fear and trembling

Robert Bloch
Tor
1989

If you’re not familiar with the name Robert Bloch, then you should at least be familiar with the title of a book he wrote: Psycho.  You know, the basis for Alfred Hitchcock’s movie.  And if you’re not familiar with that…well, you disgust me.  Begone.  Either rectify this glaring and massive flaw in your character, or crawl back into your Twilight-infested existence.

Heh, I said “rectify.”

Anyway, Robert Bloch, besides being the author of the Psycho novel, was also a very prolific writer of hundreds of short stories, novels and screenplays, mostly in the horror, sci-fi and crime genres.  Add to this the fact that he was a protege’ of none other than H. P. Lovecraft, and also had a writing style that had a delicious dark humor streak, and you can understand why I have such a soft spot for the late writer.

Fear And Trembling was a collection of short stories that book publisher Tor produced during the Horror Literature boom of the 1980s, and features stories that span decades, from the 1930s through to a story written specifically for this collection.  Bloch himself has stated that he doesn’t think much of his earlier work, as he felt it they were written by a young man trying to emulate his hero, Lovecraft.  And you can tell by the writing styles, just which stories were early in his career, and which ones were from a more developed and matured style.  His sense of humor is very evident, while still retaining that same sense of the scary that makes this some very classic storytelling. I came across this mass market collection at a used book store in Kansas, and I must say that I’m very glad I got ahold of it.  For some reason, these Bloch collections seem to be a hard thing to find, but whenever I find one I’m never disappointed.  Fear And Trembling is worth the find.