Short Stories, vol. 1, by Walter de la Mare
When will I learn not to read giant collections of short stories all at once? I regret it every time.
Walter de la Mare sure wrote a whole lot of short stories. They were for an adult audience and published in magazines at the turn of the century, when there was an endless demand for them. Volume I covers 1895 - 1926, so a good bit more than just the turn of the century.
These stories are mostly somewhat spooky. They're not outright scary or horror; they're gently unsettling, or creepy, or disturbing, but they're not usually obvious about it.
Some of them are rather thematic. There were four or five stories in a row featuring characters inspecting gravestones for interesting, amusing, or pathetic epitaphs, which I sincerely hope were real epitaphs de la Mare had collected himself.
One story, one of the more obviously spooky ones called "The Riddle," had a detail that I believe may well have made its way into John Bellairs' The Mansion in the Mist.
But, the trouble is that when I try to read an entire collection of short stories, I very soon get pretty tired of whatever the short stories are. This is nearly 500 pages' worth of de la Mare being gently unsettling, and I just didn't want that much all at once. So while I didn't finish the collection, I did get a good dose of de la Mare, and I believe I could spot one of his stories at 100 paces. I'm going to call it good.
So that was a fairly successful Spin, I think. I hope another one shows up soon -- and meanwhile, tomorrow is the start of 20 Books of Summer!