The Complete Horowitz Horror by Anthony Horowitz

2870616The Complete Horowitz Horror by Anthony Horowitz
448 pages
Horror, Short Stories, Haunted Objects, 
How I obtained the book
Library, paperback


Welcome to a world where everything seems normal. At least, at first. But the sinister and truly terrifying lurk just beneath the surface. Like a bathtub with a history so haunted, no one dares get in it…or an ordinary-looking camera that does unspeakable things to its subjects…or an elevator filled with cannibals just waiting for their next victim to walk in….

This wicked collection of eighteen macabre tales combining both Horowitz Horror and More Horowitz Horror will send shivers up your spine.

Jesus Christ, The Complete Horowitz Horror is a complete mess. It’s an absolutely atrocious excuse for a horror book. The only thing remotely scary about this book is how horrible it is. Horowitz has no idea how to write a proper short story and after this, I don’t think I’ll be reading any more of his books. I liked hisThe Gatekeepers series back when I read it (2010?) and thought it to be genuinely creepy but I’m sorry, The Complete put me off all and any of his books.

Granted, I am not scared by books easily (*cough* never *cough*) nor often truly disturbed, but I can appreciate scary books even if they do not scare me. The stories in this book were truly not scary. At all. In fact, I couldn’t really tell which parts are meant to be scary – or if the book itself was even meant to be scary or if it was meant to be a ‘so bad it’s funny’ book.

I’m going to be reviewing the Collection as a whole because, there are just too many stories that failed to leave an impact of any sort. The fact that almost every single story is identical makes it easier to write this review as well.

Almost every story follows a similar process which goes something like this:

– Introduce main character
– share every last detail of said character
– get weird object
– have the main character reflect on said item

There is absolutely no tension building, unless you count some mildly odd things happening. The beginnings are almost always awful and pointless. Why should give a fuck that the main character’s parents are getting divorced or that he’s rich. It doesn’t add anything to the story. It doesn’t make the character more real. It really only bogs down the flow of the story.

Almost every single sorry has something to do with “the mystical item of doooooooooooom” which gets old after a while because it’s clear the author has run out of ideas. I mean, a haunted bathtub? Really?

The endings are almost always over the top and idiotic in their attempts to scare the reader. While, in some cases, the stories had the potential to be scary ones, Horowitz’s absolutely awful writing shattered any hopes of redemption.

Before I finish off this short review, I need to address one thing. One of the stories was a retelling of the Monkey’s Paw. Now, I have never read the original story but I know enough about it to know it’s good. However, the retelling, however, was pathetic and horrible. In fact, you could barely tell the story was ever good.

Anthony Horowitz may be good at writing horror stories but he is certainly not a good short story writer. I honestly hope that he never writes another short story, much less a whole book full of short stories.


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