“Famous Modern Ghost Stories” is a collection of some of the most spine-chilling and terrifying ghost stories from the modern era. Edited by Emily Dorothy Scarborough, the book features stories from well-known authors like Algernon Blackwood, Edith Wharton, and Arthur Machen, among others. This review aims to provide an overview of the book’s content, style, and themes.
The book is a compilation of thirteen stories that showcase the evolution of the ghost story genre over time. The stories range from the early 1900s to the mid-20th century, with each one presenting a unique perspective on the supernatural.
The stories are arrange in chronological order, starting with Algernon Blackwood’s “The Willows.” Which tells the story of two travelers who get strand on a desert island and experience strange and terrifying phenomena. Other notable stories include Edith Wharton’s “Afterward” which follows a couple’s eerie encounter with a ghost. Arthur Machen’s “The Great God Pan,” which explores the theme of evil and the occult.
The book also features stories from less well-known authors, such as Oliver Onions, H. Russell Wakefield, and Walter de la Mare. These stories are equally chilling and offer a fresh perspective on the genre.
The writing style in “Famous Modern Ghost Stories” varies from story to story. But each author has a unique voice that adds to the overall tone of the book. Some stories, like Edith Wharton’s “Afterward,” are written in a more traditional style. With descriptive prose and a focus on character development. Others, like Walter de la Mare’s “Seaton’s Aunt,” are more experimental. With a dreamlike quality that blurs the lines between reality and the supernatural.
Despite the variations in style, the stories are all expertly craft and showcase the authors’ mastery of the form. Each story is a carefully constructe piece of horror that builds tension and suspense until the final, terrifying reveal.
The themes explored in “Famous Modern Ghost Stories” are varied and complex. Some stories, like “The Willows,” focus on the theme of isolation and the fear of the unknown. Others, like Edith Wharton’s “Afterward,” examine the theme of guilt and the consequences of one’s actions.
The book also explores themes of the supernatural, evil, and the occult. Arthur Machen’s “The Great God Pan,” for example, is a chilling tale of an experiment gone wrong that unleashes a terrifying force on the world.
One of the book’s most interesting themes is the idea of the ghost as a metaphor for the past. Several stories, including Edith Wharton’s “Afterward” and Walter de la Mare’s “Seaton’s Aunt,” use ghosts as a way to explore the lingering effects of the past on the present.
“Famous Modern Ghost Stories” is a well-curated and expertly edited collection of some of the best ghost stories from the modern era. The stories are varied and showcase a range of writing styles and themes.
One potential critique of the book is that it may not be suitable for readers who are looking for more contemporary horror stories. As the book was publish in 1921, the stories may feel date to some readers. However, for those who appreciate the classic ghost story genre, this book is a must-read.
Another potential critique is that the book lacks diversity in terms of its authorship. All of the authors featured in the book are white and European. The stories largely focus on Western culture and history. This is a reflection of the time period in which the book was publish. But it may be off-putting for readers who are looking for more diverse perspectives in their horror literature.
“Famous Modern Ghost Stories” is a hauntingly beautiful collection of some of the best ghost stories from the modern era. The stories are expertly craft and showcase a range of writing styles and themes. Making the book an engaging and thought-provoking read for fans of the horror genre. While the book may not be suitable for readers. Who are looking for more contemporary horror stories or more diverse authorship. It remains a classic and essential addition to any horror literature collection.