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Old 09-25-2017, 04:39 AM   #1
GrannyGrump
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Benson, E. F.: Spooks (collected shorts). v1. 25 Sep 2017

Spooks: Tales of the Supernatural by E.F. Benson (1867-1940)

Contents first published 1904~1934. Text is in the public domain in countries where copyright is “Life + 70” or less.

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Edward Frederic “E. F.” Benson was an English novelist, biographer, memoirist, and short story writer. He was the prolific author of more than 100 books. He is now especially noted for his Mapp and Lucia novels, but during his lifetime he was best known for his horror and ghost stories.

Spooks presents 59 of Benson’s eerie tales. Benson sometimes narrates ghastly ghostly episodes as dispassionately as a television journalist; he occasionally gives a touching glimpse of a joyous foray into the mystery of death (“Pirates,” “Roderick’s Story”); but the best of his stories harbor sinister terrors that haunt the reader’s memory. He agreed with friend and fellow-writer M. R. James that the most successful ghosts and elementals in supernatural fiction should be malevolent and terrifying.

And, because Mr. Benson also has his comedic side, a special section of this collection is reserved for some slyly satirical peeks into the world of the paranormal.

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Excerpt? It is impossible to provide a *brief* excerpt, so here is the author’s preface, wishing the reader— well, open it and see.
Spoiler:
These stories have been written in the hopes of giving some pleasant qualms to their reader, so that, if by chance, anyone may be occupying in their perusal a leisure half-hour before he goes to bed when the night and house are still, he may perhaps cast an occasional glance into the corners and dark places of the room where he sits, to make sure that nothing unusual lurks in the shadow. For this is the avowed object of ghost-stories and such tales as deal with the dim unseen forces which occasionally and perturbingly make themselves manifest. The author therefore fervently wishes his readers a few uncomfortable moments.

—E. F. Benson

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This is my own compilation. Punctuation, diacritics, and italics have been formatted; spelling and punctuation in some stories was revised to provide consistency throughout the book. Embedded font used for titling. Index of Titles and cross-linked Tables of Contents provide access to stories.

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If you read just one or two stories a day, you will be well-primed when Halloween arrives!
This work is assumed to be in the Life+70 public domain OR the copyright holder has given specific permission for distribution. Copyright laws differ throughout the world, and it may still be under copyright in some countries. Before downloading, please check your country's copyright laws. If the book is under copyright in your country, do not download or redistribute this work.

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