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September 4, 2018

4

R.I.P. Dark Entries

by N@ncy

 

Strong point:   These stories get under your skin!

  1. I re-read the first story and
  2. …found so many new clues and  insights.
  3. My first reading was just…”tell me what happens!”
  4. My second reading had me
  5. …noticing the books Aickman mentions
  6. …subtle tidbits of dialogue
  7. …the use of ellipses for three sentences
  8. …why omit words here?
  9. Lesbian relationships clearly fascinated Aickman.  (Sally-Mel)
  10. They form the clear subtext of a story such as
  11. The School Friend, but even so that
  12. never impedes the advent of paranormal dread.
  13. Bits of dialogue – gestures....contain hidden secrets!

 

Strong point:

  1. Aickman has a extensive knowledge of the occult
  2. psychological insights – sense of place.
  3. I tried to pinpoint  the year the
  4. …first story took place 
  5. ..but I only found a reference to a book
  6. The Constant Nymph published 1924.

 

The Constant Nymph

  1. The Constant Nymph is a 1924 novel by Margaret Kennedy.
  2. It tells how a teenage girl falls in love with a family friend,
  3. …who eventually marries her cousin.
  4. The novel was a best-seller after it was first published (1924).
  5. A significant part of its success was due to its (for the time)
  6. …shocking sexual content, describing, as it does,
  7. …scenes of adolescent sexuality and noble savagery.
  8. Tessa  main character in the book)
  9. reminds Mel (narrator) of Sally Tressler.

 

Characterization:

  1. There are gestures that reveal more about…Sally and Mel.
  2. The author uses first person to hook the reader.
  3. Aickman writes was what he called “strange fiction”
  4. …reminiscent of the short stories of Shirley Jackson.

 

Style:

  1. Aickman’s fiction is often ambiguous, opaque even cryptic.
  2. This is not your run-of-the-mill  ghost story!
  3. He tends toward atmospheric
  4. …rather than frightening ghost stories.
  5. With a low ‘fright limit’ I was
  6. …more than pleased to read Aickman’s stories!
  7. Endings are at times hard to understand.
  8. The School Friend left this reader
  9. ….scratching behind her ear!
  10. “What was in that house?”

 

Locations:

  1. Moving between homes and hospitals,
  2. …and indeed room to room
  3. …within the school friend’s home allows
  4. …Aickman to a set up multiple places through
  5. …which the hauntings might occur.

 

Conclusion:

  1. I forgot how much fun it is to read a suspenseful short story!
  2. Two school girlfriends meet in the village after 27 years.
  3. Sally and Mel are opposites but still have a connection.
  4. Sally returns to her father’s house after his death.
  5. Mel notices…during the next few weeks
  6. …that  Sally has changed.
  7. The School Friend
  8. …slowly builds up a sense of dread.
  9. What is in Sally’s house 
  10. that has affected her so visibly?
  11. I finished the story and  was
  12. …not quite sure how it ended!
  13. Again I wonder: “What was in that house?
  14. #Excellent
  15. Now I need to take a deep breath
  16. .and start  reading something more relaxed!
Read more from short story
4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sep 4 2018

    Plus a really great cover!
    I don’t think I’ve read any Aickman. Sense of place as a strong point is definitely a selling point to me.

    Reply
    • Sep 4 2018

      These stories are not white knuckle suspense
      but more like subtle increase in atmospheric pressure around you as you read
      ….like a storm approaching! I’m trying to discover who write some of the best ghost stories!
      I’m still looking for stories by an unexpected Anglo-Irish writer….Elisabeth Bowen!
      I never thought she would write spooky..but she’ supposed to be very good!
      Thanks for your comments!

      Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. R.I.P. Readers Imbibing Peril | NancyElin
  2. Week in Review – September 10, 2018

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