Thursday, December 16, 2021

The World's Most Famous Horror Writers

Gigliotti, Jim. Dark Hearts: The World's Most Famous Horror Writers
December 28th 2021 by Penguin Workshop 
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

In this short (144 pages, trim size 5" x 7.25") paper-over-board book, we get concise biographies of famous horror writers, arranged according to year of birth. Mary Shelley, Edgar Allen Poe, Bram Stoker, H.P. Lovecraft, Daphne du Maurier, Shirley Jackson, Robert Bloch (Psycho), Thomas Harris (Hannibal Lecter), Anne Rice, R.L. Stine, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Neil Gaiman, and Joe Hill. We are given a brief look at their lives, an overview of their writing, and some idea of the impact of their work on the world. There are plentiful page decorations, and illustrations of each author. 

This was very readable, even though I don't have much of an interest in horror books. While some of the authors were slam dunks, others seemed a bit of a stretch-- Daphne duMaurier? The list is not very diverse, but then, the people who have been published in the past have not been very diverse, either. At least there were some women included. Still, since R.L. Stine and Neil Gaiman made the list, I might have included Lois Duncan (I Know What You Did Last Summer is being made into a yet another movie) or Alvin Schwartz, with his Scary Stories books. A list of up and coming authors would have been good as well, but of course I can only think of middle grade ones like Daka Hermon and India Hill Brown.

Mr. Gigliotti has written a large number of Who Was bibliographies, so has a good feel for what information is critical to an appealing biography. I'm definitely purchasing a copy of this; it won't last terribly long with the paper-over-board binding, but will get checked out frequently while it does. This will give young horror readers some authors to look up at the public library, since I don't carry many of them. 

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