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Great Ghost Stories (Dover Thrift Editions)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2006
There are ten ghost stories in this very reasonably priced collection. They range in intensity from tales of mild unease to monstrous terror. The gentlest jolts are provided by E. G. Swain's "Bone of His Bone" and Jerome K. Jerome's "A Ghost Story", whilst the deepest chills are provided by Amelia B. Edwards' "The Phantom Coach", Bram Stoker's "The Judge's House" and W. W. Jacobs' "The Monkey's Paw". The contributions of Charles Dickens, J. S. LeFanu, Ambrose Bierce, M. R. James and E. F. Benson are all up the spine-tingling end of the spectrum. These tales are not for the faint hearted. But for those with nerves of steel I would prescribe one per night, just before retiring to bed. This might encourage you to think yourself fortunate, that you're in your nice, warm, safe bed and not in that creepy and desolate house or on that haunted road or in that grim and mouldering coach.

This book is excellent value for money and I would recommend it even if it were twice the price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This book collects 10 ghostly short stories presented in chronological order from 1864 to 1912. Most are pretty good, a couple are not so good but there are some truly creepy tales here to be read in the comfort of your own home on a cold dark night.
The Phantom Coach (Amelia B Edwards) - a great opener, a tourist lost alone on the moors at night as the snow falls, a mysterious house and the coach itself.
To be Taken With a Grain of Salt (Charles Dickens) - a largely court room based ghost story, very effective.
Dickon The Devil (J Sheridan LeFanu) - a bit of a let down, a house haunted by a previous owner, a bit of a twist but not really great.
The Judges's House (Bram Stoker) - this is far better, a superbly dark ghost story, an old house, rats and a great ending.
A Ghost Story (Jerome K Jerome) - a ghostly tale of revenge, another nice ending.
The Moonlit Road (Ambrose Bierce) - the same story told through three different sources, how a misunderstanding led to murder and a family break up. This tale gets better every time I read it.
The Monkey's Paw (W W Jacobs) - one of the truly great horror stories, you are given three wishes but take care what you wish for. Filmed several times and the source material for so many variations such as one of the episodes in Tales from the Crypt (1972) and the "Last Respects" episode from the Tales From The Crypt TV series.
The Rose Garden (M R James) - a low key ghost story set in a quiet garden from M R James, odd that this tale should have been chosen with the wealth of spine-chilling material he wrote. For some classic tales of fright you cannot do much better than his collected ghost stories Ghost Stories (Penguin Popular Classics)
Bone to His Bone (E G Swain) - another OK tale, ghostly goings on in a vicarage library.
The Confession of Charles Linkworth (E F Benson) - a nice choice to end on, 1912 and an atmospheric tale of redemption largely involving a telephone, bear in mind this was almost a century ago. This would make a great television play along the lines of the old Christmas ghost stories of yester-year. Get hold of his collection of ghost stories, The Collected Ghost Stories of E.F. Benson most of his spooky tales, like those of M R James, have stood the test of time.

At just 100 pages it's a great book to keep by the bedside when you fancy a quick read, with the lights on full of course.
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on 21 March 2013
Content was OK but the bindings, as in many cheapo editions, were very tight. Not easy to relax with a book if you have to keep it forced open.
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