I'm really pleased with how Anatomy of Death (in five sleazy pieces) turned out - from my initial concept a couple of years ago, to pulling together the stories through 2012, to publication this year, it's been great fun. I chose my contributors well, read some terrific tales, had fun with the cover art and it's been well received - for my editorial debut, I couldn't really ask for more, could I?
Jim Mcleod at Ginger Nuts of Horror has posted his anthology round-up for the year and there's AoD, holding its own, with my story "The Glamour Girl Murders" ('tense and brilliant [it] captures perfectly the sights smell and sounds of the era') and "The Arse Licker" by Stephen Volk highlighted. The full round-up and comments can be read at this link.
Anthony Watson, whose review can be seen below, also included the anthology in his round-up of the year. You can read the full article at this link.
Ross Warren, whose review can be seen below, has also included the anthology in his round-up. The full list can be found at this link.
Here's a sample of some of the reviews it's already received:
Anthony Watson, at Dark Musings - "Anatomy of Murder is fine addition to the Hersham back catalogue. Horror is indeed a broad church as Mark says in his introduction. Tastes may change, the genre will evolve (as it has to) but at the end of the day you can’t beat a bit of pulp."
Walt Hicks, at Hellbound Times - "Anatomy of Death is a ruthless, doleful (and yet often playfully satirical) paean to those glorious days of the 70’s and 80’s when horror was campy, bloody, violent, gory and gratuitously sexual. The selections are certainly well-written, provocative and extremely diverse, which may be problematic to some: the Mains and Volk stories are brutally graphic; Bacon and Probert wield a slightly less gory scalpel, while West's tale occupies more of a middle ground. Readers may find this wide range of styles and intensity slightly jarring, but then again, that's what horror is supposed to do. The easily unsettled or offended will probably want to go elsewhere, because this ain’t no ‘quiet’ horror anthology."
Matthew Fryer, at Welcome To The Hellforge - "I really enjoyed Anatomy of Death; in fact I demolished it in one sitting. “Just one more, then I’ll get up and do stuff…” was the repeated cry, but this slim, well-ordered volume had other plans. It’s deftly edited, the genre tropes are handled with affection, and there’s plenty of variation despite the specific theme. The stories shine with the quirks and particular strengths of each author, and if you’re not familiar, you could do worse than getting acquainted here."
Paul Holmes, at The Eloquent Page, - "This collection is a wonderful homage to all the horror it pays tribute to. Sometimes violent, often gory and in-your-face, this can be unforgiving stuff. You can rest assured Anatomy of Death is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. I have no doubt that some will consider it politically incorrect or perhaps even potentially offensive. Personally, I think it does quite an impressive job of dancing right up to the boundaries of good taste but never actually crosses the line. I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys his or her horror unashamedly raw."
Adam Millard, at This Is Horror - "Back in the 1970s, thanks to Hammer, Amicus, NEL, Futura et al, the horror genre evolved into something altogether more exploitative and sleazy. Book covers were filled with lurid and often gory images, and movie posters contained visuals that would give the BBFC dreadful nightmares. The films themselves contained more breasts than scares; it was, for fans of the genre, a truly wonderful and sordid time. With Anatomy of Death: In Five Sleazy Pieces, the essence of that remarkable era is fully restored in the guise of five entirely divergent short stories."
Graeme Reynolds, at Goodreads - Anatomy of Death won't be to everyone's taste, but despite the slight missteps of the first two stories, manages to successfully reproduce the sort of low budget, over the top shock-horror that was so prevalent in the 1970's. Recommended reading if you have a strong stomach.
Ross Warren, at Goodreads - To paraphrase the advertising slogan of a well known brand of varnish, Anatomy of Death does exactly what it says on the cover. All in all it is a strong collection of five stories with no bad entries and a couple of superb ones.
If you're intrigued, the book is available from the following sources:
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