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review 2018-01-06 02:19
The last story strengthened my resolve to never go on a cruise
Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories by Dahl, Roald (2012) Paperback - Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories was a must-have for me for 2 reasons: 1. Roald Dahl is one of my favorite authors and I want to read everything he's ever written and 2. I love ghost stories. I have to admit that going into this one I was very much under the impression that this was going to be a book filled with stories written by Dahl himself. I clearly hadn't read the synopsis or book jacket because that is not what this book is about. This is a collection of some of Dahl's favorite ghost stories written by other people. He compiled this list when he was working on a project for American television and his preparation was extensive. He read 749 tales of the supernatural by different authors and from that large number he whittled it down to 14 of his favorites that he felt were not only excellent examples of writing in this genre but that would make for good television. (He also discovered that women are experts in this field and until the 11th hour he thought they would beat out the men with a hard majority.) Since there are 14 different stories in this collection, I will only talk about 2 that I found particularly chilling (and yes they are written by women). 


The first is called 'Harry' and was written by Rosemary Timperley. It bore a striking resemblance to The Imaginary in that its primary focus was on a little girl who had a strong friendship with an imaginary boy. The biggest difference here is that the mom tried very hard to squash this relationship because she had a deep and abiding fear...of the name Harry. Yes, I too found this odd. Nevertheless, while it may seem irrational this fear was quite powerful and instead of ignoring the interactions of her child and her invisible playmate she let it consume her until...well you'll have to read the story.

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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text 2017-09-06 04:28
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 464 pages.
The Penguin Book of Ghost Stories: From Elizabeth Gaskell to Ambrose Bierce (Penguin Classics) - Various

Got this goodie in the mail today with some short stories I think will fit a few squares ^__^ 

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review 2015-12-20 04:03
New Ghost Stories II (The Fiction Desk Book 8) - Die Booth,Jane Alexander,Tamsin Hopkins,Matt Plass,Matthew Licht,Amanda Mason,Miha Mazzini,Rob Redman

For my full length review, and review of individual stories, please visit Casual Debris.


New Ghost Stories II includes eleven original short stories and a reprint of a medieval poem. Overall I did not enjoy it as much as previous issues, nor as much as their first ghost stories anthology, but there are some good tales included. Though many stories have a fantastical element, and those that don't have the suggestion of one, there aren't too many actual ghosts in the book. This of course is not a bad thing, since it offers a nice variety of subjects, from traditional ghosts to none at all, and some nice ambiguity in between.

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review 2015-12-11 00:00
The Visitors Book: And Other Ghost Stories
The Visitors Book: And Other Ghost Stori... The Visitors Book: And Other Ghost Stories - Sophie Hannah Actual rating 3.5

Within these pages you will find four stories, each with a slightly supernatural twist.

Victoria Scase's boyfriend has a visitors book in his small apartment. A visitors book that bothers her on a level she can't quite understand, but which her boyfriend is challenging her to sign.
He doesn't sound angry. He sounds bored, as if it doesn't matter to him; he'd quite like to win the argument but he isn't emotionally invested in it. It makes me feel uneasy. So does the way he avoids my eye.
Jen notices a polite little boy has been left behind after her son Max's birthday party.
Parents began to ring the doorbell again. When they asked if I knew where their particular child was, I forced myself not to say, 'Oh, just take any. There are no individuals here. They've merged to form a rabble.'
Suzie starts seeing ghosts one day. But maybe they're not really ghosts, because other people seem to see them but be unafraid of them...
They cross the street. The hem of the ghost's coat touches my car as she passes. Neither woman looks at me through the windscreen; I only realise I was afraid they would - afraid she would - once it hasn't happened. 
And Mel finds a confidant on the edge of the school oval; another mother who hates the rest of the mothers as much as she does, a woman who talks about ghosts and encourages Mel to mess with the other women.
Julie sighs heavily. 'Don't be thick, Mel. With cremation, the ashes are scattered and that's it, job done. With burial, there's a grave to be visited and tended week after week, year after year. There's a ... a site that needs to be maintained.'
Did I hear a note of pride in Julie's voice? Is she actively looking forward to being a high-maintenance cadaver?

The rest of this review can be found HERE!
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review 2015-02-27 23:25
The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women - Marie O'Regan

This is a solid collection of ghost stories by American and British women writing in English. Featuring a mix of old and new, thematically there's something for almost everyone, with an especially strong selection of haunted house type tales. I would have liked to see more diversity in setting and some stories by Anglophone authors from outside the US and UK, as well as some translated works if this was really meant to an anthology of ghost stories "by women" rather than women writing in English (Anne-Sylvie Salzman's work would have fit in very well-at least as well as Caitlin R. Kiernan's, which is featured here). A few clunkers (including the opening story, the only one I DNFd) mar the book's pacing and weaken the whole, but overall this is a nice addition to the Mammoth Books series and I'd love to see a (slightly more inclusive) second edition of 'Ghost Stories by Women'. 

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