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One might not expect a woman of Edith Wharton's literary stature to be a believer of ghost stories, much less be frightened by them, but as she admits in her postscript to this spine-tingling collection, "...till I was twenty-seven or -eight, I could not sleep in the room with a book containing a ghost story." Once her fear was overcome, however, she took to writing tales of the supernatural for publication in the magazines of the day. These eleven finely wrought pieces showcase her mastery of the traditional New England ghost story and her fascination with spirits, hauntings, and other supernatural phenomena. Called "flawlessly eerie" by Ms. magazine, this collection includes "Pomegranate Seed," "The Eyes," "All Souls'," "The Looking Glass," and "The Triumph of Night."
Published: Scribner on
ISBN: 9781439188521
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On the other hand, Edith Wharton is a fantastic twentieth century author. Though I find her full length books a bit meandering, she is the master of the short story. (I have similar feelings about Henry James.) All of these ghost stories are interesting, easy to read, and paint a fabulous picture of life in the early twentieth century in New England and abroad. Even if you couldn't quite stomach The Age of Innocence or The House of Mirth, any collection of her stories is worth a second look.more
The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton is a collection of 11 stories that are not so much traditional ghost stories as supernatural-themed ones. I didn’t know what to expect going into it, because they’re definitely a departure from the two Edith Wharton books I’ve read, The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence. Despite that, I enjoyed these stories—perfect reading for fall and Halloween!more
"Afterward" is probably the story I think of most when I recall This collection, as it has been anthologized in several collections. But all these stories are well written, as are all Wharton's works, and make great reading in the Halloween season.more
This book is perfect Halloween season reading! I finished it just past midnight in the shadowy small hours that comprise the boundary of All Hallows Eve (Halloween) and All Souls (All Saints) Day. This is quite appropriate, as the last story in the collection, All Souls, is set quite prominently in and around just that particular span of time.I enjoyed this unusual collection of ghost stories. They are different -- and perhaps more like "real-life" ghost encounters -- because they leave so many loose ends. There is no explaining everything (along natural or supernatural lines), there are even surprisingly few "bold and shocking" moments recounted. In many cases, it is the mystery and subtlety which works on the reader's mind.more
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Reviews

On the other hand, Edith Wharton is a fantastic twentieth century author. Though I find her full length books a bit meandering, she is the master of the short story. (I have similar feelings about Henry James.) All of these ghost stories are interesting, easy to read, and paint a fabulous picture of life in the early twentieth century in New England and abroad. Even if you couldn't quite stomach The Age of Innocence or The House of Mirth, any collection of her stories is worth a second look.more
The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton is a collection of 11 stories that are not so much traditional ghost stories as supernatural-themed ones. I didn’t know what to expect going into it, because they’re definitely a departure from the two Edith Wharton books I’ve read, The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence. Despite that, I enjoyed these stories—perfect reading for fall and Halloween!more
"Afterward" is probably the story I think of most when I recall This collection, as it has been anthologized in several collections. But all these stories are well written, as are all Wharton's works, and make great reading in the Halloween season.more
This book is perfect Halloween season reading! I finished it just past midnight in the shadowy small hours that comprise the boundary of All Hallows Eve (Halloween) and All Souls (All Saints) Day. This is quite appropriate, as the last story in the collection, All Souls, is set quite prominently in and around just that particular span of time.I enjoyed this unusual collection of ghost stories. They are different -- and perhaps more like "real-life" ghost encounters -- because they leave so many loose ends. There is no explaining everything (along natural or supernatural lines), there are even surprisingly few "bold and shocking" moments recounted. In many cases, it is the mystery and subtlety which works on the reader's mind.more
Excellent old-fashioned suspense. The only problem was that the end of each story elicited the same reaction: "It can't be over all ready!". Wharton has an excellent power of imagery, and even in a short story, developed some of the most hauntingly romantic characters. Found "The Eyes" reminded me of Poe's Tell Tale Heart.more
Edith Wharton's ghost stories clearly show the influence that Henry James had on her writing. Like his famous "The Turn of the Screw", the stories in this collection aren't outright scary but they are creepy and disquieting. Often the narrator doesn't even know that he or she has seen a ghost until thinking back on the event later. The same is true of the stories: the first time you read them, they seem straightforward but the more you think about them, the more unsettling they become.Wharton's writing is less prosy and and more plot-driven than James'; I enjoyed these stores more than "The Turn of the Screw", which I could barely get through. That said, a couple of the stories are ambiguous as to what exactly has happened -- "The Lady Maid's Bell" took me a while to figure out, as did "The Eyes"."Kerfol" is my favorite because Wharton gets the atmosphere just right. "Pomegranate Seed" and "All Souls'" are also among the best in the bunch for the same reason. This collection won't keep you up at night shivering in fear, but read it on a dark, winter day when you're all alone and see if you don't get a few goosebumps.more
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