Reviews

  • The particular value of Murray's collection is that it leads us in chronological order through a much greater breadth of Hearn's writings on the supernatural in Japan, with ghostly tales selected from 11 of his books ... This book insightfully shows how Hearn filtered Japanese ghostly originals through the prism of his own expansive imagination and traumatized experience to create works that were distinctly, and chillingly, his own

    Japan Times
  • What makes these stories, preserved from ancient times, especially readable today is the preternaturally postmodern form they are given in Hearn's deeply idiosyncratic telling

    New Yorker
  • The overarching mood is of wonder . . . the stories occupy the reverie world our mind projects onto the backs of our eyelids, where the ordinary mingles with the supernatural

    The Wall Street Journal
  • An extraordinary author . . . Paul Murray, a former Irish diplomat, has been hooked since a 1970s posting in Japan. His Penguin compilation includes 34 selections, a chronology of Hearn's peripatetic life, some intriguing background information about the sources of the stories, and a number of evocative woodblock prints. Murray's introduction is exceptionally useful to contextualize the man and his oeuvre, tracing the powerful influence of Irish folktales and ghost stories on Hearn's take on Japanese counterparts

    Los Angeles Review of Books