Published on October 4th, 2015 | by James Wright

Ghostly Book Review

Ghostly Book Review James Wright

Summary: Ghostly is also a great historical snapshot of supernatural tales over the last 170 years


A Ghostly Read!

Ghostly is a collection of classic and modern ghost tales collated by best-selling author Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveller’s Wife) which even includes illustrations to accompany these scary and sometimes amusing stories about the supernatural and what may lie beyond. Niffenegger also introduces each story in this compendium that may include information about the original author, when it was first published to other interesting facts which helps place the story for the reader.

Furthermore, Niffenegger really gives the reader a great breadth of some amazing writers that include Allan Poe, Edith Wharton, Oliver Onions, M.R. James, P.G. Wodehouse, Neil Gaiman, Rudyard Kipling, A.M. Burrage, A.S. Byatt, Saki, Hellk Link, Amy Giacalone, Rebecca Curtis, Ray Bradbury and even a story from Audrey herself entitled “Secret Life, With Cats”… hence the cover. It’s quite a variety of “ghostly” stories and if you’re a fan of the paranormal then Niffenegger really hits the nail on the head (perhaps on the coffin) which definitely had me glued to this book from start to finish.

Interestingly, Niffenegger even touches upon man’s obsession of the supernatural and how stories of ghosts can be found throughout history and that the collection showcased in this book is from American and English literature over the last 170 years. Being relatively familiar with classic literature, I must admit that some of the tales collected in this book had me surprised in terms of enjoyment and a slightly different look on the world of ghosts from a simpler time.

However depending on your preference, not all the stories are a great read but thankfully most are, such as the classic tale “Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe to “Playmates” by A.M. Burrage and my favourite, “Click-Clack the Rattlebag” by Neil Gaiman. Another feature of the book is that not all the stories contain horror but some are quite curious and even humorous at times which helps break up the theme quite well.

Final Thoughts?

At almost 450 pages in length, Audrey Niffenegger’s Ghostly is an enjoyable read that serves as a great book to read just before sleep with a cup of tea and wrapped up snuggly in a blanket. With some beautiful illustrations by Niffenegger, Ghostly is also a great historical snapshot of supernatural tales over the last 170 years that will have you smiling, slightly scared but more importantly captivated by the diverse stories in this book thanks to its myriad of authors.



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