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20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill (BOOK REVIEW) 3/5

It took me ages to get through this novel, and I have a lot of thoughts. Firstly, that I did not consider all of these stories to be strictly horror, despite it supposedly to have been a horror anthology. I will say that I consider this collection of Mr. Hill’s short stories to be a considerable improvement from a previous collection I reviewed, “Full Throttle”. Many of these stories captivated me with their unique, spine-chilling plots, such as “Best New Horror” or “Last Breath”. I thoroughly enjoyed “Abraham’s Boys”. “The Black Phone”, and “My Father’s Mask”, as well. But it seemed to be that, paired along with these spectacular tales, were merely mediocre ones. Overall, my enjoyment of this read was average, as it often is with anthologies. For every great story, I read three average ones, and that’s just how it tends to be.

I do enjoy the symbolism, metaphors, and literary references etched throughout this book. There are many stories in here that I think deserve a short film more than “The Black Phone”. I would recommend this read to most horror readers, or even thriller readers, because I do believe it’s overall a decent collection of stories. I am just a bit on the picky side, and some of them just didn’t click. I think Mr. Hill tends to have trouble with short stories, as many of them feel like they’re lacking just that little bit more of an extra touch.

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