Another collection of 16 classic tales of the macabre and supernatural by some of the best-known writers in these genres. E.Nesbit - "John Charrington's Wedding" Edgar Allan Poe - "The Black Cat" and "The Tell-Tale Heart" Arthur Conan Doyle - "The Leather Funnel" and "The Horror of the Heights" M.R. James - "Lost Hearts" and "A Warning to the Curious" Saki - "Sredni Vashtar" and "Gabriel Ernest" Hugh Walpole - "The Tarn" and "The Tiger" E.F. Benson - "Naboth's Vineyard" and "Mrs Amworth" F. Marion Crawford - "For the Blood is the Life" and "The Doll Ghost" Ambrose Bierce - "The Moonlit Road"
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Roy Macready has a way with the classics: just listen to the sample and you'll hear what I mean.
As with the first collection, there are a couple of disappointing stories which have not stood the test of time, but most are good-to-excellent. (Also, Saki's "Sredni Vashtar" is repeated, which must be an oversight).
I loved hearing more Benson, especially the two here!
In the quiet village of Maxley, Sussex, precious little happens to disturb the peace until the arrival of "Mrs. Amsworth," who has very particular dietary requirements.
In "Naboth's Vineyard," a barrister used to getting what he wants goes a bit too far in securing a coveted piece of real estate.
"The Tiger" by Hugh Walpole, is bizarre and unsettling. A diminutive, nervous man dreams of a jungle, and afterward, is caught up in a descent into what appears to be madness. Walpole was an unusual writer, and his stories often touch on themes of alienation, estrangement, and isolation.
His other story here, "The Tarn," is very different. Mediocre writer Fenwick secretly despises successful novelist and visitor Fostor. (There is a touch of "The Cask of Amontillado" here, but without its subtlety). When the two make a visit to see a favorite spot in nature, Fenwick comes to regret his decision.
"The Doll's Ghost" is a sad story, quite sentimental and perhaps suited to the genre of "instructive" Victorian-style stories for older children. Nina, a broken doll, is repaired in a German-run doll hospital, but returning her to her owner is problematic.
"Gabriel-Ernest" is unique among vampires, and he's a being only Saki could create!