In this disturbing, often grotesque and ultimately mesmerizing collection, Piccirilli (The Cold Spot) reprints 17 stories and 45 poems. Although the star-studded introductions are a nice bonus, Piccirilli's stories are the selling point, and all are standouts. "An Average Insanity, a Common Agony" is an emotionally devastating tale of a man trying to do the right thing for the sake of an innocent creature. "Alchemy" tells the story of five emotionally stunted people whose discovery of a dead body lets them visit their own dark places ("They weren't frightened [by the sight of the corpse]. None of us were. It broke up the monotony"). "With an Ear for My Father's Weeping" manages to be both touching and hysterical. Piccirilli's unique mix of gore, violence and a literate style bordering on the lyrical help make this collection one that horror fans will relish."--Publishers Weekly, starred review. With story introductions by Jack Ketchum, Brian Keene, Edward Lee, Simon Clark, TM Wright, Gary Braunbeck, Thomas Monteleone, Tamara Thorne, Ed Gorman, Ray garton, and Christopher Golden.