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A Terribly Strange Bed

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  313 ratings  ·  41 reviews
This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published December 8th 2005 by Kessinger Publishing (first published April 24th 1852)
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Average rating 3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  313 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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A creepy villain and a very unusual bed. There’s some great writing in here. The fat man is a very interesting character & would definitely read a book or story about him!
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Great story about gambling luck and its aftermath. I loved description of the shady gambling den in Paris and the characters, especially that of the old ex-soldier, master of that joint. Why did he offer the Englishman to stay with his winnings in the gambling house? What is so special about the bed he was given to sleep in? A very compelling tale with an interesting ending. I can recommend The Ostrich in Slough when you want another bedtime story this time one that's set in Britain. I can reall ...more
antiquarian reverie
I recently heard Wilkie Collins' A Terribly Strange Bed on OTR (old time radio) and decided to read this short story. Many times on OTR, a certain show, like Suspense will give you their version and another program will change things up a bit. The one I heard recently had his friend leave the gambling house since he felt mischief was too much for his drunkard friend. I have also heard the version where the two men are staying in the inn but one is unaware but is aroused by the friend and lastly ...more
Jul 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Locked Room #3, all the way from 1852. It's hard to believe that for years, Collins outsold Dickens.
CRIME=3 stars. There have been murders in a locked bedroom, and here a gambler decides to spend the night in the gambling house rather than risk a trip home with pockets full of winnings. But the owners of the gambling house have a trick to get their money back. Will our hero survive the night?
SOLUTION=3 stars. The solution may have been original back in 1852, but as to how the murders are committ
Les Wilson
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
I very Rarely give 4* to a short story but it is certainly worth it in my opinion. Not a unique storyline but well written.
Michael Mills
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, short-stories
There's more than a little of Edgar Allen Poe about this early piece from Wilkie Collins. Specifically "The Pit and the Pendulum" or "The Cask of Amontillado"; the short story as set piece horror, the 19th century equivalent of Saw or Captivity.


In playing on the uncanny nature of an unfamiliar bedroom there's also a degree to which it calls forward to MR James's "Oh Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad" – and given that's one of the scariest short stories ever written, it's a very good thing to
Marts  (Thinker)
May 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, classics, horror
A rather unusual tale... so a young man staying in Paris, looks for amusement, ends up doing some gambling, wins lots of money, meets a strange guy, ends up in some room...
and then there is the bed... but what is it about this bed?
Oct 11, 2018 rated it liked it
A classic by Mr Collins, written before "The Woman in White".

A young Englishman out on the town in Paris wins big in an illicit gambling den, then gets shit-faced with a local vagabond on champagne and can't make his way home with the winnings. Oh dear, what ever will he do? And just how will the bad guys try to cheat him out of his loot? Listen and find out.

Listened to here, narrated by the very talented Ian Gordon.
James Randle
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An amazing book.... Scary but enjoyable -A book to read if you like suspense as well as a death plot
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

Opening lines:
Before I begin, by the aid of my wife's patient attention and ready pen, to relate any of the stories which I have heard at various times from persons whose likenesses I have been employed to take, it will not be amiss if I try to secure the reader's interest in the following pages by briefly explaining how I became possessed of the narrative matter which they contain.
Ken B
Jun 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-story
The hero of the story wins big at a seedy gaming house. Too drunk and fearful of being able to make it home alive with his winnings, he spends the night in an offered room of the gaming house. All is not as it seems.

Sneh Pradhan
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Too long , but Masterful Writing , and an undoubtedly intriguing suspenseful premise . Given that i judge Writing , any form of it , by how much i am inclined to reread it , this was a pleasant one-time read !
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
The prologue is a bit long but the actual story about the bed and the attempted murder is really suspenseful. The idea of the bed smothering you in your sleep is creepy enough to take a look at it.
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wilkie Collins is one of my favorites I'm so glad I finally took the time to read this short story. Definitely a Poe sort of vibe with this one. Full of dark suspense. ...more
Katia M. Davis
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this. It seemed a unique idea and I could really picture it as I read.
May 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018
The canopy bed which entitles this tale, should be a central character but instead Collins chose to miss the opportunity to do so. Perhaps thinking it would be dull for the reader, the majority of the actions happen outside of it, causing a strange feeling to the reader of being robbed of the terrible strange thing altogether. It lacks its promise. Although the terror strikes, it is so fast as a stroke of a brush. The fact that, strangely, a foreign bed would be articulated to murder its occupan ...more
Jan 17, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in 19th century Paris, a young Englishman, enjoying bachelor life with a friend, comes across a lot of shady characters on one of his outings.

With age comes discernment. The clues were there but this young man was missing them! The police were receptive to the young man's complaints but they too hand missed a pattern of events leading from the Seine.

Reminiscent of Poe's short stories. Gamblers and murderers are also part of Ian Rankin's The Black Notebook.
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Reminiscent of Poe thematically, but with none of the verve for the macabre that works so well in his stories.

A man is drugged after winning at gambling and is encouraged to stay the night in a guest room. Unbeknown to him the bed in which he stays is elaborately doctored to compress and therefore crush the sleeper to death.
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars, short-story
A cure for gambling? LOL, maybe. This descriptive, memorable tale written in 1852 is not one of those tales that is read and then quickly forgotten. Will sleeping in a four poster bed ever look quite the same? Also, maybe slumming isn't a cool thing to do. Audible edition, narrated by Ian Gordon. ...more
Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
A creepy tale of what happens when an Englishman breaks the bank in a seedy gambling house and plied with too much champagne unwisely agrees to spend the night in the said gambling house in a strange four poster bed.
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I find this style of writing so enjoyable and the story kept my interest. I will probably never look at a hotel bed in the same way.
Andrea Swinsco
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
A rather fun and quite eerie gothic short story from the master of Victorian suspense
Jessie Mosley
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this one. It sort of reminds me of sleep paralysis, which is terrifying for those of us who have dealt with it.
Feb 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read for English course.
Bobbie Sue Davis
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
The story for me was just alright. But it was well written and I definitely am looking forward to reading more Wilkie Collins.
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
short and perfect
Barbara Clifford
This was a strange story. Was an interesting ending.
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A close friend of Charles Dickens from their meeting in March 1851 until Dickens' death in June 1870, William Wilkie Collins was one of the best known, best loved, and, for a time, best paid of Victorian fiction writers. But after his death, his reputation declined as Dickens' bloomed.

Now, Collins is being given more critical and popular attention than he has received for 50 years. Most of his bo

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