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The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of…

The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror (edição: 2017)

de William Meikle (Autor)

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1541,128,286 (4.5)1
"Writers never really die; their stories live on, to be found again, to be told again, to scare again. In Victorian London, a select group of writers, led by Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker and Henry James held an informal dining club, the price of entry to which was the telling of a story by each invited guest. These are their stories, containing tales of revenant loved ones, lost cities, weird science, spectral appearances and mysteries in the fog of the old city, all told by some of the foremost writers of the day. In here you'll find Verne and Wells, Tolstoy and Checkov, Stevenson and Oliphant, Kipling, Twain, Haggard and Blavatsky alongside their hosts." -- Amazon.com… (mais)
Título:The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror
Autores:William Meikle (Autor)
Informação:Crystal Lake Publishing (2017)
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Etiquetas:fiction, ghost stories, horror

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The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror de William Meikle


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Exibindo 4 de 4
Picture the scene: Victorian London. A smoky club. A group of literary icons. The price to join this group? A story of the supernatural.

The scene is now set. Imagine the tales these writers of old would share. Stoker, Dickens, Wells, James, and Stevenson, among others. What price would you pay to sit at that table? Unfortunately, the opportunity to sit there in person is gone, but thanks to William Meikle, you CAN now be privy to these stories and anything else these authors have to say. The entrance fee for you? Quite reasonable!

The standout tales for me were:

WEE DAVIE MAKES A FRIEND (in the style of) Robert Louis Stevenson. This was the first story and my favorite of the collection. Young Davie is an unwell boy and is often bedridden. The gift of a new toy changes his life.

ONCE A JACKASS (in the style of) Mark Twain. A Mississippi steamship captain makes a terrible mistake and unfortunately, all of the passengers and crew pay the price.

THE SCRIMSHAW SET (in the style of Henry James) I adored this tale of a haunted (?) chess set. This was my second favorite tale in this collection and I've just read that the author is planning to write more about this set in the future. I can't wait!

TO THE MOON AND BEYOND (in the style of Jules Verne) A super cool story about a man, his rocket and a trip to the moon. What was found there and what did he bring back with him? You'll have to read this to find out!

BORN OF ETHER (in the style of Helena Blavatsky) A man embarks upon a supernatural journey to freedom.

I was not familiar with a few of the authors here, Helena Blavatsky included, but I think the author did a stellar job of emulating their writing styles. These tales were entertaining, well written and I loved the framework within which they were presented.

For these reasons, I highly recommend this gem of a collection!

You can get your copy here, (your price of admission, rather than a story): The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror

*Thanks to Crystal Lake Publishing and the author for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it!* ( )
  Charrlygirl | Mar 22, 2020 |
Recently the Criterion Club in London found itself placed in receivership and selling its assets off. In a hidden bookcase, this journal, a collection of lost literary works by club members and visitors transcribed (and perhaps touched up a bit) by Arthur Conan Doyle was found.

The quality of Meikle’s imitations of those writers I can’t, for the most part, speak to. I haven’t read all these authors, and some I have only read a few works by. (I’ll put the putative authors of each story in parentheses next to the relevant title.)

I do think I’ve read enough of H. G. Wells to say that “Farside” is a convincing imitation in style and theme. Its narrator tells us about a demonstration of a Chromoscope, a machine of spinning colored plates that light is passed through and projected onto a wall. It’s a creation of his inventor friend, Hoskins. Hoskins and friends find out, by putting their hands between the projector and the wall, that they have rainbow auras about their hands. Well, all except Dennings who has a “sickly glow, all green” around his. Perhaps its no coincidence that he dies three days later. But why is that green glow now around Hoskins’ hand? Being a Wells’ fan, I was inclined to like this.

I enthusiastically liked so many stories (nine out of 14) that I can’t really call them favorites.

They include “The High Bungalow” (Rudyard Kipling). In the case of this story, that’s probably because of all the time I’ve spend reading my copy of the Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. It also happens to be a Sigils and Totems story but a very unusual one influenced by Masonry. Its story-within-a-story tells of a British officer hoping for a nice, quiet weekend with his mistress in a bungalow in the mountains of the Punjab. But then he hears tapping on his floor. He finds a chamber beneath the bungalow, unexpectedly with sights and sounds from the Craft. Of course, since women are not to know the secrets of Masonry, he has to keep his mistress’ curiosity at bay.

I wanted to get this review out for Robert Burns’ birthday since “The Immortal Memory” (Leo Tolstoy) has Burns at its center, but I didn’t make it. Sure, the outlines of its plot are familiar ghost story stuff, but I liked the results of a Robert Burns buff being presented to the Russian Court of Czarina Catherine.

“Once a Jackass” (Mark Twain) actually reminded me, in its morbid plot and an insurance policy being a key element, of Ambrose Bierce more than Twain. But the style seemed Twainish; the story involves a steamship captain, who has had a new ship built, dealing with a very annoying insurance underwriter. Things take a bad turn quickly, and there’s a sting at the end.

“The Black Ziggurat” (H. Rider Haggard) has, as you would expect, a lost civilization. Here the narrator finds himself guiding a headstrong Scottish woman to a mission in the interior of Africa. Things go reasonably well until the hippo attack and the three obnoxious Germans show up. And then things get strange when they find a lost city – with a prophecy of their arrival etched in stone. Its ending is haunting in its mysteries and an alien echo of Christianity.

“To the Moon and Beyond” (Jules Verne) is a fairly typical tale of a brilliant inventor taking, on a rocket he designed, himself and the journalist narrator to the moon. But it’s what they find in a lunar crater, the history of an alien race recorded there – and what may have come back with them – that makes this another memorable story.

“At the Molenzki Junction” (Anton Chekov) has mysteries too though of a less cosmic nature. A railroad junction master, in the dead of winter, finds he’s out of vodka. So, he undertakes a three mile walk to a village to get more. It almost kills him. Who is the mysterious, beautiful woman who can command wolves that saves him? And how has the experience changed him?

If I would have come across “The Scrimshaw Set” (Henry James) here for the first time, it would have been a favorite too. However, it’s largely replicated in Meikle’s The Boathouse though this version has a different, but satisfying, ending. Still, a reader coming to it new should find this story of a haunted chess set memorable.

“Wee Davie Makes a Friend” (Robert Louis Stevenson) is a nicely told story of an invalid boy, with a distant father, bonding with a wooden soldier given to him by a kind servant girl.

The last of my favorites is “The Curious Affair on the Embankment” (Arthur Conan Doyle). This one features Inspector Lestrade assigned to find out why women, one prominent, have disappeared into thin air. And his superiors warn him “we do not need you running off to Baker Street for a confab with the amateurs on this one.” Cleopatra’s Needle (as in the London landmark) plays a prominent role in this one.

I didn’t dislike “In the House of the Dead” (Bram Stoker). It’s a classic example of Sigils and Totems story, and it’s the story of the narrator’s doubts that his recently widowed friend has found a way to be with his dead wife and the child she was carrying again. My ho-hum reaction was solely because of my familiarity with the concept. However, if you’re new to the Sigils and Totems series, it’s not a bad starting point along with the stranger “The Scrimshaw Set”.

“To the Manor Born” (Margaret Oliphant) was an interesting ghost story, but I thought the ending was a little abrupt. However, perhaps it was in keeping with Oliphant's usual stories. A Scottish servant girl finds herself encountering the ghost of her employer’s wife. She killed herself and their child and left a guilt-ridden husband behind.

However, I did dislike two stories – not a bad percentage.

“The Angry Ghost” (Oscar Wilde) has a young boy bothered by a ghost rattling at his bedroom window at night and generally hanging about the grounds and house. His Aunt Agatha won’t hear anything about ghosts. The whole thing ends on a not particularly funny joke.

It would have been odd, given my general aversion to mysticism, if I had liked “Born of Ether” (Helena P. Blavatsky). A seeker after spiritual truth and heir to the family fortune meets, on the astral plane, one of the Ascended Masters of Theosophy. (At least, I think that’s what was going on.) The lamasery he’s staying at kicks him out, and he begins to see a shadowy figure following him. Who that figure was and its significance I think I understood. I just didn’t care.

So, there’s a high proportion of good stories here, and you, dear reader, may be better able to judge Meikle’s imitative skills better than me. So, I would definitely recommend this, and four of these works I’d consider genuinely weird tales. ( )
3 vote RandyStafford | Jan 29, 2019 |
Review Copy

I love everything about this wonderful collection from Willie Meikle. Take the concept of Willie's Carnacki collections and replace the dinner guests with literary greats of the Victorian era, each sharing a ghost story, and you have the premise for this new work from William Meikle.

Don't get confused, these are not newly discovered works by these authors. All fourteen stories are written by Meikle writing as these legendary authors.

Wee Davie Makes a Friend by Robert Lewis Stevenson - A wonderfully entertaining story to start the collection. Tragic in many ways, but great none the less.

The High Bungalow by Rudyard Kipling - Another cool tale. This one about a haunted Masonic lodge.

The Immortal Memory by Leo Tolstoy - When Empress Yekaterina Alexeyevna calls Captain John Marsh to an audience at court and commands him to find a Scotsman who is able to recite the works of the Scottish poet Robert Burns in Russian and present him at a party that very night. The events that follow are decidedly unexpected.

In the House of the Dead by Bram Stoker - Reminiscent of one of Meikle's Carnacki stories. If you lost the love of your life, to what lengths would you go to be with her again.

Once a Jackass by Mark Twain - I've long been a fan of Mark Twain and here Meikle has really captured the essence of a Mark Twain tale. Set upon the majestic Mississippi River, this is one of my favorite stories in the collection.

Farside by Herbert George Wells - This entry could have easily been in one of the author's Carnacki collections. The story of a man named Hoskin's who has invited a number of friends to dinner to display his latest invention which has a curious side effect.

To the Manor Born by Margaret Oliphant - It was hard to grow up in a small town in Scotland and not hear at least one, if not a handful, of tales of kin who came back, of lost loves pining in the afterlife, of fishermen coming home for one last kiss. Her childhood had been full of such tales, most of them more capable of frightening her than this sad, disembodied, song.

The Angry Ghost by Oscar Wilde - An absolutely delightful story with a cute kicker.

The Black Ziggurat by Henry Rider Haggard - Another impressive and imaginable tale. This one set in Kenya.

Born of Ether by Helena P. Blavatsky - An odd yet enjoyable ghostly tale from Meikle's telling of a story in the style of an author I am totally unfamiliar with.

The Scrimshaw Set by Henry James - So cool. An exquisitely told tale of a haunted chess set. One of my favorite stories in a book full of such work.

At the Molenzki Junction by Anton Checkov - A Winter quest for vodka encounters both wolves and a ghostly presence.

To the Moon and Beyond by Jules Verne - A wonderful opening line..."To the Moon and Beyond Jules Verne Ever since man first looked up at the night sky, he has wondered about the moon, that great white lady who circles us constantly, like a predator circling its prey, merely waiting for a weakness so that it may pounce." Once again Meikle manages to capture the style and feel of the author he writes as in this standout tale.

The Curious Affair On the Embankment by Arthur Conan Doyle - Surprisingly this is NOT a Sherlock Holmes story, although it takes place in that same world. Here Scotland Yard's Detective Lestrade solves a mystery involving the disappearance of a number of successful young women.

There are a number of solid reasons to add The Ghost Club to your reading list. For example, you love a good ghost story, or maybe you've read and enjoyed Meikle's Carnacki tales, or perhaps you're a fan of Victorian terror, or maybe you just enjoy a good read. Whatever your reason, happy reading.

The Ghost Club: Newly Found Tales of Victorian Terror is currently available in both Kindle and paperback formats from Crystal Lake Publishing. If you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited you can read it at no additional charge. Also, if you are an Amazon Prime member you can read it for FREE using the Kindle Owners Lending Library.

From the author's bio - Willie Meikle is a Scottish writer, now living in Canada, with over twenty novels published in the genre press and over 300 short story credits in thirteen countries. Willie currently lives in Newfoundland with whales, bald eagles, and icebergs for company and when he's not writing he drinks beer, plays guitar and dreams of fortune and glory. ( )
  FrankErrington | Jan 10, 2018 |
This one has a bit of an odd premise. It starts with an introduction about an old London club that had gone into receivership, and when its assets were being sold, a book was found in a storage room that had been ignored since "the war." It turns out that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker, and Henry James had at one time hosted a small supper club on the premises where they invited literary figures of the day to dine in exchange for a ghost story. This book is a compilation of those fictitious stories and features works in the styles of Leonard Tolstoy, Mark Twain, Jules Verne and many others.

I'm not expert enough to say how well Meikle did at imitating the voices of the various writers. I can say that I enjoyed all of the pseudo-Victorian ghost stories, especially the one by "Oscar Wilde," which actually had me laughing out loud at the end. ( )
  yoyogod | Jan 8, 2018 |
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"Writers never really die; their stories live on, to be found again, to be told again, to scare again. In Victorian London, a select group of writers, led by Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker and Henry James held an informal dining club, the price of entry to which was the telling of a story by each invited guest. These are their stories, containing tales of revenant loved ones, lost cities, weird science, spectral appearances and mysteries in the fog of the old city, all told by some of the foremost writers of the day. In here you'll find Verne and Wells, Tolstoy and Checkov, Stevenson and Oliphant, Kipling, Twain, Haggard and Blavatsky alongside their hosts." -- Amazon.com

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