Category: Ghosts

Masatsugu Ono: 森のはずれで (At the Edge of the Woods)

The latest addition to my website is Masatsugu Ono‘s 森のはずれで (At the Edge of the Woods). An unnamed family – husband, pregnant wife and young son, possibly Japanese – move to a foreign country, to a house at the edge of the woods. The wife goes back to her parents to have her child, leaving father (who seems not to work) and son. The woods are strange. The trees move of their own accord, there are strange noises and, according to the local farmer and postman, there are imps who steal things and people. The son finds an old woman with her tale to tell. His behaviour becomes erratic. There seems to be a refugee crisis. Two dwarfs appear at the front door. And only the dogs have names. This is an excellent novel in the Japanese ghost story tradition, where things get stranger and stranger.

Robert Irwin: The Runes Have Been Cast

The latest addition to my website is Robert Irwin‘s The Runes Have Been Cast. This is a very funny spoof campus novel/spoof ghost story, set in the early 1960s. Two Oxford University English lit students have been asked to write on the Victorian ghost story, and this gives us a lead-in to many references to ghosts and the like, particularly inspired by the works of M. R. James. Lancelyn gets a first and heads to St Andrews University, where he gets involved in academic politics as well as arcane English literature, while Bernard gets a starred first and stays at Oxford. Coming between them is Molly, who switches her favours more than once. The ghosts are hovering, people turn out not to be who they seem to be and Irwin mocks ghosts, academics, English lit, sex and anything else that passes by. It is great fun and you will also learn about authors and books you have never heard of.

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