The Ghost Quartet
Marvin Kaye
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Buy *The Ghost Quartet* by Marvin Kaye

The Ghost Quartet
Marvin Kaye
304 pages
September 2009
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Click here to read reviewer Shannon Frost's take on The The Ghost Quartet.

The four contributing authors to The Ghost Quartet have pulled together to create an eerie, romanticized paranormal volume worthy of attention. The macabre quality of horrorwoven throughout the various contributions calls forth frightening specters and gives life to the dark tales. Each author is known for his or her own unique contributions to fiction writing—and the horror/fantasy genre—making for a terrific collection of complementary stories.

"The Place of Waiting" by Brian Lumley is very Arthur Conan Doyle in nature with its ghostly focus on the unsettling marshy lands of Dartmoor (and vicinity). Doyle’s legendary Sherlock Holmes was set upon one of his greatest mysteries—The Hound of the Baskervilles—on the same haunted moors that Lumley uses for his sinister paranormal entanglement.

Orson Scott Card wrote "Hamlet’s Father" as a reflection of his personal views on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This short story is dark, evil, and reflects on disturbing sexual obsessions and misbehaviors that have existed in the past as well as in the present. The macabre details come into focus as the story nears completion.

"The Haunted Single Malt" by editor Marvin Kaye is a more sociable approach to ghost stories through a group of storytellers known as the Jamesians. Many spectral stories abound throughout this tale as the Jamesians confer on the more scientific and philosophical theories of paranormal existence. An enticing, darkly sinister twist makes this unique black magic-inspired story shine.

The Ghost Quartet would not be complete without a fourth spectral tale about the spirits’ existence on plane so close to ours—maybe. Tanith Lee, the motivator behind these collected short works, is author of "Strindberg’s Ghost Sonata," the closing piece inspired by a play by August Strindberg. As is Lee’s forte, the beautiful and the macabre are brilliantly blended to create a ghostly tale that is hard-pressed for competition.

The Ghost Quartet draws from various settings and eras, and readers will enjoy a variety of horror tales to satiate all paranormal-loving appetites. Unlike the more modern ghost stories of today—novels by Samantha Graves or Nancy Bush are great examples—this collection comprises more elegant and traditional horror stories, suggestive of literary works from some of horror’s founders like Mary Shelley, H.G. Wells, and Bram Stoker.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Sonia R. Polinsky, 2009

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