Sunday, November 22, 2009

newnoise1 reviews Fantastic Literature

It was a dark and stormy night

It was a dark and stormy night . . . this is the atmosphere you find throughout The Black Water Anthology of Fantastic Literature selected and edited by Alberto Manguel.

Every story has something that reminds you it is not necessarily a bad idea to look over your shoulder every now and then . . . just in case, someone could be watching . . .

The shortest story, one of the best I've ever read, is called Climax for a Ghost Story, written by I. A. Ireland:

'How Eerie!' said the girl, advancing cautiously.' - And what a heavy door!' She touched it as she spoke and it suddenly swung to with a click.

'Good Lord!' said the man, 'I don't believe there's a handle on the inside. Why, you've locked us both in!'

'Not both of us. Only one of us,' said the girl, and before his eyes she passed straight through the door, and vanished.

How does that grab you?! Every story in the selection makes you understand why your hair could stand on end if you really got a big fright. Nearly like when you read your tax assessment.

Writers included in the selection are: Ray Bradbury, Julio Cortázar, Jules Verne, Edgar Allan Poe, Daphne du Maurier, Henry James, Oscar Wild, Frans Kafka, Hermann Hesse and about twenty others you know well. There are a number of translated stories by authors such as Julio Cortázar, João Guimarães Rosa and Horacio Quiroga who I only know of through the Anthology.

One of my other favorite short stories in the selection is An invitation to the hunt by George Hitchcock and it's a must read, must, must . . . I felt as if I were going to have a fit after I read it. One day I am going to read it again.

If you like staying home alone with a good book and getting up from under the cozy covers once or twice or more to check if all the doors are locked this is for you. If you write short stories this is Short Stories 101, 102 and 103.

As you know making newnoise often means thinking in strange and peculiar ways. All that means is that you think a bit further than the usual strange and peculiar person. Writers don't really stand out in a crowed what stands out about them is what and how they think.

Remember, make newnoise!

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