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Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 8 June, 2019 12:28PM
Has anybody read something interesting lately? Something to recommend? :-)

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 9 June, 2019 07:14AM
You might like E. F. Benson's "The Flint Knife", in Ghost Stories, May 1930.
Or "The Ape", in The Countess of Lowndes Square and Other Stories, 1920.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 10 June, 2019 12:38PM
I have read cca. fifteen short stories by E.F.Benson and ... Well, they were not bad but definitely nothing to write home about, in a manner of speaking. I enjoyed "The Room in The Tower", "The Outcast" and, of course, "The Horror-Horn". (I remember trying to get some more information about the peak before I came to know it did existed only in the story :-)) The rest of Benson´s tales did not impress me too much. But I will give "The Knife" and "The Ape" a try; maybe they´ll put mr. Benson into a new light for me. :-).

The other day, I found a new name, Jean Richepin, a French writter of macabre of the Belle Époque, and has ordered his short story collection, so I am curious what he is gonna turn out to be. "Mad scientists, demons, witches, madmen" ... It sounds very appetizing. :-)

[www.goodreads.com]

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 16 June, 2019 07:20AM
I have not read "The Flint Knife" and "The Ape" myself yet, but have spent some time hunting them down, and was happy when finally succeeding in locating them so I didn't have to buy yet another paperback for my already over-brimming bookshelves.

Jean Richepin sounds rather interesting, or odd, but I am afraid I don't have enough time.

Do you like A. E. Coppard? I have not read him yet, but have a few digital files I intend to get around to.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 18 June, 2019 02:16PM
I have never heard about A. E. Coppard. Did he write some good horror stories worth reading?

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 19 June, 2019 03:32AM
I don't know. I think there is some horror in his stories, but more of the realistic kind than outright supernatural; such as poverty, cruelty, social fate. And small brushes of supernatural, like we can experience in our own lives sometimes in odd coincidences. I believe one reads him foremost for his fine prose of atmospheric rural settings and insights into the human condition.

There have been a few collections of his stories. August Derleth put together one: Fearful Pleasures

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 19 June, 2019 04:56AM
Here is a more detailed discussion about Coppard from 2010, on the Eldritch Dark: A. E. Coppard

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 19 June, 2019 12:24PM
Thanks. Maybe I will give him a try but not before I have finished what I am reading now, that is "The Haunting of Hill House" (1959) by Shirley Jackson. They say it is a classic horror story that must be read by any fan of weird literature, so I am curious what it´s gonna turn out to be because the first thirty or forty pages bring nothing to write home about, no action, just depiction of the house and the small party that meets there to explore the paranormal phenomena, their moods etc.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 4 July, 2019 05:37AM
Minicthulhu Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I am reading now, that is
> "The Haunting of Hill House" (1959) by Shirley
> Jackson. They say it is a classic horror story
> that must be read by any fan of weird literature,
> so I am curious what it´s gonna turn out to be
> because the first thirty or forty pages bring
> nothing to write home about ...


So, was the rest of it worth writing home about? I never felt tempted to read it. I may be completely wrong, and missing out, but its ghostly setting seems way too conventional. Have you read her short story "The Lottery"?

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 4 July, 2019 01:53PM
"The Haunting of Hill House" was a huge disappointment for me ... Most of the book is about depicting what the characters think, what they wish to do, what they are going to do, what they should have done better, what they dreams are, they exchange their experiences in a long and tedious way, they talk and talk and talk ... The haunting (ridiculous and traditional banging at doors, laughing of invisible children) or some sinister manifestations in the house (a cold stain on the floor in a hot room etc.) take place only in several places, the rest of the book is nothing but several scores of pages of a totally uninteresting and banal text. Definitely a novel one can do without.

No, I have never read "Lottery", but when I have finished the short story collection by the obscure American writer Achmed Abdullah who is said to have also contributed to weird fiction in a way, maybe I will give the story a try.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Dale Nelson (IP Logged)
Date: 4 July, 2019 03:11PM
The Haunting of Hill House works, on its terms, for me. That's my experience. Conversely, I've almost never found Lovecraft scary, since I began reading him at age 14, so far as I remember. He's so outlandish! "Adventurous expectancy" -- Lovecraft's phrase, I believe, though I'm not sure where -- I get from him, but I think I'm pretty much always conscious that I'm reading a story in a familiar genre of weird fiction, with familiar conventions (that of Wm Hope Hodgson & others). The Jackson feels more like something that could actually happen to me. The author is more cunning than Lovecraft, setting up effects that work (notably the pathos of Eleanor).

In some way probably more haunting than either (for me) is Phyllis Paul -- in Twice Lost, etc. I've gone to the trouble of getting all of her books on interlibrary loan, sometimes with charges. One of the novels had to come to North Dakota from New Zealand! Happily, twice Lost might not only be her best for a group like this -- it should be the easiest to get hold of.

But character is very important in Paul's novels. My guess is that if someone is put off by Jackson, he or she would not like Paul's books, although Paul is far beyond Jackson in some matters.

DN

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 4 July, 2019 04:01PM
The only "traditional" ghost stories I have read, aside from a few children's books when I was small, I think would be "The Beckoning Fair One" by Oliver Onions, and all of M. R. James's ghost stories. I liked "The Beckoning Fair One", but other stories by Oliver Onions I found too prim and stuffy Victorian to really enjoy. James's stories are very good, and such a pleasure to read; a learned man and fullfledged prose artist.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 4 July, 2019 04:15PM
I forgot to mention E. F. Benson, but his are not really traditional ghost stories, are they? More of "weird terror".

And of course J. Sheridan Le Fanu. Some great work there, even topping James (well, at least equal).

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 4 July, 2019 04:19PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> And of course J. Sheridan Le Fanu. Some great work
> there, even topping James (well, at least equal).


If for nothing else, Le Fanu has a more mystical quality, while James is more clinical.

Re: A good weird/horror/sci-fi book to recommend
Posted by: Minicthulhu (IP Logged)
Date: 4 July, 2019 04:58PM
Is "The Beckoning Fair One" really a traditional ghost story? I read it a long time ago and I really enjoyed it but as far as I can remember it was more about madness, a gradual mental decomposition ended up in killing a woman, than about a ghost.

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