2017 Book Reading Challenge 8

Title: Tales of Twilight and the Unseen

Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Publisher: Alma Classics

Location of publisher: Richmond, UK

Year of publication: 1922, 2013

Number of pages: 248

Fiction or nonfiction: Fiction

Have I read this book before? No

Date I finished reading it: 11 February 2017

Genres: short stories, supernatural, ghost stories, horror, paranormal.

Personal reflections upon reading this text:

Having read several Sherlock Holmes stories over the years – The Husband had collected them in his teen years and I voraciously read my way through his books after we married, wondering how I could’ve lived so long without these tales – I was familiar with the body of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s work that elevates cool rationalism, science and keen observation to the study of seeming mysteries and unexplained crimes. So it was a bit of a jolt (in a positive way) to read this short story collection that seems to spring forth from the Sir Arthur who was a paranormal-fascinated Spiritualist, a true believer in occult forces, and utterly convinced of the reality of the spirit realm.

If anything, I thought it was fascinating how two different – even vastly separated – kinds of ideas could swell within the one man. Had I only read Sherlock Holmes I may have remained under the illusion that Sir Arthur was a believer in science and science alone.

I think that his short ghost stories are so wonderful and spooky because they are the creative musings of a man who apparently saw such things as genuine possibilities. He wasn’t just playing with ideas for stories. For him, it would seem, it was possible that there may be a spirit realm in which a ghost searches for his lost hand in an anatomy specimen collection, or a struggling writer calls on inspiration from the dead spirits of literary greats, where a séance goes horribly wrong, or where a murderous man learns how to reanimate a mummified corpse to fulfil his evil intentions.