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Amanda R.

Apparently I've been living in a cave... I had no idea that Michael Cox was deceased! I have Meaning of Night on my shelves and Glass of Time from the library. Now I need to stretch those reads out since I won't get any more novels by him. Where have I been?


Amanda R--I think he passed away shortly after his second book was published--it was very sad. I think he started writing very late in life, so at least we have two of his books--I've yet to read either but have heard they are very good. I'm always totally behind the news, too, so I can relate!


This whole review, especially the quotes at the beginning made me think of Highgate Cemetery. That's the perfection of Victorian esthetics regarding death. I quite like it too. That's probably why I am one of those who loved Her Fearful Symmetry. It is written in that spirit.


I'm not sure about the story, but I would like to read East Lynne. I'm kicking myself because I once had a cheap copy of it in my hands in a shop and then I felt I shouldn't and walked away. Ah, I always repent the lost opportunity!


I've been reading from both time periods for this challenge as well, and I can't decide which I enjoy more: I think it's whichever one I'm reading in the moment, because each period's style has its appeal. Although some of Poe's sentences are proving more-than-a-little challenging and I'm more scared that they won't end than of what's being discussed therein!


You are doing so well with your short stories for the RIP Challenge! I still can't finish my book - I seem to be going at a snail's pace with my reading this past week - but I'm really enjoying The Leavenworth Case. I think you'd probably enjoy that one a lot too. I'll have to post more about it if I ever get done with it - haha.


Caroline--I would love to visit Highgate cemetery. Have you been there before? They give tours, which you'll already know from Her Fearful Symmetry. I started that book last year and was enjoying it but didn't finish it as I got distracted--will have to go back some time to read the last half. It was a good ghost story!
Litlove--I think you could skip the story (entertaining enough if you are in the mood for a short story, but...), but East Lynne sounds great. I hate it when I put a book back on the shelf--I then immediately wish I had bought it when I return home.
BuriedinPrint--Modern stories seem more surprising, but Victorian stories more atmospheric and usually tell a good simple story. I like them both, too. I've not read Poe for ages, though I love The Cask of Amontillado. I should dig out my book of stories by him and read something next week--he was a character in real life, wasn't he? It can be distracting when you get tangled up in an author's sentences--I've forgotten just what his writing is like.
Iliana--I do love short stories. I'm thinking of keeping on reading them even when the challenge is finished, only I will read regular stories. I'm not, however, making as good of progress on poor Wilkie Collins than I expected--too many library books is the culprit--what a surprise.


I have never been to Highgate Cemetery but I really would like to. It's odd how mixed the reviews for Her Fearful Symmetry are. I read a few that were posted now during R.I.P.. I haven't read the Time Traveller's Wife yet so I couldn't be disappointed.

Liz F

This story is in the Virago book of short stories that I am currently reading and I must admit that I thought that it was going to be rather more dramatic than it turned out to be. Peculiarly there was a very similar story attached to a former watermill in a village close to where I grew up!
I have a very old copy of East Lynne that my late mother-in-law gave me -it's in the house somewhere so if I have time I might search it out as I quite enjoyed her writing style.
My time to read ghost stories is rather limited to daylight hours though as I have far too much imagination for my own good and I can frighten myself silly if I read them too late!


What fun! I do believe you are right about Victorian ghost stories, there is more atmosphere than actual scariness. But I wonder if movies like Friday 13th and books like The Shining have raised or changed our expectations as to what constitutes scary?

Judith (Reader in the Wilderness)

Do you happen to know Elizabeth Bowen's ghost story set during the Blitz in London? I simply must look it up again. I read it once and was utterly transformed, but have difficulty pinning down the title. Otherworldly, it was, definitley.

Dorothy W.

I'm agreeing with Litlove here -- both that I want to read East Lynne, and that I've regretted not buying books much more often than I've regretted buying them! I haven't read enough ghost stories to be able to tell what stories from different periods are like, but that sounds like an interesting thing to study.


Caroline--I wonder if some readers loved her first and the second was so different if they felt disappointed? I've also not yet read the first one.
Liz--It wasn't an especially scary story was it--I thought it might have some sort of 'bang' at the end, but it sort of just ended. Still I did enjoy it and think I would like East Lynne--whenever I get to it. My ghost stories are limited to Sunday afternoons so also not prime scaring time, but maybe just as well?
Stefanie--I think I'm pretty jaded when it comes to really scary stuff--I've seen too many really frightening movies. And I think Stephen King had to have an impact on how we think of horror stories. Quiet different than those Victorians! The Shining was great--very scary book indeed!
Judith--Elizabeth Bowen wrote lots of short stories. Is the WWII one called "Mysterious Kor"? It seems I read one by her, but I don't think that was it. I may have to dig around in my anthologies again. Let me know if that does (or does not) sound right.
Dorothy--I hate it when I put a book back that later I decide I really do want! And it's always the ones you can't go back and buy. I do have a copy of East Lynne waiting--just need to squeeze it in like so many others. I think I've read more modern ghost stories, but it's interesting to see how they have developed over time. I bet there's a book out there on the subject.

Carl V.

Mostly I prefer atmosphere to chills anyway. And this is the kind of book I would read at night just to give it that extra little edge! I haven't read short stories for the RIP challenge yet and I need to get on it!


Carl--I love short stories and ghost stories in particular. This one wasn't the scariest, but it was still good and still very atmospheric. It's probably just as well that they aren't too scary as I would just end up making myself paranoid.

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