Wendell Mckay's Reviews > Count Magnus and Other Ghost Stories

Count Magnus and Other Ghost Stories by M.R. James
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Aug 15, 08


The first volume of Penguin's superb annotated collection of James' stories (by "weird fiction" scholar S.T. Joshi) contains some of the best and most famous works by one of literature's preeminent practicioners of the ghost story. Indeed, I might even argue that as far as specializing in "ghosts" as subject matter, James may have been the greatest of all. The first volume contains "Canon Alberic's Scrap-Book," "The Mezzotint," "'Oh, Whistle And I'll Come To You, My Lad'," "The Treasure of Abbot Thomas," and "The Ash-Tree" among many others. James' plots may have been a little wonky, his characters uniformly "dusty bachelors" of a late Victorian bent, and entirely too obsessed with Gothic architecture and obscure Church history, but once it got to the chills, there was nobody better at delivering them.
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