Horror October: The Travelling Bag and Other Ghostly Stories by Susan Hill #BookReview #HorrorOctober

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a2Title: The Travelling Bag and Other Ghostly Stories
Author: Susan Hill
Series: N/A
Format: Hardback, 160 pages
Publication Details: September 29th 2016 by Profile Books
Genre(s): Short Story Collection; Supernatural; Ghost Stories
Disclosure? Nope I bought it! 

Goodreads 

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Walter Craig was a clever scientist. As a young man he took away all the honours and prizes and some of his work was ground-breaking. But after he became seriously ill, his genius faded, and he needed the help of an assistant. When Silas Webb was appointed to the job he seemed the perfect choice, but he always preferred to work alone, even in secret. Then, quite suddenly, Webb disappeared.

Why ?

Later, Craig opens a prestigious scientific journal and finds a paper, containing his own work, in detail, together with the significant results he had worked out. The research is his and his alone. But the author of the paper is Dr Silas Webb.

Craig determines that he will hunt Webb down and exact revenge.

Were it not for a terrifying twist of circumstance, he might have succeeded.

Review

As I mentioned in my recent review of Self-Made Man by Poppy Z Brite, short story collections are always a bit ht and miss for me. I find short stories in general to be too vague, too brief, or just downright confusing. However, I do think an exception to the rule is generally when concerning ghost stories.

I think ghost stories tend to work in this medium. Being short and snappy and not too complex is often what make a great ghost story in my opinion, and so I was hoping for good things from this new Susan Hill collection. And I wasn’t disappointed.

I enjoyed the titular story very much. Hill mastered the whole eerie atmosphere/building suspense thing a long time ago, and you can see it here in spades. Plus, the pay off is worth it too. This story creeped me out because I, like one of the characters, am terrified of moths. They’re just gross. No need!

Other stories include Boy Twenty-One, a gentle story about two friends, one whom disappears, and then returns…but no one else can see him. This had to be my least favourite. It wasn’t bad, just a little predictable.

Alice Baker, however, the third story in this collection was by far my favourite. Hill has such a stunning way of making ordinary things seem spooky. Like a new girl in an office of close, seemingly-too-nice-to-be-true colleagues.

The fourth and final story, The Front Room is one I can barely remember to be honest. It features an evil mother taken in by her son and daughter-in-law and that’s about all my caffeine-addled brain can squeeze out right now. Obviously it didn’t blow me away!

So there you have it. A mixed bag but very enjoyable overall. A great book to batten down the hatches with this Halloween.

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The Travelling Bag is available in a stunning pocket hardback, and is 30% off at The Book Depository now. 

 

This Month in Books: September 2016 #TMIB #MonthlyRoundUp

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Hmm September, what happened to you!?

It went very fast. I’m not sure if I did anything interesting…I finally gave in and bought one of those unlimited cinema cards so I spent a lot of time at the cinema. Crime Writer of the Year, Clare Mackintosh came into my library for a talk and a workshop session. She was great. But other than that I have no idea what happened in September. I had another good reading month so maybe that’s all I did?

How do the years keep flying by faster and faster. It’s scary! I’m very happy Autumn has arrived though. I love this time of year.

September 2016 Stats

Total Posts: 18 (+ 4 from previous month)

Books Read: 6 (=) 
The Thousandth Floor ~ Katharine McGee
Labyrinth Lost ~ Zoraida Córdova
Siege and Storm ~ Leigh Bardugo
Stealing Snow ~ Danielle Page
Cut to the Bone ~ Alex Caan
Haunt Me ~ Liz Kessler

The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (5/6); Fantasy (4/6); Contemporary (1/6); Crime/Thriller (1/6)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (5/6); Digital (5/6); Hardback (0/6); Paperback (1/6) / Owned (0/6); Borrowed (1/6); For Review (5/6)

Most Surprising: Haunt Me
Most Disappointing: Stealing Snow
Most Exciting: Hmm Labyrinth Lost at a push
Most Swoon-worthy:  Siege and Storm
Most Beautifully Written: Haunt Me

Reviews: 6 (=)

    • The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee, 3/5 (View)
    • Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdovs, 3/5 (View)
    • Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige, 2/5 (View)
    • Siege & Storm by Leigh Bardugo, 3/5 (View)
    • Picture Books by Various,  (View)
    • Cut to the Bone by Alex Caan, 3/5 (View)

Most Viewed Posts

  1. Top Ten Tuesday: Fairy-tale Inspired Books
  2. Bookshop Finds: Copperfields
  3. Ten Things About…Prague

Promos, Guest Posts and Highlights

Awards

 

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TBR Shelf Update

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Earlier this year I decided I HAD to do something about my TBR shelves. Each month I’ll be doing a quick update to see how I’ve done. See my original post here, and my updated TBR list here. 

Previous TBR Count: 68

Books Added: 6

Books Read: 2

Remaining: 72

Fail!

Heard about the Flash Fiction Battle I’m hosting? NO! Where have you been? It’s not too late to vote. See all the details here.