Tales for Twilight selected by Alistair Kerr

ARRSE Rating
4.00 star(s)
Two Hundred Years of Scottish Ghost Stories.

A collection of Scottish ghost and suspense stories from prominent Scottish writers from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to Ian Rankin spanning over two centuries and chosen for the quality of writing rather than any ‘shock effect’.

15 tales of fright, suspense, the unknown, covering subjects from ghosts to mysteriously moving objects the tales are written in the language of the day, and it is nice reading something written in a way totally unused today, to the modern language of Ian Rankin. The blend is just a nice touch and adds to the delight of the book.

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The stories range from 40 pages or so in length to just one. The one pager, by James Robertson comes from a task he set himself of writing 365 stories, one for each day of the year, each story 365 words long! Nothing like making life difficult for oneself, is there?! He would fit in well on Arrse.

The book is ‘bookended’ by an explanation by the editor of why these particular stories and how they fit into the history of Scotland, a bit of which the editor gives to give non-Scottish readers a bit of background into Scots history, especially as pertaining to the stories. For instance, many will see the first story of by James Hogg and not place the author, but use his nom-de-plume of The Ettrick Shepherd and the light beckons. The editor explains in his introduction “….the best ghost stories are understated and firmly grounded in the author’s present time,….” and that is the joy of this book. The end of the book the editor gives potted histories of the authors.

Now, being Scots, one may think I have an ‘interest’ in promoting this book, but the stories are by authors who are read widely, RL Stevenson, Muriel Spark, George Mackay Brown and that well known and widely read author “Anonymous”, so although sons and daughters of the great land of Scotia these are very acceptable by those not so privileged.

This is a delightful book with stories to pick out and have a read of from time to time as the mood takes you. Worth a go, the 19th and early 20th Century prose being a bonus.

Amazon product
 

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