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Strange Tales (Tales of Mystery & The Supernatural) [Paperback]

Rudyard Kipling , David Stuart Davies
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 Aug 2006 Tales of Mystery & The Supernatural
Some six or seven feet above the port bulwarks, framed in fog, and as utterly unsupported as the full moon, hung a Face. It was not human, and it certainly was not animal, for it did not belong to this earth as known to man' Rudyard Kipling, celebrated author of The Jungle Book, the Just So Stories and other entertaining fictions, was also a master of the short story in which he was able to combine the strange and unnerving in order to draw the reader into the world of his own dark imaginings. This collection presents the best of these strange tales in which ghosts, monsters and inexplicable happenings abound. From the exotic and magical locale of India, to the leafy suburbs of England and then to the blood-soaked trenches of the First World War, Kipling provides us with a chilling array of experiences and images which will linger long in the memory.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions; 1 edition (5 Aug 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840225327
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840225327
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.4 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 572,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was born in Bombay in December 1865. He returned to India from England shortly before his seventeenth birthday, to work as a journalist first on the Civil and Military Gazette in Lahore, then on the Pioneer at Allahabad. The poems and stories he wrote over the next seven years laid the foundation of his literary reputation, and soon after his return to London in 1889 he found himself world-famous. Throughout his life his works enjoyed great acclaim and popularity, but he came to seem increasingly controversial because of his political opinions, and it has been difficult to reach literary judgements unclouded by partisan feeling.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
East of Suez, some hold, the direct control of Providence ceases; Man being there handed over to the power of the Gods and Devils of Asia, and the Church of England Providence only exercising an occasional and modified supervision in the case of Englishmen Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hair-raising tales from a master story-teller 26 Aug 2007
There are 20 very readable and enjoyable short stories in this excellent collection. It starts with a werewolf tale, next comes an account of wicked murder poorly concealed and shockingly uncovered, then a wronged woman haunts her heartless lover, then an arrogant man falls into a pit of living death. There are ghost stories both straight-forward and convoluted, a sea-monster tale, a story of young people whose minds are terribly exposed to the frightening experiences of their parents by a type of drug and several tales that are simply strange.

It surprised me slightly, to find that Rudyard Kipling went in for ghost and horror stories, so I ordered the book out of curiosity as much as my devotion (it may be an actual addiction) to the ghost story genre. I'm delighted to report that I rate this collection up there with the best in class. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys those old fashioned tales of the supernatural that are almost completely free of gore.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complex and frightening 15 Dec 2009
Jungle book this ain't, but a collection of complex, terrifying and often very moving short stories by the first British (and still the youngest) recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature. The stories can be broken down into three categories if you like: Tales of the supernatural, disturbing psycho-dramas and Edwardian entertainments. Of the first, the best are set amongst forgotten young men at the fringes of empire - lost in an alien continent and exposed to conditions and superstitions they cannot or will not try to understand. These tales involve lycanthropy, lost villages of the damned, ghost legions of murdered horsemen, hideous blind, crying things in the cellar and unquiet corpses in the roof. Some of these are truly scary, but it is Kipling's ability to generate atmosphere and convey psychological upheaval that is striking. Some of the stories set in Europe are deeply moving. Kipling's life was blighted with tragedy - his daughter died at a young age and his son was killed in the Great War. "They", in which the narrator accidentally uncovers a country house populated by the ghosts of dead children,"Mary Postgate", which is basically a premonition of what it would be like to lose a child in war, and " A Madonna of the Trenches", written a few years after his son's death, are almost unbearably poignant.

Get beyond the "poet of Empire" tag often lazily associated with Kipling and you can understand why he was lauded in his day as the successor to Dickens. Comparisons with Hardy and James may have been more appropriate.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tales of Their Time 14 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The stories are written from the viewpoint of someone living at that time in the British Empire. Understand that context and enjoy these stories. Some such as The Phantom Rickshaw are rightly seen as great stories. Some are a bit of a struggle but on the whole this is an enchanting set of stories that are as much about the concepts of loyalty, grief and love as horror fiction.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As described, well packaged and promptly sent. By no means only a Poet Laureate he wrote many atmospheric short stories from comedic 'skits' to truly haunting supernatural tales.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I have just given up on this book; I have read the first 8 stories, and I should have stopped sooner. Only one of the ones I read was worth reading, the rest were inane, and I have to be honest poorly written, the dialogue was extremely stilted and ill thought out (and in some cases offensive, but I guess reflecting the attitudes of the time).

Some of the stories have a good premise and then a poor ending, but more than one of them have neither; I was left reading and thinking "Why are you telling me this?". There are far better examples of this genre, and of course, far better book by Rudyard Kipling.
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