Bound For Evil

Edited by Tom English

Dead Letter Press

ISBN: 0-9796335-2-4

500 Copy Limited Ed. HC

$80.00; 2008

Dead Letter Press Publisher/Editor-in-chief, Tom English has assembled an impressive book of stories  about, well… books. This large tome of about 800 pages features classic masters (H.P. Lovecraft, Nathaniel Hawthorne, M.R. James, Robert W. Chambers, Saki, Montague Summers and others), established pros (Ramsey Campbell, Fred Chappell, Andrew J. Wilson, Pat Lobrutto), small press favorites and promising newcomers (Jeffrey Thomas, Barbara Rodan, Mark McLaughlin, Simon Stranzas, Gary McMahon, Gary Fry, John R. Platt, Rhys Hughes, Kurt Newton, etc.).

The book is broken down into sections: In the Beginning, Scratch Paper, A Not-Too-Gentle Madness, The Romance of Certain Old Books, Reference Work, and Misadventures in Reading. Touching on themes of deals with the Devil, calling forth Demons, ghostly manifestations, alternate worlds, ancient gods and insanity – this is a rich and varied collection. The fiction is a bit up and down in parts, but overall it’s a pretty strong anthology – bolstered by classic reprints, rare works by newer masters and quality pieces from up-and-coming writers.

Well over half of the stories are brand new and a number of the reprints are fairly rare and uncollected. So regardless of your familiarity with classics like “The Dunwich Horror”, “Canon Aberic’s Scrapbook” and “The Yellow Sign” – there is much that will be new to you here. It’s a nicely made Hardcover. Leather-bound, smyth-sewn, foil stamped on the cover and spine, but seems a tad high priced for an unsigned limited edition, but then again it isn’t some little 100 page novella.  (There’s 66 stories in this along with numerous pieces of art by Allen Koszowski). I understand the publisher still has some copies of this Shirley Jackson Award finalist on hand and looks to be offering a free chapbook with the purchase of this book direct (http://departmentofdeadletters.blogspot.com/). That definitely sweetens the deal. Recommended.

– Reviewed by James R. Beach

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~ by darkdiscoveries on February 13, 2010.

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