Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Curious Warnings: The Great Ghost Stories of M.R. James Hardcover – 26 Apr 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£108.81 £49.98
click to open popover

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books (26 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857388045
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857388049
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 5.6 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 523,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Product description

Review

'It's about time such an important and entertaining body of work was given the care and attention it deserves' SFF World. (SFF World)

'There are some authors one wishes one had never read so that one might have the joy of reading them for the first time. For me, M.R. James is one of these' Ruth Rendell. (Ruth Rendell)

Book Description

An illustrated collector's edition to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Father of the modern ghost story.

See all Product description

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This impressive, weighty and nicely produced volume collects all of M.R. James's ghost stories, including obscure and unfinished ones. The quality of M.R. James's ghost story writing is well known and extends to many of the rarer and lesser-known stories included here but not in most of the other collections.

As my fellow reviewer points out, some of the stories have been amended punctuation-wise. The editor Stephen Jones argues this is to appeal more to modern readers by removing some of the more long-winded and antiquarian sentence constructions. Whilst I take his point I'm not sure I agree; this isn't Chaucer, it was written in the 20th century and it's hardly difficult to follow. Nevertheless, Jones has produced a very impressive collection.

Another minor niggle is the use of italics and a typewriter-style font for the elements of the stories where quotations and excerpts are used, which is not an improvement as it's simply not as comfortable to read them. That said, the book as a whole is beautifully produced and a joy to read, and illustrated here and there with wonderfully atmospheric illustrations.

As one would expect all the stories from the various editions of the collected Ghost Stories are here, together with the novella "The Five Jars" and the fragments that never became full stories. Some of these, such as "John Humphreys" and "Marcilly-le-Hayer" are as atmospheric and chilling as the better known greats. Unfortunately some of them have bits missing, and no attempt has been made to fill in the gaps or reconstruct what might be. That said, nobody would agree on what these should be so it's probably for the best.

Jones presents an impressive postscript in the form of publication and dramatisation history of all things Jamesian.
Read more ›
Comment 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
What a pity, when the Afterword is valuable and the fragmentary stories so rarely found, that the editor Stephen Jones has taken it upon himself to muck around with James's punctuation to make him more "accessible" - on the grounds that the original author was "not much of a stylist". Hmm.

Perhaps it had not occurred to him that many of us read these stories for the style as much as the substance. Mr Jones claims that he has not cut a word or altered the meaning. In the event, he often obscures James's meaning without clarifying it in the slightest. Sometimes he does worse. Here is just one, rather shocking example.

The original first paragraph of "Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad" reads:
'I suppose you will be getting away pretty soon, now Full Term is over, Professor,' said a person not in the story to the Professor of Ontography, soon after they had sat down next to each other at a feast in the hospitable hall of St James's College.'

Here is the "accessible" Jones version, which adds a full stop after 'now':
'I suppose you will be getting away pretty soon, now. Full term is over, Professor," said a person not in the story to the Professor of Ontography, soon after they had sat down next to each other at a feast in the hospitable hall of St. James's College.'

This introduces the baffling impression that the Professor needs to be told, rhetorically, that "Full term is over," rather in the manner of a bad Hollywood script. The extra punctuation turns James's elegant first sentence into bad writing. It destroys the rhythm and ruins the sense.

Such examples abound on nearly every page.
Read more ›
2 Comments 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a handsomely bound (leather?) book containing all the ghost stories by the master of the form, including rarities and extra material on tv adaptations etc. But, as editor Jones admits, he will tick off a lot of purists with his re-punctuating these classics for a modern audience. Nothing's cut, but changing antique phrasing like "to-day" into "today" detracts from the flavour of the language. And rendering one tale almost entirely in italics, however justified in context, makes it a pain to read. Classic material, handsome book, big mistake.
4 Comments 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
What an awful edition. In "Ghosts - Treat them gently" James warns against "excess" in writing ghost stories. What a pity the publisher didn't heed this. The gimmicky, morbidly funeral black edges to the pages add nothing to James' stories and soon become scuffed and make the book look tatty. The style of the illustrations by Les Edwards are more suited to something by Ramsey Campbell that to James.

To cap it all, as has been pointed out by other reviewers, the editor, Stephen Jones has the temerity to mess around with the author's punctuation and sentence structure - see other reviews below for examples of Jones' incompetent, bungling interference in this respect.

As Jones points out, if one wants the original texts, then there are plenty other editions that contain them. It's just a pity that one wasn't warned before purchasing this edition.

James deserved something better than this as an anniversary edition. The publisher should be haunted by James' ghost.
1 Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews