"Dealers are undertakers of a sort. When a man dies, the undertaker comes for the body, and the dealer comes for the rest. I deal in dead men's clocks, pipes and swords. Passing through my hands, they give off joy, loneliness, fear...I have known more evil in a set of false teeth than in any so-called haunted house in England."
So speaks Geoff Ashden, a regular guy trying to make an honest living as an antique dealer, but who has an uncanny knack for finding cursed objects and haunted places: a sinister Georgian clock carved with obscene and satanic designs, a hideous doll with deadly powers, a pair of old spectacles that let their wearer see a little too clearly, an ugly house with a terrifying secret, a church full of graffiti scrawled in decomposing human flesh. In this collection, award-winning children's author Robert Westall delivers a set of chilling tales for adults and proves himself, as Orrin Grey writes in the new introduction to this edition, "an obvious successor to that godfather of the English ghost story, M.R. James."
"Creepy...develops a sense of palpable evil...well worth the time of readers who prefer slyly civilized British ghost stories." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Fiendishly clever, spine-tingling short fiction" (Publishers Weekly)
"Marvelous M. R. Jamesian-style ghost stories." (Michael Dirda, Washington Post)
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Excellent Ghostly Short Stories!
Most probably in the top 3. I just loved these stories. I am not easily impressed - especially with modern, ghost/horror (so-called) short stories. Consequently, I can't remember when I was last compelled to write a positive review.
Very difficult to say. The stories do have a Victorian feel to them and, as a reader/listener of M.R. James, I would say they are somewhat of the same vein (e.g. The Haunted Doll's House). The stories are, however, very original.
No favourite - all enjoyable. I do have to say that although R.C. Bray does a fine job, I would have preferred a narrator with an English accent (his American accent is very softened but there are some parts of the narration that calls for more specific English pronunciations and/or regional accents).
Emotional? Not really - but then I am a bit of an ice-pack. These stories are better than emotional, they are interesting - intellectually and creatively speaking.
Commendable work by Robert Westall. I hope he brings out some more anthologies - about antiques and 'ghosties', or 'ghosties' and antiques - whatever your preference Mr Westall.
- Dr. O
Surprisingly good selection of stories
I wouldn't read the print version so I would say yes.
Some of the better quality selection of ghost or paranormal stories, but this one is unusual in that all the stories are connected to an antique dealer who forms the central character in the stories.
Liked Clocky Watson and the ending of the story featuring him.
Not sure, can't think of anything witty enough. Antique Dust should speak for itself.
Definitely worth a listen and the narrator was very good.
- Mary Ann von Radowitz