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The Complete Horowitz Horror

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New York Times Bestseller Anthony Horowitz's horror collections, now in one volume! Welcome to a world where everything seems normal. At least, at first. But the sinister and truly terrifying lurk just beneath the surface. Like a bathtub with a history so haunted, no one dares get in it...or an ordinary-looking camera that does unspeakable things to its subjects...or an el New York Times Bestseller Anthony Horowitz's horror collections, now in one volume! Welcome to a world where everything seems normal. At least, at first. But the sinister and truly terrifying lurk just beneath the surface. Like a bathtub with a history so haunted, no one dares get in it...or an ordinary-looking camera that does unspeakable things to its subjects...or an elevator filled with cannibals just waiting for their next victim to walk in. This wicked collection of eighteen macabre tales combining both Horowitz Horror and More Horowitz Horror will send shivers up your spine. This edition includes; 1. Bath Night 2. Killer Camera 3. Light Moves 4. The Night Bus 5. Harriet's Horrible Dream 6. Scared 7. A Career in Computer Games 8. The Man with the Yellow Face 9. The Monkey's Ear 10. The Hitchhiker 11. The Sound of Murder 12. Burned 13. Flight 715 14. Howard's End 15. The Elevator 16. The Phone Goes Dead 17. Twist Cottage 18. The Shortest Horror Story Ever Written


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New York Times Bestseller Anthony Horowitz's horror collections, now in one volume! Welcome to a world where everything seems normal. At least, at first. But the sinister and truly terrifying lurk just beneath the surface. Like a bathtub with a history so haunted, no one dares get in it...or an ordinary-looking camera that does unspeakable things to its subjects...or an el New York Times Bestseller Anthony Horowitz's horror collections, now in one volume! Welcome to a world where everything seems normal. At least, at first. But the sinister and truly terrifying lurk just beneath the surface. Like a bathtub with a history so haunted, no one dares get in it...or an ordinary-looking camera that does unspeakable things to its subjects...or an elevator filled with cannibals just waiting for their next victim to walk in. This wicked collection of eighteen macabre tales combining both Horowitz Horror and More Horowitz Horror will send shivers up your spine. This edition includes; 1. Bath Night 2. Killer Camera 3. Light Moves 4. The Night Bus 5. Harriet's Horrible Dream 6. Scared 7. A Career in Computer Games 8. The Man with the Yellow Face 9. The Monkey's Ear 10. The Hitchhiker 11. The Sound of Murder 12. Burned 13. Flight 715 14. Howard's End 15. The Elevator 16. The Phone Goes Dead 17. Twist Cottage 18. The Shortest Horror Story Ever Written

30 review for The Complete Horowitz Horror

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Daviau

    Well it’s definitely safe to say that this is the last time I read anything by Horowitz. This supposed horror story collection was absolutely dreadful and definitely NOT what I’d call horror. The stories were just so juvenile and there was so much wrong with them on so many levels. And don’t get me started on how predictable they were, I could tell the whole damn story just by the title!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Melanie (TBR and Beyond)

    I will not be writing a full review on this book because I could barely remember what I was reading while I reading. It was just so bad. I don't understand how this has almost a four star rating. They were all just awful to me. I didn't like one story, they all bored me equally. The first story started out with fat shaming of a child - always charming (WHY is this a norm from horror authors??? Get it together!). There were weird sterotypes of races (particually Chinese people) and they were alwa I will not be writing a full review on this book because I could barely remember what I was reading while I reading. It was just so bad. I don't understand how this has almost a four star rating. They were all just awful to me. I didn't like one story, they all bored me equally. The first story started out with fat shaming of a child - always charming (WHY is this a norm from horror authors??? Get it together!). There were weird sterotypes of races (particually Chinese people) and they were always awkward and uncomfortble. Just no. Not into at all. Would never read anything by this author again. Ah well, it happens. I should've DNF'd it near the start.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tyra Jelly

    I thought this book was really good, and it gave nightmares twice. :-( My favourite story was the guy in the elevator one.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    “Bath Night” When a family buys an antique and haunted bath tub, a girl begins to fear taking a bath. This was a decent story, though the reveal of where the tub came from felt a bit predictable and easy. 3/5 “Killer Camera” A boy buys a camera from a yard sale, only to find out it kills whatever and whoever is captured in a picture. This was a cool idea with a question mark of an ending. 4/5 “Light Moves” A father gives his son a new computer formerly owned by a deceased coworker. This had a differ “Bath Night” When a family buys an antique and haunted bath tub, a girl begins to fear taking a bath. This was a decent story, though the reveal of where the tub came from felt a bit predictable and easy. 3/5 “Killer Camera” A boy buys a camera from a yard sale, only to find out it kills whatever and whoever is captured in a picture. This was a cool idea with a question mark of an ending. 4/5 “Light Moves” A father gives his son a new computer formerly owned by a deceased coworker. This had a different take on the haunted computer, and had a decent snap ending. 3/5 “The Night Bus” Two brothers coming home from a party accidentally hop on a bus for the dead. It seemed like I’ve heard of this idea before, and I felt the reveal at the end was pretty unnecessary. 3/5 “Harriet’s Horrible Dream” Harriet’s nightmare serves as a frame for the story which unfolds, only it isn’t a dream. This was an interesting concept framed in a dream, though a bit lacking in believability. 3/5 “Scared” Another kid wanders the countryside when he and his mother stay in a farmhouse. This had a great snap ending, though it felt incomplete as for a storyline. 2/5 “A Career in Computer Games” A boy finds a job ad for a career in computer games, no qualifications needed. This was a senseless story where seriously who the hell would think some shady job offer was a good idea? 1/5 “The Man with the Yellow Face” A boy takes some pictures in a photo booth, except one of them turns out to be of a strange man who looks familiar. This was an interesting concept and ending. 3/5 “The Monkey’s Ear” A family visiting Marrakesh has the son wanting to buy a monkey’s ear which can grant four wishes. The concept seemed familiar, and I found the characters pretty stupid, though the ending turned out punny. 3/5 “The Hitchhiker” A take on the classic hitchhiker story takes a twist when a family picks up a man who the son suspects is a murderer. I enjoyed the unexpected ending and the unreliable narrator worked well. 4/5 “The Sound of Murder” When a new teacher is hired, a deaf student begins to hear voices every time she goes to his class. I liked the concept and haven’t read anything with a deaf character before. 4/5 “Burned” A kid joins his aunt and uncle on a trip to Barbados where they witness the uncle’s attempts to get a tan. This was a more lighthearted story that was more funny than scary. 4/5 “Flight 715” A girl vacationing with her family has a dream of her own death if they take the next flight back home. I’d read or seen this idea before, and it was nothing new, though the explanation at the end was different. 3/5 “Howard’s End” A shoplifter get run over by a bus and goes to what he thinks if heaven; this was another one of those more humorous stories, and I enjoyed the twist, though these bully characters are getting repetitive. 3/5 “The Elevator” A police detective tries to solve the mystery of a boy who disappeared in an elevator. For once the protagonist isn’t a teenager, and I found the case fascinating. This did feel more like the start of a longer story, and wished there was a conclusion. 4/5 “The Phone Goes Dead” A boy gets a dead woman’s phone and begins to get phone calls from beyond the grave. This seemed like an overdone idea; nothing new here. 2/5 “Twist Cottage” A family moves into a haunted cottage. For a haunted house story, this one was decent, though could’ve used more atmosphere. 4/5 “The Shortest Horror Story Ever Written” A short meta story/conclusion about the author sneaking this piece into the book by breaking into the publisher’s office. 4/5 I’d heard of the Horowitz Horror books before when I was younger, but never got around to reading them. Definitely these stories are geared towards a younger audience (maybe even younger than YA), and so many of the ideas are brief concepts (which was the strongest part of the collection), but the characters are pretty flat, and the plotlines pretty thin. Also it must be a generational or British thing given how old these stories are, but they read kind of dated (I mean, Oriental and asylums?). Overall, for brief, creepy and playful, old school horror stories, these are a treat. 3.2/5 stars

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This collection was one of my favorites growing up. I've read it many times throughout the years and some of the stories still haunt me. Not all of them are hits, but overall I'd recommend this book. This collection was one of my favorites growing up. I've read it many times throughout the years and some of the stories still haunt me. Not all of them are hits, but overall I'd recommend this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    I really enjoyed this one!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Whang

    This book is about horror. It is spine-chilling, different stories each chapter.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lisbeth Avery {Domus Libri}

    Jesus Christ, The Complete Horowitz Horror is a complete mess. It's an absolutely atrocious excuse for a horror book. The only thing remotely scary about this book is how horrible it is. Horowitz has no idea how to write a proper short story and after this, I don't think I'll be reading any more of his books. I liked his The Gatekeepers series back when I read it (2010?) and thought it to be genuinely creepy but I'm sorry, The Complete put me off all and any of his books. Granted, I am not scared Jesus Christ, The Complete Horowitz Horror is a complete mess. It's an absolutely atrocious excuse for a horror book. The only thing remotely scary about this book is how horrible it is. Horowitz has no idea how to write a proper short story and after this, I don't think I'll be reading any more of his books. I liked his The Gatekeepers series back when I read it (2010?) and thought it to be genuinely creepy but I'm sorry, The Complete put me off all and any of his books. Granted, I am not scared by books easily (*cough* never *cough*) nor often truly disturbed, but I can appreciate scary books even if they do not scare me. The stories in this book were truly not scary. At all. In fact, I couldn't really tell which parts are meant to be scary - or if the book itself was even meant to be scary or if it was meant to be a 'so bad it's funny' book. I'm going to be reviewing the Collection as a whole because, there are just too many stories that failed to leave an impact of any sort. The fact that almost every single story is identical makes it easier to write this review as well. Almost every story follows a similar process which goes something like this: - Introduce main character - share every last detail of said character - get weird object - have the main character reflect on said item - SCARY SURPRISE ENDING. There is absolutely no tension building, unless you count some mildly odd things happening. The beginnings are almost always awful and pointless. Why should give a fuck that the main character's parents are getting divorced or that he's rich. It doesn't add anything to the story. It doesn't make the character more real. It really only bogs down the flow of the story. Almost every single sorry has something to do with "the mystical item of doooooooooooom" which gets old after a while because it's clear the author has run out of ideas. I mean, a bathtub haunted by a (view spoiler)[serial killer (hide spoiler)] ? Really? The endings are almost always over the top and idiotic in their attempts to scare the reader. While, in some cases, the stories had the potential to be scary ones, Horowitz's absolutely awful writing shattered any hopes of redemption. Before I finish off this short review, I need to address one thing. One of the stories was a retelling of the Monkey's Paw. Now, I have never read the original story but I know enough about it to know it's good. However, the retelling, however, was pathetic and horrible. In fact, you could barely tell the story was ever good. Anthony Horowitz may be good at writing horror stories but he is certainly not a good short story writer. I honestly hope that he never writes another short story, much less a whole book full of short stories.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Aristotle

    Before I read this, I had read all the books in the Alex Rider series so I wondered how well Anthony Horowitz could handle the horror genre. Going into this book, I did not have high hopes and that may have been a good thing because I was sorely disappointed when I finished reading it. This collection of eighteen short horror stories were nowhere near as scary as the books and short stories of Richard Matheson and Stephen King. Now I don't blame Horowitz for giving horror writing a try but he sh Before I read this, I had read all the books in the Alex Rider series so I wondered how well Anthony Horowitz could handle the horror genre. Going into this book, I did not have high hopes and that may have been a good thing because I was sorely disappointed when I finished reading it. This collection of eighteen short horror stories were nowhere near as scary as the books and short stories of Richard Matheson and Stephen King. Now I don't blame Horowitz for giving horror writing a try but he should stick to what he is good at and what made him successful in the first place: action writing. I mean this was an mediocre start for the author but usually you can tell when a writer has promise or potential for a certain genre or not. Moving on, I think the key to writing horror is you can't be too predictable for the audience because if you are then your stories will become boring fast. This can be said for any genre but, as I found out, is especially true of horror. That is the mistake Anthony Horowitz makes time and time again with each of his short stories as the reader can predict what is going to happen within the first few pages of each story. Bath Night: After a family buys an antique bath tub, a girl refuses to take a bath in it, fearing it's haunted. Solution: when the girl found out the backstory behind the bath tub she should have straight up told her parents about it and that would have been the end of the story because they would have definitely gotten rid of it then. Killer Camera: A son buys a camera from a yard sale as a gift to his father but soon finds out the dangerous effects it has when it takes a picture. Question: why did he buy the camera in the first place after hearing the strange story behind how it got to the yard sale? Light Moves: A computer owned by a recently deceased coworker is given by a father to a son. I really didn't know where this story was going up until a bully showed up then I knew for sure what was coming to him. The Night Bus: After leaving a party, two brothers hop on a bus filled with the dead. Another story I didn't know where it was going. Kind of reminded me of the night bus in Harry Potter. Harriet's Horrible Dream: Harriet has a nightmare in which her parents sell her to a restaurant that serves a delicacy that even Sweeney Todd would be proud of. Predictable but my question is how could Harriet think this was all some horrible dream? Scared: After leaving the footpath, a bully gets lost in the countryside. Very predictable as I didn't know what exactly was going to happen to the bully, I just knew it wasn't anything good. A Career in Computer Games: A boy finds an ad about a job in computer games with no qualifications necessary. Again, predictable and my question is, who would even take such a job offer? The Man with the Yellow Face: After taking a few pictures in a photo booth, all of them turn out okay except for one which shows a strange looking man who looks familiar. This was the first story that almost took me by surprise with its ending. The Monkey's Ear: After buying their son a monkey ear that can supposedly grant four wishes, the family soon finds it is much more than they expected. Didn't know where this was headed but the ending reminded me of a similar incident that happened in the TV show Preacher. The Hitchhiker: When a family picks up a hitchhiker, the son wonders if he might be a killer from the insane asylum nearby. The second story in this collection that almost surprised me as I should have seen the ending coming with all the hints right there. The Sound of Murder: A deaf student begins to hear voices whenever she gets close to a certain teacher. Solution: she should have just told a teacher what happened and everything would have been alright. Burned: A boy joins his aunt and uncle on a vacation where the uncle tries to get a tan. I don't know what the uncle's obsession with getting a tan was but the whole story could have been avoided if he wasn't so gung-ho about it. Flight 715: After a dream in which she and her family die on a plane, a girl goes to great extremes to make sure they don't get on that flight. This was the third story that didn't go according to what I thought and surprised me with the way it turned out. Howard's End: After a bus runs over and kills him, a shoplifter goes to what he imagines is heaven. How in the world did this kid think he was in heaven after all the bad stuff he did? The Elevator: A detective tries to figure out what happened to a boy who disappeared in an elevator. It was pretty obvious what happened to the boy after the detective found out what kind of tastes the people in the elevator had but my question is how did they do it so quickly? The Phone Goes Dead: A dead woman's phone falls into the hands of a teenaged boy and soon he starts to get phone calls from the dead. Solution: Just destroy the phone: no more phone, no more calls from the dead. It's as simple as that. Twist Cottage: A couple and their son move into a haunted cottage where strange things start to happen to them. I saw where this story was headed but was unprepared for what the father planned to do with the cottage afterwards. The Shortest Horror Story Ever Written: The author breaks into the office of his publisher to sneak in a story for this collection. Theory: the author probably only added this in to leave a creepy impression on the reader. I have to say he almost had me there. I already explained how predictable Horowitz was throughout all his short stories so I won't go on about it. However, I will say that all his characters fall flat as they are not fleshed out enough or are just plain stupid. Most of these stories would be solved if the protagonist told an adult or someone in authority what was going on. Also, the concepts for each story were not strong so they dragged on and didn't make a whole lot of sense in the long run. Overall, I decided to give it two stars instead of one because of the effort the author put into this book and the three stories that caught me off-guard. I would recommend this to fans of children's thrillers with a side of creepy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    This book wasnt even scary. At most points in the story it got boring.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sweta Gorania

    Collection of horror stories. Few of them are good. Few are okay. Can be read as timepass otherwise not worth.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Doug

    I have no real strong opinion about this book. It is fair. There are slightly less than twenty stories and there is a mild variety of horror elements. A lot of them feel a bit samey even when they are different, a certain ur-rhythm that defines them: character introduction, character complication, weird stuff ramping up, twist ending. Reading them back to back somewhat deprives them of impact, because you know no matter what happens that you are ultimately waiting for the last couple pages, espe I have no real strong opinion about this book. It is fair. There are slightly less than twenty stories and there is a mild variety of horror elements. A lot of them feel a bit samey even when they are different, a certain ur-rhythm that defines them: character introduction, character complication, weird stuff ramping up, twist ending. Reading them back to back somewhat deprives them of impact, because you know no matter what happens that you are ultimately waiting for the last couple pages, especially the last couple of paragraphs, to tell you what was really going on. Some of the stories work well in this mode. "Killer Camera", for instance, where the sudden twist adds a whole new element of "oh, crap", or "Twist Cabin" where an extra punch of depravity throws things into a darker perspective. Others feel weakened by it, such as "The Man with the Yellow Face," where the final twist is the obvious twist and nearly any other solution would have worked better. It is particularly irksome in those like "A Career in Computer Games" where the twist is in no way a twist despite being delivered as such. In some cases, such as "The Monkey's Ear," it leads itself to a certain cruel humor. It is either one of the best stories in the batch or one of the worst, depending on how well you like the final couple of pages. I though it was funny and a good play on an old trope, with the ending having a good bite. It touches base with many horror modes—cannibals, ghosts/spirits, accidents, cursed/weird technology. The characters are less varied: generally being snotty kids of weak-willed parents, semi-neglected but generally alright kids, or fair kids of pretty terrible parents. Fat, bitchy wives show up more than once. Several overworked parents smoke. Nearly everyone seems to be carrying around various stacks of CDs. Very few people use the internet despite it being generally the late 90s in these stories. Some of the set-ups and descriptions delve into the weaker side of shallow stereotyping: people tend to be as bad as their appearance, etc. Only one story really seems to switch this up and it has other issues, but props for that in its way. It does get bonus points, though, for having a story, "Burned," that manages to be an diary-based epistolary tale that actually reads mostly like a real diary. The ending/twist of "Burned" is one of the dumber ones in the book and makes no real sense, but it was kind of cute in a darkly cruel way, I guess. In the end, if you like young adult horror that mostly paints people as four-color caricatures and is all about "the twist" with a frequent dose of moralization (think something like EC Comics, but without the more clever bits of social satire), you'll probably like this. If not, then maybe not, though even then there might be one or two that appeals.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    I read this book for work - I teach English/Literacy to students with learning difficulties. I am always looking for something to read with them, base comprehension/writing tasks on/get them to read. This is a collection of short stories, all with a slightly horror/tales of the unexpected theme. It was perfect for younger high school students. There are some great stories that will interest kids/teens. In particular The Man with the Yellow Face and The Hitchhiker. I recommend it to anyone trying I read this book for work - I teach English/Literacy to students with learning difficulties. I am always looking for something to read with them, base comprehension/writing tasks on/get them to read. This is a collection of short stories, all with a slightly horror/tales of the unexpected theme. It was perfect for younger high school students. There are some great stories that will interest kids/teens. In particular The Man with the Yellow Face and The Hitchhiker. I recommend it to anyone trying to get reluctant readers to read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Desmondella

    Actual Rating: 2.5/5 stars Loved this for the nostalgia factor (had a previous copy of this short story collection given to me for Christmas one year when I was a kid by my parents and it has a lot of peaceful memories attached to it, ironically) but the writing and execution of the group of stories did come off as quite childish and definitely for a younger age group. A couple stories gave me an uneasy or unsettled feeling but none left me particularly scared per se.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jody

    Most of the stories had plot twists that my son and I both enjoyed. A few of the stories had elements that were familiar to me, having delved into this genre many times over the years; but a child mightn't find the stories quite as predictable as I did. In this particular example of his juvenile fiction, I think Horowicz miscalculates the depth of a child's perception; he could have more nuances and fewer stock characters and yet keep the element of surprise and humour. Most of the stories had plot twists that my son and I both enjoyed. A few of the stories had elements that were familiar to me, having delved into this genre many times over the years; but a child mightn't find the stories quite as predictable as I did. In this particular example of his juvenile fiction, I think Horowicz miscalculates the depth of a child's perception; he could have more nuances and fewer stock characters and yet keep the element of surprise and humour.

  16. 4 out of 5

    ren

    Nothing terrifying and clearly more geared towards a younger audience. That doesn't mean it isn't a fun read though! The stories pick up more as you progress through the book, and I came to really enjoy the later works in the anthology. The Shortest Horror Story Ever Written was pretty comical too. I don't regret reading this! Nothing terrifying and clearly more geared towards a younger audience. That doesn't mean it isn't a fun read though! The stories pick up more as you progress through the book, and I came to really enjoy the later works in the anthology. The Shortest Horror Story Ever Written was pretty comical too. I don't regret reading this!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Robinson

    I loved the short stories in this book! Most of them were creepy enough to keep you thinking about them after reading. It took me about a month to finish this as I would pick it up and read 1 or 2 stories waiting for things to finish around the house. It is a quick read and could be finished in a day or two. My favorite was the haunted house! Two thumbs up!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    3 ⭐ This was an ok horror short story collection. None of the stories were really rememberable. This reads like a moddle grade/ YA collection. It might be labeled in one of these age ranges I am not sure. I could see my younger self really liking this collection if it had been around then. As a 33 year old they were fine.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    A collection of short YA horror stories which were nicely written. None of the stories were scary to me but they were interesting. The Bath was my favorite out of the collection. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a bit of spookiness without full on horror.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    I loved these short story's. They were definitely well written with just the right twist. As far as an Young adult book goes I'll be saving this for my kids . It didnt get bloody and all that scary just good ol storys. I loved these short story's. They were definitely well written with just the right twist. As far as an Young adult book goes I'll be saving this for my kids . It didnt get bloody and all that scary just good ol storys.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Not Even A Mouse

    Excellent short stories!! I typically don’t like short stories, they sometimes feel so incomplete, you know what I mean? These are great stories that I will be telling my kids around the fire pit this fall. 😏

  22. 4 out of 5

    Katie Johns

    Still one of my favorite collections of horror stories to date.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Excellent! Especially the last story...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    I thought it was all quite clever.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tina Speece

    Dull, poorly written, and made from the WORST kind of fantasy: that of a privileged dude who couldn't be assed to even do a meager Wiki read Dull, poorly written, and made from the WORST kind of fantasy: that of a privileged dude who couldn't be assed to even do a meager Wiki read

  26. 4 out of 5

    TJL

    I'm just saying that if you write more stuff like this, Mr. Horowitz, I will read it. I'm just saying that if you write more stuff like this, Mr. Horowitz, I will read it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Esther

    I really liked the stories in this book. My favorite was the The Elevator one. I recommend this book if you like short horror stories.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Ending is cute

  29. 4 out of 5

    Claire Benton

    It's not so much horror, but damn creepy! It's not so much horror, but damn creepy!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Harold Walters

    Some old-fashioned horror yarns.

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