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Paperback The Beast with Five Fingers Book

ISBN: 1840221798

ISBN13: 9781840221794

The Beast with Five Fingers

' - the hand was writhing in agonized contortions, squirming and wriggling upon the nail like a worm upon a hook. 'We'll keep it there until it dies,' he said. 'May I burn in hell, if I ever open the... This description may be from another edition of this product.

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Master of Strange Stories

William Fryer Harvey's short stories are dark, ambivalent, murderous & sometimes slyly humorous. In this regard, he pre-dates Robert Aickman. Like some of Aickman's best tales - "Trains" & "Bind your hair" spring to mind - quite a few of Harvey's best tales are based around wanderings and the strange encounters that ensue. In "The Tool" a man takes a walking tour and somehow loses a day, a day in which a heinous crime has been committed; perhaps by the narrator? In "The Hearthside Fire", another murder is committed at midnight in an isolated public house on the moors & the perpetrator finds no rest ; in "August heat", a painter leaves his garret, goes for a stroll and is astonished to meet the murderously visaged person he has just painted an hour before. It's a dangerous business stepping beyond your doorstep, as Bilbo Baggins once observed. There is also the title story, which is one of the slickest black comedies since "Arsenic & old lace"; the "Follower" & "Miss Avenal", which are respectively a tale of elliptic horror a la Conrad & a tale of psychic vampirism. All of these tales were written in the Twenties & Thirties. The prose is clear, and always in the service of telling a lean story. I've read and re-read these stories many times with growing pleasure & appreciation.
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