An Unfinished History of Horror by J.F. Gonzalez
5/5 Star Review
I just finished reading Shadows in the Attic and I need to sit down a minute. I knew my fictional horror education was a little lacking, but I didn’t realize by how much until I finished this collection. Shadows in the Attic collects essays written by J.F. Gonzalez on the history of horror from ancient times up through the mid-1950’s. There is also a comprehensive essay on the splatterpunks and extreme horror writers. While I can say there were a lot of names that I recognized, though not necessarily read, for every name I did know there were ten that were brand new to me. Apokrupha Books has done a beautiful job with this collection, laying it out in a sensical and easy-to-read format. This should be considered a text book and an absolute must-read for any fan of horror fiction.
I’m not fortunate enough to have ever had the pleasure of meeting J.F. Gonzalez. I only know him through his writing, but I know that he meant a great deal to many people – especially to his family and friends. Shadows in the Attic taught me that we not only lost an amazing human being, we lost a true historian of the genre.
Shadows in the Attic contains an alphabetical author index of every author and their work referenced by Gonzalez, which I will be using as a checklist for my ever-growing TBR, but Apokrupha Books has gone and done one better. They have simultaniously published The Shadows in the Attic Reader: Foundational Classic Horror edited by Jacob Haddon. This reader is a collection of nineteen tales that were referenced in Gonzalez’s essays on classic horror. For anyone who feels a little intimidated and not sure where to begin in their horror literature education – this is an excellent place to start.
We also need to take a moment to appreciate the cover art on this set. Lynne Hansen did an absolutely amazing job with these sequential covers. When the books are stacked they form one house both on the front and back covers – they are stellar!
Do yourselves a favor and pick up this gorgeous set of horror history!