Some Seasonal Reads

As it is October and Halloween is on the horizon, I thought I would share some seasonal reads with you.

These are all short story collections published by Penguin Classics and are available from all good retailers in the high street and of course online.

Two of these books are dedicated to a single author each, The Best of Richard Matheson and Perchance to Dream which is a collection of short stories by Charles Beaumont. I grouped these together as they have a linked kinship, not only are both authors writing from the latter half of the Twentieth Century but both directly and indirectly contributed to Rod Sterling’s Twilight Zone. The collections indeed feature short stories that would be adapted for the show, in Matheson’s book there is the classic “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”, “Third from the Sun” and “Long Distance Call”- however the title of that one was changed for screen as the title had been used on a previous episode. Beaumont’s book has “the Howling Man”, “The Jungle” and “The Beautiful People”. The styles are very different with Beaumont being more fantastical and even comic book like and Matheson being more groundly written and developed.

The other two books are general compilations, they are: The Penguin Book of Ghost Stories and The Penguin Book of the Undead. The former covers a range of stories from a variety of authors including Charles Dickens (The Signalman), Sheridan le Fanu (Green Tea), W.W. Jacobs (The Monkey’s Paw) and Henry James (The Jolly Corner). The Book of the Undead is a collection of critical essays over the place of the Undead in fiction over 1500 years coupled with some stories. It is certainly a more cerebral tome and shows it is scary how little our obsession with the crossover between life and death has changed.

Your Daily Word Prompt: Scary

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