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Ghosts of Yesterday Paperback – September 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892389487
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892389480
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,868,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For more than 30 years, Cady has been one of America's great chroniclers of characters and places. In novels like The Haunting of Hood Canal and stories like "The Night They Killed Road Dog," he has relied heavily on a deep knowledge of people and of technique. Often called a writer's writer, Cady seems concerned less about categories than about the quality of his work. His new collection continues to display that excellent craftsmanship in long stories such as "The Time That Land Forgot" and "Jeremiah." Few writers can capture the rhythms of blue-collar speech as well as Cady does in "The Ghost of Dive Bomber Hill," with its pithy yet descriptive dialogue. That same sense of rhythm manifests itself in the narrative: "Then, one night, the ghost showed up and there were no more wrecks. Drunks still ran off the road and tumbled down the mountain. Trucks still sometimes ended up in ditches, but that rock face never again took another truck. Could it be, it just could be, that the ghost knew he was going to have to pay off a debt?" A wonderfully luminous quality pervades Cady's fiction, sometimes because of his style, sometimes because he has allowed the reader to experience some darkly shining truth. Although marred by the inclusion of two inconsequential nonfiction pieces and one or two minor stories, this collection provides a good sample of a writer in top form.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Publisher

Jack’s most recent novel, The Haunting of Hood Canal, was released to rave reviews, as was his recent book of literary criticism, The American Writer: Shaping a Nation’s Mind. Ghosts of Yesterday contains a nonfiction companion piece to The American Writer, which examines the role of fantasy in American literature.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. C. Walter on March 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
In January 2004, the Pacific Northwest lost one of its distinctive literary voices with the death of Jack Cady. This, his last book, is a wonderful tribute to that cult genre he loved so much, the ghost story.
Written in Cady's irresistible, gregarious, ear-bending storyteller's style, each piece is something unique and surprising. "The Lady With the Blind Dog," though full of distinctive Cady elements, reads like the sort of modern mytho-fantasy so prominent in the writing of Neil Gaiman. "Daddy Dearest" is one of the more successful renditions of the "humorous ghost story" that I've come across, succeeding as it does by substituting fright with Twain-like, tall-tale audacity. The collection's 80-page novella, "The Time that Time Forgot"--though marred somewhat by anti-war moralizing--is a thick, atmospheric, mystical adventure. And "The Ghost of Dive Bomber Hill," I am certain, will prove to be one of the great, enduring American ghost stories, a tale ranking near the work of that master ghostly author Russell Kirk.
In addition, the book includes two wonderfully engaging essays, one on the ghost story and the other on religion in science fiction.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Henry W. Wagner VINE VOICE on December 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
It's the voice that grabs you, that trustworthy voice, hypnotic and resonant, calm and reassuring. The voice assures you that what you are about to read is the absolute truth, no matter how far afield Jack Cady ranges, no matter how fantastic the subject matter. The voice is in especially fine timbre in his latest book, Ghosts of Yesterday. Comprised of two long essays and nine short stories, the collection boasts some of Cady's best work.
For those who are comfortable jumping around the table of contents, read the essays ("Science Fiction, Utopia and the Spirit" and "On Writing the Ghost Story") before the fiction. The essays lay bare many of Cady's thoughts and feelings about the nature of fantastic literature. As such, they represent a virtual primer for the stories that follow, and will enhance your enjoyment of the book.
The stories predictably feature numerous ghosts, spirits and shades. Standout efforts include "The Lady With the Blind Dog," in which people who fail to pursue their dreams are forced to perform an odd, but vital, penance, "The Ghost of Dive Bomber Hill," featuring a benevolent specter who turns lethal to protect the surviving members of his family, and "The Time That Time Forgot," a lengthy, potent reflection on the agonies of war. Also of note are "Jeremiah", the story of a bartender who is haunted by a simple question posed by a preacher, "Daddy Dearest," in which a family is haunted by a reprobate father's ashes, and "Halloween 1942," another tale about the cost of war. The collection is rounded out by "Weird Row," which points out the ridiculousness of owning ideas, and a handful of shorter, less ambitious pieces, all of which appear here for the first time.
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