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Old 01-14-2022, 02:56 AM   #1
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Blackwood, Algernon: Shocks. v1. 14 Jan 2022

Fifteen strange tales from a master storyteller: some in a shadowy macabre mood will evoke chills, one or two some chuckles. Blackwood’s explorations of metaphysics give us a number of stories focused on persons whose connections to their native place and time have broken, resulting in sojourns in other dimensions.

Brief summaries of the stories:
Spoiler:
Elsewhere and Otherwise
A man becomes disconnected from space and time…

The Stranger
Despite his wife’s repeated defiance, he knows that Death must come to take her soon. A stranger arrives, and turned away, vanishes. The Colonel hears a whispered “I will come back…” — but was it his wife's voice or the stranger’s? The Colonel is convinced that is the moment her recovery becomes certain.

Full Circle
Jorden encounters a young boy who is strangely familiar.

Dr. Feldman
Dr. Feldman had to leave before their appointment at 11:30 pm, so Pelham waits for his return. Now why does he see Feldman appearing here and there in the house?

A Threefold Cord
Malcolm of McQuittie is disturbed and intrigued by a strange woman seen at a party who tells him “I am waiting for you, I’ve been looking for you for a long time — so long…”

Chemical
Moleson has an unfounded antipathy toward a fellow-lodger, who has been ousted from the room Moleson now occupies. His theory is that his loathing is simply “chemical.”

Shocks
John Feek is informed by his lawyer (a friend of his late father) that an anonymous person who admires his poetry has set up a large trust fund for him.

The Survivors
A man seems to have come through a horrific traffic accident completely unscathed.

The Adventure of Tornado Smith
A light-hearted fantastical romp as Mr. T. Smith, staid stockbroker, detours to Fairyland on his way to work.

Hands of Death
In Bolivia, Mike Kelly falls in love and marries an Indian woman who is venerated by the village. Marie explains that her mother is the Doctor, and her medicine always cures.

The Land of Green Ginger
A successful elderly author looks back on an experience with a mirror that seems to predict (or drive?) the future.

The Colonel’s Ring
Hendrik, whose unsuccessful ten year sojourn in America had provided dreadful things enough, met his only “real horror,” he affirms, in a London service flat. His half-uncle, Colonel Seitz, was host. There were no trappings. Horror slipped in quietly, almost slyly.

Revenge
Hemmel, embezzling trustee of his nephew’s legacy, goes mountain climbing with the boy.

The Man Who Lived Backwards
A middle-aged man meets his twenty-five-year-old self…

Adventures of Miss De Fontenoy
When this young man, a novice writer, is affected by “loveliness,” he becomes able to step into “elsewhere” …

============
One of the foremost British writers of supernatural tales in the twentieth century, Algernon Blackwood (1869–1951) wrote stories in which the slow accumulation of telling details produced a foreboding atmosphere of almost unendurable tension. Though he wrote a number of horror stories, his most typical work seeks less to frighten than to induce a sense of awe. The literary critic S. T. Joshi stated, “His work is more consistently meritorious than any weird writer’s except Dunsany’s.”

Blackwood’s literary renown began in 1908 with the publication of a highly successful collection of stories, John Silence — Physician Extraordinary, featuring a “psychic doctor.” His two best known stories are probably “The Willows” and “The Wendigo”.

============
Shocks, by Algernon Blackwood (1869–1951), was first published in 1935. This ebook is in the public domain where copyright is “Life+70” or less.
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