Book Reviews

Dark Entries by Robert Aickman

by Robert Aickman
Published by Faber & Faber Genres: Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror

This was a strange, but interesting collection!

I’ve been hearing from a number of other readers I trust that Robert Aickman’s stories are fantastic. I was recently presented with the opportunity to pick up a few of his collections for free, and I jumped at the chance. Since Dark Entries won the September Monthly Read poll at the Literary Horror group on Goodreads, I started this one first.

These are NOT horror stories. Some of them hardly even seem to be stories at all…they’re more like windows that look briefly on to some strange portion of someone’s life and then they move on. There is no clear plot or point usually, but I found myself thinking deeply about every one of these tales, wondering if there were some hidden meaning that I wasn’t getting. There was one seemingly clear ghost story here, “The Waiting Room.” (I wonder if it was decided that there needed to be one clear, straightforward story included with this collection just to give the reader a break from all the thinking?)

I think my favorite story in this collection was the last one, “Bind Your Hair”. I’m still thinking about it. I’m still thinking about “Ringing the Changes” as well. Don’t ask me why, because I don’t know…but it’s still turning round in my noggin just the same.

I’m a horror loving gal…and I cut my teeth on the short stories of King, Straub, Etchison, Bradbury, Rasnic Tem, and other greats. I loved those tales with all my heart and I still do. I can’t compare my Aickman experience to these other authors. That’s not to say that I didn’t like this collection, because I did. It’s to say that these stories aren’t even in the same league as those others. It’s apples and oranges and both of them taste just fine to me.

Recommend for fans of weirdness!

About Robert Aickman

Robert Fordyce Aickman (27 June 1914 – 26 February 1981) was an English conservationist and writer of fiction and nonfiction. As a conservationist, he is notable for co-founding the Inland Waterways Association, a group which has preserved from destruction and restored England’s inland canal system. As a writer, he is best known for his supernatural fiction, which he described as “strange stories”.

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