skein's Reviews > The Skull Talks Back: And Other Haunting Tales

The Skull Talks Back by Zora Neale Hurston
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's review
Nov 29, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: ghost-stories, 4-star, buy-it-you-fool
Read in November, 2009

My, my - Hurston could write the skin off a dog. (I just made that up. Not working, is it?) This is a brief collection of 'haunting' stories, which I interpreted to mean 'stories of hauntings', but 'stories to haunt you' may be more applicable.
I certainly read them as a child, but they are far more effective to me now, as an adult. Her phrases are almost too clean; she seems to trim the fat from the tale so perfectly that the taste is gone. It's not a story anymore.
- That is not an insult. These are cautionary tales, at heart - the sort that you tell children. But they seem to be history. They seem to have happened - if not to the story-teller herself, then to her neighbor or her grandmother; the details were changed in the years from then to now, but the essential terror of wrongness comes through, loud and strong as a heartbeat, and far more powerfully than in any fairy-tale - no matter how Grimm.
This is some scary shit.
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