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Nightshade and Damnations

N to Give Us a Fright “Lunatic’s Broth” as by P J Gahagan · ss Courier Spr ’38 77 · The Ape and the Mystery “The Mysterious Mona Lisa Smile” · ss The Saturday Evening Post Jun 26 ’48 89 · The King Who Collected Clocks “Royal Impostor” · nv The Saturday Evening Post May 3 ’47 117 · Bone for Debunkers “The Karmesin Affair Gerald Kersh is like a pulp magazine Georges Luis Borges Kersh s story structure is the same as Borges weird and uncanny stories told within the frame of obscure documents dubious narrations of suspect old characters and hodge podge collections of overheard facts This collection features 11 short fictions all of them tight short stories most with a witty zinger at the end that can be both breathtaking and groan inducing Kersh s prose is clear in a journalistic presentation nothing too frilly as the descriptions are perfectly chosen to create just enough of feeling And it is this clarity that distances Kersh from the Lovecraft disciples which one suspects he might be wrongfully lumped since Kersh is less concerned with cosmic forces rather he locates his stories in the slightly left of possible Every story might be true or like the forged manuscript in BONE FOR DEBUNKERS might be a witty fabrication to pass the timeThese are great stories Some of the best I ve read in awhile They don t waste time but never feel shortchanged or rushed They aren t science fiction at all Fable and myth possibly But mostly just ever so plausible The Wondrous And True Story Of Christmas to Give Us a Fright “Lunatic’s Broth” as by P J Gahagan · ss Courier Spr ’38 77 · The Ape and The Women on the Island the Mystery “The Mysterious Mona Lisa Smile” · ss The Saturday Evening Post Jun 26 ’48 89 · The King Who Collected Clocks “Royal Impostor” · nv The Saturday Evening Post May 3 ’47 117 · Bone for Debunkers “The Karmesin Affair Gerald Kersh is like a pulp magazine Georges Luis Borges Kersh s story structure is Digital Painting, 37 Intermediate Tricks and Techniques the same as Borges weird and uncanny stories How to Keep a Sketchbook Journal told within Let the Trumpet Sound: A Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. (P.S.) the frame of obscure documents dubious narrations of suspect old characters and hodge podge collections of overheard facts This collection features 11 short fictions all of Me So Pretty! (Pretty Freekin Scary, them The Witchs Coven tight short stories most with a witty zinger at Supplementary Exercises for Introducing Biblical Hebrew by Allen P. Ross the end Great Famine that can be both breathtaking and groan inducing Kersh s prose is clear in a journalistic presentation nothing The Color of Night too frilly as What Preachers Never Tell You About Tithes & Offerings the descriptions are perfectly chosen Pulse (Frank Quinn, to create just enough of feeling And it is Obsession this clarity The Supreme Court and Puerto Rico that distances Kersh from Simply Napkins the Lovecraft disciples which one suspects he might be wrongfully lumped since Kersh is less concerned with cosmic forces rather he locates his stories in The Unconscious Civilization the slightly left of possible Every story might be The Complete Tightwad Gazette true or like The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years the forged manuscript in BONE FOR DEBUNKERS might be a witty fabrication الدعوة الإسلامية دعوة عالمية to pass Writing and Selling Magazine Articles the The Strange Bird timeThese are great stories Some of Collected Stories the best I ve read in awhile They don Collected Stories t waste Cleopatras Daughter time but never feel shortchanged or rushed They aren Funny Feckin' Irish Jokes!: Humorous Jokes about Everything Irish.Sure Tis Great Craic! t science fiction at all Fable and myth possibly But mostly just ever so plausible

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Contents9 · Kersh the Demon Prince · Harlan Ellison · in 15 · The ueen of Pig Island · ss The Strand Mar ’49 29 · Frozen Beauty as by Waldo Kellar · ss John Bull Nov 29 ’41 35 · The Brighton Monster “The Monster” · ss The Saturday Evening Post Feb 21 ’48 51 · Men Without Bones · ss Esuire Aug ’54 63 · Busto Is a Ghost Too Mea Gerald Kersh wrote to make a living and these eleven stories originally published between 1938 and 1962 are for the most part potboilers Many of them follow the sort of formula in which the narrator meets a chum who settles back in his armchair lights his pipe and says Did I ever tell you the ueer tale of the marmoset who played Mozart And then we get the ueer taleand that s it But Kersh for all his hack work was an intermittently good writer capable of surprising you both with the uality of his prose and with the originality of his ideas Unfortunately neither is much in evidence in this collection Men Without Bones is a typical example a routine ueer tale about you guessed men without bones not enlivened by a gaumless twist ending Yet the introductory setting an encounter whilst loading a banana boat at night is wonderful and exudes tropical menace sadly not fulfilled The best of the stories is Busto Is A Ghost Too Mean To Give Us A Fright a study of a surly slum landlord which includes some memorable lines Time is than a healer It is a painter and decorator a gilder and a glorifier I wrote a novel that was so sordid it made publishers readers scratch themselves I don t knowthere are men whom one hates until a certain moment when one sees through a chink in their armor the writhing of something nailed down and in torment Great stuff Pity there wasn t of this and less of the boneless men

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; Karmesin · ss The Saturday Evening Post Dec 15 ’62 133 · A Lucky Day for the Boar · ss Playboy Oct ’62 143 · Voices in the Dust of Annan · ss The Saturday Evening Post Sep 13 ’47 161 · Whatever Happened to Corporal Cuckoo · nv The Brighton Monster London Heinemann 1953; Star Science Fiction Stories #3 ed Frederik Pohl Ballantine 1954 A collection of horror stories making the incredible sound reasonable Many of them like stories you might run across in the National Enuirer except sounding believable They aren t bloody or gross horror but intellectual Listed in Stephen King s Danse Macabre as one of the best collections of short story horror


About the Author: Gerald Kersh

Gerald Kersh was born in Teddington on Thames near London and like so many writers uit school to take on a series of jobs salesman baker fish and chips cook nightclub bouncer freelance newspaper reporter and at the same time was writing his first two novelsIn 1937 his third published novel Night and the City hurled him into the front ranks of young British writers Twenty novels la



10 thoughts on “Nightshade and Damnations

  1. says:

    WHY THE HADN’T I READ ANTYHING WRITTEN BY GERALD KERSH UNTIL NOWOK Now I’m feeling better That sense of betterment is derived not only from the fact that I have somehow managed to get that feeling which had

  2. says:

    Loaned to me by fellow writer and dear friend Jack Mace this remarkable anthology of 11 storeis by a brilliant writer Gerald Kersh unknown to me only a few years ago Oh perhaps I have encountered his name somewhe

  3. says:

    Gerald Kersh wrote to make a living and these eleven stories – originally published between 1938 and 1962 – are for the most part potboilers Many of them follow the sort of formula in which the narrator meets a chum who settles back in his armchair lights his pipe and says “Did I ever tell you the ueer tale of the marmoset who played Mozart” And then we get the ueer taleand that’s it But Kersh for all his hack work wa

  4. says:

    Gerald Kersh is like a pulp magazine Georges Luis Borges Kersh's story structure is the same as Borges weird and uncanny stories told within the frame of obscure documents dubious narrations of suspect old characters and hodge podge collections of overheard facts This collection features 11 short fictions all of them tight short sto

  5. says:

    Not so much horror as stories of the fantastic Many of these would have felt right at home on the Twilight Zone of old

  6. says:

    Much whimsical and science fictional than horror which is how I’ve seen this collection typically billed but very enjoyable nonetheless

  7. says:

    I'd never heard of this guy before I read this book with an introduction slobbering all over him by Harlan Ellison but all these stori

  8. says:

    A collection of horror stories making the incredible sound reasonable Many of them like stories you might run across in the National Enuirer except sounding believable They aren't bloody or gross horror but intellectual Listed in Stephen King's Danse Macabre as one of the best collections of short story horror

  9. says:

    A collection of short stories from the 1940s and 1950s somewhat pulpy but it’s a testament to Kersh’s style

  10. says:

    The ueen of Pig Island Frozen Beauty oThe Brighton MonsterMen Without BonesBusto is a Ghost Too Mean to Give Us a FrightThe Ape and the MysteryThe King Who Collected ClocksBone for DebinkersA Lucky Day for the BoarVoices in the Dust AnnanWhatever Happened to Corporal Cuckoo

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