29 August 2009

Book Review: Scary Stories 3

Title: Scary Stories 3 More Tales to Chill Your Bones
Author: Alvin Schwartz
Published: 1991 Pages: 108
Genre: Horror
Rating: 2.5/5

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Plot Synopsis

The Scary Story series is a collection books containing short stories designed to make your flesh creep. In this third installment, we have death, ghosts, spiders, rats, scarecrows, and vanishings.

My Thoughts

The Scary Story series really appealed to me when I was younger. The tiny little snippets of fright were wonderful for reading aloud at slumber parties and camping trips - when I could get others to listen that is. I was really the only one of my friends who enjoyed being scared. I think they are well written for a younger audience and have just the right mix of freaky, scary, and funny.

As an adult, reading them is a bit different. Most of the stories are adaptations of tales I've heard before, so they've lost their surprise factor for me by now. Also, the stories are really, really short, some not even one page long. As an adult reader, I need a bit more lead-up, a bit more suspense. Still the scarecrow stretching skin, dog-cum-rat, and the implanting-egg-in-face spider are enough to creep me out.

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  1. I was just thinking of this series the other day. (thought about using them as a thursday throwback near halloween). I LOVED these books when I was young but I agree I wouldn't enjoy them as much as an adult. But I might also be more scared of them as an adult, lol!

  2. Jenny - It's a strange contradiction, isn't it? On the one hand, I don't find the stories themselves scary, but if I think about it for awhile, the possibilities are more frightening now that I'm an adult.

  3. It is interesting how this works, because I've read some good YA short story anthologies and some that sound just the way you describe this. It is fascinating how some books for children can be such satisfying reads for adults and others just are not like that.

    One thing you do mention that I think is so true is the idea of reading out loud. I think short stories work extremely well when read aloud. I'm going through my collections now to figure out which scary stories I want to read to my wife and daughter when we camp out towards the end of Oct.

  4. Carl V - Too true. I enjoy many many YAL books but for some reason this one didn't translate. You should definitely read short stories out loud around a campfire! That just sounds wonderful. I'm so jealous!

  5. Loved this series when I was a kid (and I was also addicted to R. L. Stine's Fear Street series too). Haven't really thought much about re-reading them as an adult, but it might be nostalgic. Hmm, never thought about reading them out loud either (my friends weren't big readers and certainly weren't down with reading scary stories out loud at slumber parties), so I may need to give that a try too.

  6. Ann-Kat - OOOOHHHH Fear Street! See, now I'm going to have to read that series again!

  7. What a pity this wasn't as good as you remembered it. It always makes me sad when that happens.

  8. Nymeth - I think because it was such a "young" book and because of it's content, I wasn't particularly saddened, more unsurprised.

  9. I loved these books as a kid and recently flipped through one I found at a bookstore. I feel as though the pictures are scarier than the actual stories-- maybe aside from Me-tie-doughty-walker that is :)

  10. She - I agree; the pictures are definitely scary.


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