Good old fashioned storytelling,
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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.