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Short stories 136-140

As you can see below, I have started linking to online editions of the stories I have been reading. I have also gone back to the previous 365 short stories posts and linked to all the stories I could find online. I will continue to do so as I post more mini-reviews. If anyone wants to discuss the stories with me, you can post a comment under the post for the story in question.

The White Trout” by Samuel Lover. A dramatised folk tale or a short story written to resemble a folk tale, this is a nicely mythical story of how a supernatural event turns a bad man good. (The edition I read begins with the sentence "There was wanst upon a time..." - the online edition is longer)

“The Old Man’s Tale of the Queer Client” by Charles Dickens. From The Pickwick Papers. A dramatic and atmospheric tale of obsessive vengeance. While a modern reader might find it somewhat overwritten and even melodramatic, it is a fine example of the English 19th century short story. Recommended. (I'm linking to the book; the narrative is in chapter XXI)

A Terribly Strange Bed” by Wilkie Collins. Another fine example of the 19th century English short story, this one a nightmarish thriller with a long, spine-tingling build-up that Poe would have been proud to have written. Recommended.

Squire Petrick's Lady” by Thomas Hardy. Originally from A Group of Noble Dames. A well-told humorous tale about vanity.

Thrawn Janet” by Robert Louis Stevenson. A chilling and effective horror story. The use of dialect is brilliant and makes the horror more realistic, but this could prove a difficult read for a reader not familiar with the Scots accent and vocabulary, as the words are written as they should be spoken and there are a number of dialect words that would send such a reader straight to the dictionary and spoil the reading. Recommended.


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