Adult/High School-In these volumes, works by Bierce and London are illustrated by various artists, including "Classics Illustrated" vets Gahan Wilson and Rick Geary. Bierce retells, gleefully and morbidly, significant portions of the author's cynical, epigrammatic oeuvre, including "The Devil's Dictionary" and "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." London offers readers a chance to examine some of the author's lesser-known works, and fans will be fascinated to see his themes-the great outdoors, the icy north, social injustice-woven into these Twilight Zone-esque tales. As an enlightening record of an author and his work, this is the more interesting of the two, although the stories are formulaic, often ending in a macabre twist. In "Just Meat," two thieves poison one another in a dispute over their loot; in "The Leopard Man's Story," a lion tamer's enemy finally gets the best of him, etc. In both books, the sheer variety of artistic styles, all in black and white, is both a strength and weakness. While the diversity of techniques is intriguing, individual tastes will draw readers to some stories more than to others. Older readers may enjoy the black humor and wit of these books; their violence (however comical), un-PC views, and severely pessimistic nature will limit their appeal with younger readers.-Douglas P. Davey, Guelph Public Library, Ontario, Canada Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.