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The Horror of the Heights and Other Tales of Suspense

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Most readers know Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, the rational detective who epitomized deductive logic. Who could have guessed that Doyle also wrote some of the most wildly imaginative tales of horror and supernatural published in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? The Horror of the Heights & Other Strange Tales collects fourteen vinta Most readers know Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, the rational detective who epitomized deductive logic. Who could have guessed that Doyle also wrote some of the most wildly imaginative tales of horror and supernatural published in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? The Horror of the Heights & Other Strange Tales collects fourteen vintage stories, told as only a master of the Victorian terror tale can tell them. In these sophisticated fictions souls change bodies, monsters haunt the upper atmosphere, s


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Most readers know Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, the rational detective who epitomized deductive logic. Who could have guessed that Doyle also wrote some of the most wildly imaginative tales of horror and supernatural published in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? The Horror of the Heights & Other Strange Tales collects fourteen vinta Most readers know Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, the rational detective who epitomized deductive logic. Who could have guessed that Doyle also wrote some of the most wildly imaginative tales of horror and supernatural published in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? The Horror of the Heights & Other Strange Tales collects fourteen vintage stories, told as only a master of the Victorian terror tale can tell them. In these sophisticated fictions souls change bodies, monsters haunt the upper atmosphere, s

30 review for The Horror of the Heights and Other Tales of Suspense

  1. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    Doyle was very good at setting the scene with concise, descriptive writing. The stories in this collection did not startle or surprise, but there were moments when I really felt like I was inside of them. For example, the description (in a story whose title escapes me at the moment) of a supernatural creature manifesting inside of a small, darkened room is magnificent. I re-read the introduction, written by a third party academic, who concludes by saying that if these stories seem typical, it is Doyle was very good at setting the scene with concise, descriptive writing. The stories in this collection did not startle or surprise, but there were moments when I really felt like I was inside of them. For example, the description (in a story whose title escapes me at the moment) of a supernatural creature manifesting inside of a small, darkened room is magnificent. I re-read the introduction, written by a third party academic, who concludes by saying that if these stories seem typical, it is because they are the original archetypes that others have since drawn from. Probably, he is correct; still, Doyle creates an atmosphere that is more clinical than exciting, more reportage than story-telling, keeping the fantastic things that he describes at a remove that is just far enough to leave you room to take a breath and look elsewhere.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Shalini Nemo

    Most stories were great. I'd read many of them before, but some were new. They were not all interesting, I had skipped the one about the submarines as it had bored me terribly. Still engaging on the whole.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

    All-in-all, a good read. Some stories grew tiresome and never really paid off, but there were a couple in there that gave me the willies! So if you looking for a mild scare or a well developed scary story, I say give some of these a try.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Definitely not what I was expecting from the writer of Sherlock Holmes. Very strange and very interesting very ethereal.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    A story about a notebook detailing the height record for single-person planes. Uses imagery vividly, is a great concept for a story and worked well over such a short number of pages.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Frank McAdam

    An excellent collection of Victorian horror stories. Doyle was an imaginative writer and deserves to be known for more than his Sherlock Holmes stories. The weakest stories in the present collection are the first two, "The Captain of the Pole Star" and "John Barrington Cowles," because they are only suggestive and tantalize the reader's expectations without satisfying them. Probably the best stories are "Lot No. 249" and "The Brazilian Cat," but the most interesting is "Playing with Fire" insofa An excellent collection of Victorian horror stories. Doyle was an imaginative writer and deserves to be known for more than his Sherlock Holmes stories. The weakest stories in the present collection are the first two, "The Captain of the Pole Star" and "John Barrington Cowles," because they are only suggestive and tantalize the reader's expectations without satisfying them. Probably the best stories are "Lot No. 249" and "The Brazilian Cat," but the most interesting is "Playing with Fire" insofar as it reveals the depth of Doyle's obsessive interest in spiritualism.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Not really scary at all. Just creepy.

  8. 4 out of 5

    TrumanCoyote

    A real smorgasbord of stuff here: horror, ghost stories, comedy, straight espionage. "The Parasite" I found unintentionally funny, and "Danger!" was a rather tedious (and topical) bit of satire. The American in "The American's Tale" spoke like no American I've ever heard before (he sounded rather more Scottish). Speaking of which, the inclusion of several Scots dialect stories had me feeling a wee bit doon. Probably the best story here was "Through the Veil"...only a few pages, but quite original A real smorgasbord of stuff here: horror, ghost stories, comedy, straight espionage. "The Parasite" I found unintentionally funny, and "Danger!" was a rather tedious (and topical) bit of satire. The American in "The American's Tale" spoke like no American I've ever heard before (he sounded rather more Scottish). Speaking of which, the inclusion of several Scots dialect stories had me feeling a wee bit doon. Probably the best story here was "Through the Veil"...only a few pages, but quite original (and a very vivid effect). Also the style of "The Winning Shot" was nicely modern and readable (reminding me in fact a little of "The Yellow Wallpaper"). It contrasted favorably with the thicket-like syntax of a lot of the other offerings here. Oh yeah, and "Lot 249" was good too...another one of the items that (after the ancient fashion) purports to be somebody or other's narrative (or left-behind manuscript).

  9. 4 out of 5

    Blair

    Not bad, but nothing amazing. Lots of old tropes with mixed success. The problem with old tropes is that while to modern readers they may be an interesting set up for a scary story, to Doyle they are the story in it's entirety. Take the great Keinplatz experiment for example. A professor and his student switch bodies, interesting set up we have seen a number of times, what happens next? Nothing. That is the whole story. If you had never heard such a story it might be a frightening concept but no Not bad, but nothing amazing. Lots of old tropes with mixed success. The problem with old tropes is that while to modern readers they may be an interesting set up for a scary story, to Doyle they are the story in it's entirety. Take the great Keinplatz experiment for example. A professor and his student switch bodies, interesting set up we have seen a number of times, what happens next? Nothing. That is the whole story. If you had never heard such a story it might be a frightening concept but now it feels incomplete.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chad Anctil

    I had read lots of Sherlock Holmes but hadn't tried any of Doyle's other works. I was introduced to 'The Horror of the Heights' during a recent Pseudopod podcast and it really blew me away. It's a great story from a bygone era that evokes a real sense of both wonder and horror! From an era where we really hadn't explored much of our natural world, the idea that terrible creatures could live in the extremes... I loved this story and want to find more like it...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Not quite as good as Sherlock Holmes, and I wouldn't exactly call them "horror" stories, either. However, considering these were some of the first scary stories ever written, they probably were pretty horrific at the time of their publication. So props to you, Conan Doyle.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth

    A collection of SciFi & Fantasy stories by a master story teller, best known for his Sherlock Holmes mysteries. A collection of SciFi & Fantasy stories by a master story teller, best known for his Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

  13. 5 out of 5

    H.M. Chambers

    Not your typical Doyle.....certainly not reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes....but if you like Doyle, you are in for a treat.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Stiepovich

  15. 5 out of 5

    Yam Ucket

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  17. 5 out of 5

    Мария Димитрова

  18. 5 out of 5

    Vicki

  19. 4 out of 5

    Faeli Kathryn

  20. 5 out of 5

    Susan Butler

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jilln'jim

  23. 5 out of 5

    Angela Hostetler

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Bridges

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hans

  26. 4 out of 5

    Leah

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eric

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mark Stahl

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

  30. 4 out of 5

    Adam Laur

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