The Best Horror of the Year Volume 4

The Best Horror of the Year Volume 4 has 18 Stories with its most notable authors being Stephen King and Peter Straub. Its hard to look so forward to reading a book to have it turn out this dull. When I saw "Best Horror" I thought that it would have some chills and look over my shoulder moments but most of the stories just lacked anything I could even call horror. There were a few decent stories in this set but they were few and far between.

Mulberry Boys by Margo Lanagan was a decent story with some horror elements to it. Another one of the shorts that was notable was The Show by Priya Sharma. This one might have been the closest that any of the stories actually came to being considered horror. I enjoyed this story and will read more from Sharma as I find it. The Green God of Agony by Stephen King was honestly just dull. However, Peter Straub did some justice to the book with his tale The Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine. Again, while this hit on horror, in the end it just lacked the over all horror that I expected in a "best of" series. Still it was one of the better stories in the book.

With names like Stephen King and Peter Straub, I really just expected more. Unfortunately I was left wanting when I came to the end but happy to finally reach it. Readers might enjoy a few stories but if you are looking for horror, keep looking because if this is the best horror of 2011, then 2011 was a bad year for the genre.

Book Blurb for The Best Horror of the Year Volume 4

The first three volumes of The Best Horror of the Year have been widely praised for their quality, variety, and comprehensiveness. Now, for the fourth consecutive year, editor Ellen Datlow has explored the entirety of the diverse horror market, distilling it into the fourth anthology in the series and providing an overview of the year in terror.

With tales from Laird Barron, Stephen King, John Langan, Peter Straubb, and many others, and featuring Datlow's comprehensive overview of the year in horror, now, more than ever, The Best Horror of the Year provides the petrifying horror fiction readers have come to expect-and enjoy.

Night Owl Reviews May, 2012 3.00