Sunday 16 May 2010

Dramas from the Depths - Reggie Oliver

I picked this up yesterday from the shipping company - and was immediately impressed by the care with which Centipede Press had packaged it. Though not nearly half so impressed as I was by the book itself, which is large, lavishly illustrated and even more lavishly bound. I had thought his previous collections of stories from Haunted River, Ash-Tree Press and Ex-Occidente looked brilliant, but Centipede Press have done him proud. Definitely a collector's edition - like all the others but more so.

I am not sure which I would have been better pleased with myself - something as impressive as this volume, in a limited edition only collectors of Reggie Oliver's stories would buy - or a more widely accessible and much cheaper mass market paperback. Not that there is any danger of either alternative coming my way, I think I would certainly have chosen the paperback - as well may Reggie Oliver - but it is still a beautiful book, which at just over 900 pages contains nearly all of his output so far. So, if you want the definitive Reggie Oliver collection, and can afford it, this is the one to go for. (I would add that prices for Reggie's first two collections from Haunted River now fetch incredibly high prices on the used book market)


  1. It really is a glorious edition, isn't it? Mine arrived last week.

    You're right, though, it's a great shame that so little of his work is read outside of the aficionados and collectors. If horror's ever to make it back into the mainstream, Oliver's great work is the sort of thing that needs to get out to as many people as possible.

  2. It does seem a shame the only collections of his stories are in high-priced limited edition hardbacks. The only stories in cheaper paperbacks are as a part of anthologies, such as Charles Black's Black Books of Horror.

    Hopefully someone will come along with a deal to bring out cheaper paperback collections. At the moment I don't suppose they will be other than small press editions, though. It would be too much to expect these days for one of the bigger publishers to do it, which is a damn shame.