Nov 09 2014

The Penguin Book Of Ghost Stories edited by J. A. Cuddon

Wow, I remembered so very little this re-read from the last (which was, granted, nigh on two decades ago.) The two stories that did stir memories, though faint, are likely the ones I will continue to remember, Ann Bridge’s “The Buick Saloon” and Marghanita Laski’s “The Tower”, both for the unflinching cruelty done to the heroines. I’ve come to believe that ghost stories at their best are allegories for the terrible meanness of fate, though even so I do rather like tales such as Joan Aiken’s “Sonata For Harp And Bicycle,” which showcase a delightful British pragmatism even as it allows for the worst. I also thought it interesting that stories I know would have thrilled me when younger (such as Edith Wharton’s “Afterward”) now just seem a bit much. Fun post-Halloween reading, though between this and the Nabokov I think I’ve ODed a bit on short stories.

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