Monday, 19 September 2011

Various (short story collection) – The End of the Line

The End of the Line is a collection of horror short stories edited by Jonathan Oliver. The stories are all previously unpublished and are all linked to an underground railway system of some sort. Most are set in and around the London underground but there are several with different settings as well.

As I love horror and have a long running interest / fascination with the London underground this collection was perfect for me and I couldn’t wait to get stuck into it. Overall the standard of stories in the collection was very good, there was just one that I didn’t really like and several that I really loved.

The collection opens with Bullroarer by Paul Meloy. It’s not what I would have picked as the opener as I thought it was one of the weaker stories in the collection. I just found it a bit odd but it was alright. We move on to The Girl in the Glass by John Llewellyn Probert. This is a fairly traditional ghost story with a twist. Creepy, atmospheric and very enjoyable.

The next story, The Lure by Nicholas Royle was the one I didn’t really like! I found that there was far too much detail about journey routes and too much French which I just didn’t understand as I don’t speak French! It was also a little predictable, I knew exactly what was going to be on the other side of the door.

My three favourite stories in the collection were Fallen Boys by Mark Morris. A traditional ghost story set in an old Cornish tin mine. In The Colosseum by Stephen Volk, a voyeuristic story of sex, drugs, murder and CCTV and probably may favourite of them all Crazy Train by Natasha Rhodes about a musician who shoots himself and ends up taking a very interesting train journey.

Whilst it wasn’t among my favourite stories in the collection On All London Underground Lines by Adam L.G. Nevill has now made me tempted to pick up Apartment 16 as that has been on my radar for a while and I liked his writing style.

Overall a great collection that I really enjoyed. I hope there will be a volume two at some point!

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