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Scared Stiff: Tales Of Sex And Death

Scared Stiff: Tales Of Sex And Death by Ramsey Campbell - A Horror Anthology

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The deadly art of seduction

  • Nov 13, 2008
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Clive Barker's introduction is as good as the stories themselves, stating in regards to the melding of horror and erotica that "In an age when characters in all manner of fiction have forsaken their blushes to fornicate, horror fiction clings to its underwear with a nunnish zeal." Since Scared Stiff was first published in 1988, this was one of the influential books that led to the production of more erotica in horror, such as the Hot Blood series.

There are only seven tales in this collection, making it a wonderful traveling companion or vacation book. Starting with `Dolls', we visit a quiet village and the witch's coven that conjures the devil during orgies, leading to `The Other Woman', a tale of an artist's obsession with his work bleeding over onto the canvas of his own life.

Next is `Liliths', probably my favorite story in the compilation. A strange shop appears out of nowhere, and a man makes a purchase that changes his life. A life sized doll that fills him with compulsive behavior.
`The Seductress' is a low-key suspense tale, of obsessive love and a mother's revenge. `Stages' tells of us a deadly combination of $ex, drugs, and voyeurism. `Loveman's Comeback' speaks of possession, and the lengths one will go to in order to break out of a bad relationship. And finally, `Merry May' is about wandering into a strange town, and finding their odd celebration a little more than you can handle.

While in comparison to today's erotic horror, Scared Stiff is a bit tame for this blossoming genre, but Ramsey Campbell's early foray into this forbidden realm truly opened doors for those of us who enjoy peeking into the bloody rooms to find titillating delights within. If you are really a fan of visceral lust run amok, then you should own a copy of Scared Stiff. Enjoy!
Scared Stiff: Tales Of Sex And Death

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Table Of Contents:

Introduction by Clive Barker
The Other Woman
The Seductress
Loveman's Comeback
Merry May
The Limits Of Fantasy
The Body In The Window
Kill Me Hideously

From Booklist
The subtitle speaks the truth: the 10 tales in Campbell's collection are filled with graphic, steamy sexual encounters, many of which end badly. "Dolls" is set in Puritan America, where a group of wayward churchgoers have formed a sexually free group called the coven. The group's leader, John, uses dolls to strike at his enemies until his own power is turned on him in an unexpected way. In "The Other Woman," Phil becomes obsessed with the covers he paints for horror novels, which depict the strangulation of a beautiful woman. He is unable to muster up any passion for his wife, Hilary, until her growing frustration with his indifference forces him to try, with disastrous results. In "Stages," Ray discovers a powerful drug that allows him to participate in others' sexual experiences. Though the collection is a reprint, it features three new stories, "The Limits of Fantasy," "The Body in the Window," and "Kill Me Hideously," and a new afterword by the author, which begins, "Nobody rebels like a good Catholic boy." Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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ISBN-10: 0765306050
ISBN-13: 978-0765306050
Author: Ramsey Campbell
Genre: Horror, Anthology
Publisher: Tor Books; Enlarged edition (August 1, 2003)
Date Published: (August 1, 2003)
Format: Paperback: 240 pages, Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
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