Ghost Stories, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)

Description

This title is selected and introduced by Ruth Rendell.

M.R. James wrote his ghost stories to entertain friends on Christmas Eve, and they went on to both transform and modernise a genre.

James harnesses the power of suggestion to move from a recognisable world to one that is indefinably strange, and then unforgettably terrifying.

Sheets, pictures, carvings, a dolls house, a lonely beach, a branch tapping on a window - ordinary things take on more than a tinge of dread in the hands of the original master of suspense.

Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780099560562

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Reviews

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4

"It was a horrid, grotesque shape -- perhaps more like a toad than anything else, and there was a label by it inscribed with the two words, 'Despositum custodi." Maybe not exactly the type of ghost story you'd read around a campfire, holding a flashlight under your face, but really ideal for stormy autumn night. My one recommendation is to space them out. I read a few back-to-back over the course of a night, and they sort of blended together. They were still enjoyable, but to get the most out of them, it helps to perhaps read one story a night. My personal favorites were Casting the Runes, The Tractate Middoth (which reminded me a bit of a creepier, less zany version of The Golden Child), The Ashtree, and Mr Humphreys and His Inheritance. The stories generally feature some poor luckless soul who accidentally and innocently unlocks a horrible, centuries old curse. M.R. Rhodes was a Cambridge academic and it is fully apparent -- the stories feature scholars, dusty old libraries, antique books and ancient texts, and incorporate archaeology, theology, and mythology. I had to look up several bits of untranslated Latin. I hope that isn't a deterrent. The stories are easy to read, but take for granted that the reader is intelligent and literate, or (like me) has access to google.