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Cold Hand in Mine: Strange Stories

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  1,901 Ratings  ·  148 Reviews
Cold Hand in Mine was first published in the UK in 1975 and in the US in 1977. The story Pages from a Young Girl's Journal won Aickman the World Fantasy Award in 1975. It was originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in 1973 before appearing in this collection.

Cold Hand in Mine stands as one of Aickman's best collections and contains eight stori
Hardcover, 215 pages
Published 1975 by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York
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Bill  Kerwin

Robert Aickman is the best modern writer of supernatural stories, as great as--perhaps greater than--the Master himself, M.R. James. Whereas the Master specialized in a few settings (the ancient English cathedral or university town, the rare book auction or library, the academic gentleman's holiday trip, etc.), Aickman is an expert at creating a wealth of distinct settings which he articulates with precision in order to elicit distinctive and disturbing atmospheres.

In this collection, for examp
mark monday
as far as my love for genre fiction goes, college did a number on me and for many years i scorned my old high school loves of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. silly me; i'm glad i came back to my senses. during college, only a couple authors escaped my new-found scorn - one of them being the amazing Robert Aickman. pre-college, i enjoyed his sinister tales of uncertain, indescribable menace. in college, i found to my surprise that Aickman was a literary horror writer, and both my snobby new ...more
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1. "Mačevi" - 5
2. "Pravi put ka crkvi" - 3.5
3. "Niemandswasser" - 3
4. "Stranice iz dnevnika jedne mlade devojke" - 5
5. "Konačište" - 4
6. "Isti taj pas" - 3.25
7. "Upoznati gospodina Milara" - 3.5
8. "Čuvar časovnika" - 3.5
Nandakishore Varma
Robert Aickman writes seriously weird fiction. You enter his stories expecting it to take you somewhere frightening. They do, but it is not the familiar, comfortable frights that you meet - the map goes weird in the middle, and you are left stranded in a landscape designed by Kafka and M. R. James as a sort of joint venture.

The story which impressed me most, "The Hospice", is a perfect metaphor for Aickman's tales. A travelling salesman, taking a shortcut, lands up in an unfamiliar location. Tak
Robert Aickman's term for his stories is "strange," and indeed they are, but I tend to think of them as "disquieting." His fiction takes me places that are not merely macabre or frightening; I find myself as adrift as his characters, not quite sure what is real. Much is left to my own imagination, and the most disquieting part is how I choose to fill in the gaps.

I am a great fan of weird and unsettling fiction. Things that don't fall into neat categories please me. And Aickman's ability to rend
Gorgona Grim
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
Knjiga "Hladna ruka u mojoj" Roberta Ejkmena je objavljena u okviru edicije Poetika strave. Orfelin je nastavio sa nizom sjajnih naslova u okviru ove edicije, te i ovaj put imam samo reči hvale. Pored priče "Mačevi", iz koje je izvučen naslov, knjiga broji ukupno osam priča.

Zajednički element koji objedinjuje priče u celinu jeste opisivanje osoba za koje se do kraja ne zna pripadaju li svetu živih ili mrtvih, te pobližem opisivanju i predstavljanju duhova kao element jezovitosti. Uz to, protagon
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The review by Mark Monday does a nice job of capturing the dual flavor of Aickman's short stories, configured as they are so that the bizarre, eerie and discomfiting events that transpire within—ofttimes to a superficially normal middle-aged bloke whose average, workaday life comes to be seen as bearing its own (submerged) peculiarities, debilitations, and tensions—can be viewed through the lens of either supernatural visitation or psychological implosion, and may be interpreted as a grotesque t ...more
Nov 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, horror
I've been looking forward to reading something by Aickman for quite a while now. From what I had heard about his writing it seemed that his style of weird horror was just the kind of thing I'm looking for now. My anticipation and expectations having built up so high, I almost expected to be disappointed. I wasn't.

Each and every story in this collection was powerful, interesting and strange. "The Hospice" was a quintessential example of a weird tale as I've ever read. "The Same Dog" probably one
Robert Aickman defined his own work as as 'strange stories', avoiding terms relating to ghosts, horror or the supernatural because his fiction tends to be rooted in reality, with the exact source of the 'strangeness' often remaining ambiguous. They are frequently unnerving but rarely provide the reader with a clear resolution, which only serves to increase the effect.

This collection sets out its stall with the opening story, The Swords, which to me felt like a bit of a test; I can imagine a lot
Paul Christensen
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-best
The Swords (3 stars)
Although the worst story in this collection, creates a vivid atmosphere.

The Real Road to the Church (3 stars)
Atmospheric, but ending is heavy-handed.

Niemandswasser (5 stars)
Haunting and utterly brilliant, one of Aickman’s finest stories.

Pages From a Young Girl’s Journal (4 stars)
Pastiche of early 1800s gothic fiction, well written and slyly humorous.

The Hospice (4 stars)
Surreal and grotesque portrait of a dead soul in purgatory.

The Same Dog (5 stars)
Haunting meditation on Ti
May 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"In the end, it is the mystery that lasts, not the explanation."

SO reads the quote that begins this anthology of tales by Robert Aickman. Although I didn't find all of the stories here to be equally engrossing, the impact this book had upon me was enormous. I can read a good horror tale, or watch a gripping horror movie, many times over, but the genre is usually quite visceral in nature, and usually the greatest impact comes with that initial experience. Subsequent visitations can still be power
Dec 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
I feel a little dishonest giving this 4 stars because I frequently felt a bit bored reading it and had to make myself go on. However, almost all the stories were genuinely creepy and I was impressed by how different they were from one another. "Pages from a Young Lady's Journal" was my favorite.
Marko Radosavljevic
Ocekivao sam jedno,vrlo se pozitivno iznenadio stilom i ritmom svake od priča.Pisac koji dosta toga kaže nenapisanim.Oprema,štampa prevodi i sve ostale tehničke stvari vezane za knjigu besprekorni, kao i do sad u Orfelinu
Nate D
Nov 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: traveling salesmen
Recommended to Nate D by: shifty boardinghouses
Robert Aickman writes exceptionally British horror stories. I read many many Brits who don't strike me with their Britishness, in particular, but Aickman's just so urbane and mannered about how he puts his tales forth (okay, so I'm obviously operating on a stereotype of Britishness, rather than the wider-ranging actuality provided by those other authors). This occasionally offers a perfect or even hysterically understated turn of phrase, othertimes it just makes them drag on. All of the stories ...more
The Literary Chick
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The ultimate in dense, elegant, gothic, eerie horror. Not meant to be read quickly.
Jun 08, 2018 marked it as unfinished
Recommended to Sarah by: online literature map (close to Kavan)
Shelves: 2018
Not strange enough.
Carol Storm
Nov 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Robert Aickman is a talented writer who creates a whole lot of chilling atmosphere and then . . . nothing happens. There's something very English about this approach. People say H.P. Lovecraft left too much unrevealed, but after reading this collection I disagree. Lovecraft wrote about his terrors in lurid detail; Aickman barely hints at his.

THE SWORDS -- this story is creepy, but not scary creepy. More like perverted creepy. A young man goes to some sort of weird Peep Show and sees men doing t
Apr 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
If you'd never heard of Aickman, or had built no notion of what to expect from him, then all you'd need to do was read the epigraph for this collection. "In the end it is the mystery that lasts and not the explanation." That pretty much sums him up. For some people, this just isn't good enough. Some people don't view reading as anything other than another form of TV - to sit idle, to do nothing, and to receive entertainment as good as the creator can come up with. Aickman doesn't just not do thi ...more
James Everington
Apr 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great book of 'strange' fiction - Aickman was a true one-off, closer to Kafka than anyone else. His reputation is largely kept alive by the horror community nowadays, but deserves a wider readership from anyone who likes the weird and surreal.
Jun 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short collection by a writer who is now somewhat neglected, this is a must for any fan of weird fiction. Aickman called these ‘strange stories’, and certainly they are strange; they seem to occupy a category all their own which is at least a neighbour to more conventional tales of the paranormal, even if they might not always be called outright horror.

The closest comparison is probably M.R. James: as with him, we find a powerfully restrained, calm tone at work here. (It’s all very English.) T
This sounds arch, but the first full memories I have of reading this collection is back in December, the day after Christmas, on the beach, watching gray clouds blow over the cold water. It was almost too perfect of a setting. Stories like "The Real Road to the Church" ceased to be a vessels for narrative, and became a sense of mood, one projected on everyone walking by. It was, if anything, a little too perfect a synchronization, the reader equivalent of a photographer photographing a teddy bea ...more
Feb 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I consume literature like some people consume junk food. So many books, so little time. However, I took about six months reading these eight stories by Robert Aickman. These deeply melancholy tales deserve to be read slowly, carefully. The prose is impeccable. Each strange story is told with a clarity and simplicity that made me feel as if I wasn't reading fiction as much as witnessing an unsettling, but very real sequence of events.

The first two stories in particular, The Swords and The Real R
Mike (the Paladin)
Feb 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
I owned this book back in the "olden days" (back in the 70s). I wasn't real taken with Aickman (as evidenced by the fact that I'd forgotten a book I once owned). I got this from the library, and it came back to me.

I would hesitate to call these "horror" stories. I might call them macabre stories, despairing stories, even dark stories. They carry in them a sense of despondency and deep melancholy. The first story, The Swords sets an odd tone for the set while the closest to what I suppose would b
Setting aside 5.24.15 at 20%
This isn’t my first attempt at reading this collection. I tried it back in March of this year, read the first story, and then decided it wasn’t for me. A few months ago, I started my Valancourt Books reading project (while also working on my Dark Tower reading project and my Star Wars reading project), and saw that one of Aickman’s books was on their publication list, so I thought I’d try this one again with a fresh perspective.

The results are mixed. Some of the stories are good, others elude me
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another fantastic collection of slow burn, subtle horror. As always the most impressive part of Aickman's stories is the atmosphere, all the stories of his that I've read have an ominous feeling to them and occult undertones. I also love the inherent Britishness to his writing, it has a strange twee charm that would be annoying from a lesser writer but Aickman pulls it off with ease. I'd recommend this to fans of weird fiction and quiet horror, this collection is well worth your time.
Sep 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Robert Aickman was the true successor to the magisterial M. R. James, of antiquarian supernatural horror-story fame. Aickman, who was writing from the 1950s to the 1970s, produced contemporary ‘strange stories’, not period pieces, but he shared James’s elegant, dry, deliciously pedantic style and slow-burning sense of menace. His collections, which have been pretty much out of print, have become available again thank to the excellent and innovative ‘Faber Finds’ imprint, as ebooks and ‘print-on- ...more
Mar 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Stephen King recommended author and book. Noted as "important to the genre we have been discussing" from Danse Macabre, published in 1981. Author discussed in chapter 9.

12/27/11. This collection of short stories are as described, uncanny and unconventional macabre stories. Aickman certainly used his imagination in each unique, creepy story. Although I tend to prefer novels over short stories, I really enjoyed this collection and highly recommend it.
Bill Hsu
Apr 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Totally agree with Nate D's review so far. "The Swords", "The Hospice", and "The Same Dog" are the unpredictable gems in the collection, "Pages from a Young Girl's Journal" is charming but conventional; the rest can be a bit of a slog. Aickman handles so well the accumulation of small disquieting details, often with a sexual subtext. I love how the narrator's perceptions keep shifting in "The Hospice"; there are absurdist humorous moments, and also at the end of "The Same Dog". (Well, at least I ...more
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Author of: close to 50 "strange stories" in the weird-tale and ghost-story traditions, two novels (The Late Breakfasters and The Model), two volumes of memoir (The Attempted Rescue and The River Runs Uphill), and two books on the canals of England (Know Your Waterways and The Story of Our Inland Waterways).

Co-founder and longtime president of the Inland Waterways Association, an organization that
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“There are no beautiful clocks. Everything to do with time is hideous.” 9 likes
“We are most of us two people, your Highness. There is something lacking in the man who is one thing only, and so, as he believes, at peace with the world and with himself.” 3 likes
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