Thursday, October 21, 2021

Book Beginnings: The Empty House

by Algernon Blackwood
First published 1906

Opening Lines
Certain houses, like certain persons, manage somehow to proclaim at once their character for evil.

About the Book
Algernon Blackwood, one of the founding fathers of modern ghost and horror stories, inspired generations of writers from H.P. Lovecraft to Shirley Jackson.... Blackwood's 'The Empty House' is one of the most famous haunted house stories in the English language, with its carefully crafted gathering of tension and dread inference of terrors lurking at the end of every corridor, around every corner, through every half-opened door. This edition includes 'A Haunted Island', 'The Wood of the Dead', 'Skeleton Lake' and several other ghoulish tales.(Publisher's description)

Initial Thoughts
Well, I love that opening — the first sentence of this book's first story. Fortunately, I don't think I've ever experienced an evil house, but I do believe they probably exist. Do you?

I was looking around for something spooky to read for the Halloween season, and thought I'd give Blackwood a try. I've read the title story in this collection several times over the years, but not much of his other work. Which is a little odd, since I'm such a huge fan of ghost stories, and Blackwood is one of the masters of the genre. 

So far, I'm enjoying the book, although a couple of the stories are not quite as creepy as I expected. Still, I'm definitely turning all the lights on while I'm reading it, so I'd say that's pretty successful spookiness.

I should probably say something about that cover. It's not the cover of the book I'm reading, and I don't really know what edition it is. Just something I found on the internet. But it sort of grabs attention, don't you think?

Have a good weekend, everyone.
And happy reading!

Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.