Music Review: CRIMSON THORN – Anthology Of Brutality

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crimson thorn anthology of brutalityCRIMSON THORN
Anthology Of Brutality: 1992-2002 The Complete Collective Works
Bombworks Records
2017

As death metal goes, Crimson Thorn ranks up there in my Top 3 favorites. They’re one of the most heavy, brutal, gut-churning-ly fantastic groups to ever have graced my earholes. I caught them live at Cornerstone 2002, around the time when they released their final full-length Purification, a show that congealed my insides and left me with a warm, tingly sensation that I’m 86% sure wasn’t just a minor stroke brought on by the show. If I had one complaint about the band, it’s that the production quality–especially on their first full-length release–left a lot to be desired.

Fortunately, and at long last, the good folks at the always-awesome Bombworks Records understood this, and released a three disc boxed set of the Crimson Thorn albums, along with a few extra odds and sods, all of which are completely remastered to finally showcase the death metal the way it was supposed to be listened to: where you can feel it down deep in the bowels of your very being.

Disc one contains the 1994 debut full-length Unearthed, plus the Plagued demo from 1993. Disc two contains 1997’s Dissection, plus their contribution to the Tribute To Living Sacrifice compilation (“Anorexia Spiritual”), and “Something Else”. Disc three contains 2002’s Purification release, plus three live cuts from a show in Minneapolis: “Intro/Imminent Wrath”, “Sarcastic Deviation”, and “Putrid Condemnation”.

If you’re anything like me, then you already own all of these releases, including the Live In Minneapolis DVD. Well, there’s still a very good reason to get Anthology Of Brutality, and that’s because the remastering has made everything sound superb. The sound is no longer muddled–especially on both the Plagued demo and Unearthed releases–and all of the delicious brutality goodness is made nice, clear and solid. If you’re tired of not being able to crank up Crimson Thorn’s discography as you’d like, Anthology Of Brutality has got you covered.

If you’re wanting a physical copy of the boxed set itself, this was limited to 500 copies, so you’d probably want to be quick about it. However, the songs are also available for digital download from Amazon, which is where I purchased my copy, and if you’re okay with that, it still sounds fantastic. Either way you go, Anthology Of Brutality comes highly recommended by your Uncle NecRo, and gets an enthusiastic five-out-of-five Metal Horns Up.

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Movie Review: SOUTHBOUND

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southboundDark Sky Films
2015
R

“This next one might be familiar to some of you. It’s for all of you out there who don’t want the night to end. So go ahead, make some mistakes. You can always get it right the next time.”

Interlocking tales of highway terror revolve around malevolent spirits at a truck stop, a mysterious traveler, a car accident and a home invasion.

Southbound is an anthology type horror film that, while not really a sequel entry in the V/H/S series of horror anthology movies, does feature work by many filmmakers that worked previously on those movies as well. No other tie-in, as Southbound is its own entity. Just found that interesting for some odd reason.

The concept here involves a dark desert highway (cool wind in my hair) where travelers on this stretch confront their worst nightmares and darkest secrets as weird supernatural stuff happens to them. There are five stories that interlock throughout the movie:

“The Way Out”
We open on a couple of guys driving a beat up pickup down the highway, where it’s clear that, due to their appearance and general behavior, something bad had just happened not too long prior. They’re being pursued by these ghastly apparitions (that will be popping up in all of the other bits in the movie), and they stop at this run-down diner/gas station to freshen up and maybe shake the things off of their tail. Of course, they soon realize they’re stuck in a bizarre reality, and after one of the guys is finally killed by one of the apparitions, the other is led to a motel, and is trapped in one of the rooms in his own personal hell…

“Siren”
Cut to another room at the motel, and we are introduced to three college-age girls just waking up and leaving their room, and take off in their van. Turns out these girls are a band called The White Tights, and while motorin’ down the road, they get a flat. They’re picked up by a weird, eccentric couple (think the Brady Bunch parents but more over the top), who take them to their home and feed them burnt meatloaf. One of the girls doesn’t eat due to being a vegetarian, so she doesn’t get to become part of the secret cult the couple are a part of. She escapes being chased around, has some disturbing visions of a dead friend, and runs out onto the highway, only to be hit by the guy in the next story…

“The Accident”
The guy who hit the girl was distracted by talking to his wife on the cell phone (don’t dial and drive, kiddies). He panics, and instead of bolting he does the noble thing and stays with her, calling 911, who directs him to drive her to the nearby town and directs him to the hospital. Only, it turns out the hospital is abandoned. For quite some time. And he’s being instructed on how to administer treatment…which doesn’t go well. And then the EMT and dispatch on the phone start laughing at him. Then he gets a new set of clothes from one of the lockers, along with a new phone and car keys to a new car, then leaves…

“Jailbreak”
Which is when we discover the “dispatcher” that was talking with the guy was really a woman on a pay phone watching the guy drive off. She then goes to a bar named The Trap, where a guy with a shotgun comes in demanding where his sister is. He takes the bartender hostage and forces him to take him to where his sister is, which turns out to be a mystic tattoo parlor located in the back side of an ice cream parlor. There, he finds his sister doing some old school tattoo work, and he announces that he’s there to rescue her…only she tells him she’s there by choice and doesn’t want to leave. The guy responds by killing the bartender and kidnapping his sister, driving off into the darkness…where the car breaks down off road, and his sister tells him she was the one who killed their parents all those years ago, and she deserves to live in the town. Demons then grab the guy and pull him out of the car as she walks back into town…

“The Way In”
Back at the ice creme parlor (which is named Freez’n Over….ha ha ha), a girl and her parents are finishing up their food. Turns out the girl is about to head off to college, and this is their last weekend together. They head over to their vacation house and are settling in, when suddenly three unexpected guests in masks show up and hold the parents hostage, as the girl was able to hide. One of the masked invaders alludes to knowing a dark secret the dad is hiding, then kills the mother. The girl attacks, and runs away while her father is killed, one of the killers holding up a picture of a girl that we first saw in the opening story. The girl returns to attack, but is accidentally killed…and that’s when those ghoulish apparitions begin appearing out of the ground, and the two remaining guys from the first story take off in their pickup…

Of them all, I liked “The Accident” and “Jailbreak” the most, in that order. The other three were all right, and had their moments. As a whole, there was a good creepy vibe going on, and I liked the way things were tying in with each other. But overall, there wasn’t much to really blow my mind about. The shorts were well-made, and you are entertained, but that’s about it. Southbound works best if you think of it as a horror anthology comic book brought to life, like Creepshow. It’s worth checking out some night.

Music Review: PANTOKRATOR – A Decade Of Thoughts

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pantokrator - a decade of thoughtsPANTOKRATOR
A Decade Of Thoughts
Momentum Scandinavia
2007

In what I do, with collecting, listening to, and blogging my thoughts on so much \,,/METAL\,,/ that graces my earholes over the past couple of decades (plus some change), it comes to a point where a band has to be extra specially awesome to stick out. Pantokrator is one of those bands. Ever since picking p the In The Bleak Midwinter / Songs Of Solomon split with Sanctifica at Cornerstone 2002, they’ve managed to maintain a presence in my Frequently Played playlist since.

And like many other Death Metal bands imported from Europe, there was going to be releases that I wouldn’t be able to pinpoint and get leading up to what was available in the States, without paying an arm and a leg, or spelunking in the feted depths of rarities and opp trading and selling. Ebay was still in its early stages, after all. Fortunately, the next best thing to having all the demos and early EPs re-released on a boxed set collection, in 2007 Momentum Scandinavia released a compilation entitled A Decade Of Thoughts, featuring selections from the demos, EPs, and other work of the past ten years leading up to this.

On this particular compilation, there are cuts pulled from 1997’s Unclean Plants / Ancient Path demo (“Punish The Evil”, “Unclean Plants”), 1998’s Even Unto The Ends Of The Earth demo (“Via Dolorosa”), 2000’s Allhärskare EP (“Lamentation”), 2001’s Songs Of Solomon EP (“Come Let Us Flee”, “Separated By Night”), their 2003 full-length Blod (“Bundsfoervant”, “Gudablodets Kraft”, “Tidevarv”), the “Leviathan” single that was released earlier that year, plus four previously unreleased songs: “Nebuchadnezzar” (which would go on to be “The Madness Of Nebuchadnezzar” on the full-length Aurum release later that year), a cover of Vengeance Rising’s “Cut Into Pieces”, “White Robes” and “Psalm 29”. The production on all of the songs is very good, and the music is…well, it’s Pantokrator. Meaning it’s some very high-quality progressive death metal, even in their early stages.

Overall, A Decade Of Thoughts is a good compilation. I would have maybe preferred a few more selections from the albums that only had one cut represented on here, but for a chance to take a look at the earlier works of one of my favorite death metal bands, this was enough to slate my thirst.

Book Review: The HARLAN ELLISON COLLECTION: I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream

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I have no mouth and i must screamHarlan Ellison
Ace Books
1984

Slowly but surely I am assimilating eBooks into my reading habit. Not that I’m fully converted to the digital style of reading a book; I’m still very much old-school when it comes to that, I can assure you. But, even I have to admit that there are some advantages to reading something electronically. Like when you’re on a rather long download at work, and can access the ebook account there for some quality reading time while you’re waiting for that dial-up download to go through. Seriously, in this day and age, why do are there still dialups going on?

Anyway, one of the ebooks I purchased was this nifty thing featuring seven short stories by science fiction icon Harlan Ellison. Mostly because for years I’ve been hearing about how the title story was one of the more haunting and scary pieces of science fiction horror written. But, also as kind of a taster for the author himself, as I wasn’t really all that familiar with Ellison, beyond his reputation of not being able to play well with others. Also, he wrote a classic episode of Star Trek TOS. Here are the stories and my thoughts on ’em:

“I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream”
…the classic story of a sentient computer that came self-aware during World War III and killed off all of humanity, save for five, which it (he?) keeps alive for the simple reason to torture them throughout the centuries. I have to admit, this is a very haunting and nihilistic post apocalyptic tale, very effective. Just the way I like it. I can see why this is loved in the Science Fiction community.

“Big Sam Was My Friend”
…a sad tale of an intergalactic circus performer that was put to death due to his interruption of a virgin sacrifice. Also, he can teleport. Also, his circus chums let it happen due to business. It’s quite bittersweet, really.

“Eyes Of Dust”
…on a planet of perfect beauty, the “ugly” couple have a kid equally as ugly, and it doesn’t sit well with the Normals. This one is rather brief, and I get the feeling that there could have been more explored within the context of the story, but it just kind of escalates quickly and then ends.

“World of the Myth”
…three space-faring explorers crash-land on a planet, and while waiting for their rescue ship to arrive, have a run-in with an indigenous species of insects. And yes, wackiness ensues. This one kind of reminded me of a variation of the Outer Limits episode “The Sandkings”, with the insects that are more than what we would perceive them as. Or, more to the point, as they would perceive us as.

“Lonelyache”
…a divorced man slowly goes insane. It doesn’t end well, as you may have deduced by now. Very bleak, very melancholy. Also, it makes me question my desire to not remain single for the entirety of my life.

“Delusion for a Dragon Slayer”
…an average man living a mundane existence happens to be a mere few minutes late on his usual routine and is crushed by a wrecking ball…and that’s when the adventure begins. This was more a straight fantasy, like one of the Dreamland tales of H. P. Lovecraft, with a rather melancholy ending. Not too bad, this.

“Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes”
…a down-on-his-luck guy uses his last literal dollar on a slot machine in Vegas, and begins to win big; the reason of which involves the ghost of a lady that died playing that very slot six months prior.

I have to admit, I had no idea of what to expect when first taking in the stories. It turns out that Ellison’s style is really more of a blend of science fiction, some fantasy and horror, with everything marinated heavily in dark existential nihilism. It’s kind of like Philip K. Dick without the mental illness, and just jaded and grumpy. Which is what I dig. Also, his introductions are insightful, yes, but also a riot.

As a first timer checking out his work, I found this collection to be more than beneficial. I was rather sad that it ended so soon, really. Highly recommended to check out.

Book Review: FULL DARK, NO STARS

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Book Review FULL DARK, NO STARSStephen King
Scribner
2010

Stephen King excels at telling stories. That’s pretty much the basic gist of it, I guess. He’s been telling stories in many different formats over several decades, which means he’s capable of telling tales that manage to break the bounds of the genre that most have pigeonholed him in. Which, I guess, is my lame way to start off this review for his third collection of novellas to have been published, Full Dark, No Stars.

The four stories collected here lean more to the hard-boild crime chiller type of stories that, had this been a different time, probably would have been published under King’s former pen name Richard Bachman. But, before I get too far, let’s take a look at the individual stories contained herein, shall we?

“1922”
…a Nebraska farmer writes a confession/suicide note detailing the bad year he had in 1922. It’s a murder chiller that plays out like a classic story from the old EC Comics thrillers of old.

“Big Driver”
…this was a hard one for me to get through, mainly due to the subject matter of a woman who is raped and gets her revenge on the culprits. The whole violence against women thing makes me sick to my stomach; regardless, this was a good hard-boiled revenge thriller with…well, I wouldn’t say a “happy ending”. Would that even be possible ever again?

“Fair Extension”
…the shortest story in this collection, it would be a stretch to call this a novella, given that it’s just a skosh over thirty pages. And for whatever reason, I pictured Jason Alexander (of Seinfeld fame) playing the part as the Devil in this story. Anyway, kind of a darker Twilight Zone type of story, where a guy who’s had nothing but bad luck happens upon someone who can give him a new lease on life, for a certain price.

“A Good Marriage”
…a wife’s long-time and idealistic (if not a bit hum-drum) marriage existence gets shaken to the core when she accidentally finds out her husband might be a notorious serial killer. Pretty tense, and the ending is straight out of a Columbo mystery.

Overall, the collection within Full Dark, No Stars aren’t so much supernatural horror, so much as hard boiled thrillers from the same vein as the EC Comic and the Alfred Hitchcock pulp magazines. Obviously, there’s going to be a touch of the supernatural style, mostly with “A Fair Extension”; most of the horror, though, is derived from regular everyday people finding themselves in a very non-regular and dark situation, where there’s no hope of coming out unscathed. Like I mentioned earlier you might say these are Richard Bachman stories that King just decided to put his regular name on.

I really should note that two stories from here have already been made into movies: “Big Driver”, which was made into a Lifetime movie, and “A Good Marriage”. And there’s been news of “1922” being made into one as well. I haven’t watched any of the two movie adaptations, and probably won’t any time soon. As far as reading the book goes, yeah, no regrets doing so. It’s a Stephen King book for certain. What more can I say?

HALLOWEEN’ING 2016: Day 4 – Classic Horror Stories

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halloweening-2016-logo

Spooky Reads:

classic-horror-stories

CLASSIC HORROR STORIES

(Barnes & Noble Collectible Edition)

I’m a real sucker when it comes to gimmicky horror and ghost story collections, especially the ones that the big chain bookstore Barnes & Noble churns out ever now and again. Usually these are cheaper versions made specifically for their discount priced rack; once in a while, though, something pops up in their Collectible Editions line that bears attention. Such as this one here, Classic Horror Stories.

Since this is part of their Collectible Editions line, this tome is beautifully rendered to look like one of those kinds of books that are always in Victorian era bookshelves in movies. Classy. Bonded leather, gilded pages, even a built-in ribbon bookmark so you’ll never lose your place. But, what the real treat to this is located between the covers.

There are some very classic stories from the masters of the genre from back in the day: Edgar Allan Poe (“The Black Cat”, “The Masque of the Red Death”, “The Fall of the House of Usher”), J. Sheridan Le Fanu (“The Watcher”, “Schalken the Painter”), Ambrose Bierce (“The Middle Toe of the Right Foot”, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”), Henry James (“The Ghostly Rental”, “The Jolly Corner”), Bram Stoker (“The Judge’s House”, “The Squaw”), Guy de Maupassant (“Was It A Dream?” “The Horla”), Robert Louis Stevenson (“The Body-Snatcher”), Mary E. Wilkins Freeman (“The Wind in the Rose-Bush”, “The Shadows on the Wall”), F. Marion Crawford (“The Upper Berth”), E. Nesbit (“Man-Size In Marble”), Arthur Conan Doyle (“Lot No. 249”, “The Horror of the Heights”), Edith Wharton (“The Eyes”, “Afterward”), M. R. James (“Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad”, “Count Magnus”), Arthur Machen (“The Great God Pan”, “Novel of the White Powder”), W. W. Jackson (“The Monkey’s Paw”), Robert W. Chambers (“The Yellow Sign”), E. F. Benson (“Caterpillars”, “Negotium Perambulans”), Algernon Blackwood (“The Windigo”, “The Willows”), Oliver Onions (“The Beckoning Fair One”), William Hope Hodgson (“The Derelict”, “The Voice in the Night”), Henry S. Whitehead (“August Heat”, “The Ankardyne Pew”), and what collection would be complete without the great H. P. Lovecraft (“The Colour out of Space”, “The Dunwich Horror”)?

For twenty bucks, not only do you lend some gravitas to your bookshelf, but you can truly kick it old-school with a proper scare that only your imagination can give you.

Book Review: The OXFORD BOOK OF TWENTIETH CENTURY GHOST STORIES

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Book Review: The OXFORD BOOK OF TWENTIETH CENTURY GHOST STORIESMichael Cox (editor)
Oxford University Press
1996

“The ghosts of fiction were not killed off by the advent of the electric light, the invention of the telephone, the coming of the motor car, or even by the once unthinkable horrors of technological warfare. Instead they took over the trappings, landscapes, and cultural assumptions of the twentieth century for their ancient purposes.” Thus Michael Cox introduces The Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century Ghost Stories, a unique collection of 33 of the best and most chilling ghost stories of our era. The first anthology to trace the evolution of the ghost story over the last one hundred years, this book demonstrates the variety and versatility of the genre and the different ways in which stories of the supernatural have adapted to twentieth-century venues and concerns. In these tales we encounter not only the returning dead, but also distinctly modern phantoms: a haunted typewriter, a ghost that travels by train, and an urban specter made of smoke and soot. There are child ghosts and haunted houses, playful spooks and deadly apparitions. The authors of these uncanny tales are as diverse as the kinds of stories they tell; there are ghost stories by such specialists as M.R. James and Algernon Blackwood and many by authors not commonly associated with the genre: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edith Wharton, Graham Greene, A.S. Byatt, and Angela Carter are only a few of the literary celebrities included in this collection. At a time when our era seems to grow increasingly rational and predictable, The Oxford Book of Twentieth Century Ghost Stories reminds us of the joys of uncertainty and wonder. Distinctive and gripping, these stories will linger long in the memory.

I came across this copy of The Oxford Book of Twentieth Century Ghost Stories at one of the local libraries in Omaha, back in 1999. This was back when I was actively embracing the Gothic subculture, and was searching for adequate literature to help develop my burgeoning pretentiousness. Also, I wanted something beyond just the usual staple of Anne Rice and…well, strictly vampire fiction in general. So, I picked up this collection, because it had the pedigree of being an official Oxford collection, and also ghost stories. I loves me some ghost stories. Ever since I was but a grade schooler, and found myself listening to them being told by a bonfire at a friend’s sleepover one October night. But, I digress.

Of the authors that populate this collection, the ones that I recognized right off the bat whilst scanning the Contents section were M. R. James, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Algernon Blackwood, Graham Greene, and Robert Bloch. Of those five that I recognized, there were two that surprised me by being included, being Fitzgerald and Greene. But, hey, I guess that everyone has a ghost story or two in them. Otherwise, James, Blackwood and Bloch (which, when said that way, sounds like a law firm of some sort) are mainstays in the genre of supernatural fiction, and some of my favorites.

As far as how the other authors featured in this collection go, well…let’s go through them a bit, shall we?

“In The Dark” (E. Nesbit)
A young man suspects that his college chum might be losing his marbles after allegedly murdering a rather annoying schoolmate over holiday…

“Rooum” (Oliver Onions)
A railroad labor worker seems a bit extra jumpy, and fears some seemingly non-existent whispers and echoes…also, he seems a bit preoccupied with molecules and osmosis…

“The Shadowy Third” (Ellen Glasgow)
A nurse discovers she can see the ghost of the daughter of the sick lady she’s taking care of, and the reason behind all this might have something to do with the patient’s doctor husband…

“The Diary Of Mr. Poynter” (M. R. James)
An antique book collector finds an interesting pattern bit inside an old diary and uses that for the pattern of new curtains…turns out to be a bad idea, that…

“Mrs Porter and Miss Allen” (Hugh Walpole)
A recently widowed woman seems rather anxious about something…or someone…much to her young companion’s consternation…

“The Nature of the Evidence” (May Sinclair)
A widower decides to remarry, but his dead wife doesn’t approve of his choice…

“Night-Fears” (L. P. Hartley)
A long-time night watchman encounters a mysterious stranger who strikes up a conversation about the watchman’s profession…it doesn’t end well…

“Bewitched” (Edith Wharton)
A reclusive farmer has been visiting his old (and very dead) flame, and his wife is a bit perturbed about it…

“A Short Trip Home” (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
A young man’s childhood friend (and major crush) comes back from college with a bit of a sinister hanger-on…

“Blind Man’s Bluff” (H. Russell Wakefield)
A night shift security guard isn’t going home tonight…or any other night, it seems…

“The Blackmailers” (Algernon Blackwood)
An insurance agent finds himself being blackmailed by someone who…well, just doesn’t seem all that enthusiastic about it…

“Yesterday Street” (Thomas Burke)
In a bit of a nostalgic mood, a man decides to visit the street in which he grew up, and finds himself engaged in a game of marbles with his childhood pals…

“Smoke Ghost” (Fritz Leiber Jun.)
An office manager has visions of a ghostly thing forming out of the smoke and soot of the industrialized city he dwells in…

“The Cheery Soul” (Elizabeth Bowen)
Having been invited to a large estate for Christmas, a young lady finds the sole inhabitant a bit off-putting…as well as those cryptic messages found in the kitchen…

“All But Empty” (Graham Greene)
A regular patron of a silent movie theater has an encounter with a rather peculiar attendee…

“Three Miles Up” (Elizabeth Jane Howard)
Two gents are taking a holiday on a boat, and happen upon a young lady who joins in their expedition…and then they get a bit lost…

“Close Behind Him” (John Wyndham)
After a robbery gone bad, a thief is pursued back to his home by the ghost of the guy he robbed…

“The Quincunx” (Walter de al Mare)
The nephew of a stingy (and recently declared living impaired) aunt inherits her house…and unwittingly becomes the new abode for her restless spirit…

“The Tower” (Marghanita Laski)
A lady goes sight-seeing alone at an ancient Italian tower, climbing steps in the dark…

“Poor Girl” (Elizabeth Taylor)
A governess has as a charge a young lad with a very old soul…

“I Kiss Your Shadow—” (Robert Bloch)
Shortly after an accident killed his fiance, the survivor soon learns that true love never really dies…like it or not…

“A Woman Seldom Found” (William Sansom)
A lonely man visiting Rome happens across an equally lonely woman while walking at night…wasn’t expecting that ending, there…

“The Portobello Road” (Muriel Spark)
A writer regales us with the details of her life, leading up to her murder five years prior…

“Ringing the Changes” (Robert Aickman)
A newly married couple arrive at their honeymoon destination, and learn the hard way to not go someplace on the off-season…

“On Terms” (Christine Brooke-Rose)
As far as I can tell, a ghost is having a fever dream-like breakdown in the process of his essence breaking down into nothing…surreal and seemingly constructed from run-on sentences and stream-of-consciousness…

“The Only Story” (William Trevor)
A man writes down the only story he’ll ever write, about the final moments of his life…

“The Loves of Lady Purple” (Angela Carter)
The centerpiece of an old man’s traveling marionette show has a sordid back-story…and a bit of a Pinocchio complex…

“Revenant as Typewriter” (Penelope Lively)
A college professor discovers to her annoyance that she’s not acting like herself…

“The Little Dirty Girl” (Joanna Russ)
A middle-aged woman inadvertently befriends a waifish 8-year-old girl, and discovers the power of existential projection…booga booga booga…

“Watching Me, Watching You” (Fay Weldon)
A ghost watches idly the passing of time between a divorced couple…also, the story’s title automatically makes the chorus of “Sweet Caroline” start playing in my head…

“The July Ghost” (A. S. Byatt)
A summer tenement befriends a young boy in the garden, a boy who’s quiet, not unpleasant, and also the spitting image of the flat owner’s dead son…

“The Highboy” (Alison Lurie)
Antique chest of drawers…not as innocent and unassuming as one would think they are…

“The Meeting House” (Jane Gardam)
A bunch of old-timey Quakers meet their new homeless neighbors, and wackiness ensues…

Overall, I found the entire collection to be a good selection. They didn’t all go for the same formula, as many tend to do. I think that, like with other collections I’ve read, the majority of authors I didn’t recognize helped to give me an idea of what kind of talent lies out there for me to check out some time in the future. So many stories, so little time. Otherwise, this was a good sampling of the kind of ghost stories that could be found within the various decade of the 20th Century, from a time when “fantastic fiction” was regulated to pulp publications, to when the style was beginning to gain some bit of legitimacy in literary circles. Also, they fire up the imagination, which is really the measure of a good ghost story. Definitely worth checking out.

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