When it comes to short story collections I have not had a lot of experience with them and the ones that I have, I have not really enjoyed that much. However, when I was contacted by Will at Alma Books asking if I was interested in reviewing any of the books that they had coming out in the month of October, I could not resist requesting a copy of this beautiful edition of After-Supper Ghost Stories by Jerome K. Jerome. This was actually my first experience of reading anything by this author and it left me intrigued enough to want to pick up one of his novels in the future. So, I would like to thank Will at Alma Books for sending me a copy in exchange for a honest and fair review.
After-Supper Ghost Stories was written by Jerome K. Jerome and was first published in the year 1891. This book and the stories within it are centered on a group of individuals: the Narrator, old Dr Scrubbles, the local Curate, Mr Samuel Coombes, Teddy Biffles and Uncle John and the events that surround a particular evening which also happens to be Christmas Eve. These individuals decide that over a lot of punch they would tell each other some ghosts stories that they had heard or even experienced themselves and these ghost stories all happen to take place on Christmas Eve because as you will know from reading this collection that ‘Christmas Eve is the ghosts’ great gala night. The one night a year when they can resume their presents on earth in the form of a ghost.
These stories are relatively short parodies of ghost stories that are very much tongue-in-cheek which professes that most ghosts are active on Christmas Eve. While this collection of short stories was well written the writing was also very easy maybe this was because I had heard a lot about this collections and in some cases my expectations of the stories/writing was much higher. However, one of the things that I loved about the writing within this collection is that it had a very modern feel to it. Which at times you actually forgot you were reading a collection of short stories that were written in the Victorian period.
When it comes to the characters that you were introduced to within the collection my favourite by far was the Narrator of the book. He really knew how to keep his reader gripped and also knew the perfect times to inject humor within the stories that left the reader at times gigging to themselves. Even though I enjoyed the Narrator of this collection I was not much taken by the ghost stories themselves. One of the things that I did feel when reading this collection was the fact that more of this book was about the concept of ghost stories rather than a book of ghost stories.
Overall, even though I was not fully taken with this collection of short stories I would still recommend it to anyone who enjoys the odd little ghost story now and then or anyone who may not be a lover of scary stories then this little book of ghost stories would be perfect for them. The last thing I would like to say about this book is that this edition is absolutely stunning and would be a great addition to anyone’s bookshelves.
The edition that I read was published by Alma Classics (2016)
(Image is my own please do not take/copy without permission first)