Phobophobia Compiled and Edited by Dean M. Drinkel. Book review

PHOBOPHOBIA Compiled and Edited by Dean M. Drinkel, Dark Continents Publishing, s/b, £9.99, www.darkcontinents.com

Reviewed by Matthew Johns

Phobophobia offers up 314 pages of tales about phobias – an A-Z of frightening fears, ranging from fear of written words (Bibliophobia), to fear of hospitals (Nosocomephobia), to fear of frogs (Ranidaphobia).

Some are exceptionally graphic – S is for Sarmassophobia, by D.M. Youngquist for example, where a man who is afraid of dating follows his female friend (who is a submissive) into a sex club and finds himself thrust into a world of bondage, which cures his phobia.  Others though have their tongues firmly in cheek, such as the excellent J is for Jesusphobia by William Meikle.  What happens when a good man with a deathly fear of Jesus dies and is sent to Heaven?

All of these short stories are incredibly gripping – some tug at the heart strings, some tug at the funny bone, while others just make you shiver.  The bonus story from Steven Savile and Steve Lockley is also excellent, and worth waiting for.

If you like a good horror story, then check this anthology out – they probably won’t save you the cost of a visit to a psychiatrist to cure your phobias, but they’ll make you realise that whatever you’re afraid of, there are much worse things out there!