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Not Exactly Ghosts & Fires Burn Blue

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  37 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Here together for the first time in one volume are the twenty five spooky stories created by Sir Andrew Caldecott in two collections the 1940s: Not Exactly Ghosts and Fires Burn Blue.
Paperback, 305 pages
Published September 10th 2007 by Wordsworth Editions (first published May 1947)
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Bill  Kerwin

Many of these stories of the supernatural--particular the ones set in English village society--resemble those of M.R. James, undoubtedly Caldecott's greatest influence; the stories they resemble, however, are the inferior works of James' later period, in which rural dialects, entertaining character sketches and an ironic tone compensate in part for a loss of supernatural intensity and narrative power.

The best stories here are the ones in which Kongea--a mythical Asian country created by Caldeco
This collection of weird tales, written in his retirement by a former colonial Governor of Hong Kong and Ceylon, are highly entertaining without attaining the level of the author's model, M.R. James. Fans of the latter will know what to expect: understatement, preference for suggestion over the explicit, an blandly urbane tone which renders sudden intrusions of horror all the more effective--all those things the modern Gore Masters neither appreciate nor understand.

If Caldecott's horrors tend t
Riju Ganguly
A very decent collection with some Jamesian jewels like "A Room In Rectory", "Autoepitaphy", "Whiffs of the Sea", some tales very similar to L.P. Hartley in tone & tenor (""Branch Line To Benceston", "In Due Course", "Christmas Reunion" [practically a retelling of "The Visitor From Down Under"], "Decastroland", etc.), and some of the nasty-yet-venerable H.R.Wakefield stories ("Sonata in D Minor", "A Victim of Medusa") etc. They are the works of an amateur, but the narrative is even & lea ...more
Rob Blackmore
Not many ghosts, but there are plenty of weird happenings in these short stories by Sir Andrew Caldecott.

Caldecott served as a governor in the far east, and this is the setting for many of his tales in the fictional country of Kongea.
They're certainly an odd assortment, ranging from the macabre; 'The Pump in Thorpe's Spinney' to the downright bizarre; 'Grey Brothers'.

There are one or two 'clunkers' but also some genuine gems (Whiffs of the Sea is my favourite).

Not as good as other supernatura
While not at M.R. James level, this is a nice enough collection of almost-ghost stories by a former governor of Hong Kong. This is a good volume for a stormy autumn night in front of a fire, whisky in hand.
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Caldecott was educated at Uppingham, and Exeter College, Oxford, where he became an Honorary Fellow in 1948
More about Andrew Caldecott...
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