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The Literary Ghost: Great Contemporary Ghost Stories

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"It takes a certain amount of daring for a literary writer to employ a device as powerful and obvious as a ghost, and a great deal of talent and self-assurance to pull it off. The fact that these stories are so different from one another and that no two ghosts in them are alike is a testament to the power of the individual imagination to appropriate established myths witho "It takes a certain amount of daring for a literary writer to employ a device as powerful and obvious as a ghost, and a great deal of talent and self-assurance to pull it off. The fact that these stories are so different from one another and that no two ghosts in them are alike is a testament to the power of the individual imagination to appropriate established myths without assuming the associated clichés." So writes Larry Dark in the introduction to this anthology of expertly crafted ghost stories by such luminaries as Donald Barthelme, Paul Bowles, A. S. Byatt, Robertson Davies, M. F. K. Fisher, John Gardner, Nadine Gordimer, Graham Greene, Patrick McGrath, R. K. Narayan, Tim O'Brien, V. S. Pritchett, Anne Sexton, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Fay Weldon. "The Lost, Strayed, Stolen," M.F.K. Fisher "The Portobello Road," Muriel Spark "The Ghost Who Vanished by Degrees," Robertson Davies "The Others," Joyce Carol Oates "A Story of Don Juan," V.S. Pritchett "Up North," Mavis Gallant "The Warden," John Gardner "The Death of Edward Lear," Donald Barthelme "The Circular Valley," Paul Bowles "The Third Voice," William Ferguson "Marmilion," Patrick McGrath "Spirit Seizures," Melissa Pritchard "Revenant as Typewriter," Penelope Lively "Ghostly Populations," Jack Matthews "The Ghost Soldiers," Tim O'Brien "Family," Lance Olsen "Letter from a Dogfioghter's Aunt, Deceased," Padgett Powell "The Ghost," Anne Sexton "Angel, All Innocence," Fay Weldon "Jack's Girl," Cynthia Kadohata "The Next Room," A.S. Byatt "Grass," Barry Yourgrau "Eisenheim the Illusionist," Steven Millhauser "Ghost and Flesh, Water and Dirt," William Goyen "Letter from His Father," Nadine Gordimer "Old Man of the Temple," R.K. Narayan "A Little Place Off the Edgware Road," Graham Greene "A Crown of Feathers," Isaac Bashevis Singer


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"It takes a certain amount of daring for a literary writer to employ a device as powerful and obvious as a ghost, and a great deal of talent and self-assurance to pull it off. The fact that these stories are so different from one another and that no two ghosts in them are alike is a testament to the power of the individual imagination to appropriate established myths witho "It takes a certain amount of daring for a literary writer to employ a device as powerful and obvious as a ghost, and a great deal of talent and self-assurance to pull it off. The fact that these stories are so different from one another and that no two ghosts in them are alike is a testament to the power of the individual imagination to appropriate established myths without assuming the associated clichés." So writes Larry Dark in the introduction to this anthology of expertly crafted ghost stories by such luminaries as Donald Barthelme, Paul Bowles, A. S. Byatt, Robertson Davies, M. F. K. Fisher, John Gardner, Nadine Gordimer, Graham Greene, Patrick McGrath, R. K. Narayan, Tim O'Brien, V. S. Pritchett, Anne Sexton, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Fay Weldon. "The Lost, Strayed, Stolen," M.F.K. Fisher "The Portobello Road," Muriel Spark "The Ghost Who Vanished by Degrees," Robertson Davies "The Others," Joyce Carol Oates "A Story of Don Juan," V.S. Pritchett "Up North," Mavis Gallant "The Warden," John Gardner "The Death of Edward Lear," Donald Barthelme "The Circular Valley," Paul Bowles "The Third Voice," William Ferguson "Marmilion," Patrick McGrath "Spirit Seizures," Melissa Pritchard "Revenant as Typewriter," Penelope Lively "Ghostly Populations," Jack Matthews "The Ghost Soldiers," Tim O'Brien "Family," Lance Olsen "Letter from a Dogfioghter's Aunt, Deceased," Padgett Powell "The Ghost," Anne Sexton "Angel, All Innocence," Fay Weldon "Jack's Girl," Cynthia Kadohata "The Next Room," A.S. Byatt "Grass," Barry Yourgrau "Eisenheim the Illusionist," Steven Millhauser "Ghost and Flesh, Water and Dirt," William Goyen "Letter from His Father," Nadine Gordimer "Old Man of the Temple," R.K. Narayan "A Little Place Off the Edgware Road," Graham Greene "A Crown of Feathers," Isaac Bashevis Singer

30 review for The Literary Ghost: Great Contemporary Ghost Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    ✦BookishlyRichie✦

    This was incredibly fucking boring. I don't think I've ever read a boring ghost story in my liiiiiife. I understand that these tales were supposed to be in a literary tone hence the title but that doesn't mean they have to be dragged out, bare, and boring. This was incredibly fucking boring. I don't think I've ever read a boring ghost story in my liiiiiife. I understand that these tales were supposed to be in a literary tone hence the title but that doesn't mean they have to be dragged out, bare, and boring.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    I am not a huge fan of short stories and this book is a prime example. It is a collection of 28 stories by varied authors and of varied length. Some are one pagers and some run to about 30 pages long. Some are excellent and some are very dull. My favorites are medium length for the most part. There is the story of the ghost who tells her story of haunting her murderer, the ghost who needed to be tested for his doctor of philosophy degree in every subject because he forgot what he was studying fo I am not a huge fan of short stories and this book is a prime example. It is a collection of 28 stories by varied authors and of varied length. Some are one pagers and some run to about 30 pages long. Some are excellent and some are very dull. My favorites are medium length for the most part. There is the story of the ghost who tells her story of haunting her murderer, the ghost who needed to be tested for his doctor of philosophy degree in every subject because he forgot what he was studying for, the ghost that occupied a typewriter, and the ghost who brought the whole family for the haunting. This was an OK collection and I would say I liked more of the stories than I disliked. But ghost story brings to mind scary and there wasn't a goosepimple raised on any of these.

  3. 5 out of 5

    L

    Mid-20th century short stories, a wide selection of styles, and a variety of story themes held my interest through the 2 'ho-hum' selections. Nice choice for a creepy-story-each-night Halloween countdown. Especially enjoyed Anne Sexton's story "The Ghost" and Tim O'Brien's "The Ghost Soldiers." Hat tip to Penelope Lively's "Revenant as Typewriter" and to McGrath's "Marmilion." The closing stories, by Graham Greene and Singer, provide a satisfying finish. Mid-20th century short stories, a wide selection of styles, and a variety of story themes held my interest through the 2 'ho-hum' selections. Nice choice for a creepy-story-each-night Halloween countdown. Especially enjoyed Anne Sexton's story "The Ghost" and Tim O'Brien's "The Ghost Soldiers." Hat tip to Penelope Lively's "Revenant as Typewriter" and to McGrath's "Marmilion." The closing stories, by Graham Greene and Singer, provide a satisfying finish.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Не вся книга - только С. Миллхаусер - Иллюзионист Эйзенхайм, не могу найти его отдельно. Посмотрела фильм, стало интересно, что за книга, а это оказалась и не книга, а короткий рассказ. Выдержан в стиле журнала типа "НЛО", переработанный в сценарий фильма, рассказ стал горрраздо лучше. Можно рекомендовать студентам для тренировки английского, но "для души" - не очень. Не вся книга - только С. Миллхаусер - Иллюзионист Эйзенхайм, не могу найти его отдельно. Посмотрела фильм, стало интересно, что за книга, а это оказалась и не книга, а короткий рассказ. Выдержан в стиле журнала типа "НЛО", переработанный в сценарий фильма, рассказ стал горрраздо лучше. Можно рекомендовать студентам для тренировки английского, но "для души" - не очень.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    Good collection of a variety of ghost stories. In some, the ghost is more implied than anything. I may have to follow-up and look for more stories or books by some of the authors.

  6. 5 out of 5

    peg

    My Halloween read!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Grainne Rhuad

    There were some genuinely striking stories in this collection and others that fell flat. But isn't that always the way of collections? Worth the pick-up at your local library. There were some genuinely striking stories in this collection and others that fell flat. But isn't that always the way of collections? Worth the pick-up at your local library.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jaseena AL

    Rating : 3 stars

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lorna

    Gosh, some of these stories were amazing but......I just couldn't finish. Not in the mood for ghosts I guess Gosh, some of these stories were amazing but......I just couldn't finish. Not in the mood for ghosts I guess

  10. 4 out of 5

    Frank McGirk

    Some of these were a little too literary, meaning dull, but some other great stuff. Ends with an Isaac Bashevis Singer story that is simply amazing.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Subhajit Das

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dandie

  13. 5 out of 5

    Karthik

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jana Koehler

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sherry (sethurner)

  16. 5 out of 5

    Debra Hennessey

  17. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gabysita

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  20. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Pritchard

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rajan

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chris Turner

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jenifer Fisher

  25. 4 out of 5

    Silverspringsrr

  26. 5 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn McCary

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tschmith

  29. 5 out of 5

    L.J.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pattlam

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