I did not enjoy this installment nearly as much as One and Two. I didn’t think that there were any really strong stories in the whole volume.
The Collected Short Stories of Freddie Prothero by Peter Straub
I love the writing of Peter Straub but didn’t like this at all. It was an idea that didn’t work, at least not for me. Sort of metafiction in approach, it is basically the diary of child, written as a child would write and it just fell flat for me due to the fact that I just couldn’t understand what was going on.
Group of Thirty by Jack Ketchum
I never thought that I would find a Jack Ketchum story to be preachy but this one was, at least to me. It seemed to me to be a middle finger salute to the people that criticize his work and I bet something similar (although not nearly as dark and threatening) has happened to him when he reads or discusses his work in public.
Nancy by Darynda Jones
With few exceptions I don’t like Y/A and particularly do not like Y/A horror. This story was teen lit from the start and the story line fell off the rails into a totally unbelievable trite mess by the end.
I Love You, Charlie Pearson by Jacquelyn Frank
Another Y/A short story. Predictable but slightly better than the story before it.
The Lone and Level Sands Stretch Far Away by Brian Hodge
I am a fan of Hodge’s style of quiet cosmic horror and would recommend his Darkfuse Novella “Whom the Gods Would Destroy” as a great example. While this was my favorite story in the bunch, and I enjoyed the narrative, I just didn’t feel that it had the punch of his other work.