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Waking Nightmares

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By Ramsey Campbell65 • In the Trees • 1986 • short story by Ramsey Campbell77 • Another World • 1987 • short story by Ramsey Campbell93 • Playing the Game • 1988 • short story by Ramsey Campbell109 • Bedtime Story • 1986 • short story by Ramsey Campbell125 • Watch the Birdie • 1984 • short story by Ramsey Campbell133 • Old Clothes • 1985 • short story by Ramsey Campbell146 • Beyond Worlds • 1986 • short story by Ramsey Campbell162 • Jack in the Box • 1983 •. A short story co

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A collection of terrifying short fiction features stories about forests full of wooden demons and houses haunted by the future By the author of The Count of Eleven ReprintFiction and Essays view Full Listing1 • Introduction Waking Nightmares • essay by Ramsey Campbell7 • The Guide • 1989 • short story by Ramsey Campbell23 • Next Time You'll Know Me • 1988 • short story by Ramsey Campbell36 • Second Sight • 1987 • short story by Ramsey Campbell44 • The Trick • 1980 • novelette. Just as Midnight

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Short story by Ramsey Campbell169 • Eye of Childhood • 1982 • short story by Ramsey Campbell185 • The Other Side • 1986 • short story by Ramsey Campbell200 • Where the Heart Is • 1987 • short story by Ramsey Campbell211 • Being an Angel • 1989 • short story by Ramsey Campbell233 • It Helps If You Sing • 1989 • short story by Ramsey Campbell243 • The Old School • 1989 • short story by Ramsey Campbell258 • Meeting the Author • 1989 • short story by Ramsey Campbell. I have heard man

10 thoughts on “Waking Nightmares

  1. says:

    After uiet enjoying Campbell's The Influence I'm finding this collection of stories drawn from over a similar period rather underwhelming Campbell here maintains an exuisite sense of place and image and never really tips over into embarrassing over reveals like lesser horror writers but all the same there's just not that much going on beneath the surface here at least as can be developed over 20 or so pages I recall having the same issue with Harlan Ellison collections I've read not purely entertaining enough to be pure entertainment yet not really necessary for anything else Campbell at least is a far better prose technician I think and creates far stronger images The most chilling and recommendable here so far actually is the least supernatural Another World which details a confused young man forced to step out into the urban world beyond his cloistered home after the death of his hyper religious father Not so incidentally another couple stand outs Being an Angel and It Helps If You Sing also skewer obsessive or cultish religion marking Campbell as a kind of corrective to the dominant Catholicism of all too much horror fiction unless he's like Flannery O'Connor actually a Catholic loathing evangelicals Just in front of Angel the longest story in the collection is The Trick and the extra time and care elevates it above the others as well along with its strong sense of place and the dreary mythic lore of a suburban street Perhaps I just need that extra room for development and changing expectations for these to really stick with me So for me enjoyable and competent intermittently great occasionally running together a bit I probably should have stretched these out over a few months actually rather than get it from the library and so force consumption into mostly a matter of days

  2. says:

    Just as Midnight Sun made me a fan of Ramsey Campbell in the novel form Waking Nightmares has shown me what Campbell can do in the short form and I’m mighty impressedThis is the rare collection that pleased me top to bottom; not a dud exists among this book’s 19 stories Sure I liked some than others but they’re all really uite close Written over the span of the 1980s these stories were previously published in other anthologies and magazines but all were new to me I think my favorite is “The Old School” a late entry about a concerned teacher some kids and an abandoned school From the first line to the last Campbell effectively ratchets the tension and he nails the landing Maybe this story worked so well because I have a fascination with abandoned schools and malls and hotels Other favorites include “Meeting the Author” a young child is stalked by the spirit of an angry children’s author and his pop up character “Next Time You’ll Know Me” a deep dive into the psychological makeup of an angry paranoid amateur writer convinced his ideas are stolen“Second Sight” a blind musician is forced to relive a traumatic horrific experience from his boyhood “Another World” an adult cultist has escaped from under his father’s thumb and into the outside world for the first time“Old Clothes” an old coat is possibly the vehicle for the dead’s revenge“The Other Side” a teacher becomes obsessed with a clown like figure wreaking havoc across from his flat“Where the Heart Is” a man sells his home after his wife’s passing and comes to regret it Making him want to return Waking Nightmares is a masterful collection sure to satisfy any horror lover and I’d recommend those new to Ramsey Campbell start here I’m certainly going to read of his short fiction—and soon

  3. says:

    This is a collection of short horror and supernatural fiction published between 1980 89 and prefaced by a short introduction in which the author outlines the circumstances in which they were written On the one hand I admire the atmosphere and techniue in which the very setting of the stories often contributes to a sense of claustrophobia futility and ultimately inevitability of the protagonist's fate On the other reading so many over a couple of days does emphasise the similarity between some of them and in the settingcharacters especially when two stories about teachers are set back to back the first being far superior to the secondThe better stories in the collection evoke a sense of disorientation 'In the Trees' for example which well evokes the panic of becoming lost in a wood especially when something unfriendly seems to be in there with you or the sense of being controlled by adults and their not well understood own burdens as in 'Eye of Childhood' One or two however seem so over the top 'Playing the Game' 'The Other Side' that they are in danger of straying into the arena of self parodySome are truly horrific 'Another World' and 'It Helps if You Sing' being examples I found 'The Guide' particularly affecting this story in the style of M R James and featuring a guidebook that James actually wrote details a fate which is certainly undeserved by the lonely widower who explores a clifftop church rather reminiscent of the one in James' iconic story 'Oh Whistle and I'll Come to You My Lad'Given that I found the collection rather uneven as suggested I've settled on a 3 star rating

  4. says:

    Ramsey Campbell writes such splendidly subtly unsettling horror He does uiet dread feeling just about better than anyone out there It's always interesting and impressive to read horror where the writer doesn't use gore sex or extreme violence to convey the story yet it's still so very effective As a reader of various styles of horror I appreciate it I'd recommend it to any horror fan looking for something different it would also be a great introduction to Campbell's work

  5. says:

    A short story collection from Ramsey Campbell is like opening a kitchenful of cupboards each one containing a distinct disturbing creepy treat

  6. says:

    Novels by Ramsey Campbell are almost impossible to find in bookstores these days Instead one can only find his annual compilation of Best New Horror usually co compiled with Stephen Jones I find that uite odd for a horror writer who has churned out dozens of books over a career spanning over three decadesSo on my last trip to Singapore i was almost delirious with excitement to have returned with a stack of Ramsey Campbell books from the second hand bookstore Most were old editions and out of print issues Waking Nightmares first published 1991 marked a turning point in his career as a horror writer An heir apparent to the throne of Lovercraft Campbell's earlier short stories were akin to the horror of British moors fogs and undescribable supernatural beings mostly published in trade magazines and anthologies With this collection of short stories he began crafting tales that were of a modern horror of slashers serial killers hauntings and strange children But it's a mixed bag You'll still find Lovecraftian tales sandwiched between tales along the lines of Richard Matheson and pretty much everything in between The tales are rather mild in terms of modern horror but British style creepiness still peppers each story There's also a touch of humour occasionallyThis would be a good reference for anyone who wants to start reading Campbell whom i think is better at writing shorts rather than lengthy works of fiction

  7. says:

    I have heard many times in my readings about Robert Aickman that Ramsey Campbell was similar to him I finally got around to checking him out and although so far he can't touch the pure oddness and beyond literary magic of Aickman this is the closest I've seen of that in another writer A couple clunkers here but otherwise a great book for cold weather A lot of attention to nature and physical surroundings

  8. says:

    I rate this five stars for The Trick alone One of the two most terrifying stories along with MR James' Oh Whistle and I'll Come to You My Lad that I have ever read There are several other solidly creepy stories in this collection as well In my opinion Campbell's best stories are those in the MR Jamesian vein

  9. says:

    just ok nothing some stories are better some worse not a King though

  10. says:

    A lot of these stories were really interesting I can see some people getting paranoid from reading this but I liked it

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