Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Nightshade & Damnations” as Want to Read:
Nightshade & Damnations
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Nightshade & Damnations

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  189 ratings  ·  27 reviews

9 · Kersh, the Demon Prince · Harlan Ellison · in
15 · The Queen of Pig Island · ss The Strand Mar ’49
29 · Frozen Beauty [as by Waldo Kellar] · ss John Bull Nov 29 ’41
35 · The Brighton Monster [“The Monster”] · ss The Saturday Evening Post Feb 21 ’48
51 · Men Without Bones · ss Esquire Aug ’54
63 · Busto Is a Ghost, Too Mean to Give Us a Fright!" [“Lunatic’s Bro
Published 1968 by Fawcett Gold Medal
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Nightshade & Damnations, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Nightshade & Damnations

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  189 ratings  ·  27 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Nightshade & Damnations
Riju Ganguly
Oct 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

OK. Now I’m feeling better. That sense of betterment is derived not only from the fact that I have somehow managed to get that feeling, which had been plaguing me ever since I had picked up the book, out in the open. I’m feeling better because I’m quite sure that many-many of you, esteemed readers, would be in the same boat, and I can only hope that my humble comments might succeed in motivating you to rectify the situation AS
Mitch Duckworth
Nov 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
. . . Loaned to me by fellow writer and dear friend, Jack Mace, this remarkable anthology of 11 storeis by a brilliant writer, Gerald Kersh, unknown to me only a few years ago. Oh, perhaps I have encountered his name somewhere along the line, in one or more (then) obscures references to him by Harlan Ellison or Ray Bradbury, or any one of the writers I admire in an article or essay describing authors they admire. Nightshade & Damnation-11 Storeis of the Weird, the Unspeakable, the Bizarre since ...more
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews, 1960s
Gerald Kersh wrote to make a living and these eleven stories – originally published between 1938 and 1962 – are for the most part potboilers. Many of them follow the sort of formula in which the narrator meets a chum who settles back in his armchair, lights his pipe, and says “Did I ever tell you the queer tale of the marmoset who played Mozart?” And then we get the queer tale...and that’s it.

But Kersh, for all his hack work, was an intermittently good writer capable of surprising you, both wit
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, horror, sci-fi
Gerald Kersh is like a pulp magazine Georges Luis Borges. Kersh's story structure is the same as Borges, weird and uncanny stories told within the frame of obscure documents, dubious narrations of suspect old characters, and hodge podge collections of overheard facts.

This collection features 11 short fictions - all of them tight short stories most with a witty zinger at the end that can be both breathtaking and groan inducing. Kersh's prose is clear in a journalistic presentation, nothing too f
Oct 03, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not so much horror as stories of the fantastic. Many of these would have felt right at home on the Twilight Zone of old.
Michael Adams
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Much more whimsical and science fictional than horror (which is how I’ve seen this collection typically billed) but very enjoyable nonetheless
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t write reviews.

This is a nice collection of short fiction from a writer with a gifted imagination. His ideas are original even the lesser stories are worth your time. I liked The Entity Trap a lot. Weird and wild. Right up my alley.

Peace and love to you.
Mar 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
I'd never heard of this guy before I read this book, with an introduction slobbering all over him by Harlan Ellison, but all these stories were interesting and very, very odd. ...more
May 22, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating collection of quirkily macabre stories reminiscent of those of Edgar Allan Poe or Robert Aickman; the collection is prefaced by a somewhat hyperbolic introduction by Harlan Ellison. I think some of the stories are top notch, but I was underwhelmed by the full collection and not convinced by Ellison calling Kersh a "demon prince." A couple of the stories fascinated me by their strangeness and unexpected turns and are certainly recommended. These would be "The Brighton Merman ...more
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
A collection of horror stories, making the incredible sound reasonable. Many of them like stories you might run across in the National Enquirer, except sounding more believable. They aren't bloody or gross horror, but more intellectual. Listed in Stephen King's Danse Macabre as one of the best collections of short story horror. ...more
Kevin Jones
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a collection of wonderful, weird stories. It took a little effort at first to adjust to the older style of these stories, but the payoffs were great! My favorites were “Men Without Bones,” “The King Who Collected Clocks,” “The Brighton Monster,” “Voices in the Dust Of Annan,” and “Whatever Happened To Corporal Cuckoo.” These stories offered the full spectrum of subtle creep and horror, much like reading Robert Aickman. Moreover, these stories had it all: the ravages of time; mortality s ...more
Justin Howe
Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A collection of short stories from the 1940s and 1950s, somewhat pulpy, but it’s a testament to Kersh’s style and POV that he has aged better than most.

I’d heard Kersh’s name for a while now and knew his work from Jules Dassin’s “Night & the City” before I knew who he was. I definitely recommend this book.
Oct 15, 2014 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
The Queen of Pig Island *****
Frozen Beauty ****o
The Brighton Monster
Men Without Bones
"Busto is a Ghost, Too Mean to Give Us a Fright!"
The Ape and the Mystery
The King Who Collected Clocks
Bone for Debinkers
A Lucky Day for the Boar
Voices in the Dust Annan
Whatever Happened to Corporal Cuckoo?
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great collection of stories. Not a clunker in the bunch. Glad I sought this book out. Thanks to Harlan Ellison. My favorites were "Busto Is A Ghost, Too Mean To Give Us A Fright", "Voices In The Dust Of Annan" and "Whatever Happened To Corporal Cuckoo?". ...more
Matt Donaldson
Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great introduction to my favorite author's work. A true master of the short story. ...more
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
These stories are pretty dated but there are a couple of good ones. But, for the most part, a boring collection.
David Schwenker
Jan 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
General Comments
Good but not great collection of short stories. Kersh certainly can write prose effectively, but the plots typically leave something to be desired. Interesting to note that the story structure of each tale typically involves a character telling another about an event which happened in the past. Though this was a common trope in older weird tales, I always found this technique to detach the reader from the proceedings, depriving us from the visceral horror of being there in th
Shane Hawk
3.5 stars
When approaching this collection, keep in mind the stories were published over the span of three decades ranging from the late thirties to late sixties. I wouldn't venture to call this a pure horror or science fiction collection but rather speculative. Some resemble a shaggy-dog story while others offer plenty of oddness to smirk at and enjoy.

Harlan Ellison's introduction for Kersh still holds up despite his sloppy love for the man. Keep in mind Ellison is an idol in the sci-fi arena an
Perry Warner
Jan 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a short story collection by the great Gerald Kersh, edited and introduced by the great Harlan "Don't call me a Science Fiction Writer" Ellison. What more do you want in a book? NOTE FIRST OFF: These are two of my favorite writers, and two of the very best in general. Now, I understand that the quality of people's work can be seen as subjective, but when a legendary writer like Ellison, who was incredibly intellectual and cared for nothing as strongly as creativity and integrity, essentia ...more
John Higgins
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Kersh is an impossibly stylish writer, incapable of a bum note in any line. His stories are often shaggy dog ones with Kersh himself introducing them and framing them, like a Mephistophelean Edgar Wallace. But what a lot of fun and what fine, imaginative, beautifully told stories they are. "Busto is a ghost, too mean to give a fright" is full of Dickensian colour, which is to say rot and filth and stench, peopled with roaring Titans. "Men without Bones" and "Voices in the dust of Annan" are H G ...more
Mark Cofta
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I finally got around to reading this 1968 short story collection, which I purchased on Amazon just because Harlan Ellison wrote the effusive introduction and Leo & Diane Dillon created the creepily wonderful artwork on the Fawcett Gold Medal edition (60 cents when published). What a great book! Anyone who enjoys Ellison will recognize why the young writer found Kersh's work so appealing: the same twisted ironies, similarly punctuated with vivid descriptions of nightmarish images, fascinating cha ...more
Feb 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this collection of short stories. They were well written and kept me interested until the last word. In my opinion, this was the best performance from Matt Godfrey. His narration was perfect. The last story was my favorite. Now I need to find more works by Gerald Kersh!
Mar 31, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Listened on Audible. Some of the stories are good and some are ‘meh’. The narration is excellent, though, 5 stars for narration.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
A great work that needs more attention. It reads fast, as the text flies by spry and poetic.
Stephen King recommended book. Listed in Danse Macabre as being “important to the genre we have been discussing.”
Ericpegnam Pegnam
Jun 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Uneven but some very interesting...some real shaggy dog stories marginal stuff plus it has a cover by Leo and Diane Dillon.
Christian Schwoerke
rated it liked it
Nov 29, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Aug 30, 2014
Just Me
rated it really liked it
Oct 12, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Nightmares And Geezenstacks
  • When Darkness Loves Us
  • The Servant
  • Blackwater: The Complete Caskey Family Saga (Blackwater, #1-6)
  • The Auctioneer
  • Offbeat: Uncollected Stories
  • The Delicate Dependency: A Novel of the Vampire Life
  • The Tribe
  • The Third Grave
  • Figures Unseen: Selected Stories
  • Full Throttle
  • A Nest of Nightmares
  • India Song
  • I Remember
  • Night Things
  • Elizabeth
  • The Snail on the Slope
  • Raymond Chandler: The Detections of Totality
See similar books…
Gerald Kersh was born in Teddington-on-Thames, near London, and, like so many writers, quit school to take on a series of jobs -- salesman, baker, fish-and-chips cook, nightclub bouncer, freelance newspaper reporter and at the same time was writing his first two novels.

In 1937, his third published novel, Night and the City, hurled him into the front ranks of young British writers. Twenty novels la

Related Articles

Here’s some trivia for your next vacation get-together: The concept of the summer “beach read” book goes all the way back to the Victorian...
178 likes · 99 comments
“But books, when you want to buy them, are costly and, when you need to sell them, valueless.” 6 likes
More quotes…