A rather smelly book about Crowley. It stank the house out and went in the bin.
Is that Crowley as in "Controversial Occultist
I remember being disappointed by "The Modern
Weird Tale" by S.T. Joshi. While the sections
on Ramsey Campbell and Shirley Jackson were superb, a lot of the book was fully of crude sniping and poor arguments. For instance, while I would normally
agree with Joshi that William Peter Blatty is a poor writer, Joshi spent several pages attacking not Blatty's fiction, but rather Blatty's religious beliefs. This is the sort of poor criticism one normally learns to avoid in college ( readers bought Joshi's book for its assessment of horror writers' literary merit, not for a discussion of its religious viewpoint).
Also, Joshi spent a huge
amount of venom on Stephen King. While I don't think all King's work is perfect and should be above criticism, you really got the sense that Joshi has an extraordinarily intense dislike of King's work:
King’s writing, considered abstractly, is a mixture of cheap sentiment, naïve moral polarizations between valiant heroes and wooden villains, hackneyed, implausible, and ill-explained supernatural phenomena, a plain, bland, easy-to-read style with just the right number of scatological and sexual profanities to titillate his middle-class audience, and a subscribing to the conventional morality of common people.