Sunday, October 27, 2013

Penguin Horror series selected by Guillermo del Toro


These three books are from a newly minted series of horror novels from Penguin. Guillermo del Toro is the "series editor" and provides an introduction to each book which discusses the six selections, which are as follows:

The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories by H.P. Lovecraft
Haunted Castles by Ray Russell
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
American Supernatural Tales edited by S.T. Joshi
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe (with other poems and tales)


I'm a little suspicious of how much of a role del Toro had in the selection process (how many new editions of Shirley Jackson can Penguin crank out?) but that's no means a complaint: these are all excellent books and it's great to see Penguin succeed with another well-made series.

What these do so well is solve an issue that unfortunately is part and parcel with horror/speculative fiction. For some reason, book designers think a certain "something" in their cover art appeals to horror fans. This:



Has been upgraded to this!


This is great. Each of the titles have a glossy smattering of spooky sheen and feel great to hold. The books have black edges on all the pages, which creep inwards towards the text:


Unfortunately, the old-style horror book does sneak into this new series by way of its typography -- the title pages are a drastic shift from the illustrative and gothic cover art and seem a little careless, especially considering the successfully detailed other elements of these volumes. Still, very pleased with these and I highly recommend them. Finally, horror books worth owning.

Happy Halloween! Phnglui mglw nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah nagl fhtagn!

Currently reading:
The Kraus Project by Jonathan Franzen

Currently listening to:
Chris Kiehne, "The Holy Court of Baltimore"
 






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