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Audible Ghost and Horror Stories of Ambrose BierceAuthor Ambrose Bierce –

As good as Poe, and one can see the influence it had on Lovecraft Not just in Lovecraft s appropriation of Carcosa, but in the selective sequence of events leading to a dramatic end Phrasing such as non euclidean geometry, and cyclopean architecture, terrifying dream planes, and extra dimensional beasts stand out as Lovecraftian and plant the seeds of early weird fiction Other than the language it s surprisingly not dated for having been written in the 19th century Distinctly American, with settings like the Civil War and Westward expansion An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, The Damned Thing, usually getting the most attention, the highlights for me were The Other Lodgers, A Fruitless Assignment, The Spook House, The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, and Visions of the Night John Bartine s Watch seems to contain some prophetic lines of the authors real fate as he went to report on the Mexican Civil War Not the slenderest clew to his fate was ever found After the war the most diligent inquiry and the offer of large rewards failed to turn up any of his captors or any fact conceding his disappearance He had disappeared and, that was all. I came to Bierce late in life but I soon made up for lost time Excellent collection of his stories. Modern Horror Stories By American Master The Eyes Of The Panther, The Damned Thing,These Pieces Are Not Dated, Nor Are They Lacking Any Of The Narrative Elements Necessary To Attract And Hold The Attention Of Anyone Interested In The Horror Genre SF Booklog The most notable of these stories is An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge 1890 which was filmed in France as a black and white silent short in 1963 and broadcast on television s Twilight Zone in 1964 at which time I probably saw it with my father In any case, that put Bierce in mind and, liking fantastic literature, eventually I read this Dover collection of some of his work Years later, after a friend and I had started a youth movement in our hometown, we came back to this story and the film based on it It was the early seventies and the Park Ridge Youth Coalition PRYC, pronounced as you might imagine was sponsoring an all day Youth fair in Hodges Park across from City Hall, the Community Church and Bob Rowe s Evening Pipe Shop The day started with booths and acts and art and clowns, the late afternoon featured bands, the evening featured movies projected thanks to Mr Lindquist who was in the business and provided the equipment onto an enormous screen suspended between trees For me, the best of the lot was La Rivi re du Hibou , the aformentioned French silent See it if you can and read Bierce if you haven t. One of the faces on the Mt Rush of Horror and Weird Tales. Most of these stories feel very dated they are not the sort of ghost stories that would scare anyone today, and you have to imagine what it must have been like to live in the 1800s and hear these kind of Unsolved Mysteries creepy rumors around the campfire Usually there is not a complex story arc It is just Once upon a time, there were some people and these coincidences happened, and then they realized that the other people were ALREADY DEAD Boo The end. One story was ahead of its time Moxon s Master, about an AI robot that plays chess Read in 2003 and again in 2015 Oh, these are so, so good Up there with Poe. I just got done reading The Damned Thing by Ambrose Bierce Hugh Morgan was the man mauled by the mountain lion The jurors were trying to figure out what happened to the man William Hanker was the witness and the jurors were questioning him Hugh Morgan was a timid writer and like to hunt William Hankers was a very strong writer and saw what happened to his friend He was scared and past out He woke up to his friend screaming and then he saw the thing He stayed there and just watched and did not do a thing about it The thing ran off and he went to go see his friend, or what was left of him The setting is in a morgue out in the woods somewhere in a small town The time is at night in the dark moonlight This book is in third first person point of view The theme of this book is One does not always eat what is on the table The book is a pretty good book and is not scary at all I liked the book a lot It had me on the edge of my seat near the end I would recommend this book to anyone who likes scary stuff Some things in this book will have a person wondering what going to happen next At first it s kind of boring, but then it gets fun and interesting. This book gets five stars all around By reading these stories I can see how Bierce inspired Lovcraft Sometimes if you close your eyes and forget that it is a Lovecraft tale, Bierce comes shining through.Bierce is often forgotten when it comes to late 19th century writers I hope that the situation can be rectified. For the modern reader, bitter Ambrose Bierce is either that guy who wrote An Occurrence At Own Creek Bridge which you were required to read in school but pretended to be surprised at the dozens of films that recycled its twist or he s the guy you read about on Wikipedia in connection to arecent dead author who may have read or pretended to you know who you are In either case, the reality of his prose is a pleasant surprise E.F Bleiler s introduction to this Dover edition is an amusing primer to Bierce and his exasperating personality Bleiler is a great one for warning the reader about the author s shortcomings before you dig in, and in this case it rendered much of what followedagreeable Bierce s stories can be mannered and some of the ghost stories end up a tad mechanical in their formatting I m going to begin at the end with Visions of the Night in which Bierce muses on the nature of dreams and imagination before relating some wonderfully haunting dreams The Damned Thing is a delight involving an invisible monster that may be from outer space, and which may be invisible due to its color being out of space Mysterious Disappearances introduces ideas about non Euclidean space and vanishings into gap dimensions An Inhabitant of Carcosa is also a compact exotic treat Like a couple of well known later authors, Bierce s ambition was to equal the career of Edgar Allen Poe, especially Poe s horror stories In places Bierce actually got hold of some of Poe s themes and advanced them, rather than merely copying Other stories got bogged down either in an over simple ghost story format, or they focus instead on humor or plain irony A Jug of Sirup and The Secret of Macarger s Gulch revert very openly to wit rather than terror Some of the stories might almost have merged into one another for all they had in common, but this really doesn t hamper the enjoyment at all Bierce tried to do a few different things under the banner of the macabre, and the selection here shows he still has something to offer.