[KINDLE] ❆ The Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century Ghost Stories Author Michael Cox – Transportjobsite.co.uk



10 thoughts on “The Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century Ghost Stories

  1. says:

    August 18, 2010Coming from the same publisher with a justified world class reputation for quality as The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories, which I recently finished reading and reviewing, this collection is edited by one of the co editors of the latter work Not surprisingly, these volumes display a similar philosophy, and high standard, of selection, and a certain overlap of literary territory no less than 13 of the included contributors here are represented in the earlier book though always by different stories Again, there is a historical critical introduction to the sub genre the one here is longer and even instructive , the stories are arranged chronologically, and they are followed by a section of short but helpful bio critical notes on the contributors I learned various facts there that I didn t previously know for instance, that the young Fritz Leiber was an Episcopal seminary student The two anthologies, of course, differ somewhat in their range, the one being geographically based and the other chronologically based However, the great majority of the authors here are still British, and the seven Americans are the only other nationality included There are recent stories here than in the preceding collection, though none there were actually written after 1968, but eight of the selections here were Only one of the stories, Aickman s excellent Ringing the Changes, proved to be one that I d already read.As with the previous book, I m not reading the stories entirely in order Of the ones I have read, it can be said that several, while clearly dealing with something preternatural, are not ghost stories as such that is, there s no clear indication that the eerie entities the protagonists confront are the spirits of deceased humans The stories I would put in this category include Leiber s The Smoke Ghost its title notwithstanding Oliver Onions Rooum, which has a bit of a science fiction bent, William Sansom s A Woman Seldom Found, and L P Hartley s Night Fears All of these are effective stories, though, as is Edith Wharton s Bewitched, where there is some deliberate ambiguity about the identity of the farmer s visitant that story makes very good use of the cold winter setting in a backward, superstitious, isolated New England community Angela Carter s The Loves of Lady Purple could be said to deal with a formerly human revenant, but she was arguably not dead in the normal sense to start with This latter story was the only one so far that I didn t much care for I thought it had serious credibility problems even in terms of its own internal logic, and while the author s purpose was obviously the evocation of ultimate evil and depravity, it seemed to me to lack any point or literary purpose outside of itself As Thomas Hardy famously said, to tell a story, it first has to be worth telling So far, I ve read all of the pre 1945 selections except for F Scott Fitzgerald s A Short Trip Home which I deferred because its length didn t fit my scheduling requirements for this time , and a few of the later ones including the last one, Jane Gardam s The Meeting House, which was one of the best, IMO These run the gamut from dark tales of lethal hauntings to bittersweet tales of love or friendship surviving beyond the grave Besides Gardam s, some of my favorites include M R James The Diary of Mr Poynter, an excellent example of what editor Cox calls the antiquarian type which I really like of ghost story H Russell Wakefield s masterful treatment of the haunted house theme in Blind Man s Buff and Thomas Burke s Yesterday Street It has to be said, though, that this last one is marred by the casual use of the term nigger in passing at one point and I d previously written about Burke s use of racially insensitive language in The Hollow Man Yes, this reflects the speech patterns of many people in the 1930s but it s seemingly so habitual with Burke, and dragged in so glaringly here, that it raises a question about his own racial attitudes More next summer July 8, 2011I recently finished this book, and found that the promise implied in the quality of what I d read before was amply fulfilled in the rest of the collection Only two of the 14 stories I read in this go around were disappointing and given that the editor deliberately included a number of stories written by authors not usually associated with this genre, and in several cases critically approved authors at that, it was inevitable that some stories would be of this type The two stories I was less than enthusiastic about here both derive from the modern literary establishment, artsy camp Christine Brooke Rose is described as primarily an experimental writer in On Terms, she experiments with not bothering with punctuation Since punctuation was developed for a purpose, and the effect of abandoning it is deliberate loss of clarity in communication, I m not able to regard this as a constructive experiment Since, as a writer, she couldn t be bothered to use techniques kids learn in grade school, I as a reader couldn t be bothered to do than skim what she wrote A S Byatt in The July Ghost adopts a conventional style, but burnishes her respectable bona fides by eschewing a resolution of her plot As I ve indicated elsewhere, I don t care for that technique and don t consider it legitimate authorial practice towards the reader The time I spent on that story was wasted, IMO.However, in the main, this anthology was a gathering of excellence To be sure, as with the selections I read from here last year, not all of the remaining dozen stories are strictly ghost stories In Alison Lurie s The Highboy, the supernatural menace derives from the titular antique piece of furniture which happens to have been made in Salem, Massachusetts What we re dealing with in Elizabeth Taylor s Poor Girl, IMO, is something like a temporal slip temporal fluidity, as sometimes occurs in Russell Kirk s stories And the events of Elizabeth Jane Howard s Three Miles Up are not explicable as simple ghostly phenomena indeed, they re not explicable, period, which gives them an all the powerfully eerie and unsettling effect One could argue that this story doesn t have a resolution, either but as with Poe s Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, it leaves you confronting the unknown and unknowable, and it works in the same way that Poe s tale does But all of these dozen are excellent stories Those that are true ghost stories exhibit a great range of approaches to the form in Muriel Sparks Portobello Road my first introduction to her work , for instance, we have the ghost as narrator and in Fay Weldon s Watching Me, Watching You, the ghost is simply an interested observer of the living, a literary device to allow us unfettered access to their private lives Many of these stories are serious, pointed observations of the human condition, which even provoke real thought and psychological spiritual insights not all of them necessarily intended by the authors, but evoked as a genuine reader response to the stories, nonetheless My personal favorites on this round were the F Scott Fitzgerald story I mentioned above Walter de la Mare s The Quincunx not because it sent me to the dictionary to learn a new word, though it did and Joanna Russ The Little Dirty Girl Though, for readers interested in strictly horrific ghost stories that deliver a concerted scare, I would recommend John Wyndham s Close Behind Him and The Tower by Marghanita Laski highly All in all, this anthology amply illustrates the comment I ve often made at the library when I m selecting titles for purchase, Oxford Univ Press doesn t publish any shoddy books


  2. says:

    I picked this collection up purely for the Robert Aickman story, since his books are almost nowhere to be found in the States I then went back and started reading from the beginning Am enjoying the various ghost stories from writers like Graham Greene, Edith Wharton and F Scott Fitzgerald.


  3. says:

    There are a whopping thirty three stories to be found in this anthology, ordered chronologically from 1910 to 1994 Two fine tales bookend the entire collection E Nesbit s In the Dark is the opener, while the grand finale is Jane Gardam s hackle raising The Meeting House, completing an entire book of short but memorable tales Like most anthologies, there will be something for everyone here, and also like most anthologies, it s a mixed bag of good, great, excellent, and oh my god yes And while for me there really is nothing better than the old classic ghost stories, some of these modern ones should be taken just as seriously.I was quite delighted to discover some of my favorite writers on display here, for example Angela Carter, May Sinclair, Elizabeth Jane Howard, and Robert Aickman, along with other writers whose names are legend in the realm of ghost story writing and some whose appearance is a nice surprise I am also delighted to see so many women writers represented in this collection, and it s definitely a book serious readers of ghostly tales should include in their home libraries It s certainly one I d recommend.much here.


  4. says:

    I think I can confidently say that this is the best collection of horror stories I ve ever read There were a few weak stories in the bunch, but the good ones than made up for it Not all of them were frightening Some were humorous, others heart warming The mix of stories was a pleasant surprise Standouts included In the Dark by E Nesbit The Blackmailers By Algernon Blackwood Yesterday Street by Thomas Burke Smoke Ghost By Fritz Leiber Jr Three Miles Up By Elizabeth Jane Howard Close Behind Him By John Wyndham The Tower By Marghanita Laski I Kiss Your Shadow By Robert Bloch A Woman Seldom Found By William Sansom The Loves of Lady Purple By Angela CarterHighly recommended.


  5. says:

    3.5 starsThe introduction, were I to give it a rating, would be 5 stars I especially enjoyed the bit detailing the connection between ghost stories and social issues.Favorites and my recommendations for those who dislike reading anthologies straight through Night Fears by L P Hartley A Short Trip Home by F Scott Fitzgerald Yesterday Street by Thomas Burke Smoke Ghost by Fritz Leiber The Tower by Marghanita Laski Poor Girl by Elizabeth Taylor A Woman Seldom Found by William Sansom Portobello Road by Muriel Spark Watching Me, Watching You by Fay Weldon


  6. says:

    Great read This book was a culmination of many interesting ghost stories wrong throughout the twentieth century, including one by F Scott Fitzgerald I thoroughly enjoyed reading each story and seeing how the style of writing changed over the course of the century.


  7. says:

    Its a mixed bag, like anything like this will be, but some brilliant stories in this book William Trevor The Only StoryFritz Leiber The Smoke GhostF Scott Fitzgerald The Short Trip HomeAny of the above would be worth the price of the whole book really.


  8. says:

    I was pretty iffy about this book I haven t had the best track record with ghost stories But this one was really good I couldn t believe it I highly recommend this book to anyone whose into ghost horror stories.


  9. says:

    A great mix of short stories, from your scary stories to the unconventional so didn t seem like your stereotypical ghost story book, still not to be read before bed though


  10. says:

    A fairly good anthology on the subject, although the editor seems to have a bias towards the respectable end of the genre, meaning that many of the best writers in the genre are excluded This was rather irritating to me, because I would rather read a good, creepy ghost story than a pretentious attempt at giving it some sort of literary credibility In particular, the absence of Ramsey Campbell is particularly irksome, seeing that his works are to the final third of the 20th century what James s are to the first third, and Aickman s are to the second The book does, however, contain plenty of good stories, some of which I have not previously read The stories are In The DarkA series of unsettling events lead a man to confess to murder Interestingly, the author provides an alternate rational explanation to the events.RooumAn engineer is haunted by a strange running figure, which seems to have some sort of effect on his health whenever it touches him Unnerving and enigmatic.The Shadowy ThirdA house is haunted by a ghostly child which only is visible to some of the characters The narrator tries to prove that it exists in order to prevent the elderly owner of the house from being declared insane.The Diary Of Mr PoynterA man who purchases an old book finds a peculiar scrap of fabric in it His attempt at getting curtains made in the pattern found on the scrap leads to an encounter with a typically frightening Jamesian spectre One of the best in the volume, unsurprisingly.Mrs Porter and Miss AllenThe protagonist, Miss Allen, is hired to care for an elderly woman, Mrs Porter However, Mrs Porter seems to be afraid of something Some nicely creepy scenes in this one.The Nature Of The EvidenceAfter the death of his first wife, a man remarries The first wife comes back from the dead and interferes Night FearsA police officer on a foggy street encounters a strange man, who has an increasingly unsettling conversation with him Great atmosphere and a truly unnerving ghost.BewitchedNicely atmospheric New England ghost story, full of mysterious footprints and illnesses that may be supernatural in origin Quite good.A Short Trip HomeThe protagonist becomes suspicious of the influence a strange man seems to have over one of his the protagonist s friends More unsettling than I expected going into it.Blind Man s BuffA man moves into an old house The lights don t work, and he thinks that something else is inside with him One of the most frightening stories in the collection.The BlackmailersThis one is hard to summarize without giving away the ending.Yesterday StreetA man decides to visit the street he once lived on, and meets some people from his past.Smoke GhostEach day on the way to work, the protagonist sees something on the roof of a building that he passes by Things get even creepier from there One of the classic ghost stories, for good reason.The Cheery SoulThe protagonist is invited to stay at the house of an acquaintance When they arrive, they find the hosts absent and strange messages written throughout the house.All But EmptyA man has an unsettling encounter at a movie theater A twist ending story.Three Miles UpSome people on a canal trip pick up a strange woman As their trip continues, they have several unsettling experiences A very atmospheric story with a truly strange ending that borders on the lovecraftian and also recalls the much recent The Fisherman One of my favourites in the book.Close Behind HimAfter a burglary goes wrong, some minor criminals find themselves haunted by an invisible being Arguably a vampire story than a ghost story but still quite atmospheric and interesting.The QuincunxA man inherits an old house, and becomes convinced that the ghost of its previous owner is trying to prevent him from finding something Quite unnerving and atmospheric.The TowerWhile vacationing in Italy, a woman decides to visit an old tower which the locals seem to fear One of the most terrifying stories in the collection, this one is highly recommended Read this one carefully, and pay close attention to the numbers.Poor GirlA woman is hired as a governess for an annoying kid, his parents are also annoying, some slightly ghostly things happen that don t amount to much I found this story to be, quite frankly, boring and the ghost story elements don t really have anything to do with the plot The weakest story so far.I Kiss Your ShadowA man is tormented by the shadow of a woman he knew Unlike the last story, this one is definitely a horror story, featuring mysterious suicides and a disturbing climax in a graveyard Quite good.A Woman Seldom FoundA guy visiting Rome meets a strange woman on a dark street When he comes with her to her house, he finds that she isn t quite human Not strictly a ghost story, but quite intriguing with an memorably grotesque final paragraph.The Portabello RoadA ghost describes the events of their life leading up to death This one strikes me as being a mainstream literary story with a slight supernatural element to justify how the narrator can know certain things than a true ghost story.Ringing The ChangesThe protagonists visit a rundown seaside resort where a strange ritual involving bells is being performed Full of subtly unsettling details, this is one of the great folk horror stories.On TermsThe main thing I noticed in this story was the apparent omission of several commas Otherwise, I didn t get it.The Only StoryA man who is already in an unstable condition sees weird people appear in his house Reminiscent of the sort of story one finds in the classic Shadows series of anthologies I didn t quite get it, but that may be because I got distracted by a Chuck Berry song that came on the radio halfway through my reading of it Still a neat story.The Loves Of Lady PurpleA gothic ish story about a traveling carnival and a sinister puppet Rather intriguing.Revenant As Typewriter An odd piece combining ghostly possession with a mid life crisis Not quite my thing, probably because I m only 20 as of this writing.The Little Dirty GirlA story of a ghostly child who attaches herself to a college professor Like several other stories here, I have read this one before, but I don t object to rereading it.Watching Me, Watching YouA fairly standard domestic drama, told from the point of view of a ghost haunting the house where it occurs.The July GhostThis one didn t really do much for me Something about a ghost child, who doesn t really do anything, just stands around in the area where it died.The HighboyA story about a malevolent cabinet Not strictly a ghost story, but at least it tried to frighten, which is than can be said for the last few stories The atmosphere isn t right for a horror story, though.The Meeting HouseA story about how the titular building became haunted Nicely atmospheric, although not particularly frightening.


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The Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century Ghost Stories download The Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century Ghost Stories, read online The Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century Ghost Stories, kindle ebook The Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century Ghost Stories, The Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century Ghost Stories 83b9ed19c7de The Ghosts Of Fiction Were Not Killed Off By The Advent Of The Electric Light, The Invention Of The Telephone, The Coming Of The Motor Car, Or Even By The Once Unthinkable Horrors Of Technological Warfare Instead They Took Over The Trappings, Landscapes, And Cultural Assumptions Of The Twentieth Century For Their Ancient Purposes Thus Michael Cox Introduces The Oxford Book Of Twentieth Century Ghost Stories, A Unique Collection Of Of The Best And Most Chilling Ghost Stories Of Our Era The First Anthology To Trace The Evolution Of The Ghost Story Over The Last One Hundred Years, This Book Demonstrates The Variety And Versatility Of The Genre And The Different Ways In Which Stories Of The Supernatural Have Adapted To Twentieth Century Venues And Concerns In These Tales We Encounter Not Only The Returning Dead, But Also Distinctly Modern Phantoms A Haunted Typewriter, A Ghost That Travels By Train, And An Urban Specter Made Of Smoke And Soot There Are Child Ghosts And Haunted Houses, Playful Spooks And Deadly Apparitions The Authors Of These Uncanny Tales Are As Diverse As The Kinds Of Stories They Tell There Are Ghost Stories By Such Specialists As MR James And Algernon Blackwood And Many By Authors Not Commonly Associated With The Genre F Scott Fitzgerald, Edith Wharton, Graham Greene, AS Byatt, And Angela Carter Are Only A Few Of The Literary Celebrities Included In This Collection At A Time When Our Era Seems To Grow Increasingly Rational And Predictable, The Oxford Book Of Twentieth Century Ghost Stories Reminds Us Of The Joys Of Uncertainty And Wonder Distinctive And Gripping, These Stories Will Linger Long In The Memory