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Nightshade & Damnations

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  130 ratings  ·  15 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
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3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  130 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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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 si ...more
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
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
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.
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.
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?".
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.
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.
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
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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Nov 12, 2014
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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
“But books, when you want to buy them, are costly and, when you need to sell them, valueless.” 5 likes
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