Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Collected Ghost Stories

I often take Montague on holiday with me. He doesn't take up much room and he doesn't eat all the Baby Bells. I'm talking about Montague Rhodes James - my favourite writer of ghost stories. This time Montague is telling me the stories that didn't get printed in his four haunting anthologies. I prefer the individual publications to the doorstop collection here. It's pretty evident why these six stories didn't make it into the original publications.
  1. The Uncommon Prayer-Book
  2. A Neighbour's Landmark
  3. Rats
  4. The Experiment
  5. The Malice of Inanimate Objects
  6. A Vignette
They are a little rough around the edges, lacking the gloss of a story that an author has done tinkering with. There are still chilling moments to be had but there are no classics present unfortunately. Also included are several excerpts from prefaces by James that were published in his collections and other ghost story anthologies. They are very honest descriptions and opinions on the writing process and the qualities James valued in the creation of stories of this genre. He also talks about that drawer that all writers possess that houses the unfinished writings, or unused ideas. It's all invaluable stuff for writers interested in developing a style that might be influenced by James and others of his degree of adeptness.

No comments:

Post a Comment