hits counter Where the Summer Ends: The Best Horror Stories of Karl Edward Wagner, Volume One - Ebook PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Where the Summer Ends: The Best Horror Stories of Karl Edward Wagner, Volume One

Availability: Ready to download

The first volume of Karl Edward Wagner's horror fiction collects the title story, the classic Lovecraftian "Sticks," "The Fourth Seal," "Beyond Any Measure," and other classic horror tales by a unique Southern voice in American fiction. Lavishly designed and illustrated, Wagner's psychological portrayals and ingenious use of Southern landscape make this publication an even The first volume of Karl Edward Wagner's horror fiction collects the title story, the classic Lovecraftian "Sticks," "The Fourth Seal," "Beyond Any Measure," and other classic horror tales by a unique Southern voice in American fiction. Lavishly designed and illustrated, Wagner's psychological portrayals and ingenious use of Southern landscape make this publication an event.


Compare

The first volume of Karl Edward Wagner's horror fiction collects the title story, the classic Lovecraftian "Sticks," "The Fourth Seal," "Beyond Any Measure," and other classic horror tales by a unique Southern voice in American fiction. Lavishly designed and illustrated, Wagner's psychological portrayals and ingenious use of Southern landscape make this publication an even The first volume of Karl Edward Wagner's horror fiction collects the title story, the classic Lovecraftian "Sticks," "The Fourth Seal," "Beyond Any Measure," and other classic horror tales by a unique Southern voice in American fiction. Lavishly designed and illustrated, Wagner's psychological portrayals and ingenious use of Southern landscape make this publication an event.

30 review for Where the Summer Ends: The Best Horror Stories of Karl Edward Wagner, Volume One

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    In the first season of True Detective, do you remember those weird constructions of sticks that seemed to pop up everywhere? Well, “Sticks,” one of the stories in this book, is where those things come from. And it is only one small sign of the influence of legendary author and editor Karl Edward Wagner. Wagner was a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and many of his best stories—particularly the early ones—are steeped in Southern atmosphere. He was, however, far from the average good ole boy himself In the first season of True Detective, do you remember those weird constructions of sticks that seemed to pop up everywhere? Well, “Sticks,” one of the stories in this book, is where those things come from. And it is only one small sign of the influence of legendary author and editor Karl Edward Wagner. Wagner was a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, and many of his best stories—particularly the early ones—are steeped in Southern atmosphere. He was, however, far from the average good ole boy himself: his father was a big wig at the TVA, and Karl earned degrees in history from Kenyon and psychiatric medicine from Chapel Hill. He soon decided, however, that he despised physicians and detested psychiatry, and therefore abandoned medicine for writing. He is best remembered for: creating the well-read, sharp-tongued, amoral barbarian Kane; editing the most influential mainstream horror anthology (“The Year's Best Horror Stories”) from 1980 to 1994; publishing small press editions of some of the best vintage horror (Carcosa); and—most important—writing some of the best horror stories and novellas of the '70's and '80's. But Wagner was well known for something else too: his prodigious, homicidal appetite for hard liquor, an appetite that cost him his marriage and—ultimately—his life. Karl Edward Wagner died of “heart and liver failure” at the age of 49. I am afraid that alcohol took its toll on his stories too. The first six of the nine stories included (chronologically) in this “Volume I” of Wagner's stories—“In the Pines” (featuring a ghostly mountain temptress and a hero gripped by alcohol) “Sticks,” (a horror illustrator encounters a cult in one of the scariest stories I've read) “The Fourth Seal” (oh, how Wagner hates doctors!), “When the Summer Ends” (at once a fine depiction of a sketchy college neighborhood and an answer to the question, why should I be afraid of the kudzu?), “.220 Swift” (an unsettling “underground race” story set in the mountains, with a twist), and “The River of Nights Dreaming” (an hallucinatory prison escape tale that is erotic, disorienting, and chilling)--are all superb, each an essential example of the form. But the three remaining tales—all of which were written after Wagner's demanding editorial tasks had begun--suffer from the effects of what I have come to identify as alcohol-fueled writing: “Beyond Any Measure,” (private fantasy substituted for universal imagination, superfluous rhetoric). “Neither Brute Nor Human (sentimental use of alcoholic autobiography), and “Blue Lady Comeback” (elaborate plot development and excessive dialogue followed by a hasty, melodramatic conclusion). I enjoyed reading all three, but, considered collectively, they suggest a decline. I have heard that the second volume, “Walk on the Wild Side”, includes even more of what have been generally described as “darker, more personal and obsessive” tales. Because Karl Edward Wagner is a modern master of fantasy and horror, I have put the second volume on my reading list. But I am not eager to get to it soon. When my appetite for Wagner's writing revives, I think I'll read the “Kane the Mystic Swordsman” books instead. (Wagner finished the Kane series in the '70's.)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    I bought two copies of this almost a year ago along with two copies of the second book. It's a limited edition & each book was $45, way out of my normal price range, but my son & I are both huge KEW fans & his stories are hard to come by. Even old paperbacks of his can cost as much, so this was a perfect Xmas present, although it's been hard holding off so long. I think I've read all of these stories before, although some were edited in other editions. I won't bother rating them individually. Ju I bought two copies of this almost a year ago along with two copies of the second book. It's a limited edition & each book was $45, way out of my normal price range, but my son & I are both huge KEW fans & his stories are hard to come by. Even old paperbacks of his can cost as much, so this was a perfect Xmas present, although it's been hard holding off so long. I think I've read all of these stories before, although some were edited in other editions. I won't bother rating them individually. Just figure they're 5 star unless I say otherwise. KEW was seriously one of the best horror writers out there. His training as a shrink & his own demons provided the perfect base for his writing. The cover art by J.K. Potter is awesome. The front cover is a tribute to "Sticks", one of KEW's best, the second in this volume. The back cover is half a pile of cars that's neat, too. I own Exorcisms & Ecstasies (E&E) which was put together by Stephen Jones. He wrote the introduction to this volume. As a long time friend of KEW's, he certainly knows many of the inside stories & wrote a good intro, but he excuses KEW's drinking, which killed him before he was 50, & that ticks me off. He did include quite a few photos of KEW, many with other famous authors, through the years at conventions. They were cool. Note to self: Keep an eye out for a porn book, "The Other Woman" by Kent Allard 1973. This was one of 3 apparently written by KEW according to E&E - what/where/when are the others? I recall E&E making it seem as if he had written them at the end of his life to make ends meet, but he didn't die until 1994. "In the Pines" - is wonderfully macabre. The descent of the main character is perfectly done & more horrible for its relation to the author. "Sticks" - I like it when I have difficulty telling when I stepped out of reality & into the supernatural. Perfect! "The Fourth Seal" is perhaps one of the best & most believable conspiracy theories I've ever read. "Where the Summer Ends": Wow. I last read this years ago & remembered it as creepy, but ... wow. Such a cool idea & so well done. I felt the heat of the night. ".220 Swift" takes several tropes that Robert E. Howard used in his stories, an old Greek myth, blended uniquely & served superbly! I kind of knew where it was going, but the ending still horrified me. "The River of Night’s Dreaming": So often the supernatural element is obvious. In this story, the POV is so unreliable as to toss reality up for grabs. What really happened? I'm not sure, but it was one hell of a trip. I'm not sure it's over, either. How cool. "Beyond Any Measure": Why hasn't this happened more often? It's such a wild twist, but seems almost obvious when it finally happens. (view spoiler)[A woman is reincarnated & takes revenge on the vampire inhabiting her former body. (hide spoiler)] Seriously, this should be held up as a standard for all these PNR/UF writers. They could learn a thing or three. "Neither Brute Nor Human": The writing game is a tough one & the fans can be tougher. There's more than a bit of autobiographical info here, I believe. "Blue Lady, Come Back" starts out OK & I thought I knew where it was going, then it took a left somewhere & wow. Great. The afterword by Laird Barron is a better review than I've done. He points out that Wagner deconstructs tropes & builds them into something new & unique. Yeah, that's what I was trying to say... Overall, it was a fantastic collection of some of the very best horror I've ever read. On to the second book, Walk on the Wild Side: The Best Horror Stories of Karl Edward Wagner, Volume 2

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    This is a collection I've meant to finish for about 2 years. I read "Sticks" in 2012, "The Fourth Seal" a year later, and "In the Pines" last year. Finishing this collection reminded me what a great author Wagner was. His tales very often have an erotic, sexual feel to them and I am always happy to find yet another weird fiction author who bases his stories in the south. Although he's been accepted into the Centipede Press "Masters of the Weird Tale" series, I still don't hear Wagner's name dropp This is a collection I've meant to finish for about 2 years. I read "Sticks" in 2012, "The Fourth Seal" a year later, and "In the Pines" last year. Finishing this collection reminded me what a great author Wagner was. His tales very often have an erotic, sexual feel to them and I am always happy to find yet another weird fiction author who bases his stories in the south. Although he's been accepted into the Centipede Press "Masters of the Weird Tale" series, I still don't hear Wagner's name dropped often in discussions about horror fiction today. Probably because he's been dead for 20 years and we have a plethora of great weird fiction being written today. It would help too if most collections of his stories weren't around $1 per page...but I digress. This collection along with a companion volume "Walk On the Wild Side" comprise most of Wagner's horror fiction, and the two combined have virtually the same contents as the Centipede Press edition of his work. This volume is novellas and novelettes, "WOTWS" is mostly short stories. In The Pines - Good story, feels more traditional than most others in this collection, a bit of a weird tale and a ghost story both. It reminded me of Algernon Blackwood at times. Following a family tragedy a couple move to a cabin in the Tennessee wilderness to recover. There the husband becomes fascinated with a portrait of a woman with a terrible history. Sticks - WOW this is good weird fiction, just great storytelling generally. It has a wonderful mood and is pretty scary. An artist stumbles upon stick formations and a horror in the woods, years later these inspire illustrations that bring him some very unwelcome attention. The Fourth Seal - This one impressed me the least, but this certainly has a creepy, paranoid flavor to it that’s quite effective. A medical researcher accepts a position in one of the highest research facilities in the world, but he soon discovers medicine is more of a cult than a profession. Where the Summer Ends - This is prime horror/weird fiction with a great sense of place and it's pretty damn scary too. College student Mercer befriends an old junkyard owner in his kudzu overgrown neighborhood where something in the endless mounds of kudzu stalks at night. .220 Swift - Another great story, a classic example of horror fiction even though if you've read enough weird fiction it can be a bit predictable. The claustrophobic feel of it reminded me of Kuttner's "Graveyard Rats" and there are some particularly scary scenes. An archeologist searching the Appalachian mountains for old abandoned mines befriends a folklorist who believes the mines were inhabited by a forgotten race. The River of Night's Dreaming - This is a masterpiece with shades of Chambers, but even more of Aickman I thought, with a suitably ambiguous ending. A woman being transported to prison escapes when the bus crashes, and makes her way to the home of a strange woman and her servant who are seemingly living in the 19th century. Beyond Any Measure - This was a great story, if a bit overlong in places. Still, it had a neat end I didn't see coming at all. An American college student studying in London finds herself plagued by nightmares which hint at a past life. Neither Brute Nor Human - This is an excellent story, a lot of fun to read, quite funny at times but the end turns sinister quite suddenly. Two fantasy/horror authors become friends when hardly anyone knows their names and keep in touch over the years as one of them soars in popularity to become a best selling writer. But it all comes at a cost. Blue Lady, Come Back - This was another good entry, hard-boiled with elements of mystery and suspense. It's a fun page turner, but it's a bit different and I would put it below the best entries here. A writer and his psychiatrist friend interview a woman who insists her home is haunted, afterward one of them disappears and the other tries to uncover what happened.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ctgt

    I had read several of these stories in anthologies over the years but this is the first strictly Wagner collection I bought and this was a tough get. I picked it up a couple of years ago and when I look at the prices for this book now it seems as though I snagged it just in the nick of time. These stories were originally published from the mid 70's to mid 80's. There is also a great introduction by Stephen Jones that provides a nice summary of Wagner's life. Included are some photos, one of Wagn I had read several of these stories in anthologies over the years but this is the first strictly Wagner collection I bought and this was a tough get. I picked it up a couple of years ago and when I look at the prices for this book now it seems as though I snagged it just in the nick of time. These stories were originally published from the mid 70's to mid 80's. There is also a great introduction by Stephen Jones that provides a nice summary of Wagner's life. Included are some photos, one of Wagner with Dave Carson and Brian Lumley and shot of Wagner with Clive Barker, Dennis Etchison and Charles L. Grant on the set of Hellraiser (bet there are some stories from that meetup). All these stories were great but I will highlight a couple of the standouts. Sticks An artist exploring a stream comes upon a series of lashed together stick frameworks(True Detective anyone?) that lead to an abandoned house and, of course, down into the basement. Where Summer Ends Ever wonder why kudzu grows so fast and takes over everything? Wagner provides an answer. .220 Swift A great story about mythical ancient mines scattered throughout the U.S. The River of Night's Dreaming A King in Yellow tale about a female inmate who survives the crash of a transport bus and swims across the bay only to find she didn't end up where she planned. Highly recommended for any weird fiction lovers out there. Fitful gushes of heat lightning spilled across the crowded yard-picking out the junk-laden stacks and shelves, crouched in fantastic distortions like a Daliesque vision of Hell. The darkness in between bursts was hot and oily, heavy with moisture, and the subdued rumble of thunder seemed like gargantuan breathing.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jon Recluse

    There was only one Karl Edward Wagner. Taken far too soon by the demons within, he left behind a body of work that will stand the test of time. Collected here are the tales that cement his reputation as one of the master storytellers of his generation. With the added bonus of a touching foreword by his friend, Stephen Jones, this is a must-have for any fan of Karl's or simply the very best in horror. Highest recommendation. Please note: This volume features a foreword by Stephen Jones. Peter Stra There was only one Karl Edward Wagner. Taken far too soon by the demons within, he left behind a body of work that will stand the test of time. Collected here are the tales that cement his reputation as one of the master storytellers of his generation. With the added bonus of a touching foreword by his friend, Stephen Jones, this is a must-have for any fan of Karl's or simply the very best in horror. Highest recommendation. Please note: This volume features a foreword by Stephen Jones. Peter Straub wrote the foreword for volume #2: Walk on the Wild Side.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Graham P

    Finally, a collected works of Wagner's fiction that doesn't tear the wallet in two and leave one penniless. Centipede Press has released this two-volume collection gathering the legendary writer's horror works (note: his sword & sorcery works are left out of this collection, so look elsewhere for those), along with recollections from friends in the business, who memorialize him with honesty, praising his skill but wary of his lifestyle that supposedly rivaled Sam Peckinpah's, one of his cinemati Finally, a collected works of Wagner's fiction that doesn't tear the wallet in two and leave one penniless. Centipede Press has released this two-volume collection gathering the legendary writer's horror works (note: his sword & sorcery works are left out of this collection, so look elsewhere for those), along with recollections from friends in the business, who memorialize him with honesty, praising his skill but wary of his lifestyle that supposedly rivaled Sam Peckinpah's, one of his cinematic idols. Wagner never achieved prolific status as a writer, but more so as an editor of the 'Year's Best...' series. However, his skills at prose are on par. While known for the often-anthologized 'Sticks', there's many more tales that show his deft skill at building terror, his well-honed knowledge of the genre, and his bitter sense of humor that in hindsight can be a bit self-effacing. This collected works includes two of his ghost stories, 'In the Pines' and 'Blue Lady Come Back', both inspired by the classical MR James and Oliver Onions mode of haunting the reader. However, while 'In the Pines' does have its moments of true horror, the novella 'Blue Lady Come Back' does feel a bit forced in fueling up towards an ending that rivals the predictability of an EC Comic. 'Where the Summer Ends' is a near-masterpiece set in Knoxville, Kentucky, where the city is over-run by drug use, poverty, and a fast-growing weed, kudzu, that seems to spread by the hour. What is hiding in the kudzu, you'll just have to read to find out. The most disturbing story, 'The River of Night's Dreaming' is stripped raw from a nightmare, and it's as sadistic as it is surreal - truly a blood-soaked gem. A female prisoner is the only survivor when the bus she's riding crashes through a rail and into a river - she makes it to the other side of the river unscathed, and once on ground, the line between reality and dream is blurred masterfully (one image stung me while I was reading in full daylight - again, masterful). She encounters an elderly woman living with her maid in an old house on a cliff, the decor inside untouched by time, and soon she falls victim to either her fevered imagination, or a hideous, lurking terror. Wagner is at high form here, and one comparison would be King's 'Misery' meets Chamber's 'The King in Yellow'. We also get a bleak tale forecasting the future of the medical ethics, a tale that beckons Machen and 'The White People', and his classic Lovecraftian ode to the Pulps, 'Sticks'. One of the more entertaining tales, 'Beyond Any Measure' helps close out the collection. It's a maddeningly humorous tale of the success and failures two fantasy writers endure in a two-decade period, and while it is playful at points, it turns a rather scornful face on the parasitism of fans, conventions and literary success. Truly classic work.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Spencer

    This is the first time I've read anything by Karl Edward Wagner and it certainly wont be the last. Each story was incredible, Karl's horror starts off subtly and slowly creeps up on you out of the dark until it's maw is around your throat. The writing is wonderfully effective, I was transported into the stories and lost myself in these atmospheric and unsettling tales. This will be a book I return to again and again and is one that I highly recommend. This is the first time I've read anything by Karl Edward Wagner and it certainly wont be the last. Each story was incredible, Karl's horror starts off subtly and slowly creeps up on you out of the dark until it's maw is around your throat. The writing is wonderfully effective, I was transported into the stories and lost myself in these atmospheric and unsettling tales. This will be a book I return to again and again and is one that I highly recommend.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Adriane

    This was my first time reading Karl Edward Wagner. Where the Summer Ends is the first of two volumes of Wagner's best horror stories. With a foreword by Wagner's close friend, Stephen Jones, and an afterword by Laird Barron, this is a beautiful edition that I borrowed from my local library but now have plans to buy a copy for my own little library, even if the price is a little steep. I thoroughly enjoyed every single story in this book; each one of them has its own atmosphere, but they were all This was my first time reading Karl Edward Wagner. Where the Summer Ends is the first of two volumes of Wagner's best horror stories. With a foreword by Wagner's close friend, Stephen Jones, and an afterword by Laird Barron, this is a beautiful edition that I borrowed from my local library but now have plans to buy a copy for my own little library, even if the price is a little steep. I thoroughly enjoyed every single story in this book; each one of them has its own atmosphere, but they were all equally gripping. I highly recommend this book and will certainly look for volume 2.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jon Ureña

    I would have rated it five stars if it weren't for the last three stories, two of which I consider threes and the last one a two. Only bits of awkward exposition bothered me during the great stories ("don't you remember? I'm your wife!"), but the last three seem like someone else wrote them, and from what I've gathered, in a way, someone else did: alcohol had broken the man quite a bit by that time. Although there are moments of beautiful writing in the last three stories, the writer seemed to h I would have rated it five stars if it weren't for the last three stories, two of which I consider threes and the last one a two. Only bits of awkward exposition bothered me during the great stories ("don't you remember? I'm your wife!"), but the last three seem like someone else wrote them, and from what I've gathered, in a way, someone else did: alcohol had broken the man quite a bit by that time. Although there are moments of beautiful writing in the last three stories, the writer seemed to have stopped caring too much about the craft. However, the great stories are unique and haunting. He wrote fantastic description while he cared/could. True Detective took the sticks thing, and even some references to fucked up sex and the Yellow King, from this book. Rest in peace, you drunken son of a bitch. I doubt you are in a worse place than we are.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michael Larson

    I hadn't read any Wagner before tackling this volume, and I intend to seek out more after reading these stories. He's like a rural Lovecraft, or an R-rated Manly Wade Wellman. Like any anthology, there are some stories that work better than others- the ones which focused more on the writing business felt sort of 'inside baseball' to me, but taken as a whole, this volume really demonstrates how versatile Wagner was as a writer- he uses a variety of settings to great effect, moving from eldritch h I hadn't read any Wagner before tackling this volume, and I intend to seek out more after reading these stories. He's like a rural Lovecraft, or an R-rated Manly Wade Wellman. Like any anthology, there are some stories that work better than others- the ones which focused more on the writing business felt sort of 'inside baseball' to me, but taken as a whole, this volume really demonstrates how versatile Wagner was as a writer- he uses a variety of settings to great effect, moving from eldritch horrors to more Hitchcockian giallo-style mysteries to the more close-to-home nightmares of the publishing world, and even demonstrates a capable hand at drawing interesting female characters (something Lovecraft was never guilty of).

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    Awesome chilling stories with a southern gothic vibe. I've still got volume 2 on my shelf to read. The most famous story here, "Sticks," with its creepy atavistic stick formations, was blatantly ripped off in The Blair Witch Project and True Detective. I recommend Wagner's Conan-style stories as well. It's too bad the cocaine and alcohol did him in so early. Awesome chilling stories with a southern gothic vibe. I've still got volume 2 on my shelf to read. The most famous story here, "Sticks," with its creepy atavistic stick formations, was blatantly ripped off in The Blair Witch Project and True Detective. I recommend Wagner's Conan-style stories as well. It's too bad the cocaine and alcohol did him in so early.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Williwaw

    Inspired by a recent re-reading of Wagner's fantastic story, "Sticks," I pulled this book off the shelf. A couple years ago, I got a free copy from Centipede press with an order of other books. This copy looks like somebody left it on the floor in a garage and ran his car over it, but it's still a fully functional book, so I'm glad to have it. The first 5 stories in this collection are great. "Sticks" is, of course, a landmark horror story based on an incident from pulp illustrator Lee Brown Coy Inspired by a recent re-reading of Wagner's fantastic story, "Sticks," I pulled this book off the shelf. A couple years ago, I got a free copy from Centipede press with an order of other books. This copy looks like somebody left it on the floor in a garage and ran his car over it, but it's still a fully functional book, so I'm glad to have it. The first 5 stories in this collection are great. "Sticks" is, of course, a landmark horror story based on an incident from pulp illustrator Lee Brown Coye's life. About halfway through this book, however, the quality seems to decline. "River of Night's Dreaming" and "Beyond Any Measure" combine Gothic and modern elements in interesting ways, but these two stories are not as good, in my opinion, as the stories that precede them. "Neither Brute Nor Human" was so tedious that I stopped reading it and skimmed through to the end. It might have been a good story had it been trimmed down significantly. "The Fourth Seal" was a mind-blowing and cynical indictment of the medical profession, no doubt inspired by Wagner's own experiences while training to be a psychiatrist. "In the Pines," "Where Summer Ends," and ".220 Swift" were all finely crafted tales that I'd gladly read again. These, along with "Sticks," are all 4 to 5-star stories. My rating of the book reflects the lower quality of the later stories (esp. "Neither Brute . . . "). I did not read "Blue Lady, Come Back." If anyone really loved it, please let me know and I might come back to it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Redsteve

    Karl Edward Wagner's In A Lonely Place is one of my favorite short story horror collections. Where the Summer Ends is essentially the same book, with a new introduction by Stephen Jones (Peter Straub wrote the introduction for IALP), and two additional stories: "Neither Brute Nor Human" and "Blue Lady, Come Back". That being said, I'm glad that I borrowed this from the library (I own a copy of IALP) rather than buying it as neither story is worth the additional price. "Neither Brute Nor Human" i Karl Edward Wagner's In A Lonely Place is one of my favorite short story horror collections. Where the Summer Ends is essentially the same book, with a new introduction by Stephen Jones (Peter Straub wrote the introduction for IALP), and two additional stories: "Neither Brute Nor Human" and "Blue Lady, Come Back". That being said, I'm glad that I borrowed this from the library (I own a copy of IALP) rather than buying it as neither story is worth the additional price. "Neither Brute Nor Human" isn't really horror, it's a so-so story set around the SF/Fantasy publishing industry and early WorldCons with a horror/fantasy twist at the end. To be honest, the story reminded me of early Harlan Ellison. "Blue Lady, Come Back" isn't really horror either; it's more of a detective story with supernatural elements. As a result, if you have IALP, I don't recommend buying this book, buuuuttttt…. since IALP has been out of print for some time, Where The Summer Ends is an excellent collection of Wagner horror. It has a ghost story ("In the Pines"), Lovecraftian tales ("Sticks" and, I also feel, ".220 Swift"), vampire ("Beyond Any Measure"), insanity ("River of Night's Dreaming" - which also has elements from Chambers' "The King in Yellow"), cryptids ("When Summer Ends"), and a monstrous ancient conspiracy ("The Fourth Seal"). all of which are top notch (with the exception of "Beyond Any Measure", which is good, but not great), despite the author's occasional overuse of the word "lich".

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hugo

    A superb collection Wagner's longer stories, all of them informed by past masters such as Lovecraft, Wellman, Bierce and James, and all updated to the modern day in a way that only adds rather than subtracts. Wagner was a stylist and a master at firm plotting and solid milieu, and this posthumous publication is a long overdue addition to his collection. A superb collection Wagner's longer stories, all of them informed by past masters such as Lovecraft, Wellman, Bierce and James, and all updated to the modern day in a way that only adds rather than subtracts. Wagner was a stylist and a master at firm plotting and solid milieu, and this posthumous publication is a long overdue addition to his collection.

  15. 4 out of 5

    William

    some very good stories except for the last few.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Guilherme Gontijo

    Some stories are better than others. It feels a little too much pulpy for me and Wagner had this strange thing of explaining his stories near the end of it. It feels like a "60s batman" episode sometimes. Sticks is definitely his best one, but the river of day dreaming has some great moments as well. I missed the chill in most of the other stories tho. They're good and that's all. Some stories are better than others. It feels a little too much pulpy for me and Wagner had this strange thing of explaining his stories near the end of it. It feels like a "60s batman" episode sometimes. Sticks is definitely his best one, but the river of day dreaming has some great moments as well. I missed the chill in most of the other stories tho. They're good and that's all.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dan McCollum

    Sticks and In the Pines (a story heavily influenced by Oliver Onion's Reckoning Fiar One) are two of the standout stories in this collection. Though there are some weaker stories here, as there will be with any collection, over all the quality is very high, and I agree with a previous commentator who stated that Wagner doesn't get the acclaim that he is rightfully deserved. Sticks and In the Pines (a story heavily influenced by Oliver Onion's Reckoning Fiar One) are two of the standout stories in this collection. Though there are some weaker stories here, as there will be with any collection, over all the quality is very high, and I agree with a previous commentator who stated that Wagner doesn't get the acclaim that he is rightfully deserved.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Claus Appel

    Not bad. My favourite stories in it are "Sticks" (a very Lovecraftian story with a cool twist) and ".220 Swift" (a story of underground subhumans in the vein of Robert E. Howard). Not bad. My favourite stories in it are "Sticks" (a very Lovecraftian story with a cool twist) and ".220 Swift" (a story of underground subhumans in the vein of Robert E. Howard).

  19. 5 out of 5

    Liana

    I only read the first handful of stories. They felt a little heavy handed and were not to my liking.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jaagup

    Tubli ports Ameerika horrorit. Mõni lugu päris hea, mõni igavam, aga ühtegi voh!-momenti ei tekkinud ja sellest ka keskpärane hinne.

  21. 4 out of 5

    GD

    One of the greatest crimes in horror fiction is KEW being next to out of print. Paperbacks of his second collection Why Not You and I start at 75 bucks on Amazon. Ridic. Centipede Press put out his collected horror in two extremely beautiful, limited, and expensive volumes, one of which is Where the Summer Ends. If you want to know what all the hoopla surrounding KEW is, this is the place to start. Some of my favorites: "The Fourth Seal," an incredible story about a brilliant doctor approached by One of the greatest crimes in horror fiction is KEW being next to out of print. Paperbacks of his second collection Why Not You and I start at 75 bucks on Amazon. Ridic. Centipede Press put out his collected horror in two extremely beautiful, limited, and expensive volumes, one of which is Where the Summer Ends. If you want to know what all the hoopla surrounding KEW is, this is the place to start. Some of my favorites: "The Fourth Seal," an incredible story about a brilliant doctor approached by a secret cabal of doctors whose knowlede of medicine is like centuries ahead of where we think it is, and they purposely keep the world's population sick in order to maintain their power. Very fucking cool. KEW had studied to be a doctor, I believe, and was turned off by the whole thing shortly into it. I wonder if he discoverd something like this, hahaha. "In the Pines," wow, super atmospheric and sad. I usually hate emo sad horror, but this worked out crazy well. A man and his estranged wife try to reconnect in a remote cabin in the wooded mountains, where the man becomes enamored with this ghostly woman who appears at night when he's up drunk alone, growing further and further apart from his wife. "Sticks," of course one of the most famous horror stories of the 20th century, and a pretty obvious influence for the look and feel of The Blair Witch Project. I think I've read this three times, and I think it's fucking incredible every time. A man discovers weird stick things wondering around in a forest just before getting shipped off to WW2, and finds a semi-abandoned house covered with occult symbols inside and meets something awful in the basement. Throughout the years these images haunt him, and he uses them in his professional illustrations for a magazine, and of course majorly bad shit starts to happen. "220 Swift" was a GREAT story about a lost tribe of degenerate, small people living underground. "Where the Summer Ends" was also just a fucking awesome story about, seriously, little fucking goblin things hiding in kudzu. I grew up in East Texas, which, even though it's more southern than western, still isn't really the "south," and I've only heard about kudzu from friends from the Carolinas. Sounds like some annoying shit. In short, you probably need to read this book if you want to get some of the best horror not only of the 70s and 80s, but ever.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Fatman

    A mixed bag of stories from one of horror's greats. I would recommend Walk on the Wild Side: The Best Horror Stories of Karl Edward Wagner, Volume 2 over this volume. A mixed bag of stories from one of horror's greats. I would recommend Walk on the Wild Side: The Best Horror Stories of Karl Edward Wagner, Volume 2 over this volume.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

    This collection was my first experience with KEW outside of his signature work within the sword & sorcery genre. And for as much as I enjoyed the literary adventures of Kane the barbarian, I find myself admitting that Wagner's true talent lay in the field of 'weird fiction.' This volume is an incredibly strong collection of Wagner at his peak and all but two of these stories are 5/5's for me. The creep factor runs high (very high in 'In the Pines', 'Where the Summer Ends', and '.220 Swift') thro This collection was my first experience with KEW outside of his signature work within the sword & sorcery genre. And for as much as I enjoyed the literary adventures of Kane the barbarian, I find myself admitting that Wagner's true talent lay in the field of 'weird fiction.' This volume is an incredibly strong collection of Wagner at his peak and all but two of these stories are 5/5's for me. The creep factor runs high (very high in 'In the Pines', 'Where the Summer Ends', and '.220 Swift') throughout and 'River of Night's Dreaming' incorporates one of the most deliciously unreliable narrators I've had the pleasure of running across. From little green men to rat-monkeys, ghost stories and Victorian S&M, these tales are unconventional, unsettling, and unparalleled. His genre-bending take on a favored horror trope in 'Beyond All Measure' also deserves mention. It's a damned shame that KEW's own internal demons drug him down before the age of fifty, as his immense talent and dark creativity bespoke a marvelous future for him and, by extension, for us as readers. Still, this stuff was the cream of the crop before he started faltering under the weight of self-destruction and I'll take what I can get. If you don't know who he is, he's worth seeking out if this sort of material is anywhere near your wheelhouse. High, high marks from me indeed.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Myrna Vega

    Want to read

  25. 4 out of 5

    KL

    Great collection of Wagner's short horror stories. Creepy, weird fiction that never lacks for scares. (Highly recommend 'Sticks'. Fans of HP Lovecraft will love this story.) Great collection of Wagner's short horror stories. Creepy, weird fiction that never lacks for scares. (Highly recommend 'Sticks'. Fans of HP Lovecraft will love this story.)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Philip Gelatt

  27. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Slater

  28. 4 out of 5

    OTIS

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stewart

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.