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Famous Ghost Stories
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Famous Ghost Stories

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  39 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Collection of 15 short stories dealing with hauntings or other macabre circumstances. (The additional section, "The Current Crop of Ghost Stories," gives the editor's written versions of various ghostly urban legends circulating in his time.) Among the stories included are "The Haunted and the Haunters," "The Beckoning Fair One," and "The Monkey's Paw."
Paperback, 361 pages
Published 1956 by Modern Library (first published January 1st 1920)
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(showing 1-30 of 92)
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May 02, 2009 Werner rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of scary fiction
Long-time Random House editor Bennett Cerf had impeccable literary taste, which stood him in good stead as an anthology editor. This collection of 19th and early 20th-century macabre stories isn't as extensive as the one assembled in Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural (which I've reviewed earlier here on Goodreads), but the quality of the selections is fully as good; indeed, this serves as an excellent introduction to some of the genre's classic stories and writers. Some tales here are b...more
Bev Hankins
Amusing (to me anyway) anecdote before I begin my review: I recently went on a What's My Line (from the '50s and '60s) viewing binge and thoroughly enjoyed the regular panel members--including a certain Bennett Cerf, eminent editor of Random House. I had no idea that I had a collection of stories edited by Mr. Cerf sitting on my TBR stack just waiting to be read.

Mr. Cerf has given us an excellent selection of his favorite ghost stories, including a section of dinner-table anecdotes that he has c...more
Thomas Burchfield
A fine ghost story collection from the 1940s, assembled by Random House founder and editor Bennett Cerf. The older tales--"Beckoning Fair One"; "The Willows"; "The Man Who Went Too Far" are the best. A couple of them are forgettable "joke tales" of the kind Robert Bloch made famous. The Dinesen story "Supper at Elsinore" suffers from a chatty, too-fleshy ghost that seems too much of psycho-symbolic stand-in than something eerie and unearthly. The collection is worth a read though, especially for...more
This volume, a 1944 edition of the Modern Library, was collected by Bennet A. Cerf and includes classics like "The Monkey's Paw" (W.W. Jacobs) and "The Beckoning Fair One" (Oliver Onions), "The Mezzotint", (M.R. James) "The Damned Thing" (Ambrose Bierce), and "The Haunted and the Haunters" (Edward Bulwer-Lytton).

What I like about this volume is something you can only find when you dig through anthologized short-story volumes that may contain repeat stories but have different compilers/editors--...more
I enjoy reading this book (I'm not finished yet, though). Rich and detailed description and a brand-new "creeping sensation"... I actually love classic literature, despite of the difficulty in reading it (mainly because of the various vocabulary selections, since English isn't my first language and I'm not from an English speaking country myself). Famous ghost stories, written by famous authors.
A sterling collection of well-known and unknown works, nearly all of which deserve to be classics. Perhaps the best is "The Beckoning Fair One." Evocative. Chilling. Unexpected. Just what I look for in a ghost story!
Stephen King recommended story "The Beckoning Fair One" in his Forenote to the Paperback Edition from King's Berkley's 1983 edition of Danse Macabre (revised).
An excellent anthology, Mr Cerf did a great job of collecting great little stories. Bravo!
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