"Trying to prod a thing as elusive, sneaky, and totally out-of-bounds as horror into an informative and highly usable book of lists would seem to be pretty much impossible," states author/illustrator Gahan Wilson (one of the first artists I learned to recognize by style) in his introduction. But it seems that editors Amy Wallace, Del Howison, and Scott Bradley have managed to somehow compile over 400 pages' worth of opinions, recommendations, and commentary into this endlessly fascinating volume. If you're a fan of the genre, The Book of Lists: Horror is a must read; if you're not, it will make you one.
Here's just a sampling of the contents, limited to lists by 15 of my favorite authors (and not necessarily my favorite lists):
- Edward Lee—"Ten Best Horror Movies with Gratuitous Nudity"
- Stephen King—"Ten Favorite Horror Novels or Short Stories" (reprinted from The Book of Lists 3)
- Bentley Little—"Ten Horror One-Hit Wonders That Everyone Should Read"
- Michael Slade—"Horrific Inspirations for His Thirteen Novels"
- Jack Ketchum—"Ten Best Horror Novels That Don't Call Themselves Horror Novels"
- Robert Bloch—"Ten Favorite Horror-Fantasy Novels (reprinted from The Book of Lists 2)
- Poppy Z. Brite—"Top Ten Dine 'N' Die Stories in Horror Fiction"
- Mark Justice—"Seven Favorite Horror Stories from the Bloody Pulps"
- J.F. Gonzalez—"Top Thirteen Obscure Shockers from the Pulps and Beyond"
- T.E.D. Klein—"Twenty-Five Most Familiar Horror Plots" (reprinted from Raising Goosebumps for Fun and Profit)
- David T. Wilbanks—"Ten Favorite Dark Works of Classical Music"
- Bryan Smith—"Top Ten Horror-Themed Rock 'N' Roll Songs"
- Christopher Golden—"Ten Favorite Supernatural TV Series
- Steve Niles—"Top Twenty Horror Comic Covers"
- Gary A. Braunbeck—"Seven Disparately Horrific Triple Features"