Malignant forces and supernatural visitors haunt this selection of superbly spooky tales selected and introduced by Ruth Rendell.
M. R. James wrote his ghost stories to entertain friends on Christmas Eve, and they went on to both transform and modernise a genre. James harnesses the power of suggestion to move from a recognisable world to one that is indefinably strange, and then unforgettably terrifying. Sheets, pictures, carvings, a dolls house, a lonely beach, a branch tapping on a window - ordinary things take on more than a tinge of dread in the hands of the original master of suspense.
"In M.R. James' stories, the ordinary tips over into an alternative existence that is just as believable"
"An original and powerful storyteller.... A gnawing sense of unease, a steady accumulation of sounds, shadows and images finally meet in a single moment of sensational physical horror"
"M R James, who ushered the ghost story into our century, is still quite simply the craftiest"
"A master class in creepiness from the Edwardian-era Provost of King's College, Cambridge. James delivers brilliant atmospherics, gnawing disquiet and (above all) horrific denouements created by suggestion rather than ghoulish spectacle"