Thursday, 28 February 2013

The Haunted Book

The Haunted BookThe Haunted Book by Jeremy Dyson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book delivered more than I had expected. It presents itself as a portmanteau connecting stories based around the frame of Dyson collaborating with a local journalist to assemble his spooky column into a book.

It's quite an effective conceit. The idea of ready recorded stories needing to be qualified by a journey around haunted Britain is a mouth watering prospect. The only problem is the framing device disappears halfway through the book and is never really explained.

Not that it mattered much because the second half of the collection is based on an found tome full of old ghost stories. I really enjoyed these. It's a mix between Aickman and James.

I won't list my favourite stories in case it leads to spoilers. One thing I will say is I enjoyed every single one of them. Yes of course some more than others. The only downfall was the fading of the framing structure which sent me reading back to see if I'd missed a few pages.

If you loved ghost stories as a kid or read The Mysterious World books like me then you will appreciate this book. It's clear Dyson has a great love of the supernatural tale and it really shines though.

I give it four stars but in reality It's a four and a half.

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