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The Burning Baby and Other Ghosts Paperback – January 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; 1st U.S. Pbk. Ed edition (January 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564025896
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564025890
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,886,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9-10-The title story is about a middle-aged murderer who builds a Guy Fawkes Day bonfire around his pregnant, teenaged lover's corpse. A small someone comes out of that fire to exact retribution for the man's crime. The other four stories deal as well with the two subjects most fascinating to YAs- sex and death. Gordon uses these themes carefully. He is always teasing, always hinting, but never blatant or graphic. Each story hums with tension, and each character has a distinctive voice. The plots are tightly structured and never lose the tautness and delicious chill so critical to the success of this genre. The British flavor of the writing should present no problem to eager teens looking for lightweight thrills.
Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 9-12. This collection of five ghostly stories is set in the author's English homeland. The title piece deals with the disappearance of a village girl and the local mechanic's unnatural interest in the event. The ghost of the mechanic's baby is seen in the girl's funeral pyre. In "Under the Ice," a boy sees his dead uncle's form in a frozen river. "Eels" is a ghastly tale of a mother who smothers her daughter and feeds her to the eels. In "The Key," two generations of young lovers are thwarted in the hidden reaches of an old manor house. All the stories deal with murder and ghostly retribution--heavy subject matter, though not offensively handled. Violence is hinted at but not explicit. The last tale, "Death Wish," is the weakest. YAs looking for a read on the darker side of life will enjoy this book. Susan DeRonne --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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My heart sank when I saw "A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age" printed on the back of this book, because ghost stories aimed at teen-agers are for the most part, boring. But this British author reminds me of Ramsey Campbell without the dense psychology, but with the increasingly macabre wind-up to the story's gut punch. The only things 'teen age' about "The Burning Baby and Other Ghosts" are the ages of most of the characters, and the shortness of the book--only 112 pages long. I would have preferred something the size of a Stephen King triple-decker, because this author has a keen sense of the macabre, and his stories menace the reader from page one onward.

"The Burning Baby"--An auto mechanic treats the local kids to a huge Guy Fawkes night bonfire in an attempt to incinerate the corpse of his pregnant girlfriend. Rather like the 'utburd' of Scandinavian myth, something crawls out of the fire.

"Under the Ice"--This story plays on my recurrent nightmare of drowning. The author went to school on the east coast of England, and the bleak and lonely fens are the setting for this tale of ghostly vengeance.

"The Key"--A young man tries to lure his girlfriend into a mansion haunted by the ghost of a suicide.

"Eels"--An old woman is caught stealing at a bingo game. However, that's not the worst crime on her conscience. No one yet knows that she drowned her granddaughter.

"Death Wish"-- Young love turns to death rather than sex. The local rector's son takes his girlfriend on a tour of the graveyard and church belfry. Then she makes the mistake of staying overnight in the rectory.
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