Friday, January 27, 2006

Monsters from Memphis review

This is another old review; as a matter of fact, there was a sequel to this anthology, More Monsters from Memphis, which I also enjoyed, and, I believe, a third anthology, which I haven't read.

Monsters from Memphis
edited by Beecher Smith

reviewed by Joy V. Smith (no relation)

I was impressed by the consistent quality of the writing, which was excellent. I enjoy theme anthologies, and the authors conveyed the feeling of Memphis--hot and humid, the ducks at the Peabody, corruption (in more ways than one), the King (Elvis), etc. very well.

Even stories I didn't care for (Stop eating those humans and dogs right now!) often had interesting premises and very good writing. I didn't care for some endings (the werewolf story, for instance; by the end I was wishing for the old weretiger cliche or something better).

The best stories are (in my never humble opinion):

  1. The Shadow Knows, Ms. Adams (I liked the ending),
  2. Number One with a Bullet (except I didn't like the ending),
  3. By Any Name A Devil (good premise and well-written),
  4. Dance in Crimson (not a favorite but well-written with a good premise),
  5. Swift Peter ("I didn't mean to hurt nobody"),
  6. Hunt's End (good premise and good ending),
  7. Nurse Bann,
  8. Snare of the Fowler (well-done),
  9. Tokhtamysh (good story with at least one memorable line-- "the worst butt-head in Asian history"),
  10. The Big Chill,
  11. My House ( loved this one; good scenes with the baseball bat),
  12. Swan Song (this was done, I think, in a deliberate Southern style; definite Darrell Award nominee),
  13. Killing Softly (well-done),
  14. Nifty, Tough an' Bitchen (another well-written story),
  15. Rendezvous of Fear (I had no idea where this one was going; I liked the ending; obviously a Memphis restaurant? Nice change of pace.),
  16. The Frequency of Violets (another very well-written story), and
  17. Peace Plan (even though I hated the ending, and plot-wise, the aliens seemed blind to the consequences of what they were doing...)


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