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Ringstones and Other Curious Tales

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4.23  ·  Rating details ·  44 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Ringstones and Other Curious Tales ‘have a curiously-imparted quality of strangeness; the feeling of having strayed over the border of experience into a world where other dimensions operate.’ So said one of the original reviewers of these unique stories, first published in 1951.
The title story is set on the Northumberland moors, where Daphne Hazel appears to cross the boun
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Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1951)
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Jim Smith
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The multiple narratives of Ringstones are as circular as the titular ancient edifice. This was the first of Sarban's beautifully crafted novellas of mystery and horror I read and it set the high standard of quality his small but substantial body of work would follow. An attentive reading of its dual stories yields a subtlety of horror and a dizzying ambiguity which leaves the reader quietly unsettled. Set against the backdrop of Northumberland's devilish moors and lonely hills, a plucky young wo ...more
Bill Hsu
Apr 17, 2017 rated it liked it
The first two stories are amusing enough, with their "crusty Brit in the heyday of Empire" narrators. Then comes "Calmahain"; a bit of a slog to get through the domestic minutiae to the Journeys, then it's magic.

Update: I enjoyed the open-ended narratives, and the occasional period detail. But Sarban sure takes his own sweet time just getting the context set up, while Aickman for instance seems to be able to pull off something similar in a couple pages. Must be the detours on those damn twisty f
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Earl Solper
Jun 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who enjoyed Pan's Labyrinth
I read Ringstones (along with The Dollmaker and The Sound of His Horn) previously, so bought this collection for the short stories (well, novelettes).

Of the four stories (A Christmas Story, Capra, Calmahain, and The Khan), Calmahain stands out, and this collection is worth buying just for that story. Set in the English countryside during the Blitz, Calmahain features two imaginative children (around 14-years-old) playing the game of "Journeys", where each goes his or her separate path and imagi
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Riall W.
Aug 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sarban is a very disturbing writer. I first read this book many years ago, I think when I was in high school. I keep coming back to it, and to several of the others he wrote. There's a sense of atmosphere in his books that you don't often find, and of course the slow-motion horror of the stories is gripping. These aren't the sort of books you want to be reading alone, at night.
Debra
Mar 31, 2011 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Stephen King recommended book. Noted as "important to the genre we have been discussing" from Danse Macabre, published in 1981.
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