10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Interesting collection, if somewhat varied in quality.,
This review is from: The Collected Macabre Stories of L.P. Hartley (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.