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The Haunting Season: Ghostly Tales for Long Winter Nights (2021)

de Bridget Collins (Editor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
302673,170 (3.64)1
Eight bestselling, award-winning authors return to the time-honoured tradition of the seasonal ghost story in this dazzling new collection. This is your indispensable companion to the long, dark nights this October 'Makes you feel oddly cosy, in the way only the best ghost stories can. Exquisitely crafted, I enjoyed every word.' FRANCINE TOON, Sunday Times bestselling author of Pine 'You won't find a more thrilling winter read this year, or a better line up of writers who have mastered the gothic and ghostly.' SARA COLLINS, Costa Award-winning author of The Confessions of Frannie Langton Featuring new and original tales from: Bridget Collins Sunday Times bestselling author of The Binding Imogen Hermes Gowar Sunday Times bestselling author of The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock Kiran Millwood Hargrave Sunday Times bestselling author of The Mercies Andrew Michael Hurley Sunday Times bestselling author of The Loney Jess Kidd International award-winning author of Things in Jars Elizabeth Macneal Sunday Times bestselling author of The Doll Factory Natasha Pulley Sunday Times bestselling author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street Laura Purcell Award-winning author of The Silent Companions Long before Charles Dickens and Henry James popularized the tradition, the shadowy nights of winter have been a time for people to gather together by the flicker of candlelight and experience the intoxicating thrill of a ghost story. Now eight bestselling, award-winning authors-all of them master storytellers of the sinister and the macabre-bring the tradition to vivid life in a spellbinding new collection of original spine-tingling tales. Taking you from the frosty Fens to the wild Yorkshire moors, to the snow-covered grounds of a haunted estate, to a bustling London Christmas market, these mesmerizing stories will capture your imagination and serve as your indispensable companion to cold, dark nights. So curl up, light a candle, and fall under the spell of winters past. . .# 'Brilliantly chilling . . . an absolute treat' ANNA MAZZOLA, author of The Unseeing 'Gorgeous . . . a book destined to be read and re-read' AMANDA MASON, author of The Wayward Girls… (més)
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The Haunting Season is a collection of eight short stories by well-established contemporary writers of horror and paranormal fiction. This volume delivers what it promises in its subtitle: Ghostly tales for long winter nights. It taps into the British (but not only) tradition of the telling of horror stories at Christmas and, perhaps unsurprisingly, this is reflected both in the setting of the majority of the stories (Victorian era or thereabouts, in winter, if not specifically during festive season) and in style (redolent of the traditional “English ghost story”). The fact that seven out of the eight featured authors are women is also significant and surely has an impact on the general “feel” of the collection, given that more than half of the pieces reflect the feminist Gothic approach much favoured by contemporary horror writers.

All the stories are well-written and there are none which I would describe as disappointing, except possibly Natasha Pulley’s The Eel Singers. That, I hasten to add, is not because of the quality of the writing (indeed, the story is one of the most effective and eerie in the book), but because it features characters from Pulley’s earlier novels and seems to presuppose a familiarity with those novels.

That said, the collection as a whole left me a bit cold, because of a certain “sameness” in the selection. I have reviewed several works of feminist Gothic on this blog (and thoroughly loved some of them), but it has now become a veritable sub-genre, and the theme, however laudable it is, is no longer enough to make a story striking. Thus, Imogen Hermes Gowar’s Thwaite’s Tenant and Laura Purcell’s Gothic romance The Chillingham Chair are suspenseful but hardly memorable. The folk-horror tinged Confinement, by Kiran Millwood Hargrave is, in my view, stronger, in its description of a new mother’s obsession about a revenant witch out to get her baby. A postscript also reveals that this story has personal significance for the author. Even so, it is hard to better an iconic classic such as The Yellow Wallpaper. The eponymous Monster in Elizabeth Macneal’s contribution is a giant fossil which the protagonist Victor hopes to uncover at Lyme Regis when honeymooning with his young wife. As one would expect, “monster” is also what Victor himself turns out to be.

Bridget Collins’ haunted-house story A Study in Black and White does not attempt to adopt a contemporary “take” on the supernatural. This is a pastiche of the traditional ghost story – strong in the vibes of M.R. James and his contemporaries. Lily Wilt by Jess Kidd features a photographer sent to capture a beautiful dead woman on film, only to end up falling in love with her.

And then there’s Andrew Michael Hurley’s The Hanging of the Greens. This story feels as if it has stumbled into this book from another, totally different collection. It is a folk-horror work typical of the author, where the violence is understated until it grips you by the throat, where the presence of “evil” can be explained in psychological terms but the supernatural seems to be around the corner. This is a strong story, albeit one which feels out of place.

The Haunting Season has been a bestseller and, as a lover of supernatural fiction, it might seem mean of me to appear less than enthusiastic about a volume which is bringing horror to readers of the mainstream. But perhaps, this is precisely the issue I have with the collection. It is great as an introduction to some of the best authors currently writing in this genre. The stories are fine in themselves, and newcomers will find much to enjoy and will – hopefully – be tempted to explore the further reaches of contemporary horror writing. However, I suspect that for seasoned readers of supernatural fiction, this book might turn out to be a tad disappointing.

https://endsoftheword.blogspot.com/2021/12/the-haunting-season.html ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Jan 1, 2022 |
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Eight bestselling, award-winning authors return to the time-honoured tradition of the seasonal ghost story in this dazzling new collection. This is your indispensable companion to the long, dark nights this October 'Makes you feel oddly cosy, in the way only the best ghost stories can. Exquisitely crafted, I enjoyed every word.' FRANCINE TOON, Sunday Times bestselling author of Pine 'You won't find a more thrilling winter read this year, or a better line up of writers who have mastered the gothic and ghostly.' SARA COLLINS, Costa Award-winning author of The Confessions of Frannie Langton Featuring new and original tales from: Bridget Collins Sunday Times bestselling author of The Binding Imogen Hermes Gowar Sunday Times bestselling author of The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock Kiran Millwood Hargrave Sunday Times bestselling author of The Mercies Andrew Michael Hurley Sunday Times bestselling author of The Loney Jess Kidd International award-winning author of Things in Jars Elizabeth Macneal Sunday Times bestselling author of The Doll Factory Natasha Pulley Sunday Times bestselling author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street Laura Purcell Award-winning author of The Silent Companions Long before Charles Dickens and Henry James popularized the tradition, the shadowy nights of winter have been a time for people to gather together by the flicker of candlelight and experience the intoxicating thrill of a ghost story. Now eight bestselling, award-winning authors-all of them master storytellers of the sinister and the macabre-bring the tradition to vivid life in a spellbinding new collection of original spine-tingling tales. Taking you from the frosty Fens to the wild Yorkshire moors, to the snow-covered grounds of a haunted estate, to a bustling London Christmas market, these mesmerizing stories will capture your imagination and serve as your indispensable companion to cold, dark nights. So curl up, light a candle, and fall under the spell of winters past. . .# 'Brilliantly chilling . . . an absolute treat' ANNA MAZZOLA, author of The Unseeing 'Gorgeous . . . a book destined to be read and re-read' AMANDA MASON, author of The Wayward Girls

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