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4.0 out of 5 stars A DECEPTIVE TITLE, 16 May 2014
By 
Robert SMITH (Portsmouth, England) - See all my reviews
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I ordered TALES OF TERROR AND DARKNESS for a friend, but although it is a very good selection, it is not really a new one. When he was going through the book he realised the stories were somewhat familiar, and upon checking the content he found that it was a combination of the two earlier collections TALES OF THE UNCANNY AND SUPERNATURAL and TALES OF THE MYSTERIOUS AND MACABRE, but with a few stories cut out - presumably for reasons of space.

So although there was nothing wrong with the book as such, it would be a disappointment to a reader expecting a fresh selection of stories.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good old fashioned storytelling, 18 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Tales of Terror and Darkness (Hardcover)
Algernon Blackwood is a writer I've only recently come across. I'm glad I did! His stories are of the "Twilight Zone" type. ie they start off ordinarily enough, with nothing unremarkable happening, and then get progressively more and more strange. There are a lot of stories in this volume, so you can dip in at random, whenever you're in the mood. Here are my comments on some that I've read already:

"The Doll" , which opens the collection, is a later work (1946), about a supernaturally possessed children's doll.
"Running Wolf" is one of my favourites so far. Written in the twenties, it is set in the Canadian backwoods, on the shores of a lake: the story concerns a mysterious grey wolf.
"The Occupant of the Room" concerns feelings of dread in a hotel room in an Alpine village.
"The Man Whom the Trees Loved" is another masterpiece. It is a beautifully written novella about an elderly couple who live in a cottage on the edge of the New Forest. The man loves the trees, and spends an increasing amount of time alone in the woods. This worries his bible reading wife, who finds it all rather sinister. This is one of those strange plotless stories which cast a spell on you, and draw you in.
"The Damned" Is another novella, this time about a stately home in Sussex, which has a strange pall hanging over it. This story seems more personal than some of Blackwood's others.
"The House of the Past" is a shorter piece with interesting psychological (and spiritual) implications. Jung would have understood this story.
"The Trod" is one of his best: it is a strange, magical tale set in a haunted area of moorland in the north of England.
In "Chinese Magic" we get to know a gentleman who has fallen in love with traditional Chinese culture. But has it turned his head?

And that's only a few of them! Note, that his tales "The Willows", "The Wendigo" and "The Listeners" are not included in this volume.

A final note on the rating: I would like to have given it five stars, but there a some typo's here and there, hence "only" four.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, understated eeriness., 10 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Tales of Terror and Darkness (Hardcover)
This is an old compilation of AB's work.I got it because it is nearly 800 pages long.Super value, 43 short stories and novellas are here. You wont find "The Willows" or the "Wendigo" but many other great stories. Algernon Blackwood had a long career and always wrote quality wierd ghostly fiction. If you have never read him, he is head and shoulders above many in his field. His prose is beautiful, effortless and literary.His descriptions of nature, amimals and empty landscapes are compelling.His horrors are unnerving, memorable and understated. His characters are real people and we share their fears and terror.

It is sad that such a talent is mainly out of print and invisible in high-street book chains.
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Tales of Terror and Darkness
Tales of Terror and Darkness by Algernon Blackwood (Hardcover - May 1977)
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