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So Pale, So Cold, So Fair

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  7 ratings  ·  2 reviews
The carver in ivory who used only the rarest materials...
The Hallowe'en party for the children that was planned to be authentic in every detail ...
The impecunious tourist who still had one priceless commodity to sell ...
The weird jewels that would for ever retain a memory of beauty ...

These are only some of Charles Birkin's nerve-twisting excursions into a new dimension of
Mass Market Paperback, 191 pages
Published 1970 by Tandem
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4.43  · 
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 ·  7 ratings  ·  2 reviews

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Cameron Trost
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Why did it take me so long to discover Charles Birkin? This is an outstanding collection of contes cruels, my favourite kind of short fiction. In this book, Charles Birkin reminds us why the most unsettling tales of horror and suspense are about our fellow human beings. Putting aside some minor stylistic differences of opinion and focusing on the stories themselves, I was so captivated, impressed, and, in some cases, troubled by these tales that I now consider Charles Birkin to be one of my favo ...more
J. P. Wiske
Jan 26, 2016 rated it liked it

Okay, let's stipulate that contes cruelles are going to be nasty. If you are bothered by stories that uniformly end badly for at least one major character, go elsewhere for your entertainment. As a reader, I am not ipso facto opposed to "nasty", but neither do I enjoy "nasty" for it's own sake. Unfortunately for me, there's a lot of "nasty for it's own sake" in this collection. Mostly, I just find these kinds of stories boring. You can see where they're going from the outset, and the moral unive

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Sir Charles Lloyd Birkin, 5th Baronet of Ruddington Grange (24 September 1907 – 1985) was an English author of horror short stories and the editor of the Creeps Library of anthologies. Mostly working under the pseudonym Charles Lloyd, Birkin's tales tended towards the contes cruels rather than supernatural fiction.