Book Review: The Ghost Club by William Meikle

The Ghost Club is a curious group of stories written by William Meikle, but in styles of classic authors. The author uses a fictional supper club in which all the famous writers of old have come to tell their tales as a thread to link each of these short stories together.

From Arthur Conan Doyle and Henry James to Margaret Oliphant and Mark Twain, these tales mimic the style of each author as if they were written by them. Meikle knows his literature and does a fantastic job imitating these greats. There is a lot to love in this book if you’re a sucker for spooky tales.

Some of my favorites were:

“Wee Davie Makes a Friend” in the style of Robert Louis Stevenson
A haunting tale about an ill boy where his father is unusually cruel about a little toy that seems to be making him feel better.

“In the House of the Dead” in the style of Bram Stoker
The tale of an interesting house with rooms where loved ones can see their dead. However the dead may also be able to steal the life from them.

“Farside” in the style of Herbert George Wells
In a very Time Machine-ish tale, gentlemen at a dinner party see the Northern Lights and soon after are introduced to a machine that can see a person’s aura. When one person’s aura is different than the rest and he dies, the inventor thinks his contraption can see—or may be the cause of—death.

“The Scrimshaw Set” in the style of Henry James
A gentleman buys a scrimshaw chess set that hypnotizes him into a Cthulhu-like obsession with chess.

“To the Manor Born” in the style of Margaret Oliphant
A maid hears mysterious singing and discovers the ghost of the master’s mistress and ghost child.

There are others that were interesting like “Born of Ether” in the style of Helena P. Blavatsky which uses the old fairy tale troupe of the shadow stealing a person’s life and “The Angry Ghost” in the style of Oscar Wilde which I found comical as a young boy is told not to believe in ghosts by the very granny who turns into a ghost.

Overall this is a delightful handful of ghost stories and seems to be one of those books you could enjoy reading aloud to each other.


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