Christmas Past

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Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Neil Gaiman Goodreads Author Contributor. Nesbit Contributor. James Contributor. Jenn Ashworth Contributor. Robert Aickman Contributor.

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Jerome K. Jerome Contributor. A present contains a monstrous secret. An uninvited guest haunts a Christmas party. A shadow slips across the floor by firelight. A festive entertainment ends in darkness and screams. Who knows what haunts the night at the dark point of the year? This collection of seasonal chillers looks beneath Christmas cheer to a world of ghosts and horrors, mixing terrifying modern fictio A present contains a monstrous secret. This collection of seasonal chillers looks beneath Christmas cheer to a world of ghosts and horrors, mixing terrifying modern fiction with classic stories by masters of the macabre.

From Neil Gaiman and M. James to Muriel Spark and E. Nesbit, there are stories here to make the hardiest soul quail - so find a comfy chair, lock the door, ignore the cold breath on your neck and get ready to welcome in the real spirits of Christmas. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published October 19th by John Murray first published October More Details Original Title.

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Showing Rating details. Sort order. Dec 08, Blair rated it really liked it Shelves: short-stories , ghosts-and-horror , release , anthology , other-review-copy. Christmas ghost stories are a bit odd, I guess, because there's absolutely nothing more perfect to read at Christmas, but it can seem pointless, or feel somehow like cheating, to read them at any other time of year.

In particular, I would recommend 'The Visiting Star' by Robert Aickman, 'The L Christmas ghost stories are a bit odd, I guess, because there's absolutely nothing more perfect to read at Christmas, but it can seem pointless, or feel somehow like cheating, to read them at any other time of year.

Benson, all of which are wonderful winter tales but could be read with just as much enjoyment whenever you feel like reading them. James An epistolary story recounting the mysterious disappearance of the letter-writer's Uncle Henry. It's effective, with the best scene being a dream sequence, though the whole thing is slightly hampered by James's insistence on writing cringeworthy accents for the less privileged characters lest we forget they are mere commoners.

The use of a Punch and Judy show is an inspired choice — those things are much creepier than clowns, if you ask me. Nesbit Skipped read before. See my review of Nesbit's Horror Stories. But why is he watching the house from the garden in winter?

Did you get it?

This brief tale is a simple idea, executed well. There's something quite memorably creepy about this, and the concept of the ghost of a still-living person has so much potential, but it doesn't feel like a fully realised idea and could, I think, have benefited from being expanded. The protagonist of this tale must spend Christmas Eve aboard said hulk when he becomes marooned on an island after a solo fishing expedition goes awry.

There's rather a lot of sailing terminology, and it drags a bit, but there are some effective images in here and the atmosphere is strong. Benson This was a real surprise — better than anything in the Benson compilation Ghost Stories , which I read last year. A greedy, pompous British businessman is living in Egypt; one night, walking home from his club, he hears someone walking behind him. At first this seems innocuous enough, but when it happens night after night with no sign of a source, the footsteps start to perturb him. The ending is superb — just the sort of enjoyable jump-scare one wants from a ghost story — and the mood of the piece is spot-on.

As a result, my overall memory of it is of the difficulty I had figuring out what was going on, and I can't say I've retained any impression of the plot. Hartley This one's firmly in the horror corner.

However, the 'ghost' disappears whenever Peter is with his father. The reason for this becomes clear at the end and it's a somewhat gory end. The main character, Colvin, has been awarded a grant to write a book about lead and plumbago mining, and has therefore come to stay in an unnamed 'bleak town', where he lodges at the Emancipation Hotel and becomes friends with Malnik, the manager of a local theatre.

Malnik is staging a production of the little-known Cornelia, to his mind 'one of the great plays of the nineteenth century', and is thrilled to announce that he has managed to cast the play's original star, Arabella Rokeby. Just before Miss Rokeby's arrival, an odd character — the hilariously named Mr Superbus — turns up at the hotel, and his odd behaviour disturbs everyone.

I won't spoil it from there, but it's vintage Aickman, which is to say inexplicably unsettling and very memorable. A bit of a shrug from me, I'm afraid, but that's because of the form, not the author.


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Jerome A rather amusing tale in which the narrator is challenged by his uncle to spend a night in the haunted 'Blue Chamber'; not only does he encounter the famous ghost, but he finds the man very forthcoming about his crimes. I loved how the characters were fleshed out — it really does feel that each of them has a full, detailed backstory, as though this could be just a fragment of a larger narrative. Miranda's mother is in prison, and she spends each Christmas with her friend Daniel's family, the gilded, glamorous, gregarious Honeywells.

Miranda is a child when she first encounters Fenny — whose golden looks immediately mark him out as a Honeywell — standing in the garden dressed in an elaborately embroidered justacorps which includes an image of a fox caught in a trap.


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  • Years pass, and Miranda encounters Fenny again — but only at Christmas, and only when it's snowing; and while Miranda grows older, he never seems to age. Meanwhile, Miranda must decide how to handle the changes in her relationship with Daniel. I just wanted to know more about absolutely everything here like Elspeth's band, and her affairs!

    A lovely story, and a perfect way to end the book. TinyLetter Twitter Instagram Tumblr Dec 13, Mandy added it Shelves: dnf. Cannot get into this. The first two stories I did not like and after that I think I got a little bit disillusioned with it. Maybe try to read at another time, I'm not sure what to do to be honest. Oct 28, Nina rated it liked it Shelves: historical , read-in , historical , ghosts , paranormal-or-urban-fantasy , xmas , 3-star , owned , anthologies , historical Just like most anthologies I've read, this one gets a three, because Some of the stories in here were so mind-numbingly boring I can barely remember what they were about; some of them, however, were spellbinding , and so atmospheric it was almost a physical shock to see them end.

    There are a couple authors here that I'm definitely gonna be keeping an eye on. Jan 05, Miriam Smith rated it liked it Shelves: bookbridgr. Having forgotten to read this over Christmas, I was to keen to pick up as soon as possible and keep the spirit of Christmas going. Sadly I don't think I actually 'got' some of the stories, the first one being very difficult to follow due to the classic style of prose "Ghosts of Christmas Past" edited by Tim Martin is a 'collection of seasonal chillers looking beneath Christmas cheer to a world of ghosts and horrors, mixing terrifying modern fiction with classic stories by masters of the macabre'.

    Sadly I don't think I actually 'got' some of the stories, the first one being very difficult to follow due to the classic style of prose, though the premise of a Punch and Judy show involved in the tale did make it rather perturbing. As with all anthologies, there will always be some you like and some you don't, there were a couple I did enjoy and I believe the book does contain something for readers of all ages.

    Being a collection of very short stories it's great for just picking up and reading in between longer novels especially during the Christmas holidays and I would recommend if you like traditional and modern ghost stories alike. View 2 comments. Sep 03, T.

    Ghosts of Christmas Past

    Whittle rated it really liked it Shelves: reviews. This is a high-quality selection of thirteen spooky Christmas stories. I'd read three of them already but they were worth reading again and I liked every one, though not equally.

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