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on 14 March 2007
There are more than 50 short stories in this excellent collection. Some are no more than a couple of pages long and few are longer than ten pages. They are full of death, misery and pessimism but somehow manage to be fascinating and enjoyable. The quality of the writing is exceptional and, for the most part, a delight to read. In such a collection there are bound to be a few that won't appeal to everyone and I must admit that there were a couple where the style was a little bit too flowery and convoluted to suit my taste. I prefer a good balance of subtlety, eloquence and simplicity and I estimate that about 95% of these short stories suited this preference exactly. The humour, albeit remorselessly bitter, is irresistible. Bierce seems not to have been a very loveable man, but anyone who loves to read (even those who don't care for the horror genre) could love his writing. You can open the book at any page and reading any passage at random, find a fine collection of beautifully crafted sentences that will practically paint a picture in your mind of a person, scene or situation. It's poetry cobbled into horror.

Highly recommended.
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on 5 September 2010
A chance read in an anthology of supernatural tales inspired me to read more by this most unusual 19th Century American writer. Many of the tales, some no longer than 2 pages, are mostly a variation on a theme - abandoned houses with gory histories; Civil War-stricken families; unexplained events and most predominantly, disappearances - all of which in some way reflect the writers's own life experience.
Well worth a look, and unusually not at all tame for this period. Interesting.
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on 8 December 2007
Some of the stories were a bit "samey" and I would suggest reading a handful at a time and perhaps coming back to the book to appreciate them. One story in particular which I found particularly frightening as the description was so vivid was "Chickamauga" - amazing!! Even some of the page-long stories were very well written even though they were only a page!
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on 25 May 2013
This is a collection of old Victorian horror stories so the writing style may seem a little old fashioned, but once you get over that the stories become easier to appreciate. Although the stories are at the early stages in the evolution of the horror genre, I found most of them are quite amusing. I also like the fact that there are so many of them. At the core of each story is a classic hook or twist. This is a quirky book to own.
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on 25 January 2015
Tales are pretty good. And it is classic of the literature, which is one of the most important things. It is like my expectations were :)
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on 3 May 2016
Cant't get enough of this writer. Really great writing.
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on 19 September 2014
Great creepy story book
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on 29 January 2015
great al round
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on 28 June 2014
Gave as a gift
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on 8 February 2011
After reading the glowing reviews, I expected this book to be great. But not only are the stories not scary, a good proportion of them are actually very boring. I have at least managed to make my way through the book, but it has been quite a trial. I now plan to give the book to a charity shop.
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