Today up for review under The Book Files is The Haunted Dolls’ House and other short stories by M. R. James from Speaking Tiger Books.
I’m a ghost story and thriller fanatic and the first time I ever encountered James’s stories was by chance in London when I saw a huge volume of his works during the Halloween Weekend. He was listed with other Greats such as H. P. Lovecraft, Algernon Backwood, Stephen King and so on. Smacking my head for not knowing him until then, I hurriedly grabbed the book before someone else could. I literally devoured the book in one sitting and was awed by the subtle nuance of creepy he had managed to weave into the stories.
When I first went over to the Speaking Tiger website, I saw James’s collection of stories and hurriedly requested it for review. The review copy arrived, true to its essence, broken doll and creepy font included. This compilation consists 11 of his best horror stories, written in the true Brit manner, black humour and satirical enough to make you laugh and be freaked out at the same time.
If you’ve ever read IT or The Shining by Stephen King or any novel by Algernon Backwood, you would know how seemingly innocent stories and situations can suddenly transpire into a subconsciously jittery experience in the most unexpected situations. Anyone can weird you out with blood and gore but a few posses the skill and acumen to make you feel uncomfortable and that’s why M. R. James is a name to be reckoned with.
The central story revolves around a Doll’s house that is haunted and shows ghostlty apparitions. The other stories fall around the themes of a lost whistle that invites an unwanted guest, a painting that rearranges itself to tell a story and a creepy ash tree that holds dark secrets in its roots. I have quite a few favourites from this collection but The Ash Tree is my favourite! This is a special Ruskin Bond Collection which means that all the stories in this volume are personally chosen and complied by Ruskin Bond himself!
I don’t think I even have to rate this one but anyways : 5 out of 5 stars for this beauty! People take notice: this is what you have to write like to maintain a legacy!
Disclaimer: I received a review copy in exchange of an honest review.
Until next time!