fiction · horror

Review: Tales of the Lost

Author: Richard Howard

Publisher: Matador

Genre: Horror, General Fiction

Summary from Netgalley:

“Something in that magical atmosphere had subtly changed as if the previous stillness had been merely a portent to some mysterious event… He tilted his head to catch whatever sound it was that suddenly made him feel that someone, or something, was watching him.”

Tales of the Lost is a book of short stories for adults, ranging from realms of fantasy to modern-day settings. Richard Howard’s stories are born out of a lifelong love of ghost stories and ‘curious tales’, which he read as a child. Some are ghost stories, others are simply scary, and most have a twist in the tail. In each story, there is a character who, one way or another, feels lost.

One story, Flora’s Return, takes its main character from Henry James’ novella The Turn of the Screw, which was filmed in 1960 as The Innocents. Richard takes this story, which he believes is one of the finest ghost stories ever written, and continues it with an exciting new twist.

Richard’s stories are based on his experiences of growing up in a house with its own ghosts during his childhood. Ghosts created by the author M.R.James, the many aspects of horror and disquiet by William Hope Hodgson, the dark humour of Saki and the relationship between man and the forces of nature in Arthur Machen and Algernon Blackwood have all inspired the author to contribute to the short story genre.

From science fiction to fairy tales, stories have been written that allow us to enjoy feeling scared in a safe environment. This collection will not disappoint.

Comments:

I received a free digital copy from the author/publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest feedback.

I don’t usually read a book of short stories so this was a welcome change. I got to admit that I also was drawn to this because of the pretty book cover. After finishing the book, I think the cover could be more interesting and could perhaps be more connected with the stories.

The short stories in this collection varies in length and introduces different creatures from ghosts, to folklore, to even Greek mythology. I enjoy the horror genre, but not particularly some of those which were presented in this book. Still, it was an enjoyable read. I did have a couple of favorites – Flora’s Return and Outrage. There was an air of mystery on both accounts and although they were predictable, still made me excited to have the whole plot revealed.

Overall, I would recommend this to those who would delight in short and easy reads, mostly on fantasy-horror.

My Rating: ★★★ (3)

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