There’s no doubt that when I think of spooky stories, I think of Ray Bradbury. His narratives are referenced time and time again and have influenced countless writers in turn.
There’s a moment in Sunset Boulevard where William Holden’s character Joe Gillis takes Norma Desmond’s (played by Gloria Swanson) script in his hand. That’s what I was reminded of reading these two novellas.
One things about horror is that it can be a bit loud or garish in the way it delivers the message is seeks to convey. Lessing doesn’t do this.
Don’t Read This! features scary stories from authors of diverse backgrounds from Zimbabwe to Japan to Spain. The stories strike many different notes as well from very scary to nearly humorous.
Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark trilogy was one of my favourite sets of books when I was growing up. I especially loved books that presented stories and the folklore they were based on.
Before reading this, I had the idea that most exorcisms across time were performed because of a lack of understanding concerning mental illness and — of course — rampant sexism, racism, and other prejudice.
It’s surprising that her name seems mostly lost to time — like the grand majority female writers of the Victorian era. What makes it more of a tragedy in Oliphant’s case is that her work is quite good — even better than a lot of writers whose names I’ve seen on the more mainstream ghost story anthologies.
The Other is full of twists and turns and proceeds along at a fast pace — so fast that I could easily read it in the course of a long afternoon and evening.
To describe Abe’s The Face of Another as a horror novel would only be scratching the surface of what it truly delivers.
The amount of correspondence included here seems nearly silly when you think that this is before the age of internet and the two-line email and all of them — other than the telegrams and internal memos — required stationary, stamps, and envelopes.