Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Spooky Stories With Spark

A small book, The Ghost Stories of Muriel Spark has eight short stories of the paranormal and supernatural. Some were much better than others and there were only a couple that I really liked.

The Girl I Left Behind Me is the one that I believe I have read before. It's a fantastic ghost story. It's very short so I can't really give any summary without giving anything away. It felt like something that could be retold around a campfire. I think this was my favorite of the bunch.

I almost liked The House of the Famous Poet but it was a little vague in some parts and I couldn't be totally sure of some of the things that happened. It is set during WWII in London.

Another Pair of Hands is a ghost story without any scare to it. I liked it as a short story but not as a ghost story. There's just nothing spooky about a maid whose work improves thanks to some help from the dead cook. The same with the story The Executor.

The final story was The Portobello Road which was the longest story and the most haunting. It was the most well-formed story with the strongest characters. It's the story of how the relationships of a small group of friends change over time.

This was my first short story anthology for the R.I.P. IV Challenge. I was a bit disappointed that these were not all stories about ghosts when they were billed as thus. The ones about ghosts were better than the ones not. I know that I have more scary stories ahead from Joe Hill but there's still something about these older stories and their subtlety. It's kind of like the difference between classic horror movies and those today.

With a few goosebumps,

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  1. I have never heard of these ghost stories. Thanks for mentioning them!

  2. I didn't know that Muriel Spark wrote spooky stories. Cool!

  3. Not too good to have spooky stories with no spook in them! Oh well.