Thursday, November 25, 2010

Warped Words for Twisted Minds: A Journalstone Anthology

This book (as might be evident from its title) is a chilling one.

JournalStone's 2010 Warped Words, for Twisted Minds

A collection of horror stories, ranging from authors around the world including compiler Christopher C. Payne (whose own contribution was a wonderfully thrilling story with a cool twist in the end), to Chandru Bhojwani (who I recently interviewed on my blog) - the book has a lot of different writing styles to offer. The book has stories that range from scary, to very scary, to don't read alone in your room scary, to nightmare-inducing scary, and each one is a work of art in its own right. In general, the quality of writing in this anthology is quite high, though naturally there were some stories and styles I liked better than the others. The book manages to retain the individual voices of the authors while still maintaining a fairly common tone throughout, which I think really adds to the book as a whole.

The book has stories to please many types of horror fans - stories in this collection range from stories about psychopathy, stories about ghosts, stories about zombies, and stories about tomatoes. (You have to read the last one to believe it. Trust me.) As someone who doesn't read much horror I cannot comment much on the plots, except to say that most of them seemed pretty ingenious to me, with a lot of twists that I found quite unexpected and a lot of different types of stories that managed to grip my attention throughout the collection. Some, like the ending of a story called 'Hips' gave me chills. Others made me re-read the story once. Or twice. Most of the endings in this collection are brilliantly written, actually, and definitely manage to leave you guessing about what happens next (as opposed to 'explaino' or 'tie up everything with a neat ribbon' endings, which I personally don't like and which I feel would never have worked with the style of this particular book.)

The length of the stories is quite well-chosen, and while some stories are longer than others, most are not so long that they turn you off and yet long enough to allow you to get an insight into the story itself. The authors are clever about what they reveal, and also about what they don't - it is remarkable how much of the book is actually about what the stories and characters don't say rather than what they do say. All in all, a book to scare the living daylights out of you, without any of the typical horror gore and violence that seems to desensitize rather than subtly scare you like these stories do.

Final thoughts: All in all, a collection of above par horror short-stories. Definitely a good-read if you are a horror fan.

Others thoughts: I've just finished A Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy and am reaching the conclusion of Vikram Seth's Suitable Boy. Since I'm going on a trip from the 27th to 4th (and will not be coming online in this time) I don't know how much of this I'll be able to review, but we will see. Until then, happy reading! :)

(Financial disclosure: Book source was the author.) 


  1. Never read any horror fiction,will keep an eye out for this book. Thanks for the review!

  2. Not a horror fan! So going to give it a miss. :)

  3. Sorry for the late replies guys, I had the vacation and then some internet troubles.

    @Sayed: Always nice to try something new. :)
    @Nona: To each their own! :)


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