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The Ghost Quartet: An Anthology Paperback – September 1, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Kaye's anthology of four new ghost novellas is a mixed bag at best. Brian Lumley builds suspense in the first half of A Place of No Ending, but in the end, a garrulous ghost nearly talks the protagonist to death. Orson Scott Card, in Hamlet's Father, recasts Shakespeare's tragedy as a gothic ghost thriller, but hobbles it with an anachronistic and absurd revisionist ending. Kaye (The Fair Folk) represents himself with The Haunted Single Malt, a story that perhaps unwisely references ghost story master M.R. James while never rising to James's level. Only Tanith Lee, in Strindberg's Ghost, strikes the balance of atmosphere and romance crucial for the effective telling of her tale of betrayal and sacrifice. Though each story has its merits, readers will find them mostly dispiriting. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Kaye’s latest anthology adds another volume to an ongoing series that previously featured tales about vampires, dragons, and fairies. On offer here are a quartet of ghost stories by leading artisans of speculative fiction. Brian Lumley’s “Place of Waiting” recounts the fate of a painter who crosses paths with a tortured ghost on the desolate mounds of Dartmoor, England. Orson Scott Card’s “Hamlet’s Father” gives Shakespeare’s tragedy of the gloomy Dane an alternate ending wherein his father’s murderer turns out to be someone much closer to Hamlet than his uncle. Kaye himself serves up a chilling brew in “The Haunted Single Malt,” eavesdropping on an assembly of ghost-story buffs at an Edinburgh pub who experience their own odd haunting by imbibing a previously unknown liquor. The final contribution, by Tanith Lee, visits an alternate-universe Russia and the denizens of an accursed tenement. All four tales showcase the authors at the peak of their narrative powers and make for satisfyingly spine-tingling reading on a stormy night. --Carl Hays --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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"Hamlet's Father" by Orson Scott Card. Teenager Hamlet knows his father the Danish King thinks little of him so as he goes to university in Heidelberg he ponders whether his sire considers his offspring worthy to sit or not sit on the throne.
"The Haunted Single Malt" by Marvin Kaye. They meet once a month at the Tron to exchange ghost stories, but none of them expected to star in a spirit's latest saga.
"Strindberg's Ghost" by Tanith Lee. Blya and the Swan know they cannot be together until one joins the other in death.
The four tales are interesting ghost stories with Tanith Lee's being by far the strongest.