Guide to the best 150 horror books: Review

Guide to the best 150 horror books: Review

Guide to the best 150 horror books

When you get lost in the shelves of your favorite bookstore or library, you spend countless (pleasant) hours choosing your next book. The choice often falls on your favorite authors, a back cover with a stimulating plot or, even better, on the advice of a friend who knows your preferences. In the horror scene it is easy to find always the same tomes in front of you, those stainless ones that "always pull" like Stephen King, Joe R. Lansdale or Ramsey Campbell, just to name a few great bishops. But your desire to discover new worlds does not subside and you may have always wanted a book like this Guide to the best 150 horror books. Will this be enough to appease your book-eater hunger?

This beloved genre does not end only with these big names, on the contrary, especially overseas, the culture of the horror genre is much more flourishing and evolved, an evolution than in the our shores has gone a little unnoticed. Alessandro Manzetti, twice Bram Stoker Award winner, tries in the titanic enterprise to enclose in the Guide to the best 150 horror books (Cut-Up Publishing, 2021) a true bible for all lovers of the genre who want to (re) discover a lot of excellence of the best horror works in the world.

Guide to the best 150 horror books, a book that was missing

Today in our research for the "impossible book" we are facilitated by groups on Facebook, by some specialized blogs, but when an authoritative voice like Alessandro Manzetti's comes forward to project a lighthouse on our favorite narrative, the premises are really very high.

Alessandro Manzetti (also known under the pseudonym of Caleb Battiago) is an author of horror and fantastic fiction, twice winner of the prestigious Bram Stoker Award and the Elgin Award, screenwriter, essayist and curator. He has published over 40 books, in Italian and English, and his works are included in anthologies and magazines published in Italy, England, United States, Australia and Poland. In addition, he is an Active Member of the Horror Writers Association, directs the Independent Legions, his is a publishing house specializing in the horror scene, also publishing and directly editing the Molotov Magazine. We can therefore say that we could not have better "Virgil" for this incredible journey.

This Guide to the best 150 horror books is first of all a journey through time, a time span that spans the years from 1986 to 2020, where Manzetti offers us a review of books of which only a small part have been published in Italy, and among these no longer in the catalog. It will be easy to unleash in you an authentic hunt for the lost treasure ... sorry, to the book.

The volume is an authentic compendium for all lovers of horror publications, which performs a truly arduous task, that is to cover a truly period incomplete for the Italian horror culture. In fact, after the cold and horrifying wave in the early 80s brought by Stephen King (whose last novel we reviewed, Later), Koontz, Laymon and many others, a current that has literally invaded the libraries of all fans, the market has inevitably changed. After this slow decline, overseas works have continued to rage that have taken horror fiction to very high levels, while our publishing made us unaware and ignorant in this sense.

The volume is presented as a purely illustrated book , thanks to the covers of the 150 books analyzed. The book cards are very quick to consult, the genre and sub-genre are specified, Manzetti's analysis, his grade and Goodreads' score. The author specifies whether it is possible to find the work in Italian (not always), triggering a stimulating search, sometimes making us rediscover small publishing realities that no longer exist.

For each author presented by Manzetti they have been dedicated 3 tabs, to give the right balance in the entirety of the guide's analysis. But the discoveries - or the surprises - do not end here.

Authors of great depth from the entire world panorama were also involved in the creation of the volume. In the volume you can find contributions by Joe R. Lansdale, Richard C. Matheson, Ramsey Campbell, John Skipp, David J. Schow, Dacre Stoker, Lisa Morton, Ellen Datlow, Eric Guignard, Steve Rasnic Tem, Edward Lee, ST Joshi , Brian Evenson, Stephen Jones, Kate Jonez, Paula Guran, David G. Barnett, Owl Goingback, Linda D. Addison, Jack Bantry, Grady Hendrix, Randy Chandler, Angela Y. Smith, Lucy Taylor, who have drawn up their personal ranking of the 10 best horror books, including the best anthologies, the best hardcore horror books and much more.

Could you ask for more?

The ultimate bible for lovers of the genre

The work done by Manzetti is titanic. His analysis is surprisingly objective and inclusive, with works that to most may not even seem strictly in line with the genre. But it is pure evolution.

In fact, from the review made by Manzetti it is clear that this genre has evolved more than ever, also correlating with other narrative drifts that go well beyond the niche horror novel for fans. So, don't be surprised and be too angry if some works and even authors are totally unknown to you. After all, Manzetti's task seems to be precisely this: to elevate us and update ourselves on the entire world horror panorama so distant from the mainstream and limiting one of our country.

Commendable is the super partes role played by Manzetti, who despite being an author Award-winning and owning the Independent Legions, his publishing house specializing in horror publishing, has highlighted numerous publications by the other Italian publishing houses operating in this specific sector such as Cut-Up Publishing, Edizioni Hypnos and Dunwich Edizioni and of course Mondadori, Einaudi, Rizzoli and many others.

Ultimately, this volume is an unprecedented work, an authentic bible that cannot be missing in the library of all lovers of the genre, which fills a cultural void in the our country and also proposes itself as an important compendium for the rest of the world being forthcoming also in the United States with Crystal Lake Publishing.

For lovers of horror and Stephen King we recommend the Shivers collection available on Amazon at this link.

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