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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Review, 1 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: The Mammoth Book of Modern Ghost Stories (Mammoth Books) (Kindle Edition)
This review refers only to the Kindle edition, which is pretty good and not overly infested with typos or layout issues. The format is simple; various stories divided (some by very thin justification) into topics such as Christmas stories, haunted houses, comic tales etc. Each story has a spoiler at the start which gives the date and location of the setting and a quote which usually gives the whole game away. This is followed by a fairly good potted biography of each author. At the end of the collection there is an appendix listing various ghost-themed novels from the 20th century (and that has been another consistent complaint - very few of the included stories can be called modern, since the vast majority date to the first half of the twentieth century). This is a full listing.
1: M R James - Oh Whistle and I'll Come To You, My Lad. Much anthologised story of an unfortunate academic's seaside holiday, but still a classic.
2: A C Benson - The House of Treheale. A superb and brooding tale of a composer under an evil influence.
3: E G Swain - The Richepins. Quite interesting but slow paced piece concerning a doppelganger.
4: Arthur Gray - The Everlasting Club. Tale of a disreputable Cambridge society.
5: A N L Munby - Number 79. Brief but excellent story of a rare manuscript.
6: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - Playing With Fire. Cautionary tale of a seance.
7: Rudyard Kipling - The House Surgeon. Haunted house yarn with a slight difference.
8: John Buchan - The Grove of Ashtaroth. Remarkable tale of an African shrine.
9: W Somerset Maugham - A Man From Glasgow. Excellently creepy piece involving spectral laughter.
10: D H Lawrence - The Last Laugh. Odd but quite compelling tale of a pagan visitation.
11: Vladimir Nabokov - The Visit to the Museum. Unusual but rather overblown story of a mysterious museum.
12: Arthur Machen - The Bowmen. Far too familiar supernatural propaganda piece.
13: George Minto - The Ghost of U65. Fascinating account of a haunted sub.
14: Algernon Blackwood - Vengeance Is Mine. Not one of his best, a melodramatic propaganda tale from the First World War.
15: Lord Dunsany - The Punishment. Yet another WWI propaganda item.
16: Dennis Wheatley - The Haunted Chateau. Entertaining yarn about a dangerous billet.
17: Elizabeth Bowen - Pink Mary. Excellent spooky story about an inconvenient presence.
18: Derek Barnes - A Gremlin in the Beer. Least worthwhile one in the collection, being no more than a rather dull wartime anecdote.
19: Sir Alec Guiness - Money For Jam. Surprisingly excellent tale of a ghostly warning at sea.
20: Edith Wharton - The Lady's Maid's Bell. Fascinating piece about an unquiet spirit.
21: Marie Belloc Lowndes - The Duenna. Another intriguing one, about a wife on the verge of adultery.
22: Eudora Welty - Clytie. Genuinely disturbing story of a dysfunctional family.
23: Daphne du Maurier - The Pool. Long but quite effective tale of a girl hovering on the edge of an occult world.
24: Jane Gardam - A Spot of Gothic. Neat little chiller set in the Yorkshire Dales.
25: H G Wells - The Inexperienced Ghost. Another overly exposed story about a novice phantom.
26: Alexander Woollcott - Full Fathom Five. Interesting tale of two ladies stranded in an abandoned house.
27: James Thurber - The Night the Ghost Got In. This story of the consequences of hearing a ghost tries a bit too hard to be funny.
28: Eric Kearn - Sir Tristram Goes West. Filmed as The Ghost Goes West, this is a fairly amusing story of a spectral cavalier.
29: Kingsley Amis - Who Or What Was It? Dull tale which reads like a trailer for his much superior novel The Green Man.
30: Ray Bradbury - Another Fine Mess. I hadn't read this one before but was not impressed with this yarn about famous ghosts reenacting their greatest triumph.
31: H Rider Haggard - Only a Dream. Quite effective chiller about a bridegroom on the eve of his second marriage.
32: Edith Nesbit - The Haunted House. Melodramatic but entertaining tale of a haunted rectory.
33: E F Benson - The Light in the Gardens. Excellent story of a nocturnal visitation.
34: Marjorie Bowen - The Prescription. Very good piece about an unusual house call.
35: Howard Spring - Christmas Honeymoon. Atmospheric tale of a Cornish holiday.
36: Hammond Innes - South Sea Bubble. Interesting yarn set on a yacht.
37: Peter Ackroyd - Ringing the Good News In. A New father is haunted by odd phone calls.
38: Fritz Leiber - Smoke Ghost. Excellent but fairly familiar story of a disturbing modern phantasm.
39: A E Van Vogt - The Ghost. Fascinating tales of an old man with a curious way with time.
40: William F Nolan - The Party. Another quite disturbing piece about a cocktail gathering.
41: J B Priestley - Underground. A man gets the tube train ride of a lifetime.
42: Joyce Carol Oates - Haunted. Very dark and unsettling tale of two young girls in a farming community.
43: Philip Pullman - Video Nasty. Rather weak tale (possibly intended for a younger readership) about three boys bobbing off school to watch a snuff movie.
44: Louis de Bernieres - My Beautiful House. Moving tale from an unusual perspective.
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