Friday, 29 September 2017

A Creepy Company

Joan Aiken
Puffin Books

Here are ten ghastly, ghostly, weird and witty tales from a master of suspense, Joan Aiken. Each macabre story takes readers from the everyday world to the fantastic, creating a collection full of delightful shivers that will hold readers spellbound.

I've a real love for Joan Aiken's stories and have enjoyed several anthologies of her ghostly tales. This one is not going to trouble the best of them but it can sit proudly amongst the rest.

A Creepy Company consists of 11 stories of the supernatural mostly with a young adult audience in mind, as befits the publisher. There are a few stand out stories like the murderous, ghostly children of 'Toomie' and 'Little Nym', the vengeful spirit that condemns a man to a life of tedium and loveless drudgery in 'Die From Day To Day', the gossipy folk horror of 'My Disability' and the obsessive and miserly creature feature of 'They Have Found Out'. There's nothing about the other six to dislike and on a different day I'd probably have listed one or two others as the standouts.

It's always a pleasure to be allowed to take a stroll in the lady's imagination; a place of the most vivid and often unsettling beauty.

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