The Complete Stories, Vol. 1: Final Reckonings

The Complete Stories, Vol. 1: Final Reckonings

by Robert Bloch

Best known as the author of "Psycho", Robert Bloch is world-renowned for his stories of horror, mystery, fantasy, and science fiction.

The stories are in his classic style of gripping suspense, science fiction and fantasy.

As Bloch writes, "These stories in this collection have a common theme; they deal with monsters.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Horror
  • Rating: 4.13
  • Pages: 384
  • Publish Date: March 19th 1990 by C Trade Paper

What People Think about "The Complete Stories, Vol. 1: Final Reckonings"

I have never really read this giant of a suspense/horror/fantasy/sci-fi writer who is so famous for having written Psycho. But now I have obtained a number of books with his stories, so I can catch up:-) April 25, 2009 "Frozen Fear": A very short, but delicious supernatural tale where the distorted psyhological angle of the narrator is what makes it an interesting read; after all this revenge tale is essentially a rewrite of a classic theme. April 26, 2009 "Almost Human": Something in the way it was written made this story sound a little outdated to me. Right?;-) "Constant Reader": Probably the strangest, surreal sci-fi story I have ever read--but I liked it very much! Throw in that the only book reading guy in the story is also the one that connects the dots (although a little too easily) because he is the well-read guy of the group, add spices of Gulliver's Travels, The Odyssey and the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, then you can imagine why I enjoyed this tale so much. And despite that I early on saw through the "twist" of the story it still held my interest all the way to the end; an end that closes like this SPOILER ALERT:: "After a minute, I began to laugh, too. In "The Shadow from the Steeple" a friend of Robert Harrison Blake (HPL's fictive name for Bloch, in his story) tries to unearth what actually happened back then. He is especially--understandably--curious as to what really happened with the thing referred to as "the Shining Trapezehedron." When he finally manages to get in contact with one of the remaining witnesses to the events back in 1935, Dr. Ambrose Dexter, we learn that things have not ended as it was originally reported, whether by the official records or by the accounts of HPL;-) Bloch seamlessly weave a tale where facts (e.g. that HPL wrote "Haunter" + that he died in 1937, right before the narrator--also a clever version of Bloch himself, I suspect--could visit him) and fiction blend so it's hard to tell which is which if one doesn't know beforehand. It is inevitable that your life will come to a horrible end--and one that also involves a lot of psychological horror; as the narrator says: "It's all a matter of knowing how to use your imagination." I liked this one very much, and it was great that it turned out to be less obvious than I thought. And there are also nods to Poe. May 3, 2009 "Dead-End Doctor": A Twilight Zone-like story with sci-fi elements. He ends up trying to regain his own life, and not be so dependant on the "thinking cap," which includes sessions with a psychiatrist. I am wondering if Bloch writes from experience here--both in terms of the infamous writer's block "syndrome" and having trippy dreams-that-can-be-turned-into-succesful-stories?

These are early stories by Bloch, all of them entertaining.

De verhalen zijn behoorlijk verschillend, al passen ze binnen het kader van horror, sciencefiction en psychologische thriller.

Hard to believe, but my first contact with Bloch's unique style of writing had been through a story published in the one of the most blood & gore laden anthology edited by Stephen Jones: "The Yugoslavs".

One particularly interesting thing about Bloch's fantastical stories is that they very often feature elements of crime.

"A Good Imagination" good; all-time great first line for "Founding Fathers" ("Early on the morning of July 4, 1776, Thomas Jefferson poked his peruked head into the deserted chamber of what was to be known as Independence Hall and yelled, 'Come on, you guys, the coast is clear!'").

I don't enjoy Noir and I don't enjoy Lovecraft so found these types of stories very boring but they were still well done.

Robert Albert Bloch was a prolific American writer. Robert Bloch was also a major contributor to science fiction fanzines and fandom in general.