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The Dark Descent
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Ctgt So far it's

Nancy
Caroline
Ctgt

but all are welcome for all or part of the book. This will be pretty low key with no set dates for completion.
Just start your comment with the title of the story and use spoiler tags when necessary.


message 2: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 40 comments Thanks for this!


Ctgt You bet.

The Reach-Stephen King

I have read quite a bit of King but I can't remember this story. I'll have to check if this appeared in any other collections.
I liked the way he set up the sense of community on this isolated Goat Island, "we take care of our own".

(view spoiler)


Caroline | 21 comments I have read this story many times... first in King's collection, Skeleton Crew. No one can capture the spirit of small town life in the northeast like King, but the coolest part of this story is that it's based on a real person.


message 5: by Jk (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jk Hey guys! I saw this thread and decided that I would join you as I have had this book sitting around unread for awhile. So far I have read the first 5 stories and my favorite of the 5 was the King story. I think my least favorite so far has been Evening Primrose by John Collier - curious to hear what everyone else thought of it!


message 6: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 40 comments I'm just getting started today, so as soon as I catch up, I'll let you know.


Ctgt Caroline wrote: "I have read this story many times... first in King's collection, Skeleton Crew. No one can capture the spirit of small town life in the northeast like King, but the coolest part of this story is th..."

Wow, I read Crew way back in the day but don't remember the story. Hmmm real life character, didn't know that.


Ctgt Jk wrote: "Hey guys! I saw this thread and decided that I would join you as I have had this book sitting around unread for awhile. So far I have read the first 5 stories and my favorite of the 5 was the King ..."

Great to have you along Jk. I've only read the first three. The Collier story seemed a little dated
(view spoiler)


Caroline | 21 comments Evening Primrose:
I read the Collier story today. While I agree it did feel dated at times (well, it was written in 1940!), I was really pleasantly surprised by it. The title put me off a bit, I rather expected a damp sort of Victorian ghost story. Turned out to be a nice, chilling morsel of weird fiction, in my opinion.


Caroline | 21 comments Jk wrote: "Hey guys! I saw this thread and decided that I would join you as I have had this book sitting around unread for awhile. So far I have read the first 5 stories and my favorite of the 5 was the King ..."

Welcome JK! :)


message 11: by Jk (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jk Thanks for the welcome - glad to be here! I just finished up The Call Of Cthulhu. This is about the third time I have read this story and it is still as creepy and engrossing as ever!


Caroline | 21 comments Jk wrote: "Thanks for the welcome - glad to be here! I just finished up The Call Of Cthulhu. This is about the third time I have read this story and it is still as creepy and engrossing as ever!">
I love this story, probably my favorite Lovecraft next to The Dunwich Horror. It stands up to many re-readings :)



Caroline | 21 comments Other stories:
The Ash-Tree - not my favorite M.R. James, but certainly exemplary of his style. Great atmosphere.
There's a Long, Long Trail A-Winding - not my cup of tea.
The New Mother - there were some enjoyable frissons in this one. I found myself thinking about it afterwards, especially how the tale might have been received from a female author in 1882. Original.


message 14: by Ctgt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ctgt I agree about the James, didn't move me like some of his stories but I did really like the ending.

I've slowed down a little bit, we have company in for the weekend, so may not get much read until next week.


message 15: by Jk (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jk I really enjoyed both The Ash Tree and There's A Long, Long Trail A-Winding and thought that The New Mother was somewhat silly - a sort of dark fairy tale.

Thoughts on the latest stories I read:

The Summer People: subtly eerie - liked it

The Whimper of Whipped Dogs: clever, written in 1973 but seemed very topical in this day and age of technology (view spoiler)

Young Goodman Brown: this is my second read of this story and I recall not liking it much the first time. However, I found myself really enjoying it the second time around - it is a great illustration about how you can't ever really know what is in anyone else's heart, a prospect that I find really terrifying!

Mr. Justice Harbottle: not my favorite - felt a little long and boring


Caroline | 21 comments Jk wrote: "I really enjoyed both The Ash Tree and There's A Long, Long Trail A-Winding and thought that The New Mother was somewhat silly - a sort of dark fairy tale.

Thoughts on the latest stories I read:

..."

I really agree with your takes, Jk - I know the first time I read Goodman Brown, I kind of skipped over it, thinking it was not going to have much going for it. It was a nice surprise too. This made me give Justice Harbottle a chance... which I somewhat regret. It just went on and on, and the payoff was too weak (in my humble opinion.)
I love Shirley Jackson's short fiction, so Summer People is a definite like/love for me. Harlan Ellison's Whipped Dogs is probably one of his best stories (I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream is my favorite, I think. http://hermiene.net/short-stories/i_h...)
The Autopsy: I will say nothing except that Michael Shea is a giant in weird fiction - I will be very surprised if you guys don't like it.


message 17: by Jk (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jk The Autopsy was awesome - I loved the ending!

I also really liked Ray Bradbury's The Crowd. That made me think that I should read more of his short fiction - I had read Something Wicked This Way Comes and wasn't crazy about it but The Crowd was a whole different animal!


message 18: by Ctgt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ctgt Caroline wrote: "The New Mother - there were some enjoyable frissons in this one. I found myself thinking about it afterwards, especially how the tale might have been received from a female author in 1882. Original. "

This was an interesting story to include. Seemed more of a fable, a story you tell young children to keep them in line. You ask an interesting question about how a female author during that time period.


message 19: by Ctgt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ctgt Jk wrote: "The Autopsy was awesome - I loved the ending!

I also really liked Ray Bradbury's The Crowd. That made me think that I should read more of his short fiction - I had read Something Wicked This Way ..."


The whole reason I decided to start this collection was The Autopsy. Caroline had posted a link to some of Laird Barron's favorite stories and that was included. I was going to read just that one story but figured there were too many great authors to pass by.

As to your second point.....you're breaking my heart, Jk.*wipes a tear from his cheek* :) I had read some Bradbury years ago, mostly the sci/fi stuff and never read SWTWC until a year ago and fell in love with the book.


message 20: by Ctgt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ctgt Sounds like I enjoyed Long, Long Trail a bit more than some of you. I did think it was too long, it seems to me the letters didn't really add much to the story and could have been left out to really tighten up the story.
Initially I thought it was some sort of time travel or past life scenario but then I thought that it might be a story told from the viewpoint of a spirit or ghost.


message 21: by Ctgt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ctgt Jk wrote: " I just finished up The Call Of Cthulhu. This is about the third time I have read this story and it is still as creepy and engrossing as ever!"

I agree. I never get tired of reading this story.

(view spoiler)


message 22: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 40 comments Sorry for not posting sooner. I'm just about to start "The Whimper of Whipped Dogs." My favorite so far is "The Summer People," by Shirley Jackson, although I'm always going to put "Call of Cthulhu" way up top.

I think "There's a Long Long Trail..." is also well done but needed to be reined in.
"The New Mother" ... well, it's a cautionary tale -- can't you just see a mother sitting around with her bratty kids telling them this story?
"The Ash Tree" - not one of my favorite MR James stories.
"Evening Primrose" - not one of my favorites in this book at all
"The Reach" -- literary to be sure, but again, not one of my favorites by this author.

that catches me up. Off to read more.


Caroline | 21 comments I hope you guys are enjoying the book so far! Stories so far that really affected me:
Sticks, Karl Edward Wagner - This is a great, Lovecraftian story. I can't be the only one who finds there's a precursor to the styling of the Blair Witch in here.
Vandy, Vandy: Not my favorite Manly Wade Wellman, but he spins a yarn like no one else. I would have liked The Desrick on Yandro for this book.
The Fall of the House of Usher: obviously.
The Monkey: I really enjoyed reading this again. Classic King.
Within the Walls of Tyre: Sadly, I thought this was a bit of a dud. I've read things from Michael Bishop that were really much more chilling than this.
Rats in the Walls: Can't say enough.
Yellow Wallpaper: If you haven't read it, do.
Seven American Nights: This is a treat. Gene Wolfe is really known as a sci-fi writer, so horror fans might not be familiar with his work... he carries a wollop. One of my favorites in the book, and it made me seek out more of Wolfe's work.
Crouch End - harrowing
Night Side - Chilling view of what happens... after...

Looking forward in the book, I see a number of stories that are the type that make me rather sleepy, but I will try to read them. Although I don't know if I can do "The Beckoning Fair One" again without slipping into a coma.


message 24: by Ctgt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ctgt Caroline wrote: "Sticks, Karl Edward Wagner - This is a great, Lovecraftian story. I can't be the only one who finds there's a precursor to the styling of the Blair Witch in here."

Absolutely love that story Caroline. The recent series True Detective also used this idea.

I enjoyed Whimper quite a bit. As I was reading about the city and it's "persona" and how it affected the residents, I couldn't help but think about myself as I commute to work everyday and at times I seem to become unrecognizable even to me :/

Young Goodman was good but I was disappointed with the ending. I thought the story might have been better served with a more open ended conclusion. Although that might be a sign of the time when it was written.

I have read very little Le Fanu but I really enjoyed Harbottle, had some shades of A Christmas Carol (view spoiler). I loved the scene where Harbottle was to meet two cronies after the play and the coach ride that ensued.

The Autopsy. Wow. You were right Caroline. Loved it! I really liked the fact that I had no idea where the story was heading. Sometimes you just know how the story will unfold but not here, at least not for me.
(view spoiler)

Never read any E. Nesbit but I did like this short tale.(view spoiler)


message 25: by Ctgt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ctgt I already mentioned my love for Sticks, one of my favorite weird shorts.

Just recently started reading Aickman and Larger Than Oneself had a more overt supernatural angle than most of his stories I have read. Still trying to figure out the end, although that seems to be the case with many of his tales.

I have never read any horror from Leiber and while I enjoyed the story, you could see the end coming.

Same with Bloch and his story.

On the other hand, I loved If Damon Comes. I have read a couple of the Oxrun Station titles and I really like the atmosphere Grant creates with his fictional town.

I have been a fan of Wellman for years and really enjoy the Silver John character. His writing style in this series really hits home for me as it reminds me a bit of the way my maternal grandfather spoke, he came from the Tennessee countryside.
(view spoiler)

On to part 2. Pretty busy month coming up so I may be slowing down a bit.


message 26: by Ssofmind (new)

Ssofmind Looking for new releases in horror. I am new to the group. prefer hard bound books. . hate Stephen King. .. Anything else is fine. trying to fill my book shelf.


message 27: by Ctgt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ctgt Finally getting back to these stories.

The Swords-I've been on a real Aickman kick recently but this was new to me. It certainly was just as bizarre as most of the other stories of his I have read. I always enjoy a weird/freaky/strange carnival setting so the beginning was right in my wheelhouse.
But the ending really threw me for a loop.

The Roaches I have never read anything by Disch before but I liked this short tale and was intrigued by the communication ability Miss Kenwell manifested, especially that very last line.


message 28: by Ctgt (last edited Sep 28, 2014 06:46PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ctgt Dread-Almost abandoned this because I really don't like this type of story but so glad I hung around for the ending. (view spoiler)


message 29: by Ctgt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ctgt It's been awhile but I'm still at it.
Really loved A Rose for Emily by Faulkner. That ending-(view spoiler)

Also really loved How Love Came to Professor Guildea, definitely had that old school subtle feel and I don't remember reading a story that used (view spoiler)


message 30: by Ctgt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ctgt Almost forgot. I ran across this podcast Selected Shorts/PRI with Neil Gaiman reading Evening Primrose


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