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The Collected Macabre Stories of L.P. Hartley [Hardcover]

L. P. Hartley
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 513 pages
  • Publisher: The Tartarus Press (1 Dec 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1872621627
  • ISBN-13: 978-1872621623
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.6 x 5.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,172,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

Perhaps best known for his 'perfectly realised' novel of Edwardian childhood The Go-Between, L.P. Hartley was also a much admired adept of the macabre short story. Hartley was no dilettante in the genre: he was well-versed in its long and distinguished tradition, and these carefully crafted tales represent some of the most successful attempts to carry the ghost story into the twentieth century. "The Collected Macabre Stories" includes thirty-seven of Hartley's best tales, ranging from the well-known, traditional ghost stories "The Cotillon" and "Feet Foremost", through the dark humour of "The Travelling Grave" and "The Killing Bottle" to the Aickmanesque "The Pylon". These encompass a wide range of settings, from English Country Houses to Venetian Palaces. Two accomplished fantasies, "Conrad and the Dragon" and "The Crossways" display Hartley's range and versatility. Taken as a whole, the collection represents one of the most impressive achievements of twentieth-century macabre fiction.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
My first feelings on starting this book were ever so slightly disappointed. It seemed to me that as specimens of macabre writing the stories collected here simply weren't particularly inspired or original. They were well crafted and the writing style was good, if nothing exceptional - but it seemed that they went nowhere - that there was nothing particularly new or exciting. Refined little stories of the walking dead and ghostly visitations.
However as I progressed they began to grow on me more and more - and I began to find a certain unique style there after all. Further in to the book there were stories who's stark undertones of psychological horror were extremely intriguing. The first of these was 'A Change of Ownership', an extraordinary and bewildering story of madness. That, and the later bizarre miniature 'Night Fears', completely changed my mind and I read on with great interest! It is by and large a great collection, if a little varied in quality. Hartley is an interesting figure in the history of British horror writing, and well worth reading alongside people like Aickman and M R James.
As usual from Tartarus Press it is a very fine volume - more expensive than their usual price simply because of its large format and size. It is unusually bound in a soft, but slightly too vivid, lilac paper.
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