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The watcher by the threshold,

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: George H. Doran (1918)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0006AI0HO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Format: Paperback
Buchan and Kipling were the great storytellers of the early 20th century. Both go to the same source for their material, their childhood home, in Buchan's case, south west Scotland. Both show a profound understanding of the 'common' people they grew up with. This collection of short stories is full of remote lanscapes, fatalist gloom and superstition. Buchan is really good at tales which hover just on the borderline of the supernatural where ordinary men face extraordinary situations. Like all compilations this is a mixed bag and some of the earlier stories are mannered and contrived but this is a jolly good read on its own and if you know his more polished work, a surprisingly different tone from a much younger man. (If you dont know his other work, please read Prester John, the most ripping yarn ever.) A good book to take on holiday, especially north of the border.
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By Manly Reading TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback
John Buchan is probably best known today for his Richard Hannay spy stories, such as "The 39 Steps". But this is a collection of his early weird fiction, written around the turn of the 20th century. It is largely psychological horror, although the main theme of the stories is that they are all, to a greater or lesser degree, Scottish tales.

The contents are:
No Man's Land
The Far Islands
The Watcher by the Threshold
The Outgoing of the Tide
Fountainblue

Fountainblue is not really weird fiction, in the sense there is nothing supernatural in it (and indeed, that could also be said of the Far Islands, to a degree). But all of these stories are little horror pieces, thrillers focused on vague impending doom rather than an evil high priest about to eviscerate one in the name of [insert dark god here]. All of the stories are haunting and memorable in different ways, from the "Lost Race" of No Man's Land to witchcraft and possession, and the magical Far Islands are perhaps the best story of all.

This is a nice little collection of chilling stories all with a Scottish theme.
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