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The Dead of Night

Summary The Dead of Night

Ailed character studies graced with a powerful poetic elegance In simple terms Oliver Onions goes for the cerebral rather than the jugular However make no mistake his ghost stories achieve the desired effect They draw you in enmeshing you in their unnerving and disturbing narrativesThis collection contains such. I would like to commend Wordsworth for publishing great books at such affordable prices The covers are decent the pages do not rip off I have bought their edition of The Karamazov Brothers carried it with me everywhere and my copy remains in one piece and their criteria of what to publish is outstanding I recently became very interested in supernatural fiction but did not know where to start So based on the reviews by other users I have bough a handfull about 10 of titles from the Wordsworth Tales of Mystery and The Supernatural collection and so far I have not been faulted MR James Lefanu Ambrose Bierce E Nesbit where some of the authors I bought from said collection And as much as I have enjoyed every one of the authors I have mentioned I was particularly impressed with Oliver Onions To define his short fiction as ghost stories is rather innacurate and reductive for they are very diverse and many times do not mention ghosts in the least The scope and range of his stories is suprisingly diverse as it deals with individuals with very different backgrounds diverse preocupations and of stronger or frailer minds The stories that refer to the inability of an artist to dissassociate with their creation and being engolfed by it in a particular case merging with it or did he are the ones that speak out the most to me specially the thoroughly excellent Benlian and The Beckoning Fair One All in all a great collection that features all of Onions supernatural fiction at a great price It seems to me uite unfair how overlooked Onions seems to be Benlian was definatly one of the best short stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading I suggest that this book should be read without the anticipation of a jolly good scare but approached as a intellectual and cerebral experience that challenges one's beliefs for your belief or not in forces beyond our comprehension will afect how you perceive most the stories Higly recommended

Read ☆ E-book, or Kindle E-pub É Oliver Onions

Masterpieces as The Rosewood Door The Ascending Dream The Painted Face and The Beckoning Fair One a story which both Algernon Blackwood and H P Lovecraft regarded as one of the most effective and subtle ghost stories in all literature Long out of print these classic tales are a treasure trove of nightmarish ge. I didn't like this I can't pinpoint why unless it's that I like stories that get to the point and Onions takes too much time doing so I'd start the book read a bit set it aside come back to it then start skipping pages which is always a bad sign and finally after 3 months tossed it in my give to charity box All in all a disappointing experience because I'd heard so much about how good OO is supposed to be

Oliver Onions É 9 Summary

With an Introduction by David Stuart DaviesOliver Onions is uniue in the realms of ghost story writers in that his tales are so far ranging in their background and substance that they are not easily categorised His stories are powerfully charged explorations of psychical violence their effects heightened by det. For some reason these Wordsworth collections of old ghost stories often take me many months to read probably because they are uite intense and sesuipedalian that reading any than one or two stories together get's a bit much Taken in small doses though they are deeply enjoyableOliver Onions as an English writer of ghost stories in the early twentieth century one might be inclined to compare him to M R James In terms of uality and subtlety they are indeed of a kind but there the similarity ends Onion's had by far a greater range in his work As well as the conventional ghost stories he explored many other aspects of the supernatural and weird For me this sets him above James controversial as this assertion might seemI particularly enjoyed the famous Beckoning Fair One a disturbing tale of a haunting by a possessive female ghost that warps the mind of her victim Rooum is a weird story of a man pursued by an invisible runner that when runs through him causes him a wrenching pain In Benlian the narrator falls under the spell of a sculptor who is trying to literally put himself into his work Hic Jacet explores the tension between artistic integrity and commercialisation and whether they can ever be reconciled In Real People the characters in an author's novel begin to take on a life of their own Resurrection in Bronze is about how much one might be prepared to give up for their art As you can see the artist in various mediums is often the focus of his storiesI didn't enjoy all the stories herein but this is a real bumper volume containing apparently most of the writer's work in a supernatural vein There are bound to be some weaker tales But by and large there are some real gems that made this a great collection to read L'Empire ottoman et l'Europe (TEMPUS t. 697) powerfully charged explorations of La Mecque : Des origines à nos jours psychical violence their effects heightened by det. For some reason these Wordsworth collections of old ghost stories often take me many months to read L'Islam pour les Nuls poche probably because they are uite intense and sesuipedalian that reading any than one or two stories together get's a bit much Taken in small doses though they are deeply enjoyableOliver Onions as an English writer of ghost stories in the early twentieth century one might be inclined to compare him to M R James In terms of uality and subtlety they are indeed of a kind but there the similarity ends Onion's had by far a greater range in his work As well as the conventional ghost stories he explored many other aspects of the supernatural and weird For me this sets him above James controversial as this assertion might seemI Histoire du Proche-Orient contemporain (Repères t. 654) particularly enjoyed the famous Beckoning Fair One a disturbing tale of a haunting by a Dr. Saoud et Mr. Djihad (Le monde comme il va) possessive female ghost that warps the mind of her victim Rooum is a weird story of a man O Jérusalem pursued by an invisible runner that when runs through him causes him a wrenching AMNESIQUES pain In Benlian the narrator falls under the spell of a sculptor who is trying to literally Histoire du Moyen-Orient (Poches essais t. 266) put himself into his work Hic Jacet explores the tension between artistic integrity and commercialisation and whether they can ever be reconciled In Real People the characters in an author's novel begin to take on a life of their own Resurrection in Bronze is about how much one might be L'Islam pour les nuls prepared to give up for their art As you can see the artist in various mediums is often the focus of his storiesI didn't enjoy all the stories herein but this is a real bumper volume containing apparently most of the writer's work in a supernatural vein There are bound to be some weaker tales But by and large there are some real gems that made this a great collection to read


10 thoughts on “The Dead of Night

  1. says:

    Oliver Onions is probably best known for his excellent The Beckoning Fair One which will live in my head as one of the greatest ghost stories of all time one that explores the tenuous connection between as editor David Stuart Davies says in his introduction to this book creativity and insanity That one I've read several times and I'd read it several times again because it's so good It's his lesser known stories that captured my attention here and there are twenty four of them in this collection While several of these tales follow on in the same thematic mode as The Beckoning Fair One there are many that branch out in other directions including but not limited to traditional ghostly fare time slips reincarnation murder ghosts who enter the present via objects from the past and strangely enough lycanthropy and a bizarre Kali like cult All are a beautiful blending of the supernatural and the psychological which is actually why I'm drawn to this author in particular Even though I read this sort of thing for fun I also read in order to extract what I can about different aspects of human nature and Oliver Onions has this uncanny knack of moving deep and directly into the psyche While the stories are not all what I'd call perfect The Dead of Night is a must have collection worth owning for the home library and definitely a no miss collection for the avid ghost story reader I love Oliver Onions' work and he should really be read by anyone aspiring to write horror Not that I fit that bill but he has a lot to offer very highly recommendedhttpwwwoddlyweirdfictioncom2017


  2. says:

    I had never heard of Oliver Onions until I ran across his name on whilst purchasing collections of MR James Algernon Blackwood and EF Benson I had never read any of these authors prior to 2012 and they are all brilliant writers Who can resist reading an author named Oliver Onions anyway?OO is great at building character and atmosphere The amazing thing about his stories as well as those of the other I believe famous writers I've mentioned here is that they are still scary all these years later They do not rely on blood and gore and shock so much as the slow growing inward terror of shifting states of mind Am I going mad? What did I just see or think I saw? Is my friend trying to kill me? I love to read these stories late at night curled up with my cat and a comforting cup of tea


  3. says:

    For some reason these Wordsworth collections of old ghost stories often take me many months to read probably because they are uite intense and sesuipedalian that reading any than one or two stories together get's a bit much Taken in small doses though they are deeply enjoyableOliver Onions as an English writer of ghost stories in the early twentieth century one might be inclined to compare him to M R James In terms of uality and subtlety they are indeed of a kind but there the similarity ends Onion's had by far a greater range in his work As well as the conventional ghost stories he explored many other aspects of the supernatural and weird For me this sets him above James controversial as this assertion might seemI particularly enjoyed the famous Beckoning Fair One a disturbing tale of a haunting by a possessive female ghost that warps the mind of her victim Rooum is a weird story of a man pursued by an invisible runner that when runs through him causes him a wrenching pain In Benlian the narrator falls under the spell of a sculptor who is trying to literally put himself into his work Hic Jacet explores the tension between artistic integrity and commercialisation and whether they can ever be reconciled In Real People the characters in an author's novel begin to take on a life of their own Resurrection in Bronze is about how much one might be prepared to give up for their art As you can see the artist in various mediums is often the focus of his storiesI didn't enjoy all the stories herein but this is a real bumper volume containing apparently most of the writer's work in a supernatural vein There are bound to be some weaker tales But by and large there are some real gems that made this a great collection to read


  4. says:

    Let this review be a warning to the modern reader with limited reading time There's some true masterpieces here but I'm reviewing the WHOLE book which I read in my masochistic completismThe few great stories here subtly and skillfully build psychological suspense and release it in conclusions with emotional punch that's as undeniable as it is uncommon These aren't easy stories though; some will find them elusive overly psychological and certainly a few are sentimental to a faultI can only wholeheartedly recommend a handful of these tales In this day and age when we have access to so much literature I can't honestly tell you to bother with most of this I love slow atmospheric stories but many of these are far from even having a tinge of the supernatural and I feel Onions can get bogged in his own style In a few cases the stories veer off into flights of vagary that left me at a loss to untangle them I specifically love this sense of vagueness from Robert Aickman for example but here I just felt cheatedLike me some will approach Oliver Onions because the style is reminiscent of M R James and other traditionalists That's true but that doesn't mean everything here is worth your time If you want something Jamesian read the handful of good stories reviewed below then go read R H Malden's obscure but excellent collection Nine Ghosts a deeply Jamesian under appreciated collection Seek out E F Benson; his 50 ghost stories are consistently good Look up H R Wakefield Walter de la Mare or for a real scare seek out Sheridan Le Fanu whom James admired Even Sir Andrew Caldecott's often mediocre stories are a blast compared to much of this Take it up a notch to something advanced and rewarding with some Robert Aickman For a modern author Reggie Oliver writes some good traditional horror stories Regardless with all of these options there's too much out there to bother with about 23rds of this bookMy issues with this collection aside the first third is composed of generally excellent stories There's two stories I plan to re read The Beckoning Fair One and The Rope in the Rafters which I'd say are reuired reading for ghost story lovers I'd suggest reading these slowly one a day at mostThe Beckoning Fair One This is one of the best haunted house stories ever written it takes some time to get going but it becomes subtly vaguely and genuinely eerie An author settles into an old house to work and becomes of a hermit to his girlfriend and everyone as his sole focus becomes a presence in the housePhantas A bit confusing at times a sad tale but powerful and atmospheric A captain on a slowly sinking ship hallucinates about his past life and meets another ship of the futureRooum A very strange story that I like especially for how it's told even though it doesn't make complete sense A man who can work miracles on a construction site fears a runner who is trying to catch himBenlian Another obsessive artist tale in my top five stories here Subtle and creepy in it's perspective A painter of miniatures becomes intrigued with a sculptor who speaks of passing into his creationThe Ascending Dream A powerful emotional story a portent of disaster than a ghost tale Throughout the ages men have dreamed of exploring farther into the unknown while their women worry after themThe Honey in the Wall I like this story but a ghost story? No of a sad romance but with a slightly ghostly atmosphere connected with an old portrait A young woman living with her mother in a deeply indebted estate struggles with her inability to open herself up to a manThe Rosewood Door Very strange tale which in both length and romantic tone is similar to the previous one albeit a little better Like that one it has the merest touch of the supernatural A man gets a beautiful bowed door and places it on his guest bedroom A woman staying there sees a man emerge with a sword and soon afterward her lover feared dead in World War I returns to her but she fears letting him get near the door lest he be lost to her againThe Accident Another surreal one I liked it even if it's not REALLY a horror or ghost story A man meets an old friendenemy for dinner who has come down in life but claims to have really lived and done it allIo A good subtle heady tale with a pagan feel A girl recovering from an illness tries to recall the recurrent dreams she had during it with a great yearning for ancient myths much to the worry of her fianceeThe Painted Face At 37000 words I really wished I could say I liked this story it does have a subtlety to it an interesting theme but it was probably the most boring thing I've read all year over 30 story collections thus far I like the overall idea here but Onions has actually written on similar themes before and this is stretched out into a romance that drags the story and the weirdhorror elements are minimal A lot to wade through for little reward A shy girl travels with a group of girls to Tunisia and slowly her true personality comes out an ancient soul cursed for a deed from long agoThe Out Sister On the face of it and in overall outline this is a rather average ghost story but it's far subtle and psychological than most Still I can't say it was a story I'd revisit and unless you're seeking only the lightest touch of the eerie keep looking A girl visits an old convent and meets a young nun who isn't what she seems John Gladwin Says This was a good psychological supernatural tale touching melancholy a bit of a ghost story perhaps A man enters an old decayed church where he has visions of meeting and marrying his wife and the great gifts and loses in his lifeHic Jacet I liked this story the ending is a masterpiece of built up suspense It's one of depth and subtlety and it maintains the interest throughout far better than many others here At first I was asking if this was yet ANOTHER haunted portrait story but this one goes far deeper and has a lot to say about true art versus entertainment for the masses The main character seems to be an obvious reference to Arthur Conan Doyle A hack detective story writer is asked to write the biography of his friend an obscure but talented polish painter who unlike the writer sought out true art During the process he experiences than a few supernatural struggles that make him confront the nature of his own workThe Rocker A story full of wintry fireside atmosphere a mild little ghost story subtle muted brief and minor but not bad A gypsy can see the ghost of a woman's child which she believed only she could see Dear Dryad This is as far as one can get from a ghost story or horror story and although the middle section is a confusing muddle I actually enjoyed the overall story Onions rather florid language is effective here An ancient oak inspires love between couples throughout the ages The Real People I liked this story yet again it's hardly a ghost or horror tale but it generates a suspense with a subtle air of the supernatural which builds uite effectively over it's novella length 21k words It's humorous and the character of the scheming little social climber is uite funnyfrustrating to watch but the central character acts like such an utter fool that he frankly gets what he deserves A hack writer of romance novels finds one of his character's uncannily asserting herself in his story and making it scandalously real to life and less idealistic which will sell better Later he meets a woman and she does this in his own well ordered life The Cigarette Case I'd read this one as part of an anthology years ago all I recall is not being overly impressed It seemed like a fairly average overly predictable ghost tale of two men who unknowingly spend an evening with some ghostsThe Rope in the Rafters OK THIS was a great story reminded me a little of de la Mare's Out of the Deep it's got a thick magnificent atmosphere and is very emotional This story is of a lower calibre than The Beckoning Fair One but like that one I could see re reading this one and this is as good or better than anything else in the collection A disfigured WWI veteran retreats to an isolated chateau to recover and feels an increasing isolation from the outside world and an obsession with a ghostly presence in his bedroom Resurrection in Bronze Powerful story of artistic obsession I thought it was very effective in this regard but this is hardly a ghost tale Similar feel to the other tales of artistic obsession in this volume without the supernatural elements Not being clear on how wax bronze molding is done forgive my ignorance made parts of this much harder to grasp than need be An artist becomes obsessed with creating a sculpture on a deadline neglecting his wife and daughter for weeks and leading to tragedy for all The Woman in the Way A decent ghost story told in a rather whimsical way This feels a bit like a traditional Victorian era ghost story M R James lite without a focus on generating fear investigaton A priests account of a young man haunted by the ghost of a woman in a field in 1665 is expored along with speculation as to why she dogs the young man The Smile of Karen Once again we find a non supernatural tale however this is still a fairly suspenseful story well paced I loved the setting and growing tension and it's better than a few of the supernatural based stories frankly An Englishman staying in a German Swiss hotel during the skiing season gets involved with a simple lumberjack his young unhappy wife and her rake of a lover Two Trifles The Ether Hogs The Mortal A couple trifles indeed yawn ghost stories humorously told from the perspectives of the ghosts In the first a council of ghosts wants to put a stop to radio waves which are invading their domain in the second a ghost dares being exorcised when he enters the room of a sleeping parson The Master of the House This feels like the biggest lost opportunity in the collection; its got an interesting idea at it's base nice setting and is almost a decent mystery with a bit of a yellow peril feel thrown in but it just bored me It doesn't generate the atmosphere it ought to The last third of it I just had to barrel through A sister and her brothers move into the house of an old man who will remain living there but largely unseen One of the brothers start to suspect the man's servant is a shapeshifter one of them attempted to arrest in India Tragic Casements This almost feels like an E F Benson tale but with added vaguery and dreamy atmospherics A greenhouse built with used glass is found to be plagued with all manner of criminal spirits


  5. says:

    I would like to commend Wordsworth for publishing great books at such affordable prices The covers are decent the pages do not rip off I have bought their edition of The Karamazov Brothers carried it with me everywhere and my copy remains in one piece and their criteria of what to publish is outstanding I recently became very interested in supernatural fiction but did not know where to start So based on the reviews by other users I have bough a handfull about 10 of titles from the Wordsworth Tales of Mystery and The Supernatural collection and so far I have not been faulted MR James Lefanu Ambrose Bierce E Nesbit where some of the authors I bought from said collection And as much as I have enjoyed every one of the authors I have mentioned I was particularly impressed with Oliver Onions To define his short fiction as ghost stories is rather innacurate and reductive for they are very diverse and many times do not mention ghosts in the least The scope and range of his stories is suprisingly diverse as it deals with individuals with very different backgrounds diverse preocupations and of stronger or frailer minds The stories that refer to the inability of an artist to dissassociate with their creation and being engolfed by it in a particular case merging with it or did he? are the ones that speak out the most to me specially the thoroughly excellent Benlian and The Beckoning Fair One All in all a great collection that features all of Onions supernatural fiction at a great price It seems to me uite unfair how overlooked Onions seems to be Benlian was definatly one of the best short stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading I suggest that this book should be read without the anticipation of a jolly good scare but approached as a intellectual and cerebral experience that challenges one's beliefs for your belief or not in forces beyond our comprehension will afect how you perceive most the stories Higly recommended


  6. says:

    This collection’s subtitle is rather unfortunate and misleading Few of these stories could be described as ghost stories in any ordinary sense Rather these tend to be enigmatic ambiguous weird tales focused on inner psychological landscapes of their protagonists Supernatural is barely if at all present – but even when they are slight and when their objective reality is in uestion Onions’ evocations of supernatural are effective and truly unclassifiable Uncanny really is uncanny in many of these stories One recurrent motif here is that of artists and creative acts Onions’ saturnine artists are always haunted if rarely by ghostsCenterpiece here is “The Beckoning Fair One“ one of those endlessly reprinted stories that open themselves to nigh infinite amount of interpretations This is psychological ghost story par excellence up there with any of Aickman or de la Mare‘s best stories It sets the stage for this whole collection in its subtlety and slow pace its ambiguity and collapsing distinction between inner and outer reality its theme of artistic obsessionOther stories of particular note arePhantas – a tale of time slip or of a haunting told from the perspective of a ghost or of man coming with terms with his death? Puzzling haunting little story with superbly evoked dreamlike atmosphereBenlian – veritable crystallization of Onions‘ recurrent theme of obsessive artists and creative actsThe Ascending Dream – three recurrences in different eras of same archetypal tale displaying same contrast between masculine and feminine impulsesThe Rosewood Door – titular object is either a medium in the projection of animus or in reunion of eternal soul mates or something else altogether Whatever the case there is a growing sense of inescapable tragedy leading up to memorable finaleThe Accident – successful painter is haunted by his own anxieties and perhaps by his own life choices Psychological study with no supernatural elements one that is also something of a tribute to Decadent movementIo – story of a young woman given to dreaming contrasted with her fiance who appears to be this veritable incarnation of mundane modernity this can also be seen as a tale of repressed artistic impulse seeking some form of outletThe Rope In The Rafters – inverted ghost story of sorts with a perticularly bleak and tragic post WW1 taste Another excellent psychological studyResurrection In Bronze – comparable to Benlian this is another striking tale of artistic obsession Protagonist‘s single minded work is contrasted with her wife’s jealousy Ultimately they are united in his creative act and her two fold jealousy is satisfied tho in this singularly tragic self sacrificial manner No overt supernatural elements here but the entire artistic process is presented in this primordial magico alchemical lightRemaining tales that originated in „Widdershins“ as well as short novel „The Painted Face“ are also worthwhile There are some dubious selections here even so since this collection would be of significant length even if some half of its contents were to be excluded Onions can‘t be described as the easiest writer to read compared to other weird fictionist from his time period given the exceeding subtlety slow pace and often novella lengths of these stories Unfortunate effect of this that readers can easily grow tired of him and end up skipping some of the better stories in this collection


  7. says:

    Some great stories in here notably 'Benlian' and 'The Rope in the Rafters' as well as the invaluable 'Beckoning Fair One' Padded with lesser stories that tend to follow a fairly deadpan supernatural romance formula but Onions' wry characterisations and chilling atmospherics make them worth ploughing through anyway to be fair a couple such stories are really excellent Artistic inspiration is a recurring theme and one which Onions handles expertly and insightfully 'Resurrection in Bronze' meriting particular attention for its stark depiction of a sculptor sublimating everything for the sake of his creation The frankly woeful 'Painted Face' could be avoided but I suppose that type of thing sold pretty well in the periodicals back then Another awesomely affordable Wordsworth Edition and the first widely available comprehensive collection of Onions' supernatural fiction DESERVES TO BE READ


  8. says:

    In his opening Credo which is absolutely key to properly enjoying and understanding this book author Oliver Onions describes the stories as ranging between the infra red and ultra sound of ghostly fiction ie the impression of ghostiliness and the intangible other is important to his stories than the actual appearance of spiritual apparitions Onions crafts psychical planes in which personas murkily dimmer and flow into one another This approach is ingeniously displayed in such fine ghost stories as The Beckoning Fair One Benlian The Rosewood Door and The Rope in the Rafters each of which is suffused with a depth of psychological acuity and rich texture of character It should be noted for those looking for traditional classic horror fiction that many of the stories contained within these pages are only faintly recognisable as ghost stories –and only then on an emotional level In this regard Onions was working within the same penumbra of of the psychological ghostly as Walter de la Mare and both artists were important pioneers of the kind of strange psychological ghostly fiction that was mastered consistently by its greatest practitioner Mr Robert Aickman The stories in The Dead of Night feature prose as fine as the genre has to offer I did feel overall that the book was perhaps rather too inclusive with many stories failing to fit even my broad definition of the ghostly tale though this doorstop of a book's shockingly low price makes any significant complaint of 'too much content' untenable especially considering the prior availability Some of the stories I was unsure whether to consider ghost stories such as The Honey in the Wall Resurrection in Bronze and The Real People turned out to be among the surprise highlights of the book due to the strength of the writing – though others alas seemed to be either overwrought or mere trifles A word of advice would be to judiciously select the handful of essential stories to read first based on recommendations – a good place to start being his novella length masterpiece The Beckoning Fair One which is rightly often listed as among the few greatest ghost stories ever written and frankly worth the price alone


  9. says:

    I didn't like this I can't pinpoint why unless it's that I like stories that get to the point and Onions takes too much time doing so I'd start the book read a bit set it aside come back to it then start skipping pages which is always a bad sign and finally after 3 months tossed it in my give to charity box All in all a disappointing experience because I'd heard so much about how good OO is supposed to be


  10. says:

    The four stars are in recognition of the presence of the undeniable classics like The Beckoning Fair One and Roumm and the general high uality of Onions' writing This is far and away the best value collection of Onions' short fictionthere is it's cheap and it's just about complete However the ghost story fan should be aware that about half the stories aren't ghost stories at all The collection included here 'Ghosts by Daylight' would have misled people when it was first published for there is little of the truly ghostly contained within it Even less so in 'The Painted Face' although the title story does have a supernatural element and is reminiscent of Daphne DuMaurier Despite the frustration of finding so few stories truly coming under the 'ghost' or 'weird' bracket in this massive tome Onions is such a fine writer that I enjoyed being introduced to his work When a story turned out to have a spook in it it was a bonus I read it in chunks going online to find out which stories were in which original collections


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