. This book has many of these things. The book started and ended with (fictional) takes on publishing horror books for the consumption of children. It felt a little meta. The bit at the end is something Horowitz also used in THE COMPLETE HOROWITZ HORROR, a collection which I also loved.
Aside from the seemingly connected first and fourteenth story, you may also expect the following from this book:
- a frustrated writer who became obsessed with a real-life bestselling author to the point of committing murder (in hindsight, I think it mirrored the travails of publishing houses in dealing with thousands of manuscript submissions),
- a reality game show where, if you lose, you also lose your life (gruesome, the way they did it)
- an evil GPS that led bullies to their tragic fate (they kinda deserved it, you know)
- a teen haunted by a cultural fare he poked fun at (kids, never counter traditions with what you saw in the Discovery Channel, it might bring you doom)
- a futuristic familial setup which wasn’t really horrific, just a little violent (a robot nanny!)
- a poem about a child paying for the “sins” of his father
- an exchange student of sorts who struggled with the supernatural…or was it just psychosis?
- a young lady auctioned off to bidders aiming to dismember her in different ways, so her parents could recoup their business losses (amazing parents, yay)
- death by a massage chair
- a music player sucking life out of you
- a slow painful death through a power kite (bratty kids, beware)
- a subway trip to a secret and tragic destination (it’s also in The Complete Horowitz Horror collection)
The stories tell readers that karma is a terrifying bitch, and that sometimes, even if you thought you escaped the horrors of what’s haunting you, you’re wrong. Pretty chilling, if you ask me.
I still get sucked by young adult horror books, and really, some of them go beyond the edge, and it makes me think if they are suitable for young adults in the first place (case in point: THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST series of Rick Yancey). I just think that young people, young readers at that, are more accepting, tolerant, and resilient, and I’m alright again — okay, back to reading.
I finished this book in one sitting while waiting for the rain to let up this Sunday afternoon. I hope it’s a sign I’m recovering from the reading slump. If not, then it’s simply the fact that horror books keep me engaged, reading slump or otherwise.