I've just read this, and it was brilliant, so I've posted a comprehensive review on Amazon - below is a short version. It should be right up the street of Frightfesters.
Themed anthologies can be predictable or repetitive, with similar themes being regurgitated in one story after another. The HA of HA is a glorious exception.
The brief, that every story should be about, or inspired by, a horror anthology, is sufficiently vague for authors to off at various tangents, and they certainly have. The tales vary from the fairly straightforward to the bizarrely surreal, dealing with subjects from the banal to the most existentially absurd.
The volume as a whole is a thoroughly satisfying read, an eclectic collection of hideous parts assembled into a Frankensteinian beast by an editor who obviously loves his subject. There are half a dozen absolute gems in here, a remarkable batting average for a volume of this type, nestled in a solidly well-written and engaging set of tales.
It’s not perfect – a few passages came across just as a little too carefully and self-consciously put together, as if by an author who hasn’t quite found his or her own voice yet, but every single story has something to recommend it. There are no fillers here; it’s all worth reading.
Over the last two decades the classic staples of horror fiction have been hijacked and sanitised for the mainstream, so the current generation of horror writers are probing new avenues to unsettle us in different ways. I can’t think of a book that demonstrates this more effectively than this one.
A definite recommend for horror fans.
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