October 14, 2007

Short Story Sunday

I got my three selections from the Dover Thrift Editions Great Ghost Stories collection. Not all of them are scary but they do all contain ghosts.

The Phantom Coach
by Amelia Edwards
James Murray loses his way in the middle of a storm and takes shelter is the house of a recluse who hasn't seen a visitor in 4 years. After a long conversation about science and the skepticism of man Murray heads back out into the snow to catch a ride home to his new bride in the mail coach. What he gets is more than he bargained for.

This tale wasn't really scary but it was predictable. Well, first it was slow, then it was a little misleading but then it was easy to figure out what was going on. Not a bad story but not a great one either.

The Judge's House
by Bram Stoker
A young student rents a rundown "haunted" house to study in peace. The last occupant was a ruthless judge who kept the hangman's noose as the rope of an alarm bell in his sitting room. As the young man talks with the neighbors about the rats in the walls and the midnight visit from one particularly large rat, they believe him to be studying a little too hard. But can they save him?

This one was the scariest of the 3 tales I read today. All the rat can really gross a person out. And the twist with the picture was unexpected. While I didn't really care for Dracula(sorry, I thought it seemed a bit too corny), there is no denying that Stoker is a fantastic writer. This one's worth a read.

Bone to His Bone
by E.G. Swain
Mr. Batchel lives at the vicarage that the late William Whitehead left his beloved book collection to. He loves the book collection "as a father loves his children." One midnight Mr. Batchel makes a startling discovery in the old library.

The supernatural tendencies of this story contain no malice like the ones in the Stoker tale. The writing is clear and the story is not bad but not really scary either.


Nymeth said...

This sounds like an interesting anthology. I have never read any of Stroker's short fiction, and I suspect I really should do something about that.

Petunia said...

Stoker's story has been the best one in this book so far.

Trish said...

I have been awful about this RIP Challenge, but you have been great! The Judge's House sounds very creepy.

Stephanie said...

I've never read any of Stoker's short stories! That one sounded really good. I've been reading Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman for Short Story Sundays!! It's been great!

Petunia said...

Trish-last year I joined the RIP challenge but didn't read anything. I didn't want to do that again.

Stephanie-I want to read that one myself but it hasn't fit in my reading schedule yet. Maybe for next years RIP challenge.