Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Book Blitz! Volume 3 - Ghost Stories

Ghost stories! What's not to like? I'm a sucker for any sort of atmospheric horror tale. Creeping dread? Yes please! If you're a fan too, read on. Today I'm offering my opinion on two very different spooky tales. Don't agree with me? Please let me know in the comments. I'm quite curious to know what other folks thought of these.

First up is The Man in the Picture, by Susan Hill. I found this at The Elliot Bay Book Company in Seattle when we visited during the Emerald City Comicon. It's my very favorite place to shop for books, and I had high hopes for this one. It was billed as an update of the classic gothic ghost tale, complete with family secrets, chills up the spine, and an elderly academic with deep regrets, all placed in the modern era. Well, it did deliver on those things, and it was indeed much like a Victorian ghost story, but for me it somehow fell flat. The story felt a bit airless, even, dare I say, stuffy. It was an entertaining read and I don't at all regret picking it up, but I think it hued a bit too close to convention for my tastes. That said, the book itself is a thing of beauty. Palm-sized, hardbound, nicely printed, and tastefully produced: a real little gem. I hope books like these are never completely replaced by digital copies.

At the other end of the spectrum is Volume One of Joe Harris and Steve Rolston's Ghost Projekt. I have to admit, I picked this up at House of Secrets in Burbank based only on its cover. Sure, there's some sort of ghost horse on there. But even better, holding the book is a tactile experience. There's a swirly, sandy veneer to it that kind of glows in the dark. I'm usually not such a push-over for that kind of thing, but c'mon, how could I resist?

What's inside, you may ask? Well, I don't want to give anything away but I will say that it's a real romp through post-soviet Russia, if such a thing is possible. There are scary ghost-things, a possibly trustworthy cat, high stakes for the American that gets himself involved, and some quite creepy disease-like killings. I say give this one a go if you aren't afraid of touching the cover. I can't promise that it's not feeding off your soul through your fingertips.

And please, feel free to suggest some of your favorite ghost stories. I'm always on the lookout for creeping dread!

1 comment:

  1. Try THE WOMAN IN BLACK, also by Susan Hill -- I'm currently re-reading this one, and it's great. Of course with her, you have to go into it knowing that she builds the story quietly and subtly. I personally love that, but not everyone does. But I think she is one of the best writers I've ever read.


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