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Danielle's Reading Adventures

Reading is my favorite hobby, hands down. Books are love to me.  I am an avid collector, and paper books will always edge out e-books with me.

Count Magnus and Other Ghost Stories - M.R. James, S.T. Joshi This review is for Count Magnus alone (although I fully intend to read the other stories at some point).Mr. James has not been called a ghost story-writing master for no reason. He is an expert at building the atmosphere and writing a story that delivers an eerie, creepy thrill to the reader. Although I wouldn't call this one of my favorite stories by him, he was quite successful with this tale about an ill-fated travel-writer who comes upon the mystery of a not-so nice Swedish nobleman with an incredibly unsavory history.Although the amount of detail in this story will probably bore a reader who is used to a more modern, terse style of writing, I enjoyed James' almost conversational way of telling a story. Those ghost stories that are told as though I am the reader hearing my friend tell me about a real set of events are the most effective to me, because they feel more real, and the unsettling elements have a personal impact since I feel like I am there in the action.Mr. James builds up the suspense as you hear about Count Magnus, and he leaves certain facts to the reader's imagination. I think that's probably a little more scary. I wondered what was up with the two figures who were apparently stalking Mr. Wraxall. I felt a chill go through my body when Wraxall encounters a sarcophagus that appears to be unlocking itself. What's going to come out of that coffin? What powers does Count Magnus possess, even from beyond the grave?This story won't work for a reader who wants a more "in your face" style. But for readers who enjoy the old-fashioned, but very creepy and atmospheric ghost/horror story will enjoy this one.Rating for "Count Magnus": 4 stars.