Monday, 14 May 2012

Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories


I like Roald Dahl’s books, when I was a child I read Momo, Matilda, Charlie and the chocolate factory,… One day I was looking at some English books when I found this one, at first I believed that it was a book of ghost stories written by Roald Dahl, but when I picked it up, I realized that it was Dahl who had selected these terror stories by different writers.

Dahl read seventy hundred and forty-nine ghost stories at the British Museum Library before selecting twenty four with the purpose of making a television ghost series, but the pilot film was a disaster. Twenty five years later, he thought it was a good idea to put the better ones, fourteen amazing stories, together in a book.

As he said the best ghost stories don’t have ghosts in them, at least you don’t have to see them. Instead of reading what happens to the ghost, you only read the result of their actions, occasionally the story describes how the main character can feel the ghost brushing past to him or her, or how they are made aware of its presence by subtle means.

My favourite, among all the stories is ‘Harry’ by Rosemary Timperley, which describes what happened to a couple and her adopted daughter, Cristine. One day Christine starts to talk with an imaginary child, Harry, and tells her mother that he is her brother. Her mother is a bit worried about her, so she decides to see the Doctor who explains to her that it’s normal in childhood. But while Christine is at her first day at school, her mother goes to the Adoption service where she asks about the girl’s past; she is the only survivor of an accident in which her brother Harry saved her before he died. After knowing her past she goes to pick her at the school, but the school principal tells her that Harry has just picked her. Nobody has seen her again.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves classic ghost stories, this is an amazing anthology.

As Roald Dahl wrote in his book: Spookiness is, after all, the real purpose of the ghost story’.

Mónica Corrales Marbán. Advanced level. Year II


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