A mysterious depiction of masked revellers at the Venice carnival hangs in the college rooms of Oliver's old professor in Cambridge. On this cold winter's night, its eerie secret is revealed by the ageing don. The dark art of the Venetian scene, instead of imitating life, has the power to entrap it. To stare into the painting is to play dangerously with the unseen demons it hides, and become the victim of its macabre beauty ...
The remoter parts of the English Fens are forlorn, lost and damp even in the height of summer. At Iyot Lock, a large decaying house, two young cousins, Leonora and Edward, are parked for the summer with their ageing spinster aunt and her cruel housekeeper. At first the unpleasantness and petty meannesses appear simply spiteful, calculated to destroy Edward's equanimity. But when spoilt Leonora is not given the birthday present of a specific dolly that she wants, affairs inexorably take a much darker turn with terrifying, life-destroying consequences for everyone.
The year's best, and darkest, tales of terror, showcasing the most outstanding new short stories and novellas by contemporary masters of the macabre, including the likes of Ramsey Campbell, Neil Gaiman, Brian Keene, Tanith Lee, Elizabeth Massie, Kim Newman, Michael Marshall Smith, and Gene Wolfe. The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror also includes a comprehensive annual overview of horror around the world in all its incarnations; an impressively researched necrology; and a list of indispensable contact addresses for the dedicated horror fan and aspiring writer alike. It is required reading for every fan of macabre fiction.
From the foggy streets of Victorian London to the eerie perfection of 1950s suburbia, the everyday is invaded by the otherworldly in this unforgettable collection of new ghost stories from the bestselling author of The Woman in Black. In the title story, on a murky evening in a club off St James, a paranormal detective recounts his most memorable case, one whose horrifying denouement took place in that very building. A lonely boy makes a friend in 'Boy Number 21', but years later is forced to question the very nature of that friendship. 'Alice Baker' tells the story of a mysterious new office worker who is accompanied by a lingering smell of decay. And in 'The Front Room', a devoutly Christian mother tries to protect her children from the evil influence of their grandmother, both when she is alive and afterwards. This edition also includes the chilling 'Printer's Devil Court' in which three medical students make an unholy pact whose consequences will pursue one of them to the grave - and perhaps beyond. This is Susan Hill at her best, telling characteristically creepy and surprising tales of thwarted ambition, terrifying revenge and supernatural stirrings that will leave you wide-awake long into the night.
Late one summer evening, antiquarian bookseller Adam Snow is returning from a client visit when he takes a wrong turn. He stumbles across a derelict Edwardian house, and compelled by curiosity, approaches the door. Standing before the entrance, he feels the unmistakable sensation of a small cold hand creeping into his own, 'as if a child had taken hold of it'. At first he is merely puzzled by the odd incident but then begins to suffer attacks of fear and panic, and is visited by nightmares. He is determined to learn more 'about the house and its once-magnificent, now overgrown garden but when he does so, he receives further, increasingly sinister, visits from the small hand.
The Oxford Companion to English Literature has long been established as the leading reference resource for students, teachers, scholars, and general readers of English literature. It provides unrivalled coverage of all aspects of English literature - from writers, their works, and the historical and cultural context in which they wrote, to critics, literary theory, and allusions. For the seventh edition, the Companion has been thoroughly revised and updated to meet the needs and concerns of today's students and general readers. Over 1,000 new entries have been added, ranging from new writers - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Patrick Marber, David Mitchell, Arundhati Roy - to increased coverage of writers and literary movements from around the world. Coverage of American literature has been substantially increased, with new entries on writers such as Cormac McCarthy and Amy Tan and on movements and publications. Contextual and historical coverage has also been expanded, with new entries on European history and culture, post-colonial literature, as well as writers and literary movements from around the world that have influenced English literature. The Companion has always been a quick and dependable source of reference for students, and the new edition confirms its pre-eminent role as the go-to resource of first choice. All entries have been reviewed, and details of new works, biographies, and criticism have been brought right up to date. So also has coverage of the themes, approaches and concepts encountered by students today, from terms to articles on literary theory and theorists. There is increased coverage of writers from around the world, as well as from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and of contextual topics, including film and television, music, and art. Cross-referencing has been thoroughly updated, with stronger linking from writers to thematic and conceptual entries. Meanwhile coverage of popular genres such as children's literature, science fiction, biography, reportage, crime fiction, fantasy or travel literature has been increased substantially, with new entries on writers from Philip Pullman to Anne Frank and from Anais Nin to Douglas Adams. The seventh edition of this classic Companion - now under the editorship of Dinah Birch, assisted by a team of 28 distinguished associate editors, and over 150 contributors - ensures that it retains its status as the most authoritative, informative, and accessible guide to literature available.
Ideally spooky Halloween reading... A chilling ghost story by the author of The Woman in Black. One murky November evening after a satisfying meal in their Fleet Street lodgings, a conversation between four medical students takes a curious turn and Hugh is initiated into a dark secret. In the cellar of their narrow lodgings in Printer's Devil Court and a little used mortuary in a subterranean annex of the hospital, they have begun to interfere with death itself, in shadowy experiments beyond the realms of medical ethics. They call on Hugh to witness an event both extraordinary and terrifying. Years later, Hugh has occasion to return to his student digs and the familiar surroundings resurrect peculiar and unpleasant memories of these unnatural events, the true horror of which only slowly becomes apparent.