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In The Night In The Dark reviewed by A Ghostly Company

In the Winter 2011 edition of A Ghostly Company Newsletter, Helen Kemp joins in the praise for the new (including some classics) ghost story collection from Roger Johnson.

Roger Johnson is delighted with Paul Finch’s gratifyingly generous comments on one of his uncollected stories. You’ll find them, along with a perceptively positive review of Helen Grant’s ‘Grauer Hans’, at Paul Finch’s Blog Spurred by this, and by the apparently constant creativity of his contemporaries, Roger has finally gathered all his own better material together, including the complete ‘Tales from the Endeavour’ that were published a decade ago by Sarob, as A Ghostly Crew – now long out of print. In the Night – In the Dark: Tales of Ghosts and Less Welcome Visitors is published by MX Publishing.

I very much enjoyed (re-)reading the review copy, and I would be failing to show my gratitude if I did not urge anyone who does not have A Ghostly Crew to obtain In the Night at once. The stories from A Ghostly Crew are largely superb examples of Jamesiana, with terrible things happening to (moderately) harmless people in delightfully elegant prose.

I have tried to pick out my favourites from this section, but I might as well just list the Contents and be done with it. The other stories in this volume fall into a group I would call Lovecraft-related, and another I would call a mixed bag. I like the Lovecraft stories very much, and the mixed bag has some interesting items too, but there is no denying I would very much have liked to hear more from A Ghostly Crew! How about it, Roger?

In The Night, In The Dark is available through all good bookstores including Amazon UK,and Amazon USA,

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in Book Reviews, Ghost Stories

 

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In The Night In The Dark reviewed by SFRevu

“Johnson’s talent as an author of dark fiction is striking and his ability to explore the different shades of the genre are remarkable as shown in this very enjoyable book.”

In The Night, In The Dark is a collection of supernatural ghost stories from Roger Johnson that includes the collection ‘The Tales from the Endeavour’ which won the 2001 Dracula Society’s Children of the Night Award for 2001 (an award first won by Sir Terry Pratchett with ‘Mort’).

“Roger Johnson is a dark fantasy writer…and a chameleon. Ten years ago he published a collection of ghost stories in the tradition of MR James, entitled A Ghostly Crew: Tales of the Endeavour , including fifteen uncanny tales of reincarnation, witchcraft and revenge, featuring demons and other ghastly creatures, revengeful revenants and so on. Three of the stories, “The Scarecrow” where folklore gets a deadly , terrifying aspect, “The Wall-Painting” disclosing the true nature of a sinister saint, and “The Soldier”, about a strange army in a very strange church, were selected for a famous Year’s Best anthology. Slightly revised, the tales originally assembled in that early collection constitute now the first section of the present volume.

By contrast, the stories contained in the second section of In the Night In the Dark exhibit a quite different kind of fiction. Instead of the unnerving, eerie quality typical of the classic ghost stories, Johnson provides here a bunch of vivid Lovecraftian pastiches (“Aliah Warden”, “The Dreaming City”, etc.) as well as a few tales revisiting the themes and the atmosphere related to Robert W Chambers’ famous “The King in Yellow”, with a little help by Oscar Wilde.

To further prove the eclectic character of Johnson’s work, the final section of the book, called “More Things in Heaven and Earth” is a miscellanea of different styles and moods in the field of dark fantasy, such as the adventures of an incompetent ghost hunter and the clever semi-historical reconstruction of the infamous activities of the Bloody Countess, Elisabeth Bathory, depicted in the excellent “Love, Death and the Maiden”.

Johnson’s talent as an author of dark fiction is striking and his ability to explore the different shades of the genre are remarkable as shown in this very enjoyable book.”

In The Night, In The Dark is available through all good bookstores including Amazon UK,and Amazon USA and in electronic formats including Amazon Kindle.

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2011 in Book Reviews, Ghost Stories

 

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In The Night In The Dark reviewed by The Supernatural Tales

“All in all, this volume is worth buying for the first section alone – The Tales from the Endeavour are quite superb, and make great winter reading. But there’s more, you lucky people. The second section, ‘Things from Beyond’, offers horrors that are Lovecraftian, by and large……..In brief, there’s something for everyone here. I defy anyone who likes supernatural fiction not to be satisfied with this volume”.

In The Night, In The Dark is a collection of supernatural ghost stories from Roger Johnson that includes the collection ‘The Tales from the Endeavour’ which won the 2001 Dracula Society’s Children of the Night Award for 2001 (an award won in subsequent years by the likes of Sir Terry Pratchett).

You can read the full review on The Supernatural Tales Blog.

In The Night, In The Dark is available through all good bookstores including Amazon UK,and Amazon USA,

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2011 in Book Reviews, Ghost Stories

 

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