From Another World and Other Ghost Stories by Rosemary Timperley. Book review

FROM ANOTHER WORLD and Other Ghost Stories by Rosemary Timperley, Sundial Press 2016
Reviewed by Mario Guslandi
Rosemary Timperley (1920-1988) was the successful author of over sixty novels, many radio and TV scripts, and hundreds of short stories. She was a confirmed lover of supernatural fiction ( which led her to edit various volumes of the Ghost Book series) but her own stories in that genre have been scattered in a number of different venues ( anthologies, magazines, newspapers) and never collected in a single volume. As stated by Richard Dalby in his excellent Introduction to the present book, actually there would be room for other three or four volumes of Timperley’s supernatural stories and we can only hope that, once overcome the tremendous copyright problems, this will happen in the near future.
The present collection, published in a beautifully produced hardcover edition by Sundial Press, assembles twenty-two stories, previously appeared in print in a period ranging from 1952 to 1989, providing an interesting showcase of the writer’s output in that particular area,
In my opinion, the highlights of the book are the following. “Christmas Meeting” is a short, very enjoyable and clever tale developing across the years while “To Keep Him Company” is an emotional ghost story, a bit predictable but well accomplished.
The disquieting “Dreams Are More than Shadows” depicts the downfall of a woman in love with a mysterious man who visits her in her dreams and the delightful “Little Girl Lost”describes how contacts with relatives from beyond the grave bring about the disruption of a previously happy family.
“The Sound of the Saw”is a gentle, subtly disturbing piece revolving around the sound of a saw obsessing a man throughout his life while “The Ever-Buried” is a very short, but terribly intense story about the pain of living and the ghostly crowd inhabiting the Underground.
In the superb “Voices in the Night” a quarelling couple disturbing an old lady’s sleep turns out to be an offbeat, supernatural phenomenon.
Well worth mentioning are, of course, two of Timperley’s most famous pieces: “Harry”, a quiet ghost story with a tragic ending and “The Listening Child”, an enticing novella featuring a young girl haunted by a weird violinist whose music triggers amazing effects. A complex, well told piece perfectly blending the sentimental and the paranormal.
After turning the last page of this fascinating book one can only hope to have the opportunity to read soon a further, similar collection of Timperley’s delicious supernatural tales.

2 Comments on From Another World and Other Ghost Stories by Rosemary Timperley. Book review

  1. Rebekah M Brown // June 23, 2016 at 10:38 pm //

    SO looking forward to this book
    hope there will be more collections of her work

  2. John West // June 23, 2016 at 11:28 pm //

    A very fair review especially if one needs a little push into acquiring a copy. Apart from a couple of her stories I wasn’t at all familar with Timperley’s work but as I’d ordered two of Sundial’s previous supernatural collections (THE ALABASTER HAND and MIST) and enjoyed both (very handsome attractively priced editions too), I thought I’d give FROM ANOTHER WORLD a go. How glad I am that I did – they’re enchanting. With one or two slightly weak exceptions I was captivated by them all. Too many favourites to mention but if push came to shove my single favourite is ‘Mandragora’ – one of the wierdest and strangely touching tales I’ve read. The Introduction hints at a second selection of Timperley delights – can’t wait! In the meantime, a second reading of FROM ANOTHER WORLD beckons. Well done Sundial!

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