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The Penguin Book of Ghost Stories: From Elizabeth Gaskell to Ambrose Bierce (Penguin Classics) Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- ASIN : B003CI90H6
- Publisher : Penguin (25 February 2010)
- Language : English
- File size : 1868 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 456 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 536,290 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from other countries
As something like this has to meet certain criteria, such as the quality of the stories, as well as length, so for many will come the pleasant surprise of reading spooky tales that they are unaware of, and could thus even find new for them authors to further delve into. Of all types of horror fiction, it is arguably the ghost story that has become the most respectable, simply because not only is it popular, but it has also led to prominent authors to try their hand; after all if Henry James wrote a few over his career, no one can really say that there is something a bit low in reading them. We do have the likes of Henry James here, and Edith Wharton, along with Dickens’s famed signalman story, along with Kipling and the master of the ghost story, M R James, along with many others, including the likes of Bierce, W W Jacobs and Le Fanu et al.
The tales we are given then are written by authors from the UK, Ireland, and North America and thus show a rich diversity, as well as taking in familiar themes such as haunted houses. With the traditional ghost established in a building, we also have those who are haunted by themselves, something seen out of the corner of the eye, and things that are seen or felt full on, and even a story of a ghost being captured. There is a good and rich variation in the stories here, and some are more psychological than others, but all of them have the elements that make for a good spooky tale, and good literature.
While there's a mix of canonical classics from the likes of Dickens, Le Fanu, M.R. James and Wharton, there are also some lesser-known tales - but overall I'd say that there isn't much variety either in time period or content. Almost all of the stories are nineteenth century and thus feature the well-worn tropes of revenant lovers and enemies, haunted coaches and trains, as well as the classic house.
The one story that really stands out is Henry James' The Jolly Corner which uses the skeleton structure of the conventional ghost story to articulate issues of doubleness, identity and the concept of the unlived life - the doppelganger is used to creepy effect and casts a sophisticated eye back on a tradition while moving it decidedly into the 'psychological' twentieth century. I see, though, from other reviews that it's precisely this story which some readers disliked!
I can't say that any of these gave me the shivers (and, for the record, I scare easily...). So this is worth reading especially as it's good to have something to dip in and out of, but I've found other anthologies e.g. The Virago Book of Victorian Ghost Stories and The Virago Book of Ghost Stories: The Twentieth Century more innovative and, yes, scary.
Found this book ideal for reading about ghosts.
It has a mixture of tales from different writers and eras
Good for a winters evening