Top positive review
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Strange Tales that Lurk in the Shadow of Sherlock.......
on 29 November 2007
Thank you Wordsworth for making this excellent collection of stories available. They are consistantly good and are best enjoyed in the dark on a wintry night beside a roaring log fire (or cheaper/ more environmentally friendly alternative).
I 've always enjoyed Conan Doyle, he's a very accessible writer who knows how to tell a good, effective yarn without getting bogged down with too much discription. He gets right to the point. Yes, he created Sherlock Holmes and found fame with that creation but these tales are unjustly sidelined by the the violin-playing, cocaine-taking super-sleuth. For just a couple of quid you can have these stories that are as far away from Mrs Hudson and the cosy interior of Baker Street as it is possible to get.
Consider a torn and blooded manuscript found in a field that tells a tale of high-altitude life forms attacking a pioneering 'aero-naut', Consider the tale of love, revenge and eternal life that takes place in the Louvre and witnessed by an English accademic or how about a vast subterranean cave system that is stalked by....by what exactly? All compelling, thrilling and weird in equal measure. Sometimes it is easy to see what is coming, but actually this makes the stories even more intriguing as you ask yourself, 'how exactly will this unfold?'
The two masterpieces of this collection are 'The Captain Of The Polestar' that draws on Conan Doyle's early experiences on a Whaling ship in the Frozen wastes of the Arctic, and Lot No. 249 which you won't be forgetting in a hurry.
Highly recommended. You can't really go wrong at this price anyway.
Incidentally, three of the stories can be found on the NAXOS audio 'Four Short Stories - read by the excellent Carl Rigg'. Worth hunting down that one. Also, If these stories are your cup of tea, check out 'The Wordsworth Book of Horror Stories (ISBN: 1840220562)It has all of 'TALES OF UNEASE' in it as well as All the M.R. James stories, some Sheridan Le Fanu, W. W. Jacobs, Ambrose Bierce and many others. A great introduction.
The Stories included in Tales Of Unease are:
The Brazilian Cat ****
The Ring Of Thoth ****
The Lord Of Chateau Noir *****
The New Catecomb *****
The Case Of Lady Sannox ****
The Brown Hand ****
The Horror Of The Heights ***** (On NAXOS cd)
The Terror Of Blue John Gap ***** (On NAXOS cd)
The Captain Of The Polestar *****
How It Happened ****
Playing With Fire *****
The Leather Funnel ****
Lot NO. 249 ***** (On NAXOS cd)
The Los Amigos Fiasco ****
The Nightmare Room *****