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Review of The Supernatural Reader

     Sometimes I will do book reviews. However, I won't be reviewing the latest releases. Plenty of folk will make comments about the latest Stephen King or name-yer-author release. Instead, I'll be looking at older books that you'll find in used book stores and such.
     For my first review, I'll be looking at The Supernatural Reader, an anthology edited by Groff Conklin, Collier Books Publisher. I have the 1973 printing (ninth printing), but the book saw its first printing in 1953. The stories inside were written in the range of 1894 to 1951.


book cover supernatural

   I'll be making commentary on a few of the stories within this book. I'm new at this, so please forgive my inexperience. Don't expect insightful in-depth analysis. I'm just mostly concerned if it was a good read.
     This is a worthy book if you come across it in a book store. It has been reprinted at least 9 times!

 

The Swap, by H.F. Heard.

Neat little tale about two friends and their experience of switching bodies using an ancient Sufi trance technique. Each experience the others differences and pains while complaining how terrible their bodies are. I kept waiting for it to turn naughty, perhaps it would have if written today.

 

The Pavilion, by E. Nesbit.

Interesting murder twist on what one first suspects would be a ghost story. Lesson learned here is be suspicious of your friends.

 

The Thing In The Cellar, by David H. Keller

Great story! Leaves you with that What The Hell Happened feeling. We need to pay attention to the little Tommy Tuckers of the world when it comes to weird feelings about the basement. Just because you don't sense something doesn't mean there isn’t something there. The doctor should be commented for his draconian attitudes toward a child's mental health. Here is his suggestion to the parents on how to deal with the child’s fear of the cellar door:

 

"Nail the door open so he can't close it. Leave him alone there for an hour, and then go and laugh at him and show him how silly it was for him to be afraid of an empty cellar."

 

Hate to see what would have happened if the kid had a fear of clowns. "Leave him at the circus alone and pay the clowns to run up and laugh at him. The closer the better. Tommy will see just how silly everything is."

 

Bird Of Prey, by John Collier

Well, there is never enough stories where a parrot is the bad guy. Don't trust a Polly! Makes me want to write a store about a sinister hamster. Or expand on the parrot theme. Wait...I got it...I'll title it Bloody Night Of The Norwegian Blue.

 

Are You Run Down, Tired..., by Babette Rosmond and Lenard lake

Be wary if your health supplements are produced by wizards, could prove to be a killer.

 

The Tombling Day, by Ray Bradbury

If you dig up an old friend, might as well let 'em spend the night.

 

 

     I love anthologies. You get a taste of many different authors, and if there is one that strikes yer fancy, you can seek 'em out next time at the bookshop.

 

     If you come across The Supernatural Reader, buy it, you won't be sorry. Well worth the read.

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Eldon Litchfield

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