by E.F. Benson
A professional medium who frequently supplements his genuine psychic abilities with trickery has an eye-opening experience.
Eh, it was ok. Predictable, but ok. Beyond that, I haven't much to say.
Well, here's one thing:
When you have a story that's so predictable and completely lacking in creepiness, there's not much to recommend it. I mean, it's a story. There's not even an illusion of "this really happened, and the implications are startling!" That can be ok, if the story is presented with the right atmosphere and shiver-inducing details or presentation. Without either verisimilitude or spookiness, it's pretty bland.
Here's another thing:
The medium at one point says, "There is a D; I see a D. Not Dick, not David. There is a Y. It is Denys." I am very strongly reminded of John Edward. Only he probably wouldn't have suggested the Y or anything so specific as "Denys". (Is my skepticism coming through?)
Incidentally, just the other day I came across a reference to E.F. Benson in one of E.M. Delafield's Provincial Lady books. She didn't say much about him-- just that the Provincial Lady and someone else discussed his writing, among a couple of other topics-- but I always enjoy it when I know something about the author or book referenced. It was a reminder, too, that the two were contemporaries. "Their time" (the late 1800s up until WWII)-- particularly in England, Canada, and the U.S.-- has become my favorite setting for literature, lately.