Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"The Treasure of Abbot Thomas"

"The Treasure of Abbot Thomas" 
from Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, by M. R. James
This was a somewhat odd story-- not the creepiest, but certainly unusual and featuring an eerie setting.  Much of the story felt more like a tale of treasure-hunting than something belonging in a collection of ghost stories.  There was more time devoted to (descriptions of) searching for clues and unraveling cryptic messages than to the creepy element of the story, it seemed.  So, not my favorite.

And that was it-- the last story in Ghost Stories of an Antiquary!  Even though the quality of the stories varied (the best, in my opinion, being "Oh Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad", "Count Magnus", and "The Ash-Tree"), I was impressed, overall.  I can't stress enough that these are old-fashioned ghost stories written in an old, literary style, and as such, they won't be everyone's cup of tea.  But hey, they're free, so why not give them a try?

I'll probably take a break from short stories for a while, but I'm happy to  note that there's another collection by M.R. James titled More Ghost Stories of an Antiquary.  Sign me up!