Collected Ghost Stories
M. R. James is widely regarded as the father of the modern ghost story, and his tales have influenced horror writers from H. P. Lovecraft to Stephen King. First published in the early 1900s, they have never been out of print, and are recognized as classics of the genre. This collection contains some of his most chilling tales, including A View from a Hill, Rats, A School S...more
But these are Victorian stories and I guess I've never really been scared by a story. They are written in a Victorian fashion...more
Widely regarded as maybe the best ghost story...more
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 Lan...more
Canon Alberic's Scrap Book (the first of the collection) -- a typical, spooky sight story.
The Mezzotint -- a creepy moving picture. Cool.
The Story of a Disappea...more
...Anyway, they would also end up with the quirky macabre sensibilities of M.R. James. Given the difficulties mentioned above, maybe we'll just stick with the original.
James' prose can be slow at ti...more
I read all of the tales in a couple of sittings but it would probably be a more satisfying readi...more
The stories were written getting on for 100 years ago and as a result, are written in the 'antiquarian' style that was popular at the time which I thought worked really well, particulary when you consider the historical settings of many of the stories...more
The stories look short (about 15 pages per each), but horrid typesetting (that could as well stem from the very character of the stories themselves) makes them feel as if they were at least twice longer. The pages contain basically wall of text - the longest paragraph I've encountered...more
James' works are not, for the most part, ghost stories as we imagine them to be. He takes a dash of victorian gothic mixes it with a spoonful of gloomy environment, a splash of characters and whips them up into a thick soup before baking. 30 pages later, the st...more
Not a review on the tales, as M.R. James' tales are well known and if you don't know of them then there are many ways of reading individual stories either online or in anthologies that will be more enlightening than any reader review ever could. Needless to say that M.R. James' tales are unique and have remained so even after becoming the blueprint for almost all ghost stories written post-James' first collection 'Ghost Stories of an Antiquary' in...more
Whilst I enjoyed the Dolls House tale my favourite was '13' which is a real scary tale, just the sort to read around a camp fire in the fading light, perhaps on halloween.
The Mezzotint is also a remarkably good ghostly tale
I find the language fascinating given the stories were written and published so long ago. You can clearly see what was considered (new?) slang by the Cambridge Professor's use of inverted commas. 'Turn up' as in arrived, is so commonly used nowad...more
I've always had a strong curiosity towards ghosts, mixed with apprehensi...more
This complete collection of James' ghostly tales is a must for anyone seeking to understand the evolution of horror and the ghost story in modern times. James (with other notable contemporaries) brought supernatural fiction to peak form, and is often...more
Si tratta di una raccolta completa di diverse raccolte di racconti a tema 'paura', tutti firmati da M.R. James tra il 1904 e il 1925: i 'Racconti di fantasmi di un antiquario', gli '...more
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entering the room: he says it might be described as a frog - the size of a man - but it had scanty white hair about its head. It was busy about the truckle-beds, but not for long. The sound of cries - faint, as if coming out of a vast distance - but, even so, infinitely appalling, reached the ear. ("The Haunted Doll's House")”