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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

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 supernatural

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 relato de terro

Me gustaría empezar esta reseña intentando esquivar ese cliché manido que aparece siempre que se aborda una antología. Todos sabemos cual es, es una perogrullada, carece de contenido, y no aporta nada que el sentido común del potencial lector no haga si es lo suficientemente no imbécil como para cam

The work of Ambrose Bierce could sometimes be as mysterious as the author himself, who disappeared at age 71 possibly on a tour of Mexico, and his ultimate fate has been one of the great unsolved mysteries of the literary world. How fitting that the end of his life should mimic that of his character

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 mean

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 decent

Everybody was already dead. Strangled in most cases. Perhaps I am too used to 20th century fiction as, although I read all the stories, none of them made any impression. There was no suspense, I could easily guess the outcome and many of the stories just seemed to stop.

Ambrose Bierce was a journalist and a professional wit so it's sometimes difficult to reconcile his quips and his muckraking with the irrational and spiritual nature of horror, and especially his particular style of country horror. But he was a soldier in the civil war so he had seen his share of th

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 psychol

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 el

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