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It has been many years since I read any Blackwood, and I was in the mood for something classic and chilling so I tried this collection. Some of the stories are perhaps too old-fashioned for modern tastes, but each one shows Blackwood's originality.
1. THE WENDIGO is well known and quite long. It could be edited down for a more focused story.
2. In THE OLIVE, a young man picks up an olive a feminine diner dropped and finds himself transported to an otherworldly experience.
3. Dutton didn't have an excuse to decline a house party invitation, so he finds himself in a mansion inhabited by a kleptomaniacal Irish spirit in THE GOBLIN'S COLLECTION.
4. A small gathering of sailors are spending the Easter holiday together when one of them is taken by a SEA FIT which involves pagan deities.
5. ANCIENT LIGHTS is about a Croydon surveyor's clerk who travels to assist a client in Sussex, but he will have to find him first.
6. THE PRAYER centers on a psychical experiment performed by O'Malley and Jones, two medical students.
7. THE WOOD OF THE DEAD is set in the Devon and Somerset countryside in full summer. A visitor to an inn finds himself in the presence of an uninvited companion.
8. AN EGYPTIAN HORNET, "though black and yellow, sounds like scarlet," terrifies Reverend Milligan after an April morning's bath.
9. THE OTHER WING is a children's story. When Tim is tucked up in bed each night, and just after the fire dies down, a head-and-shoulders of a figure looks in at the door.
10. THE SINGULAR DEATH OF MORTON. In the limestone hills of the Jura, a couple of climbers make their way back to their lodgings when they hear a young lady walking behind them....again.
11. A physicist, a young lady, and her parson-fiancé discuss the disappearance of a man into a "haunted grove," leading to philosophical speculations in ENTRANCE AND EXIT.
12. A KC and his clerk congratulate themselves for successfully exonerating a client on the grounds of insanity. The clerk is planning an alpine sporting holiday and asks to borrow THE KIT BAG for his expedition.
13. THE DAMNED. A gentleman makes a visit, in company with his sister, to a friends mansion in the country. His only concern is that he be left in peace to write.
Blackwood was ahead of his time, rather strange, and quite original when compared to his contemporary story writers. If you like unusual, old-fashioned stories, you might like these, but it might be best to read a couple of stories before you buy. I believe most are in the public domain.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
what would be an excellent collection or at least a very good collection is ruined by the longest, main story the Windigo where the narration is interspersed with voices that are so annoying and so rivaling and inappropriate that there is no way to listen to the story the wind to go to not even be tried. As for the other stories 5 repeats of very commonly anthologized stories once again reduce the appeal of this collection where are the narration is generally quite good though even when it doesn't have the weird psychotic voice as in the wind ago it still does become quite boring as if the reader is not really paying attention to what he is reading
0 of 5 people found this review helpful
Good stuff :thoughtfull +imaginative. The top title :"The Wendigo" is a long short story, set in the Canadian wilderness at the end of the 19th cen, about a malign wind spirit. It is inspired by Indian myths. It's hard to over recommend it, in my estimation, as an outstanding example of the 'weird' /supernatural tale.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Really enjoyed all the shorter stories but the wendigo is read better by others.
Not to take away the narrators expertise he is excellent. The kit bag is very unsettling and scary.
A great collection of stories very well read.