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One Thousand and One Ghosts

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3.81  ·  Rating details ·  630 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Written at the height of the 1848 revolutions, Alexandre Dumas’ One Thousand and One Ghosts is a macabre collection of supernatural tales, told with unrelenting detail and almost unbearable suspense. Paralyzed with fear, a man confesses to the murder of his wife, and rather than return to the scene of the crime, begs to be locked in prison. As the police probe further, the ...more
Paperback, 156 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Hesperus Press (first published 1849)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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Krystal
The last story was the best story!

Also I love that it all begins with a headless corpse.

The flow isn't quite there but the stories are cool! All a little bit random and slightly spooky but told in that classic way that makes me love Dumas so much.

Basically Alexandre Dumas writes himself into this one as a fellow at a dinner party who listens to a few ghost stories, recounted after they all witness a man who murdered his wife going a bit mad because he claims her headless corpse spoke to him.

I me
...more
Nancy Oakes
I actually killed two birds with one stone reading this book, since I discovered that aside from some translation and editorial differences, it's the same book as Horror At Fontenay , which I bought because it appeared in Wheatly's Library of the Occult.

While I can't really divulge much about the contents in this book, I will say that the stories here speak to translator Andrew Brown's question of whether the dead are "really dead." From the first story, "Solange," which I'd just read in The De
...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Oct 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010, classics
When I found this, in mint condition, in one of my favourite local second-hand bookshops, I was surprised and thrilled and bought it quick-smart before anyone else spotted it. I've loved Dumas since I read The Count of Monte Cristo several years ago, when I lived in Japan. Yep, that one book sold me. I loved The Three Muskateers too, and I don't know why I haven't yet read the old copy of The Man in the Iron Mask that's hiding somewhere on my bookcase. Those are his three most famous books, and ...more
Steve
Nov 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
I kind of can't believe this book exists, even after reading it. Basically: it's a collection of ghost stories by Alexandre Dumas.

They're packaged up into a single narrative... the premise being that Alex (we're on a first name basis now) acts as a witness in a murder investigation, and that investigation has some creepiness, which leads to him and some contemporaries debating the possibility of this creepiness NOT being a guilt-induced hallucination of the murderer, which leads to them telling
...more
Diane
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
I bought this on a whim. I have loved Alexandre Dumas since I first read The Three Musketeers in junior high. This is NOTHING like that. It's actually something of an oddity - a very gothic collection of ghost stories told by a small group of people, one of whom happens to be Dumas himself. These are not ghost stories like those written by M R James, Peter Straub, Shirley Jackson, or Stephen Jackson. They have a strange, gothic feel to them. I'm reminded of Castle Eppstein, one of Dumas' known w ...more
Neil
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The opening chapters where Dumas was narrating directly were enjoyable - and his encounter was spooky. The other narratives were repetitive and did not captivate me. Whether it was due to the translation or the actual content I don’t know - but it was a disappointment.
Bill
Jul 28, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People craving a story about a disinterred Henry IV
I'm a sucker for both Dumas and ghost stories, so this book seemed made for me. Then again, considering that Dumas (more or less)authored hundreds of novels, plays, essays (even a cookbook), everyone can probably find some Dumas work that seems ideally suited to them.

I enjoyed the book, particularly as Dumas writes himself into it, but it scored low on the supernatural creep-out factor. It is loosely based around the question, starkly thrust to the fore during the Terror, of how long a head rema
...more
Lori
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
A intriguing little collection of macabre tales. The story focuses on one evening that Dumas spends in the company of Monsieur Ledru and his guests following the arrest of a man who has killed his wife by beheading her. The man is terrified because his wife's head spoke to him after it was cut off. This episode leads to each of the guests tells a dramatic story involving their own experiences with life after death, including encounters with vampires, ghosts and heads that speak after being guill ...more
Old-Barbarossa
Aug 23, 2008 rated it liked it
An uneven collection of horror tales all centred in one way or another round the question of life after death. Guillotined and otherwise severed heads, hanged bandits, hinted at deals with dark powers. Like a Decameron lite a group meet for dinner after a murder and tell tales of the dead. The Corday/Solange tale was the stand out story for me, with it's description of severed heads in a basket grinding their teeth the most disturbing image I've read, in anything, in a while. Reads like it was w ...more
Vanessa Garcia
Sep 03, 2011 rated it liked it
having read and liked "The Count of Monte Cristo", I was expecting something of the similar genre when I picked this book. The cover is creepy enough and the summary should have warned me that what I am about to read is a compilation of horror stories.

The story telling is dark enough. I could imagined myself, in an unlit room, with the rest of the characters who are in deep exchange of story telling to backed their belief towards death, guillotine, severing one's head, and life. Two particular s
...more
Verity Bracken
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: horror/ghost story fans, people who like short fiction, french history enthusiasts
I gobbled up Dumas as a teen. The Count of Monte Cristo, Three Musketeers, The Man In The Iron Mask, and the more obscure Twenty Years After. I found this slim volume at my local library and found it a pleasant surprise. There isn't much in the way of swashbuckling but all the valour, courage and faithfulness you'd expect in a Dumas story are there along with ghosts and vampires! He also makes himself a character in the story and narrates part of it in the first person, an old trick to lend supe ...more
Amy
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
One Thousand and One Ghosts did not even remotely compare to Dumas' swashbuckling tales like The Three Musketeers. It wasn't a bad book, but it wasn't all that exciting, either. It might have been sort of freaky for the time it was written, but with mass media we are so inundated with macabre stories, this book almost seems like a bedtime story by comparison. I got through this story, but pretty much lost interest in it about half way through. ...more
Eszter
Jul 19, 2009 rated it liked it
i think the last story of the vampire in the carpathian mountains ("not like your civilized western mountains") was my favorite. while the book was not outright scary, the colorful language did stick enough to give rise to a few spooky dreams. luckily, the harrowing reality of yesterday's giant flying (!!!) cockroach in my bedroom made any scary dreams pale in comparison, so all i feel vividly is that this was an enjoyable read. can't get enough dumas!
Adam
May 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
In his typically saucy style Dumas serves up these delicious morsels of terror.
What begins as a polite, social and scientific discussion on how long life can remain in a head severed by the guillotine turns into a group discussion where guests' provide proofs of their own personal horrific encounters. Not as amazing as his novels, but very fun. One of only two first person works I've read from Dumas and I do like his style.
Lilianna Gumberidze
AMAZING. i've read it in georgian, english, and now in french. but the original language (French) is most unique. all the things Dumas was saying, is just literally given.
wish there was a movie over.
I can't belive that the stupud books, like "fault im our stars", or "twilight" are more popular than this PERFECT book.
not everyone can understand that book, cos that's only for people who loves philosophy, paranormal stories and etc..
Laura
Read Solange during my trip back home since it was the only book left.
Mike
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. An entertaining collection of ghost stories in the style of the Thousand and One Nights or The Decameron. The frame narrative involves a man who beheads his wife and claims to have seen the head speaking to him. This inspires the local investigating authorities and onlookers (including a fictionalized version of Dumas, who narrates) to tell each other stories of their own first-hand accounts of ghosts and reanimated corpses. However, these are more than merely ghost stories, as an und ...more
James
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Also known as ‘Horror at Fontenay’, this story by Dumas was a real true joy to read. Having read a lot of Dumas over the years, he predominately focuses on the (French) Royal Family. You get ‘none Royal Works’ such as The Fencing Master, The Borgias and, his Celebrated Crimes Series. Many of which can be quite a struggle to get through, purely focusing on historical fact information rather than much of a story.

Here on the other hand I feel we have a success for ‘None Royal Works’. The story focu
...more
Matt
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Les Mille et Un Fantômes is an outstanding series of short stories about all sorts of supernatural goings-on. nothing terribly creepy, but they're varied, effectively eerie and well-paced. i found it rather reminiscent of Le Fanu's Through A Glass Darkly, both in style and, with its echoes of revolution (written in the aftermath of 1848, but set in 1831 and deeply haunted by the 1790s), the feeling that not all horror is of supernatural origin.

i held off on La Femme au collier de velours, expect
...more
Lynsey Walker
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Simply wonderful.

This is a beautifully written, ghostly, macabre tale of the dead who really do not want to say dead.

A collection of dark and haunting stories set to the backdrop of the French Revolution. And all told to a Dr who does not want to believe anything spooky may be afoot, no matter what he’s told.

This book just simply sweeps you along and is story telling at is very best, i enjoyed all the characters and loved the working class humour of it and the matter of factness. The description
...more
Jul Chandra
Jan 13, 2018 rated it liked it
3.7/5
Themes: Folk, Gothic, Mystery
Pace: Good
Comments: A collection of pleasant short stories for the most part. A couple stories don't really do anything and end in the most unsatisfying way, e.g. the very first story about the husband who cuts off his wife's head. Nevertheless, there's some quality stories in here that I'm pleased to have read.
Lauren-Jane
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is completely underrated. Highly recommended.
Tressa
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was not able to finish One Thousand and One Ghosts. I tried multiple times because I was excited to read it, but I just wasn’t able to get into the story.
Peter Michael
Nov 06, 2019 rated it liked it
synopsis is a bit misleading. It's more a philosophical inquiry into capital punishment than actual fantastical tales of life after death.
Laura
Dec 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
These stories aren’t so very scary more creepy, but I found them rather unputdownable. Dumas is one of my all time favourite authors & finding this was like a new blanket to curl up with. ...more
Diana Marcu
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The way Alexandre Dumas is writing makes me want to read even more books. It's a really good book with many stories put together.
Naira Aslanyan
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the best historical book about the French revolution, about it’s cruelty and horrors. A must read
Zach Mendelson
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
i like talking about this book more than i like reading it. however, i will say, its introduction is metal as hell and i would love to read THAT novel instead.
Keeley
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
What.
Louise Savidge
Spooky and surreal. Not as gripping as other Dumas novels.
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This note regards Alexandre Dumas, père, the father of Alexandre Dumas, fils (son). For the son, see Alexandre Dumas fils.

Alexandre Dumas, père (French for "father", akin to Senior in English), born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie, was a French writer, best known for his numerous historical novels of high adventure which have made him one of the most widely read French authors in the world. Many of h
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