book: tales of enchantment and fantasy

"tales of enchantment and fantasy" edited by cristina pantoja hidalgoat the beginning of october, i started a competition here at the blog for the best filipino horror recommendation. and while i still haven’t found three of the books from the recommendation list, i already started reading  yesterday.

the first book off the pile: TALES OF ENCHANTMENT AND FANTASY.

blooey said: “Tales of Enchantment and Fantasy is a short story collection edited by Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo. This isn’t purely horror, in general the theme is myths and legends depicted in contemporary fantasy, but most of the stories have the right elements for a ghost story.

Marivi Soliven Blanco’s “Mananangrrl” tells of an Oprah-type talk show hosted by a witch, with a manananggal as a guest; Andrea Peterson’s “Graveyard Shift” reveals the secret world of a call center; Butch Guerrero’s “Tidy Little Tale” depicts a slick serial killer, and so on.

They’re stories of the mundane, with a sinister twist.

and here are my thoughts;

first off, blooey said it right when she mentioned that the book isn’t purely horror. most of the stories included in this anthology are of fantastical tales set in the philippines. the only ones i consider true horror stories from the collection are: “A TIDY LITTLE TALE,” “SOME KIND OF NOIR,” and “MARTINÉS.” these three stories are the ones that really evoke fear, that have a chance of scaring readers witless.

not to say that i didn’t like the collection, i liked a few of the stories included in the book (“THE STRANDED STAR” and “MARTINÉS” are my two favorites) and some of them were very interesting to read; but there were a few stories where i didn’t really get the whole point of why the story needs to be told at all.

i’m not attacking the book academically. i’m sure the writers and the editor knew what they were doing when they picked those stories to include in the collection. but as a non-academic reader, some of these stories are not appealing at all. like for example, i don’t really get the point of “MANANANGGRRRL.” is it supposed to scare us? make us laugh? make us sympathize? or is it supposed to be an attack on spotlight-hogging celebrities? sure, it’s well-written; but at the end of the day, is it memorable? not really, no.

THE SUGILANON OF EPEFANIA’S HEARTBREAK” is beautifully written, but unless you have someone to talk about it with, you’re just going to say it was beautifully written and move on with your life. it doesn’t leave any impact at all.

and one of the three horror stories, “SOME KIND OF NOIR” was amazingly set-up–but takes a sudden turn that leaves you confused as to whether the author purposely meant to distract you, or if the author suddenly changed his mind midway as to what his main character really is: a good guy or a bad guy.

i’m torn about how to review this book, to be honest. still, i don’t think it’s right to harp about how wonderful a book is just because it’s filipino, and i want to promote it.

now, this is just one guy’s opinion of the book; and i am looking for a fantastically scary story, so that might have colored my reading of the stories included in TALES OF ENCHANTMENT AND FANTASY–but overall? i wasn’t really impressed with this anthology.

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giveaway: filipino horror — the entries!

"waking the dead" by yvette tanthis november, i’m giving away four books to two bloggers (two books each) who recommended horror novels/books written by filipinos.

initially, i was going to pick the winner by october 31. but since looking for some of the books are proving harder than i thought, i’m giving myself an extension. also, i’ve yet to start reading the books i already do have because i’m finishing MARLEY & ME.

the prize, to remind you guys, are these:

one winner gets WAKING THE DEAD and ILUSTRADO. the other winner gets WAKING THE DEAD and TIME FOR DRAGONS. what is WAKING THE DEAD? here’s a review by artseblis.

now, i’ve actually decided to change the rules a little bit in picking the winner. the book/novel i like best will get the WAKING THE DEAD/ILUSTRADO prize. as for the WAKING THE DEAD/TIME FOR DRAGONS prize, i’m making you guys choose.

recommendations were closed as of 12 midnight this morning. and the entries are:

fantaghiro23: TRESE series

will: NINE SUPERNATURAL STORIES, AFRAID: THE BEST PHILIPPINE GHOST STORIES, CRAVING and TAKOD

ivanbookworm: TRAGIC THEATER

kwesifriends: THE BEST OF TRUE PHILIPPINE GHOST STORIES

jzhunagev: NEWS OF THE SHAMAN

blooey: TALES OF ENCHANTMENT AND FANTASY and SPOOKY MO: HORROR STORIES

this is a bit of a gamble, and i am hoping for your cooperation. i want you guys to pick the scariest book, in your opinion, off these entries. and you can’t pick your own recommendation. the book/novel that gets picked the most will have the person who recommended it win the WAKING THE DEAD/TIME FOR DRAGONS prize.

both winners will be proclaimed by november 15.

also, if you guys can help me locate the books. the TRESE series, CRAVING, TAKOD and NEWS OF THE SHAMAN i’ve already found in fully booked. the NINE SUPERNATURAL STORIES recommendation came with a where-to-buy. as for the other books–a little help, please? directions would be nice too. thanks!