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Can Such Things Be?

Ambrose Bierce

Book Overview: 

24 short stories in fairly typical Bierce fashion - ghostly, spooky, to be read in the dark, perhaps with a light crackling fire burning dimly in the background. Stories of ghosts, apparitions, and strange, inexplicable occurrences are prevalent in these tales, some of which occur on or near Civil War fields of battle, some in country cottages, and some within urban areas. Can Such Things Be? implies and relates that anything is possible, at any time.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .It was not a night in which any credible witness was likely to be straying about a cemetery, so the three men who were there, digging into the grave of Henry Armstrong, felt reasonably secure.

Two of them were young students from a medical college a few miles away; the third was a gigantic negro known as Jess.  For many years Jess had been employed about the cemetery as a man-of-all-work and it was his favorite pleasantry that he knew “every soul in the place.”  From the nature of what he was now doing it was inferable that the place was not so populous as its register may have shown it to be.

Outside the wall, at the part of the grounds farthest from the public road, were a horse and a light wagon, waiting.

The work of excavation was not difficult: the earth with which the grave had been loosely filled a few hours before offered little resistance and was soon thrown out.  Removal of the casket from its box was less easy, but it was. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I love gothic literature. while this was not technically gothic it had the same feel to it. The words, the descriptions, the content-all worked together to create really compelling stories and an extremely enjoyable reading experience.

December 26th, 1913, Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce disappeared into the Mexican desert, never to be seen again, and so it was that, in appropriately mysterious manner, one of the premiere American horror authors passed on into the undying realm of night. Bierce was the preeminent innovator of supernatu...more

Los cuentos de "Bitter Bierce" o "Gringo Viejo", como me gusta llamarlo, son la combinación perfecta entre humor negro, amargura y horror gótico. Aplaudo esta reedición, yo ya lo tenía y en general todos los relatos valen la pena, y mucho. Por ejemplo:

El Engendro Maldito: Un muy buen...more

Oh, Ambrose Bierce, you did have such a way with words. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of short stories fantastical and ghostly in nature. My only complaint, if any, would be that if I left them alone for too long it would take me several minutes to get back into Bierce's writing style. I m...more

Ya me lo he acabado y me ha gustado bastante!

Como pasa con las recopilaciones de relatos hay de todo, pero en este caso en general son buenos. Con todo, para no cansarme me lo he ido leyendo a trozos hasta el día de hoy.
La calidad literaria de Ambrose Bierce está fuera de toda d...more

I think this would've been better to read rather than listen to via Audible. Some of the stories are excellent; others aren't.

As is the case with most anthologies, this one is a mixed bag. Most of them are ghost stories or urban myth-type tales. I think it would be fun to adapt some of them for reading around a campfire the next time we go camping.

I became interested in this series when I read The King in Ye...more

A pretty good and varied group of preternatural tales. They vary in length, tone and content, the stories are rarely funny but many of the characters have a good sense of humour.
From your average ghost story to psychic connections, the macabre and the mundane. I listened to most of them on a dec...more

Despite his reputation as "bitter Bierce," many of the stories in this collection were extravagantly morose and melancholy. The most obvious writer to compare him to is Poe, although Bierce is no where near as horrifying as Poe. Many of these stories are only mildly scary. The emphasis is on psyc...more

Lovecraft nos habla de Ambrose Bierce en ‘El horror sobrenatural en la litaratura’: ”Prácticamente, todos sus cuentos son de horror, y aunque muchos tratan sólo de horrores físicos y psicológicos, dentro del orden natural, hay un número considerable que incorpora lo malignamente sobrenatural. Es...more

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