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Antique Dust: Ghost Stories

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  153 ratings  ·  30 reviews
This ghost story tells about a one-time bomber pilot who is now an antique dealer and keeps getting involved with ghosts. While this is his first book for adults, he has been writing ghost stories for young adult readers such as "The Machine Gunners". ...more
Hardcover, 214 pages
Published 1989 by Viking Books
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Bark  |  Ladies Of Horror Fiction
See this and the rest of the crap I write @ my blog Bark's Book Nonsense

I’ve always believed that old things are haunted but I never realized that the quiet little world of antique buying and selling was so cut-throat!

I listened to this collection of eerie stories on unabridged audio. They’re all stories about antique dealer Geoff Ashton, except for one or two that are stories told to him or are about a close relative. My copy was narrated by R.C. Bray whose voice is wizened and quite perfect
4.5 stars!

This is one fantastic short story collection! Dedicated to M.R. James, these stories do have a James-ian feel to them that I loved.

As in James' collection "Ghost Stories of an Antiquary" , these stories have a connecting thread. Instead of finding lost manuscripts and that type of thing, in this book the connecting thread is one Geoff Ashden, a combat veteran and an antique dealer. He is sometimes featured in the tales and sometimes just relating them.

I found Mr. Westall's writing ski
4.5 stars

ANTIQUE DUST: Ghost Stories, by Robert Westall is a collection of short stories similar in style to the writings of M.R. James. Geoff Ashden, an antique dealer is the central character in this theme of stories relating to either he, his antique dealings, or (as he ages) people who know and tell their tales to him. "...odd things still happen to people, even though they no longer seem to happen to Geoff Ashden."

Whether it be a cursed item or a haunted local, Westwall weaves these sto
there was only 1 story in this book I didn't like, the rest were good. my favorite 2 were the last day of miss dorinda molyneaux and the ugly house. ...more
Antique Dust by Robert Westall (1929-1993), first published by Viking in 1989, has just been republished by Valancourt Books as a paperback. It contains seven stories: 'The Devil and Clocky Watson', 'The Doll', 'The Last Day of Miss Dorinda Molyneaux', 'The Dumbledore', 'The Woolworth Spectacles', 'Portland Bill', and 'The Ugly House'.

Robert Westall is best known as a writer of books for children and young adults; he was awarded the Carnegie Medal twice, for The Machine Gunners and The Scarecrow
Orrin Grey
Dec 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Read this one for a second time--though apparently the first was back before I used Goodreads--because I'm writing the introduction for the forthcoming reissue from Valancourt Books! Westall is a favorite of mine, so may this be the first of many of his books coming back into print!
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars--I really liked it. Trigger warnings for both sexual and animal violence (though not graphic).

This is a collection of 7 short stories, loosely tied together by the narrator, an antiques dealer. Though the narrator isn't really likable (he's a cheat both in his marriage and in his business), he has a lot of interesting stories to tell (mostly ghost stories), and this reads like an intimate conversation, perhaps telling stories in a pub or near a roaring fire.

"The Devil and Clocky Watson"
In my efforts to read the few Robert Westall stories on my "to be read" list, I ordered this collection through Inter Library Loan, specifically to read "The Dumbledore."

As I had just read "The Last Day of Miss Dorinda Molyneux" in my own copy of Best New Horror 1, and it appears here, I'll repurpose the review: "The Last Day of Miss Dorinda Molyneux" - a school-outing to an ancient church leads to the release of something old and unwholesome from a crypt, a tattered something which leaves insul
Riju Ganguly
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
While M.R. James hold court as the ultimate in inducing 'a pleasant terror', at times his stories appear too stuffy for the present. It seems as if we need stories written with such delicious erudition but also with some edge. Edge, that shows signs of loneliness, loss, love, lust, and blood.
Welcome to "Antique Dust". This modest collection, presently enjoying its second life as a Valancourt title, is one of the creepiest, nastiest, and finest collections that I have read.
The present edition, en
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Although various people have compared Westall's stories to those of MR James, the comparison doesn't bear too much scrutiny. Yes, both of them deal with haunted objects rather than (primarily) haunted locales, but beyond that, Westall's work is radically different. First, there's none of James's trademark pastiching of historical documents, and second, Westall's 'hero' is an exuberantly heterosexual antiques dealer who is much more worldly than James's reclusive scholars. If anything, these stor ...more
Barbara Roden
Feb 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Excellent collection of 'grown up' ghost stories from an author best known for his young adult fiction. One of the stories, 'The Last Day of Miss Dorinda Molyneux', consistently makes my own top ten list of best ghost stories; a modern homage to M. R. James which is as creepy and nasty as anything Ramsey Campbell has written. ...more
Rob Twinem
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I find it startling to admit that until recently I had never heard of Robert Westall. Yet here I am having just finished, in record time, Antique Dust a truly wonderful memorable and highly entertaining collection of ghost stories. These are unusual by the fact that so much of the author's writing was directed at teenagers and below and this is really his only anthology for adults. However that is not to say that his other works, many based on his 2nd ww experiences cannot be read and enjoyed b ...more
Antique Dust is a pitch-perfect collection of ghost stories by Robert Westall. I don't know if I've ever given a collection 5 stars before, usually because there's at least one clunker. Not so with this set, and the stories being united by the presence of the same antique dealer really made the stories feel like part of a whole.

Each story managed to be a classic example of its type, while maintaining suspense, elements of surprise, and incredibly spooky moments. The writing was crystal clear and
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Comparing an author’s ghost stories to those of M.R.James is a sure way to attract my attention. Such is Robert Westall’s “Antique Dust” a seven story collection from 1989. Here we follow antique dealer Geoff Ashden through ghostly exploits experienced by him or recounted to him by others. Usually collections are variable but excellently this one is not variable at all. Each story is of very high quality and outstanding in style and mood. I would be hard pressed to choose the most effective stor ...more
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
One of Westall's best. A collection of stories about an antique dealer who pokes into many a weird and haunted abbey in search of prizes for his shop. Or is it a pair of antique spectacles?
Possibly the best writer of British ghost stories since M.R. James in a style that seems to have disappeared.
Jan 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Dec 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Occult antiquing
who knew junk was so haunted
do ghosts add value?
Jay Maxfield
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ghost-stories
Seven ghostly stories narrated by Geoff Ashden a RAF pilot and later an antique dealer (fictional character) of Muncaster - six of which happened to him personally - the stories are set from the 1940s to probably the late 1970s or early 1980s.
In this kindle version there is a shortish introduction to the author and his works by Orrin Grey.
The stories in this collection are:
The Devil and Clocky Watson - longish story about a clock from a bishop's house that no antique dealer wants to buy because
Jay Rothermel
Oct 28, 2017 rated it liked it
The reader who appreciates the UK voice in the genre will find much to appreciate in Westall's collection.

The milieu is for the most part the antiques trade, with dealer (and our narrator) Geoff Ashden confronting both wily competitors and darker forces.

Westall does not skimp on characterization, incident, and complication. Most of the stories are novella-length.

My review of Antique Dust by Robert Westall
The rockabilly werewolf from Mars
Neat collection of M. R. James style horror fiction. My top three would be The Devil And Clocky Watson, The Last Day Of Miss Dorinda Molyneux, and The Ugly House. I thought that Portland Bill was the weakest story, but that's not to say that it's bad, just not as good as some of the others. ...more
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked most of these stories!Being a former antique dealer I got some fun out of some of them.Clocky Watson and his clock ways really was good.R.C.Bray was an excellent narrator.I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.' ...more
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do you miss storytelling?

If you are tired of books that use jumping around in time as plot device, try this book. It's old-fashioned story telling with the luxury that implies for the reader.
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Probably would have enjoyed this more if there was no reference to MRJ. That’s a hell of a lot to live up to and these stories just weren’t creepy or weird enough. They were pretty good, though. None that scream out for an annual revisiting.
Dixie Meeks
Oct 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Enjoyable book with "antique" ghost stories. Nice read for Halloween. ...more
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
With three of his books now under my belt, Westall has quickly become one of my favorite authors; so much so that I just ordered a substantial lot of his works on eBay! He has a pleasant and conversational writing style that is also clever, wry, and engaging. I'm looking forward to tackling even more of his books. ...more
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up
Unfortunately, I'm going to have to give up on this one. While the stories are good, and the first two certainly have a wonderful M.R. James-ian feel to them, I have had enough with the narrator, Geoff's, attitude towards women. Geoff is basically a dirty middle-aged perv who spends a portion of every story I've heard so far (5) ogling over and lusting after women. He is married to one of them, and later uses her basically getting her own life as an excuse to indulge in further ogling and dallia ...more
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed most of these short stories, a good little scare on the ride home from work (I listened tot his one on Audible). I especially enjoyed the one about the spectacles.
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was really surprised to realise that this was the same Robert Westall who wrote 'The Machine Gunners'. I got the book on Audible and listened to most of it but didn't finish it. It started well, with the kind of subtle creepiness I love in ghost stories. The book is dedicated to M.R. James and it begins in the atmosphere of his stories.

However, as it progressed, it lost that charm. As with a great many male authors, Westall seems unable to introduce a female character without dwelling on her b
Aug 17, 2016 rated it liked it
I love reading really old ghost stories whether they are true or not. I have a few favorite stories in this book one of them is called Little yellow dog. The story is about a boy who finds a yellow dog and an old man that only the boy can see, but when he goes digging on the beach he digs up more than buried treasure. I enjoyed reading the book although it being old some of the story's are really not care and possibly some children or preteens could read. ...more
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Valancourt Books: Audiobook out now: Antique Dust by Robert Westall 5 13 Oct 25, 2016 07:32AM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author by this name in the Goodreads database.

Robert Westall was born in North Shields, Northumberland, England in 1929.

His first published book The Machine Gunners (1975) which won him the Carnegie Medal is set in World War Two when a group of children living on Tyneside retrieve a machine-gun from a crashed German aircraft. He won the Carnegie Medal again i

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