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From Edgar Allen Poe to Kelly Link, M.R. James to Neil Gaiman, H. H. Munro to Audrey Niffenegger herself, Ghostly reveals the evolution of the ghost story genre with tales going back to the eighteenth century and into the modern era, ranging across styles from Gothic Horror to Victorian, with a particular bent toward stories about haunting--haunted children, animals, houses. Every story is introduced by Audrey Niffenegger, an acclaimed master of the craft, with some words on its background and why she chose to include it. Niffenegger's own story is, "A Secret Life With Cats."
Perfect for the classic and contemporary ghost story aficionado, this is a delightful volume, beautifully illustrated. Ghostly showcases the best of the best in the field, including Edith Wharton, P.G. Wodehouse, A.S. Byatt, Ray Bradbury, and so many more.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-09-07
- Reviewer: Staff
Niffenegger (The Time Travelers Wife) assembles ghostly fictions by writers both classic (Edgar Allan Poe, Saki, M.R. James) and recent (Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link, A.S. Byatt) in this strong but sometimes uneven anthology. Felines feature prominently in Poes The Black Cat as well as in Niffeneggers own contribution, Secret Life, with Cats. Humor is provided by P.G. Wodehouses hilarious Honeysuckle Cottage and Amy Giacalones Tiny Ghosts, which introduces an irrepressible new voice. Writers who experience ghostly encounters are examined in the longest story, Oliver Onionss The Beckoning Fair One, and Rebecca Curtiss self-consciously postmodern The Pink House. The final story, Ray Bradburys postapocalyptic classic There Will Come Soft Rains, astonishingly anticipates todays smart-house technology and tells the haunting story of a house that is itself a ghost. Niffenegger includes crisp introductions that provide context, such as that both Rudyard Kiplings They and Byatts The July Ghost were written in response to experiencing the death of a child. Some of the older stories are more musty than scary, but the best, such as Gaimans very short Click-Clack the Rattlebag, do an excellent job of evoking that crucial frisson of dread. (Oct.)