Reader Beware: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Today’s book is a big blast from the past for me.  It’s a book that I would often see in my school’s library but often didn’t have the courage to pick up and read myself.  When I DID pick it up, all I would have to do is flip through it and see the strange, grotesque, disturbing pictures and I would put it right back down again.  I considered it almost serendipitous when I discovered it cheap recently in a used book store.  Upon seeing that infamous cover, I knew I just had to buy and read Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

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Scary Stories is a collection of… well, scary stories.  Specifically, it’s a collection of very short stories (the longest one is about 3 pages) collected together for people to read around campfires at night.  It’s divided into sections of stories where you have to yell at the end to give the campers a good scare, stories that make you think, and stories that are more comedic in nature.

This is a hard book to review because, in my opinion, it’s not a book in a traditional sense.  The short stories are barely stories.  There is no ongoing theme throughout it.  It’s just a series of campfire stories collected to scare the bajeezus out of kids.  I guess there’s only 2 things to focus on when reviewing this book:  Its scariness and its artwork.  One of these is about 100 times better than the other.  See if you can guess which is which.

This book isn’t scary.  It’s a bit creative, the horror elements are there, but none of the stories are very scary.  You might be thinking “Well, duh.  You’re not part of the target age group of the book.  Of course you don’t think it’s scary.”  Sure, that’s true.  But even if I was a kid of 8, I would find these stories cheesy and stupid.  Some of them were creative, but I just feel like just reading these stories is not very fun.  I get the feeling it would be much better to listen to these stories being told in the dark.  On the bright side, the artwork of this book is freaking terrifying.

The artwork is legitimately the scariest part of this book.  The best way I can describe them is “ethereal.”  They all look like artwork you’d find in Silent Hill.  My particular favorite piece was of a woman ghost who looked very corpse-y.  That drawing really freaked me out.  Even if there’s no other reason, you should take a look at this book for the super freaky artwork alone.

That’s about all I can think to say, really.  It’s not a scary book but I guess it would be fun for one night on a camping trip.  Just make sure to share all those creepy pictures with the group.  Oh, and try not to set the book on fire.  Might cause problems.

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