The Long Retreating Day: Tales of Twilight and Borderlands Hardcover – Special Limited Edition, 2 Feb 2006
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Hardcover, Special Limited Edition
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"The Long Retreating Day" features ten ghost stories.
Top Customer Reviews
Every mention of John Gaskin's work seems to also reference M.R. James and it's easy to see why. These are stories which are timeless, they evoke feelings of 19th or early 20th century fiction. This is a world of shooting estates, railways and academics placing bets over the existence of spirits in a church. Yet they also contain mobile phones, the trains are electric or diesel and even the internet is invoked, but it is the subject matter which remains in some temporal stasis. The Twilight and Borderlands of the subtitle are the twilights between life and death, old ways and new ways, the borderlands are those places which are strongly imbued with emotions to the extent that supernatural encounters or events occur, places at the edge.
So it's clear that Gaskin is writing within the classic ghost story tradition but these are not pastiches or an attempt by an author to try to impersonate a style, John Gaskin is the living breathing successor to the likes of M.R. James. In some distant future the compression of time will see him described as one of the great Ghost story writers, James, Blackwood and Gaskin will be discussed as a collective.
Topped and tailed by emotionally charged selections of poetry the stories are universally excellent. The Conceit Of The Dancing Man is perhaps the strongest nod to M.R James but this is followed by Tapiola, for me a direct successor to Blackwood's The Willows with its richly drawn landscapes and strange ethereal feel.Read more ›