Top positive review
Each night at the Shantyman could be your last...
Reviewed in the United States on November 19, 2018
At first, I was very skeptical about reading this anthology - I'm not that much into short stories, and I don't like 'music-themed' stories. But once I read the list of authors collected in this volume, I knew I had to give it a try, and I also liked the idea of a common place for the stories to share. Now I am so glad I took the chance and visited the Shantyman!
The book starts right off with a solid five star piece: Alan M. Clark's introductory story 'What Sort of Rube' tells us about the dark history of The Shantyman, a music venue in San Francisco.
The following stories all take place in the Shantyman, but that is their only connection. There are all kinds of evil creatures making their appearance, above all those of the human kind, and all facettes of the horror genre are represented - be it sad, funny or straight out scary (or all of them at once), supernatural or not, from historical to futuristic. The diversity of the anthology - and the quality of each of its stories - is simply stunning.
If I had to choose just one favorite story, I guess it would be the introduction, but because it is so hard to decide I'll make a short list of favorites: I especially enjoyed reading 'A Tongue like Fire' by Rachel Autumn Deering and 'Open Mic Night' by Kelli Owen, both very surprising and with a sad angle that I found refreshing (OK that sounds weird somehow).
On the other hand, 'True Starmen' by Max Booth III and 'The Southern Thing' by Adam Cesare were extremely funny which created a nice balance.
Oh, and 'Ascending' added such a nice romantic touch *sigh*.
Not to forget the last story 'We Sang in Darkness' by Mary SanGiovanni, which adds a touch of scifi and creates a creepy X-Files atmosphere.
I am still reveling in the afterglow of having read the finest horror anthology so far... Highest recommendation!