GHOSTLY compiled by Audrey Niffenegger
Everyone should have a quest and mine is finding the perfect ghost story. What better place to find a great ghost story than in a book of just such stories put together by Audrey Niffenegger (Time Traveler’s Wife, Her Fearful Symmetry)?
Each story has an introduction by Ms. Niffenegger that explains a little bit about the story’s author, some background on the story itself and why she decided to include it in this collection. It also includes some charming illustrations drawn by Ms. Niffenegger.
The stories are quite diverse both in when they were written (some as early as the 1700’s) and their authors; some very well known as Poe and Bradbury and others unfamiliar to me. Also included were more contemporary fiction such as the story by Ms. Niffenegger herself. In my self proclaimed quest for a good, scary ghost story I’ve read many to it surprised me that the ones I enjoyed the most were the two included by Saki, an author I have not read before. The stories were very tightly written, had the fright factor yet were on the humorous side. “Click, Clack the Rattlebag” by Neil Gaiman was a definite favorite as well.
Haunted houses, possessed people, ghostly places and strange objects were all given a nod. While, admittedly, not every story appealed to me – which is expected when reading a collection – overall, Ms. Niffenegger made some good choices. Spanning many eras of writing I also found it interesting to see how writing and content changed over the years. It was very clear when seeing stories brought together in one book. The only drawback in my opinion (and the reason for my rating) was that some of the stories included left me wondering if it was truly a ghost story or a description of someone losing their grip on their own sanity … maybe sometimes it’s the same thing?
So have I found my “perfect” ghost story yet … probably not … but the journey is what makes the quest so much fun!
The stories in this collection are:
• ‘The Black Cat’ by Edgar Allen Poe
• ‘Secret Life, With Cats’ by Audrey Niffenegger
• ‘Pomegranate Seed’ by Edith Wharton
• ‘The Beckoning Fair One’ by Oliver Onions
• ‘The Mezzotint’ by M.R. James
• ‘Honeysuckle Cottage’ by P.G. Wodehouse
• ‘Click Clack the Rattlebag’ by Neil Gaiman
• ‘They’ by Rudyard Kipling
• ‘Playmates’ by A.M. Burrage
• ‘The July Ghost’ by A.S. Byatt
• ‘Laura’ by Saki
• ‘The Open Window’ by Saki
• ‘The Specialist’s Hat’ by Kelly Link
• ‘Tiny Ghosts’ by Amy Giacalone
• ‘The Pink House’ by Rebecca Curtis
• ‘August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains’ by Ray Bradbury
*I received this ebook at no charge from Simon and Schuster
via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review *
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Audrey Niffenegger is a visual artist and a faculty member at Columbia College in Chicago. In addition to her bestselling debut novel, The Time Traveler’s Wife, she is the author of two illustrated novels, The Three Incestuous Sisters and The Adventuress.
She lives in Chicago.
Some pretty exciting news from her website
“Currently, I am working on a sequel to The Time Traveler’s Wife. The working title is The Other Husband. I am also continuing to work on The Chinchilla Girl in Exile and artwork for an exhibition at Printworks Gallery in September 2016.”
My curiosity is piqued and I know I definitely want to read “The Other Husband”.