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The Barrens and Others

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The Barrens and Others is the first new collection of fiction in years by bestselling author F. Paul Wilson. From The Keep, nearly twenty years ago, to this year's Legacies, Wilson has been one of the most dependable names for fine storytelling in whatever genre he chooses. In The Barren and Others, Wilson lets his fertile imagination run wild, traveling from the Old West o The Barrens and Others is the first new collection of fiction in years by bestselling author F. Paul Wilson. From The Keep, nearly twenty years ago, to this year's Legacies, Wilson has been one of the most dependable names for fine storytelling in whatever genre he chooses. In The Barren and Others, Wilson lets his fertile imagination run wild, traveling from the Old West of Doc Holliday to the Pine Barrens of present-day New jersey and encountering many strange, suspect, and supernatural happenings along the way. From urban mercenary Repairman Jack, hero of Wilson's recent novel, Legacies, to the obese and food-obsessed Topsy, Wilson's wild array of characters get caught up in adventures both fascinating and horrifying. A first -rate collection of first-rate tales, ranging from Lovecraftian to Western supernatural, with many mysterious combination in between, The Barrens and Others will be a treasure for Wilson's established fans and to those discovering Wilson for the first time.

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The Barrens and Others is the first new collection of fiction in years by bestselling author F. Paul Wilson. From The Keep, nearly twenty years ago, to this year's Legacies, Wilson has been one of the most dependable names for fine storytelling in whatever genre he chooses. In The Barren and Others, Wilson lets his fertile imagination run wild, traveling from the Old West o The Barrens and Others is the first new collection of fiction in years by bestselling author F. Paul Wilson. From The Keep, nearly twenty years ago, to this year's Legacies, Wilson has been one of the most dependable names for fine storytelling in whatever genre he chooses. In The Barren and Others, Wilson lets his fertile imagination run wild, traveling from the Old West of Doc Holliday to the Pine Barrens of present-day New jersey and encountering many strange, suspect, and supernatural happenings along the way. From urban mercenary Repairman Jack, hero of Wilson's recent novel, Legacies, to the obese and food-obsessed Topsy, Wilson's wild array of characters get caught up in adventures both fascinating and horrifying. A first -rate collection of first-rate tales, ranging from Lovecraftian to Western supernatural, with many mysterious combination in between, The Barrens and Others will be a treasure for Wilson's established fans and to those discovering Wilson for the first time.

30 review for The Barrens and Others

  1. 5 out of 5

    Коста Сивов

    За първи път се сблъсках с Ф. Пол Уилсън именно чрез този сборник с разкази. За мен беше невероятен начинът, по който авторът си служеше с темите, с героите, с декорите, с абсолютно всичко. Всяка една история от тази колекция е уникална по своята същност. Авторът си е позволил да твори и в няколко "споделени вселени" като тази на "Ктхулу митологията" на Хауърд Лъвкрафт с шедьовъра "Боровата пустош", чието име носи и заглавието на сборника, както и "Десетият пръст" от света на Док Холидей и Уайът За първи път се сблъсках с Ф. Пол Уилсън именно чрез този сборник с разкази. За мен беше невероятен начинът, по който авторът си служеше с темите, с героите, с декорите, с абсолютно всичко. Всяка една история от тази колекция е уникална по своята същност. Авторът си е позволил да твори и в няколко "споделени вселени" като тази на "Ктхулу митологията" на Хауърд Лъвкрафт с шедьовъра "Боровата пустош", чието име носи и заглавието на сборника, както и "Десетият пръст" от света на Док Холидей и Уайът Ърп и "Дефинитивно лечение", в което главен герой е Джокера от Батман. Последното произведение разби всичките ми представи за тази вселена от филмите и комиксите и игрите, с които съм се сблъсквал. Има и три разказа, част от "Тайната история на света" - огромен цикъл на автора, към който той се опитва да съшие всичките си произведения - а именно "Наематели", "Лица" и "Кожи". "Един ден от живота" е произведение от поредицата за Майстор Джак - най-успешната серия на писателя - до момента има 20 романа и 1 сборник с разкази с този антигерой. Тук смея да кажа, че Уилсън ми наподобява най-много на Дийн Кунц и неговият герой Чудака Томас (романите за Од Томас са писани доста след първият за Майстор Джак). Има и два рокаджийски разказа, което ме спечели много. В единият от тях участва Боб Дилън, както и други исторически лица. Безспорният ми фаворит в тази колекция е "Топси", разказ за един дебелак, който е подложен на странни изпитания в живота си. Просто нямам думи да опиша какво е усещането да се чете Ф. Пол Уилсън. Лично за мен е безценно!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Another great collection of F Paul Wilson short fiction, including a Repairman Jack story. The majority of the stories are really good, although the Dick Tracy story (Rockabilly) was the weakest of the bunch in my opinion. Favorites include The Barrens (a wonderful homage to HP Lovecraft), Definitive Therapy and A Day In The Life. I also particularly enjoy the autobiographical and story origin tidbits between stories.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Evans Light

    An anthology of short stories by F. Paul Wilson. I've never read his novels, but his short stories have never disappointed. Going to update review as I go through it: FEELINGS - *** Three Stars Fun short story, if a bit silly, about a curse placed on a lawyer to teach him empathy. Well-written, but could've taken the concept a bit further.

  4. 4 out of 5

    David

    Overall, not as good of a short story collection as this author's "Aftershock and Others". The strongest stories are the Monroe Triptych, which includes Faces, Feelings and Pelts, all scary and suspenseful stories around Monroe, NJ, which is essentially Wilson's equivalent to Stephen King's Derry, Maine. While not great, still a good read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I meant to read only the three stories that were part of the Secret History of the World, but found the introduction so engaging that I started at the beginning and read all the way through to the end. What sets this anthology apart are the autobiographical notes and the intros to each story. Then there are the stories, themselves, which are all entertaining. It's rare for me to read every single one, but in this case, I did. Standouts: Faces, which I'd read before. A Day in the Life-pure Jack and I meant to read only the three stories that were part of the Secret History of the World, but found the introduction so engaging that I started at the beginning and read all the way through to the end. What sets this anthology apart are the autobiographical notes and the intros to each story. Then there are the stories, themselves, which are all entertaining. It's rare for me to read every single one, but in this case, I did. Standouts: Faces, which I'd read before. A Day in the Life-pure Jack and all the more astounding when you realize it was written before most of the entries in the series. Tenants and Feelings--essential F. Paul Wilson. And Pelts, which will haunt me for years to come.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Vít

    Povedená a nápaditá sbírka hororových povídek všeho druhu, doporučuji všem fanouškům žánru. Výborné jsou zejména Pustiny, to je prostě Lovecraft jako vyšitý. Ale užijete si i třeba i Tváře, Kožešiny, Nájemníky i další. Jsou tam samozřejmě i slabší kousky (jako v každé sbírce), nudit se ale určitě nebudete - celkově to za ty čtyři hvězdy stojí.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jesse

    This is a fantastic book. Its a great jumping off point for someone like me who has never read F. Paul Wilson before. I got to see the mans range, and he does have quite a bit of that. We go from voodoo revenge story to Post-Lovecraft to a story about the Joker, while covering all points between and beyond. Weird West, tables being twisted on a grieving father, a man who can't stop eating, mutant serial-killers, even gnomes (or some kind of little fay folk) with strong feelings about home securi This is a fantastic book. Its a great jumping off point for someone like me who has never read F. Paul Wilson before. I got to see the mans range, and he does have quite a bit of that. We go from voodoo revenge story to Post-Lovecraft to a story about the Joker, while covering all points between and beyond. Weird West, tables being twisted on a grieving father, a man who can't stop eating, mutant serial-killers, even gnomes (or some kind of little fay folk) with strong feelings about home security. The three crown jewels of this collection for me were "A Day in the Life", "The Barrens", and "Definitive Therapy". "A Day in the Life" is a short story about Wilson's most popular character, Repairman Jack. He is an urban mercenary of sorts who you call when proper channels can't help you. Think 1980's "The Equalizer" but this man gets paid (he's got to live too) and as often as not deals with underworld scum as well as problems with a paranormal twist. The story is not art. It is a great piece of action/adventure asskicking fun. "The Barrens" is a creepy journey into the unknown and uncivilized that is right next door. It takes you into the Jersey Pine barrens, and a more isolated spot I can't imagine. Yet its right next door to one of the most populace urban centers in the world, especially the U.S.A. Add to that mix, a sense of mystery and cosmic horror, and you have a pretty strange and delicious cocktail. Check it out if you are a fan of Lovecraft and Post-Lovecraft. And last but certainly not least, is "Definitive Therapy". Its a story Wilson did to contribute to a collection of stories about villains from DC comics' own Gotham City. This was brilliant. Coming on the heals of the new Dark Knight movie and its brilliantly demented and sadistic Joker, this was excellent. We get to see The Joker inside Arkham Asylum, and really see him more as a psychopath than as a Batman villain. This involves a kind of "devil made me do it" twist that is great. For a die hard Batman fan like myself, this story was almost custom made for me. So go check this book out if you like anything I've described above. And if not, give it a try anyways. Broadening your horizons is always a good thing (unless you broaden them into romance, cause then you've just gone too far..:P).

  8. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Reeder

    The book is very good (the author is best known for his Repairman Jack series and The Keep), but for me highpoint of the collection is the often reprinted novella, The Barrens, one of the best written horror stories of the last 25 years. The story first appeared in Weinberg & Greenberg’s Lovecraft’s Legacy (Nov 1990, ed. Martin H. Greenberg, Robert E. Weinberg, published by Tor Books, 0-312-85091-3, $18.95, 334pp, hardcover, anthology) with cover art by Duncan Eagleson. However, I did not di The book is very good (the author is best known for his Repairman Jack series and The Keep), but for me highpoint of the collection is the often reprinted novella, The Barrens, one of the best written horror stories of the last 25 years. The story first appeared in Weinberg & Greenberg’s Lovecraft’s Legacy (Nov 1990, ed. Martin H. Greenberg, Robert E. Weinberg, published by Tor Books, 0-312-85091-3, $18.95, 334pp, hardcover, anthology) with cover art by Duncan Eagleson. However, I did not discover the story until I purchased Cthulhu 2000: A Lovecraftian Anthology, (Dec 1995, ed. Jim Turner, published by Arkham House, 0-87054-169-2, xvi+413pp, hardcover, anthology) with creepy cover art by Bob Eggleton. The title could be describing the writing style itself, which is told as a first-person narrative from the female protagonist’s point of view. There is an immediate intimacy to this writing foil that draws the reader into the story quickly and with an economy of verse. This is a mythos story, but the prose is pure Wilson with only one eldritch tome in sight. The Mythos is inferred, but is never the focus of the tale. The characterization is superb, and the storyline of a lover from the past sweeping the two central characters into an ethereal conflict before either can judge the danger is taught and believable. The story succeeds because of what is not there . . . no gory, blood and guts or three headed beasts-- but primal nothingness and a veil to be lifted. I have read this story a dozen times and I can't put it down. And, the story continues as I Just picked up a small signed leather version, only 102 pages, and limited to 250 signed and 26 lettered copies (Jan 1992, F. Paul Wilson, publ. Wildside Press, 102pp, hardcover). This is not a gut-wrenching horror story, but rather a stylized weird tale of ordinary people who take a wrong turn in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens, Relayed books worth pursuing are John McPhee’s The Pine Barrens (1978, John McPhee, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. pp. 1–157. ISBN 978-0374514426) and the horror novel The Pines by Robert Dunbar (2006, Robert Dunbar published by Delirium Books, 411pp, Deluxe Lettered Hardcover of 246 numbered and 26 lettered editions).

  9. 5 out of 5

    Isabel (kittiwake)

    The plot of this novella is driven by Jonathan Creighton, a man who has never been satisfied with the course his life has taken and has begun to investigate things better left undisturbed. His ex-girlfriend Kathleen was born and brought up in the Pine Barrens, a huge almost deserted area existing on the heavily populated East coast of America, and he asks her to take him into the Pine Barrens, introduce him to the locals and persuade them to open up to him, claiming that he is researching a book The plot of this novella is driven by Jonathan Creighton, a man who has never been satisfied with the course his life has taken and has begun to investigate things better left undisturbed. His ex-girlfriend Kathleen was born and brought up in the Pine Barrens, a huge almost deserted area existing on the heavily populated East coast of America, and he asks her to take him into the Pine Barrens, introduce him to the locals and persuade them to open up to him, claiming that he is researching a book on New Jersey folklore including the Jersey devil. The story is narrated by Kathleen, and although she becomes more and more worried about Creighton's mental state, it is a long time before she realises that there is anything uncanny happening, which means that the story is not as frightening as many stories of the Cthulhu Mythos. But on the other hand, I was impressed by the descriptions of the Pine Barrens, and found that the Pine Barrens and its inhabitants really came to life. So 4 stars for the setting but only 2 for the story equals 3 stars overall.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tim Healy

    This is pretty good stuff, overall. It's a collection of short stories that, for the most part, were written to be included in other anthologies. There is a Repairman Jack story in here that's worth reading. And several of the stories tie in to "The Secret History of the World". I'm trying, more or less, to follow through Wilson's chronology for whatever that might be worth. At this point, that called for "Faces", which is kind of a creepy little story of death and destruction. The best story in This is pretty good stuff, overall. It's a collection of short stories that, for the most part, were written to be included in other anthologies. There is a Repairman Jack story in here that's worth reading. And several of the stories tie in to "The Secret History of the World". I'm trying, more or less, to follow through Wilson's chronology for whatever that might be worth. At this point, that called for "Faces", which is kind of a creepy little story of death and destruction. The best story in the collection is the title story, "The Barrens". It's a nice Lovecraftian story. It manages to bring you Lovecraft without having to beat you over the head with it. It's creepy, and very effective. The Joker and Dick Tracy stories didn't work very well for me, but others may find them to be more to their taste.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    Again, I didn't read every short story in the book so I didn't give it a rating. The stories I read were good and if you're a Batman fan, there's a story about the Joker that was interesting. The author wrote it for a Joker anthology. I felt that made this book stand out. There were also more stories relating to Wilson's Secret History of the World which is why I picked it up. Pelts ended up being far more interesting and creepy than I thought it would.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Eliza

    Loved the different stories, and it was cool to get the author's notes about why he wrote the story, how he felt about it, etc.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brian Sammons

    I wish F. Paul Wilson wrote more short stories. This amazing book is why.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Z.

    This was a fun and varied compilation of well-written horror and speculative fiction. 'The Barrens' was the obvious stand-out and I loved it to bits. I wanna throw a shout-out to 'Pelts' and 'Slasher' as well.

  15. 4 out of 5

    David

    Great short stories from Wilson including a couple linked in to the Secret History thread

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brian Steele

    Hmmm... perhaps I grabbed the wrong collection to start out on with Wilson. There are some remarkable tales here, while others are somewhat boring. His horror is "quiet" but atmosperic, something difficult to do, but I suppose I'm just not a fan of that style. While I have no real desire to check out his Repairman Jack novels, I will definitely check out more by Wilson.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Jennings

    Very good collection of short stories. I liked just about all of them. Even those that weren't my favorites were still entertaining. Wilson has a great talent at story telling. All of the stories draw one in, and are spun in such a way that one is compelled to find out what is going to happen. I will seek out and read more F. Paul Wilson in the future.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    A great collection of tales and two plays by F. Paul Wilson. My favorites are highlighted. It includes: Feelings Tenants Faces A Day in the Life The Tenth Toe Slasher The Barrens Definitive Therapy Topsy Rockabilly Bob Dylan, Troy Johnson, and the Speed Queen Pelts Pelts (the stage play) Glim Glim (the stage play)

  19. 4 out of 5

    H3yd00

    I don't usually read short story and novella collections, but, well, it's F. Paul Wilson. And there is a Repairman Jack story in here. =] Seriously, there isn't a stinker in the bunch, I really enjoyed reading these short stories. And it was perfect to read the week of Christmas, since I didn't have time to read more than a few pages a day.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Look

    A very good book of short stories but I expected nothing less from this author. And the stories varies from one genre to the next, one is a horror, next a Dick Tracey. I love the variety something for everyone. Great book probably will read it again!

  21. 4 out of 5

    A~

    Great collection of short stories. The second that Wilson has published. Along with the stories is a semi biography of each year of his life while these stories were written. Quite like a few of Asimov's personal collections the early Asimov, vol 1-3.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    Good stories. I especially like the Repairman Jack as well as the story with Doc Holliday.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lew

    I'm a big Repairman Jack fan so it was nice change to read some of F. Paul Wilson's other stories. Overall liked most of the stories including the Repairman Jack story.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    NOTE TO SELF: * I seem to have added this to my book on accident...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Karin

    Good introduction to this author.The stories in this collection are diverse so they give samples of Mr.Wilson's creativity.Now for a full length novel...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Montague

    I feel sorry for Glim-Glim :(

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mark Levandoski

    Good collection of short stories from the odd side.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Melody

    Some of the stories are good - most are just OK. They are full of the supernatural and visions of horror.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jared

    Not a bad story among them. If you like Matheson or King's short fiction, you will love F. Paul Wilson.

  30. 4 out of 5

    David

    This is really an excellent short story collection that genre hops in quite a dizzying way...the title story is an excellent addition to the secret history of the world

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