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Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  1,894 ratings  ·  188 reviews
"Who better to investigate the literary spirit world than the supreme connoisseur of the unexpected, Roald Dahl? Of the many permutations of the macabre, Dahl has always been especially fascinated by the classic ghost story. For this superbly disquieting collection, Dahl - himslef a widely acknowledged master of the stort-story form - has selected fourteen of his favorite ...more
Paperback, 235 pages
Published 1990 by Noonday Press (first published 1983)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kathryn McCary
Funny, although ten out of the 14 stories in this book are ones I like, at least to some degree, I'd really rather read them in some other collection. I think it may be Dahl's rambling, discursive and inconclusive introduction. He rides an utterly irrelevant hobby horse (children's writers don't get no respect) and indulges in a peculiar--and not well supported--comparison of the merit of men and women both as writers in general (men are better) and as ghost story writers (women are better). His ...more
A disappointing read. I grabbed the book at a book trade thinking it had been written by Dahl, which it hadn't. Rather, it was a compilation of 20-some "horror" stories which he considered the best of the best.

Unfortunately, in this case I'm inclined to respectfully disagree with Mr. Dahl. Only a small handful of the short stories were of any interest, and not one left me with the disturbed or off feeling a really good spooky story brings. Most were happily and fully resolved without any need t
Aug 14, 2008 Werner rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of supernatural fiction/ghost stories
To elaborate on the background given in the description above, Dahl's extensive reading of ghost stories in the late 1950s and early 60s was originally undertaken to select quality specimens for adaptation in a projected TV series (which was never made). He was previously unread in this type of literature, and found that most of it failed to deliver the genuinely scary quality he expected; but some stories made the grade with him, and here he collects 14 of the best of these. Despite his avowed ...more
Have you ever had tea at a fancy hotel? The waiter serves you these beautiful little scones, miniature sandwiches, tiny, tiny biscuits, and chocolate-covered strawberries on a gorgeous tiered tray, with pots of lemon curd and strawberry jam and pats of butter on the side, and a hot pot of tea. If you're lucky, there's a cellist in the corner of the room and a beautiful garden outside the window.

I have only had this experience twice, but both times I adored how the atmosphere felt so distinguishe
I found the introduction to be interesting. Dahl talked about how he chose the storied that went into this anthology. He said he first narrowed it down to 24, then to the number that is in there now--about a baker's dozen or so. He talked about what, in his opinion, distinguished a good story from a bad one. He also said that he had to give the authors props, as he tried to write a ghost story once, but failed. At the same time, the result was "The Landlady," which is easily one of the creepiest ...more
Laura Cowan
There are some fine ghost stories here, all well written, but I expected this to be a collection of stories written by Dahl himself, and for children. It's not that at all. It is rather a curated collection of ghost stories for adults by multiple authors spanning a wide time frame. Dahl wastes most of the introduction being mystified at how so many of the best ghost stories seem to be written by women since they have not achieved top status in any other fine art or in any other sub-genre of writ ...more
Some of these were excellent, but some of them were dry and long-winded. Then again, these are older English ghost stories so they're not all going to be fast-paced and gory. In fact, not one of them was really graphic in any way, but all of them were creepy and many were wonderfully psychological. Lost steam near the end, but I really enjoyed the Rosemary Timperley stories (might try to find some of her novels) and Afterward by Edith Wharton. The last one, The Upper Berth, is excellent and also ...more
Mar 14, 2011 Melissa rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Melissa by: Grandad
This was an interesting little collection, given to me by my grandad. I have some fond, vivid memories of visiting my grandparents as a kid, and sneaking off to read from the upstairs closet - Roald Dahl, Stephen King, stuff that scared me stiff in the best sort of way, while my grandad turned a blind eye approvingly. So, I had fairly high expectations when he gave me Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories, and I think the compendium largely met them. It's hard to be sure, because more than a decade ...more
Found in a used book-shop, and was disappointed when I got it home and realized that Roald Dahl was the editor, and didn't in fact write any of the stories. But then, I only picked it up because I was so surprised that he *did* write ghost stories.


The book has a few really good stories, but a few were not all that chilling or scary. One actually gave me goosebumps. All were very vivid, and have that special twist. None of them were gruesome or terrifying, which is good for me; they were
I am sad to give such a low rating to a Roald Dahl book, it seriously pains me people! I love Roald Dahl and I love me a good ghost story so I thought this would be a great mix. Alas, it's almost a disaster. I should have read something about the book before I cracked it open. When I figured out he didn't actually write the stories I was bummed but thought that if he hand selected these out of 749 that he read, there had to be something good. As he explains he was trying to find stories for a sh ...more
The stories weren't as scary as i thought they were to be, i found this to be more suitable for preteens rather than adults. There is an interesting intro where Dahl explains why women are better suited as writers for children books and his overall take on how difficult it is to write a book for children. Not my favourite book by him, but it was nice to see him do something different
After the introduction (where Dahl is shocked - shocked - to find that women write better ghost stories than men, and spends another page ruminating why would this be? when women fail at every other form of art (painting, sculpting, music) - after that charming introduction, the stories begin. (The title is misleading: Dahl is not the author.)

It's a mixed bag. Some are coldly shocking ("Elias and the Draug", "Ringing the Changes"), some predictable ("Playmates"). Some are brilliant and cruel ("A
Perfect chilly autumn evening reading!
Lisa M.
This was another book I bought on my trip with my on/off again friend to a very popular local used bookstore. I must have been in a book frenzy, because I thought this was a collection of Dahl's adult stories - not a collection he edited. So, I was a little surprised when I opened this book and began reading it in preparation for Halloween!

Dahl collected fourteen ghost stories from this collection. The stories range from the late 1800s to the early 1900s, so don't expect anything contemporary he
1990 Aug 18
2000 Apr 18
2008 November 11
2011 August 09

I've read the introduction, which has an interesting digression into authors and other kinds of artists and gender, as well as a further digression on writing for children. Good stuff. The first story, "W.S." by L.P. Hartley is all kinds of creepy good.

The second story, "Harry" deals with a mother creeped out by her daughter's imaginary friend.

A firm grounding in the mundane and the familiar so far mark Dahl's choices. And he stated up front th
I was disappointed by this collection. The stories were certainly charming and prettily written, but with the exception of Edith Wharton's excellent "Afterward," I didn't find them at all chilling.
Good collection, but not all of the stories were, in my opinion, great examples of ghost stories. Although all were enjoyable reads, not all of them created that delicious creepiness you want from a truly good ghost story. My stand-out favourite was F. Marion Crawford's 'The Upper Berth' - truly creepy and chilling, great example of what ghost stories should be. Other ones which stood out were

Afterward - Edith Wharton
The Corner Shop - Cynthia Asquith
The Ghost of a Hand - J. Sheridan Le Fanu
The S
Lisa Ard
Is it terrible to say the best part of this book is the introduction? But then, I am a Roald Dahl fan. And, the stories within this compilation are not by Dahl. Rather they are the best of some 700+ ghost stories Roald Dahl read. There are several that are magnificent and a few that....well, could be shorter. For the reader looking for a selection of short stories to frighten and entertain, this is a good volume to pick up.
Una bella raccolta di racconti di fantasmi, preceduta da una prefazione di Roald Dahl (che non è l'autore dei racconti, bensì la persona che li ha raccolti e scelti) su quanto sia difficile trovare dei buoni racconti su questo argomento, e sul perché li avesse cercati molti anni prima.

Dei racconti ben riusciti e che si lasciano leggere con piacere.
In the Introduction to this collection of ghost stories, Raold Dahl says, "Spookiness is, after all, the real purpose of the ghost story. it should give you the creeps and disturb your thoughts." This was the premise he used in reading over seven hundred ghost stories. His objective was to help create a TV series based on the best ones. Ultimately, the show never happened, but twenty-five years later, some of the best ghost stories he found made their way into this book. I enjoyed most all of th ...more
Garrett Zecker
In this collection, Roald Dahl put together a collection of favorites that tended to be mostly older, well written classic public domain ghost stories.

My favorites were the ones from the beginning of the collection, and as it continued, I felt like I got bored with the genre as a somewhat formulaic and repetitively structured group of writings. I was somewhat surprised that many of these seemed to be Victorian in nature, and that the curation of the group didn't contain more variety in subject m
Wonderfully spooky collection of old ghost stories, and bonus -- they're actually written well!
Nilo Di Stefano
A chi non piace una bella storia sui fantasmi? Certo, come dice bene Dahl che li ha selezionati attentamente, trovarne di buone é difficilissimo. Generalmente a me piacciono anche quelle brutte, o racconti strani che viaggiano paralleli a quelli sui fantasmi, come asintoti, linee parallele che non si incontrano mai. Quelle storie in cui magari un fantasmino ci sarebbe stato proprio bene ed invece neanche " l'ombra" o le ombre...
Ma parlare di fantasmi nella letteratura , specie quella anglosasson
A first-rate collection of classic ghost stories.
Anatha Latshaw
Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories' Table of Contents:

1. "W.S" by L.P. Hartley
2. "Harry" by Rosemary Timperley
3. "The Corner Shop" by Cynthia Asquith
4. "In the Tube" by E.F. Benson
5. "Christmas Meeting" by Rosemary Timperley
6. "Elias and the Draug" by Jonas Lie
7. "Playmates" - A.M. Burrage
8. "Ringing the Changes" - Robert Aickman
9. "The Telephone" - Mary Treadgold
10. "The Ghost of a Hand" - J. Sheridan Le Fanu
11. "The Sweeper" - A.M. Burrage
12. "Afterward" Edith Wharton
13. "On the Br
This was okay but the title is very misleading - I bought the book (like many others before me) thinking these were written by Roald Dahl but they're not - they're merely a collection of his personal favourite ghost stories.
Some of the stories are pretty good and there's a particular short story that I really liked purely because it was simple yet effective and thought-provoking called "On The Brighton Road" - however there were also some stories I wasn't keen on at all and thought boring and a
• WS (L.P. Hartley)

• Harry (Rosemary Timperley)

• The Corner Shop (Cynthia Asquith)

• In the Tube (E. F. Benson)

• Christmas Meeting (Rosemary Timperley)

• Elias and the Draug (Jonas Lie)
"Weird Tales from Northern Seas" に収録されていて0$で読める。

• Playmates (A. M. Burrage)
This is a wonderful collection of creepy haunting stories. My absolute favorites were "Ringing the Changes" by Robert Aickman, "On the Brighton Road" by Richard Middleton, and "The Upper Berth" by F. Mairion Crawford. This book is worth picking up, even if you only read those three stories.

It's hard to write a review for a collection of stories by so many different authors, but I'll give it a go. These stories do not contain much gore. (Ghost stories are supposed to creep you out, not gross you
This collection, like traditional ghost stories in general, probably has a very narrow audience these days. And that isn’t helped by the fact that Dahl originally collected the stories with an eye to making them part of a television program--that is, focusing on their potential as screen drama rather than choosing the very best literary examples of the ghost story. For many of the authors represented here, one could probably find a handful of much better ghostly tales.

“W.S.” by L.P. Har
To be honest, I thought this book was going to be all ghost stories written BY Roald Dahl. Sadly, I was mistaken. (It was my own fault for not reading the blurb properly) But as I read the introduction, I got more excited. Dahl explains that he was supposed to adapt some of the stories in the book for TV show. Unfortunately, the pilot wasn't approved. He still kept all the short stories and compiled into this book.
Now onto the stories themselves. I was promised stories that would "give you the
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Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer and screenwriter of Norwegian descent, who rose to prominence in the 1940's with works for both children and adults, and became one of the world's bestselling authors.

Dahl's first published work, inspired by a meeting with C. S. Forester, was Shot Down Over Libya. Today the story is published as "A Piece of Cake". The story, about his wartime a
More about Roald Dahl...
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1) Matilda James and the Giant Peach The BFG The Witches

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