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Tales of Men and Ghosts

Edith Wharton

Book Overview: 

In only two of the stories are women the central characters, though elsewhere they play important roles. Wharton enjoys subjecting her subjects -- all of them American gentlemen and gentlewomen, in the conventional senses of the word -- to various moral tests and sometimes ironic tests. Some of the stories deal with the intellectual fashions of the day -- "The Blond Beast" basing itself, to some degree, on Nietzsche, and "The Debt" on variants of Darwinism.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .w you the record of hundreds of cases like yours, and advise you what treatment to follow. It's one of the commonest forms of hallucination. Have a cigar, all the same."

"But, Allonby, I killed that man!"

The District Attorney's large hand, outstretched on his desk, had an almost imperceptible gesture, and a moment later, as if an answer to the call of an electric bell, a clerk looked in from the outer office.

"Sorry, my dear fellow—lot of people waiting. Drop in on Stell some morning," Allonby said, shaking hands.

McCarren had to own himself beaten: there was absolutely no flaw in the alibi. And since his duty to his journal obviously forbade his wasting time on insoluble mysteries, he ceased to frequent Granice, who dropped back into a deeper isolation. For a day or two after his visit to Allonby he continued to live in dread of Dr. Stell. Why might not Allonby have deceived . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Edith Wharton may be always remembered for her classic novel of the changing landscape of American nobility, "The Age of Innocence," but she has rapidly developed a reputation for being one of the goddesses of the ghost story. But do her tales of the supernatural hold up to her legacy as being among

A mixed bag. As others have pointed out, the ghost story and the pseudo-ghost story are awesome. The rest are character studies. A couple are hilarious, but don't really lead to satisfactory endings. Still, its Wharton and worth reading.

It must first be noted that Edith Wharton, for her time, was kind of amazing. Writing in the horror genre (and for that matter, writing Ethan Frome) was a pretty incredible thing to do as a female writer in that era, and she is often regaled as one of the few older female writers in existence (there

A couple of good tales, lots of really insightful writing...And endings that just cut off. "Wait, this isn't even an ending." The actual ghost stories were the best of the lot.

Edith Wharton is a master story teller. She write from male and female perspectives quite well, she dissects the mind of her characters so well when she wants to you fell like you are them and when she doesn't, it's because the story is served without it. Her short fiction is great, and I may have t

A set of character studies--and character studies cleverly disguised as ghost stories--that has some fascinating pieces. The two most overt ghost stories are probably my favorites, as they use the supernatural to explore the hearts of two different men. Sometimes witty, sometimes heartbreaking, alwa

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