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NA291212 - GREAT GHOST STORIES (Unabridged)
Poe • Maupassant • Saki • Kipling • James • O. Henry
Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849)
Poe is acclaimed as the true originator of the modern horror story and is arguably one of its finest practitioners. The Tell-Tale Heart and The Black Cat are perfect examples of his mastery of atmosphere, drama and unforgettable images—the rheumy eye, the relentlessly beating heart, and the silent but sinister animal wreaking its revenge.
Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936)
Although Kipling’s naive imperialism is somewhat unpalatable today, it does not detract from his skill as a writer of powerful short stories. The Mark of the Beast has all the ingredients of a classic tale of horror but is also laden with irony. It is prefaced with an Indian proverb: Your Gods and my Gods—do you or I know which are the stronger?
M.R. James (1862–1936)
Montague Rhodes James, a student of ancient and medieval lore, was appointed Provost of Eton College in 1918. He loved to invent stories in which a malicious evil is decanted with terrifying effect in our own times. Lost Hearts is a chilling story which combines erudition and scholarship with unspeakable horror.
Guy de Maupassant (1850–1893)
Guy de Maupassant was a French novelist and one of the world’s most distinguished writers of short stories. In The Horla we encounter one of those strange beings which, because of its invisibility, becomes particularly terrifying. The story may well have presaged de Maupassant’s own insanity which at first incapacitated and ultimately killed him.
O. Henry (1862–1910)
O. Henry is the pen name for William Sydney Porter, who was born in North Carolina. He loved to write about New York and in The Furnished Room we have a ghostly glimpse of the world of the itinerant underclass and the traces they leave behind…
Hector Hugh Munro was born in Burma where his father was stationed as an officer of the Burma Police. After the early death of his mother he was placed in the care of two autocratic aunts, one of whom features in the haunting and disconcerting tale, Sredni Vashtar.
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