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The Body Snatcher
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Archive Sci-fi/Fantasy Reads > 2017 October Short Story: 'The Body Snatcher' Robert Louis Stevenson

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message 1: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 5792 comments Mod
The Body Snatcher is a short story by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894). A group of friends share a few drinks, when an eminent doctor, Wolfe Macfarlane, enters. One of the friends, Fettes, recognizes the name and angrily confronts the new arrival. Although his friends all find this behaviour suspicious, none of them can understand what might lie behind it.


message 2: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (traceyrb) | 726 comments Is there an online link to this book as I may read it? I like RLS stories and this is one I haven't read.


message 3: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8544 comments Mod
Tracey, I found at least one on-line link when I typed in The Body Snatcher by Stevenson. I found a free ebook version on ibooks, in a compilation called Tales and Fantasies.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Good choice! Im always ready to read a RLS story.


message 5: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (traceyrb) | 726 comments I found this link to a book called Tales and Fantasies and The Body Snatcher is p87 on this


message 6: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 5792 comments Mod
Thanks Tracey and Rosemarie for the help on the links!


message 7: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (last edited Oct 09, 2017 12:11PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8544 comments Mod
This is good story. Stevenson is really good at creating a spooky atmosphere, with a "twist" at the end. I find that I really enjoy the way he writes, so clear and descriptive.


message 8: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) here's a fine compilation of all sorts of similar stories in which this tale is featured:

The Big Book of Rogues and Villains by Otto Penzler

everything from gentlemen jewel-thieves to grave-robbers to demonaic blood suckers

Otto Pender is habitually the editor of these great collections. He's done similar efforts for noir and detective fic


message 9: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 5792 comments Mod
Thanks Feliks is that a Classic? Not heard of the book or the Author.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Lesle wrote: "Thanks Feliks is that a Classic? Not heard of the book or the Author."

Not the book itself - it's a compilation of stories written by different authors. Many of the stories will be classic or less well known stories by classic authors.

I don't think he actually writes anything himself just edits works.

I've read his The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries. His compilations are a good way of trying out authors you haven't previously read.


message 11: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) For sure. If you click on that editors name, you will see the list of other compendiums he's done. He's considered an authority in the field of pulp publishing history. I own his 'Big Book of Black Mask Stories" which has superb, (but admittedly now-obscure) gangland yarns from the earliest progenitors of the genre. 'Black Mask' was where Hammett first got published. A real treat to own anything by Pendler.

If anyone's curious as to the table-of-contents of the 'robbers and villains' above, I can provide it. A really polyglot assortment! For instance, I did not know that there was an unpublished first-chapter to Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' which never got included in the official release. (Stoker apparently scrapped it due to concerns about total word-count).

Nor did I know that a friend of Stoker's (translating the tale into Gaelic or something) took artistic liberties and ran away with the storytelling, making that edition into practically his own version. All sorts of discoveries abound, in collections this large.


message 12: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 5792 comments Mod
Thank you Pigletto and Feliks!
Will defintely look into Pender's collection of stories.


message 13: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (last edited Oct 29, 2017 05:17PM) (new)

Lesle | 5792 comments Mod
Creepy is the word I think of when I read this!

The two, Fettes and Macfarland attend medical school where they dissected bodies. Fettes had thoughts about where some of the bodies came from.

At the end, the lack of, causes the creepy twisted conclusion! Gave me goosebumps! (Not one for horror, it makes me close my eyes and shudder!)


message 14: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8544 comments Mod
A great story for Hallowe'en!


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Trick or Treat?


message 16: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 5792 comments Mod
I rather have the Chocolate Truffle treat!


message 17: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8544 comments Mod
Chocolate Truffles are delicious!


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree, but you have to give ME the treat!


message 19: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 5792 comments Mod
Umm... I took that as a question whether I wanted Trick or a Treat? Haha!

So Mark what Treat do you like?


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

For my treat I would like continuing membership of this august group.


message 21: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8544 comments Mod
I think that can be arranged!


message 22: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (last edited Oct 31, 2017 04:24PM) (new)

Lesle | 5792 comments Mod
Well lets see...I guess we could keep Mark. As long as the truffles show up at our doors by Christmas! 😃

Thoughts Rosemarie?


message 23: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rosemarie | 8544 comments Mod
I think that is a good plan, Lesle.


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