Good evening Possums! Mad Martha here, going just a little bit Dame Edna on you all. Today I am waxing lyrical on one of the favourite authors amongst the denizens of Bruce’s shelf – Chris Priestley, author of Mister Creecher, The Dead of Winter, The Tom Marlowe Mysteries and our resounding favourite, the Tales of Terror Series! This series features collections of short stories centred around a young protagonist (or two) who, through accident or design, has become the captive audience of some very odd and colourful storytelling. Starting with a delightfully atmospheric and eerie romp around Uncle Montague’s house and surrounds, this series blossomed into a veritable English country garden of creepy weirdness, with the followup titles Tales of Terror from the Black Ship (my personal favourite so far), Tales of Terror from the Tunnel’s Mouth, and the limited release The Teacher’s Tales of Terror! You may notice the differences in the cover art – the titles are available in both the pen and ink illustration covers and the more photographic style….We on the shelf prefer the pen and ink.
Priestley has an uncanny knack for creating an ambience that has you looking over your shoulder while reading. Also, as many of the main characters in the short stories are less than endearing, it can be somewhat unsettling to realise that one may be secretly relishing the various sticky ends to which those characters succumb.
We are always keeping our eyes peeled for new titles in this series as they really are the cream of the crop in spine-tingling stories for people aged about 10 years and over. Our vigilance was rewarded recently when Bruce spotted a seasonal release, only available (annoyingly) as an ebook – Christmas Tales of Terror!
So it was that Bruce attempted to read his first ever e-book – in fact, he read it aloud in one sitting for the benefit of all the shelf-folk, during a brief period in which the house fleshlings were away from the dwelling, leaving their precious electronified tablet unguarded. While this is certainly not the best offering in the series in our opinion, (the first story, “The Green Man” being particularly weak), it is certainly another feather in the cap of the good Mr Priestley. And for his services to the field of terror-inducement in minors and others, I present to him this Ode, in the form of a letter from a reader…..
Your tales are so beastly.
Your plotlines increas’dly mean characters cease-to-be.
Terror unceasingly fills my mind feastingly,
I beg for release from thee!
Yours (most dis-ease-dly),
An Appreciative Reader
I must admit, that one was a challenge. Not many words rhyme with Priestley. Further suggestions for rhyming words would be welcome.
But please do yourself a favour and explore the work of Creepy Chris….if you dare! Mwuuuhahahahhaaaaaaaa!
Ahem……Until next time lovelies,