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Imogene is young and beautiful. She kisses like a movie star and knows everything about every film ever made. She's also dead and waiting in the Rosebud Theater for Alec Sheldon one afternoon in 1945. . . .

Arthur Roth is a lonely kid with big ideas and a gift for attracting abuse. It isn't easy to make friends when you're the only inflatable boy in town. . . .

Francis is unhappy. Francis was human once, but that was then. Now he's an eight-foot-tall locust and everyone in Calliphora will tremble when they hear him sing. . . .

John Finney is locked in a basement that's stained with the blood of half a dozen other murdered children. In the cellar with him is an antique telephone, long since disconnected, but which rings at night with calls from the dead. . . .

Topics: Ghosts, Supernatural Powers, Magic, Monsters, Murder, Spooky, Suspenseful, Short stories, and Anthology

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061850493
List price: $0.99
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This was a high 3 for me, almost a 4 but I just felt too let down by a couple of the stories in here to go full 4. It was a good collection though.more
I actually finished a book. My god, that was one hell of a reading slump and hope it's over for good.more
This was a good read, thanks for getting me to read it Rusty! There were a couple of stories in here that I really loved, and then several that I was just meh about, only one I actively disliked. Some of the stories felt like sketches more than full blown stories. I appreciated the variety though, sometimes a single author anthology can be too much of a muchness, you start to feel like you are reading the same story over and over. Definitely didn't happen here.

Warning for those who are sensitive to violence and body parts, there are some. Also some of the protagonists are pretty mysogynistic, although I don't think the author could write about them with such clear eyed observation if he was so himself.more
I find that short story collections are difficult for me to get into because the presence of ‘awesomeness’ has a habit of being severely lacking in at least half of the content, making the overall reading experience a not-so-great one. Not the case with 20th Century Ghosts! This collection was great in that every story was unique and completely enjoyable. All the stories have a supernatural, almost Twlight Zone-y element and a tone of childhood/teen angst- and I’m a big one for angst. Some of the stories were also surprisingly touching, pulling a bit on the heart strings but without over doing it. I am definitely going to be reading more by Mr. Hill. I wish the book was 5 times longer. I laughed, I cried, it was better than CATS.more
Read all 54 reviews

Reviews

This was a high 3 for me, almost a 4 but I just felt too let down by a couple of the stories in here to go full 4. It was a good collection though.more
I actually finished a book. My god, that was one hell of a reading slump and hope it's over for good.more
This was a good read, thanks for getting me to read it Rusty! There were a couple of stories in here that I really loved, and then several that I was just meh about, only one I actively disliked. Some of the stories felt like sketches more than full blown stories. I appreciated the variety though, sometimes a single author anthology can be too much of a muchness, you start to feel like you are reading the same story over and over. Definitely didn't happen here.

Warning for those who are sensitive to violence and body parts, there are some. Also some of the protagonists are pretty mysogynistic, although I don't think the author could write about them with such clear eyed observation if he was so himself.more
I find that short story collections are difficult for me to get into because the presence of ‘awesomeness’ has a habit of being severely lacking in at least half of the content, making the overall reading experience a not-so-great one. Not the case with 20th Century Ghosts! This collection was great in that every story was unique and completely enjoyable. All the stories have a supernatural, almost Twlight Zone-y element and a tone of childhood/teen angst- and I’m a big one for angst. Some of the stories were also surprisingly touching, pulling a bit on the heart strings but without over doing it. I am definitely going to be reading more by Mr. Hill. I wish the book was 5 times longer. I laughed, I cried, it was better than CATS.more
Some of these stories creeped me out completely. Others reminded me of the wonderment and disquieting feelings that some of Ray Bradbury's stories used to awaken in me.more
This is a collection of short stories, many of them just fair, that run the gamut from horror to mainstream to the surreal. Only a few stood out for me. One was about an autistic child who built fabulous mazes out of cardboard boxes in the basement, which were actually portals into the unknown. The other was about a young boy who was literally an inflatable doll and the trials of his brief existence. Overall, I'd say that -- as with many authors -- I prefer Hill's longer works of fiction to his stories.more
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