Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Stories My Mother Never Told Me
originally published 1963
Dell, 1st printing, 1965
Genre: Horror, suspense, thriller
Synopsis & Review: A collection of thirteen (oooOOOOooooo!) stories featuring all manner of thrills, suspense, and horror. Included are masters of the genres such as Shirley Jackson (“The Summer People”) and Richard Matheson (“The Children of Noah”), as well as comparative unknowns, and even a creepy effort by F. Scott Fitzgerald (“A Short Trip Home”).
I loved watching Alfred Hitchcock Presents reruns on Nick at Nite back in intermediate and early high school. Inspired by my enormous enjoyment of Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Stories That Scared Even Me, I purchased two more AHP volumes on the cheap. This one was by far my favorite of the two. In it, you’ll find couple of cannibal stories (perhaps more than necessary) and a very odd and disturbing change up of “The Most Dangerous Game” (“An Invitation to the Hunt”). There’s also “The Hostage” by Don Stanford, which I immediately recognized from Suicide Kings. As with any collections, there are a few gems and a few duds. Shirley Jackson’s “The Summer People” and the Fitzgerald stories were two of the best, without a doubt. The same can’t be said for Matheson’s effort, “The Children of Noah,” a rather dull affair. Gerald Kersh’s “The Secret of the Bottle,” which sort of explains Ambrose Bierce’s disappearance, and George Mandel’s “Adjustments,” about a young, newlywed couple were two others that enthralled and thrilled. “Smart Sucker” is so-so, a tale of a worm that turns upon the birds, and the same goes for Collier’s “Witch’s Money,” an amusing premise that fizzled out.
Did you know that Hitchcock had nothing to do with this series, other than lending his name to it and the ghost-written introductions? How very disappointing.
I’d like to count this as an extra fro RIP IV. I’ve got one leviathan sucker for the coveted final slot, but I can’t help reading more!
Read also: AHP Stories That Scared Even Me
Cover: A somewhat disturbing little watercolor cartoon of Hitchcock seated on Death’s lap, apparently listening to a story. A dark, muddy background and VERY LARGE TEXT.
2 October – 3 October