Complete Ghost Stories

Complete Ghost Stories M R James wrote his ghost stories to entertain friends on Christmas Eve and they went on to both transform and modernize a genre James harnesses the power of suggestion to move from a recognizable wo

  • Title: Complete Ghost Stories
  • Author: M.R. James
  • ISBN: 9780140102260
  • Page: 437
  • Format: Paperback
  • Complete Ghost Stories

    M R James wrote his ghost stories to entertain friends on Christmas Eve, and they went on to both transform and modernize a genre James harnesses the power of suggestion to move from a recognizable world to one that is indefinably strange, and then unforgettably terrifying Sheets, pictures, carvings, a doll s house, a lonely beach, a branch tapping on a window ordinaryM R James wrote his ghost stories to entertain friends on Christmas Eve, and they went on to both transform and modernize a genre James harnesses the power of suggestion to move from a recognizable world to one that is indefinably strange, and then unforgettably terrifying Sheets, pictures, carvings, a doll s house, a lonely beach, a branch tapping on a window ordinary things take on than a tinge of dread in the hands of the original master of suspense James s prescription for his ghost stories was to let the ominous thing put out its head, unobtrusively at first, and then insistently, until it holds the stage.

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    One thought on “Complete Ghost Stories

    1. Jean

      Please note, this is a review of this particular edition of "Complete Ghost Stories" by M.R. James. For reviews of the text, please see my shelves. **For those who love "real books" and cannot bear the thought of ereaders, or those who prefer to have a few "nice editions" of classics, this series may be just perfect. The books themselves are beautiful little clothbound hardbacks, crafted to traditional standards. The sections are sewn into the spine rather than glued, and each page is gilt-edged [...]

    2. Robert Dunbar

      An unexpected gift from a friend: a beautifully written book that's been beautifully published. It's a profound pleasure just to hold it in your hands. Take that, Kindle!

    3. Camille Stein

      ‘The Mezzotint’ / Behind the Couch: Curious Warnings & Ghostly Visions / Some artwork inspired by the writing of M. R. James - ow/vXC7Z & ow/vXCaw Y si el señor Gregory se despertó una o dos veces en las primeras horas de la madrugada y le pareció oír una especie de manoteo en la parte inferior de su puerta, no fue, quizá, sino lo que lógicamente podía esperar un hombre pacífico, súbitamente sumergido en una cama extraña y en el corazón de un misterio. Fue entonces cuando [...]

    4. Airiz C

      After graduating from Stine’s “Goosebumps” books in high school, I quenched my thirst for more horror lit by a steady dose of readings from Poe, Lovecraft, King, and of course, James. Montague Rhodes James is perhaps one of my favorite horror writers back then, even if I’ve only read one anthology of his writings.Complete Ghost Stories is a good tome of macabre literature. I must confess that most of the stories didn’t scare me at all but they kept me entertained and amused, fueling me [...]

    5. Susan

      If you are going to read only one author of the classic English ghost story, make it M.R. James - and buy this book, because it will give you all of his great stories in one place, ready whenever you're in the mood for a good Victorian/Edwardian chill. I read this book every October (perfect time of year for it), and I'm always amazed by James' gifts as a writer in this genre - he is really, really good, and a pleasure to read almost as much for his grace with the English language as he is for h [...]

    6. Julie Davis

      The current description for this book at is confused with Edgar Allan Poe so I will provide the publisher's description for this fabulous little book:"In another infinitesimal flash he had taken it in. Pale, dusky skin, covering nothing but bones and tendons of appalling strength; coarse black hairs, longer than ever grew on a human hand; nails rising from the ends of the fingers and curving sharply down and forward, grey horny and wrinkled. He flew out of his chair with deadly inconceivable te [...]

    7. Mimi

      M.R James, I think after reading this book is a very good writer. Stories such as 'Oh, Whistle, I'll Come to You My Lad' , 'Casting the Runes and 'A Warning to the Curious show his ability as a writer. I thought that they were well written and very entertaining. I think he has a really good ability to 'show' and not tell the reader what is happening.Out of all the stories I would have to say that 'Casting the Runes', was the scariest. Even though Mr Karswell doesn't really appear much it, what M [...]

    8. Víctor Antón

      Si no fuera suficiente con la cuidada edición de Valdemar: primorosa, detallista, agradable al tacto y a la vista —¡qué pena no ser millonario para comprar toda la colección!—, y con una traducción elegante y respetuosa con el tono algo sabihondo, perdón, erudito del original; hallaremos además que el relleno de estas pastas es especialmente sabroso y tentador. Encontraremos relatos de terror muy modernos, esmerados y que nos transportarán a un mundo que muchos ni oleremos de lejos j [...]

    9. Josephine (Jo)

      5th September 2010I revisited this old favourite after many years, I first read James at the age of fifteen and hid under the blankets afraid to turn off the light. Coming back for a second time I still find that fearful enjoyment in his stories even though there is less gore that we have become used to in recent years both on t.v. and in books. Although only written in the 1930's the beautiful use of the english language without need of slang or swearing is so refreshing. The volume that I read [...]

    10. Jim

      Recommended as one of the classic authors of ghost stories, I first became aware of James' work when I saw Jonathan Miller's film 'Whistle And I'll Come To You', adapted from one of his stories. The typical James story doesn't deal with the horror directly, oddly enough; the story is often told by a narrator twice or more times removed from the action. So you get a story told by the author who heard it from a school friend, who pieced it together from the stories of two different people, etc. Bu [...]

    11. Carlos Piélago Rojo

      4/5Me ha gustado mucho este pequeño libro y seguro que volveré a leer algo de M. R. James. Desde luego no son las historias de fantasmas más originales que haya leído, pero los juegos con los narradores y la tensión e intriga que consigue imprimir a las historias hace que las devores para querer saber cómo acaban. Sin duda tuvo que ser una buena influencia para Lovecraft, he visto mucho de él en estas historias.

    12. Ben Schultz

      This guy is a genius, and this book is a great example of how a great author can essentially write the same short story over and over and still make them compulsively readable. "Oh Whistle and I'll Come To You, My Lad" gets all the press, but I think there are a lot of stories at least its equal in the collection, including "Canon Alberic's Scrapbook", "Casting the Runes", "Count Magnus" (much of which was lifted for a John Bellairs novel whose title I can't remember) and "The Ash Tree".

    13. Nancy Butts

      Although these stories may seem tame by 21st-century standards, if—like James himself—you are an antiquarian, I think you will enjoy these stories. They are filled with English country squires and rectors, university professors and ecclesiastical deans, and avid collectors of things that they should have known were from the dark side. Many of the stories deal with the nasty revenants brought back when someone read a manuscript they shouldn’t have, or removed a cursed relic from its resting [...]

    14. Jack

      M.R. James is a renowned ghost story/ gothic/ horror writer. Some of the stories here are great, some are just okay, and pretty much all stick to the same themes and tropes that made Victorian/Edwardian gothic literature so distinct. He was incredibly influential on later writers, so James isn't a bad start if you're looking to understand western horror's roots, and the mechanics of a good, scary story.

    15. Evan Cvitanovic

      brilliant short stories that are actually creepy - the notion of the 'thing from another place' that has sentience but is unlike anything known to man/behaves in a way that has no seemingly obvious logic or rationale. In short the lovecraftian - it all comes from james

    16. Pallav Mishra

      Considering these stories were written much after all those gothic Le Fanu/Poe/Stoker, they shouldn't have been this "lame". Quite disappointed with the stories.

    17. Maria

      En realidad solo he leído 14 relatos (más o menos la mitad) y me han gustado, pero para leerlos del tirón es demasiado, me satura. Me gustan mucho las historias de fantasmas de James, a veces te habla a ti como lector para explicar algo. Y todas son bastante originales.

    18. Ian Casey

      My cursory research into the masters of the ghost story form soon divulged the name of one Montague Rhodes James. H.P. Lovecraft named him a 'modern master' of horror, and as the latter is to date my sole reference point for short horror stories, I read James through that lens. James for his part did not reciprocate the appreciation (to put it mildly), but no matter.Some points of comparison are plainly apparent. For one, the scale with James is intimate. In Lovecraft, man is scarcely a speck of [...]

    19. Pat Padden

      M.R. James was the provost of King's College, Cambridge as well as of Eton College in the years from 1905 to 1936. A medieval scholar, a writer of guidebooks to the abbeys of Britain and to the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, translator of Biblical Apocrypha, and author of such weighty tomes as "A Descriptive Catalogue of the Library of Samuel Pepys", "The Wanderings and Homes of Manuscripts" and "A Descriptive Catalogue of the McClean Collection of Manuscripts in the Fitzwilliam Museum" he spe [...]

    20. D. J.

      (Review of the 592 page hardback "Collectors Library" edition.)I've been a fan of M. R. James' stories for well over thirty years. Few authors of the past 150 years can craft a ghost story with such an impact as James regularly managed. I've recently re-read many of James' stories on my Kindle as they are in the public domain and freely available, but I was excited to get this hardback collection to have something tangible and to hand down to my kids to ignite their imagination once they are old [...]

    21. Nicole

      Well maybe its just me.erning that the ratings of the complete classic collection of M.R.James book are most of the time four or five out of five. And concerning that this is my third book of these kind and as much as the other ones really couldn't get me, maybe its really meI don't know.I have read before Dickens Ghost Stories and The best Ghost Stories ( which included one or two of Dickens tellings again) and they weren't my books. But because I bought them all together at once ( so I still h [...]

    22. Greg Meyer

      Hoooooo boy. On the one hand, the seeds of many of these stories are excellent. "Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, Lad," "Count Magnus," "A School Story," and "The Treasure of Abbot Thomas" are all quite good. But others are Not so great. M.R. James was a scholar, and he tends to write like a scholar, in a manner that's very dry and detached. (Lovecraft had a similar problem.) Not only that, but some of the stories are so strange that it goes from eerie into absurd. Something that really bugged [...]

    23. Orlando Tosetto

      Na verdade eu acabei este livro faz tempo, mas só agora vi que não o tinha finalizado aqui. Fãs de horror contemporâneo provavelmente não vão gostar muito de M. R. James, porque o horror nele é implícito, é mais de atmosfera que de fatos, e seus protagonistas são pessoas que já quase não se vêem mais, ou que andam se escondendo: estudiosos e céticos não radicais - gente que teria nojo da ATEA. Uma pena, porque as histórias aqui são todas excelentes e muito bem escritas. Aliás, [...]

    24. Giacomo Placucci

      Simply astounding. This volume would be worth reading just for the historical/literary value these stories have in regards to horror and fantastic literature, but it's also one of the most impressive collection of ghost stories ever, if not the best one. Some of the tales remain after more than a century genuinely terrifying, "Oh whistle and I'll come to you" being one of the creepiest read I have had in a while.If you are into ghost stories and fantastic literature in general, this is a must-re [...]

    25. Eric Aguirre

      Me gustaron la mayoría de estos cuentos, sin embargo, yo de este libro recomiendo los siguientes: el grabado, el fresno, la habitación número 13, el conde Magnus, silba y acudiré, la rosaleda, el cercado de Martín, un episodio de la historia de una catedral, panoramas de la colina, una velada junto al fuego, había un hombre que vivía junto a un cementerio, cuando anochece en el parque y el pozo de las lamentaciones.

    26. Kevin Lucia

      Just finished this, and I'm still unsure of my opinion. I don't think I really liked it as much as 4 stars, but I liked it MORE than only three stars, if that makes any sense. Some of the stories were truly chilling, others were very neat and clever ideas, and some just kinda bounced off my head. Still an important voice in the development of the ghost story, however.

    27. Jane

      Not dreadfully scary, but perhaps not the best book to get for the Kindle Paperwhite I got for Christmas. The idea was that it would allow me to read in bed in the dark without disturbing my sleeping husband, but I did actually put it down part-way through "Oh whistle and I'll come to you"

    28. Susan

      My favorite book of classic British ghost stories, ever - I reread it every year in October or December, and I find more to admire in these masterfully written and memorably spooky stories every time.

    29. Kristina

      Inevitably different stories will haunt different readers. Personnally I found 'Count Magus' and 'The Mezzotint' more disturbing than some of the more famous tales. Each tale is told as though at an informal gathering, taking the reader into the author's confidence.

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