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Australian Ghost Stories by James Doig
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Australian Ghost Stories

by James Doig (Editor)

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I have always had an interest in reading traditional ghost stories but have not come across Australian ones before. It was therefore with a little trepidation that I began this collection. After all Australia is not generally known for the genre is it ?
I need not have worried as this is as good a selection of ghosts and spirits that you could find anywhere. Each story is headed by a short biography of the author,and as most of them were previously unknown to me,this was extremely useful.
As to the stories themselves - the first one 'The White Maniac : A Doctor's Tale' by Mary Fortune is the best. Of the rest,there are only a couple that I thought less than good,'The Cave of the Invisible' is confused and doesn't really get anywhere. The other is 'Hallowe'en - a standard werewolf tale. The remaining fourteen stories are all well worth reading,but I would urge you to try 'The Mystery of Major Molineux' by Marcus Clarke,which is told extremely well,albeit with a slightly disappointing ending (what is the strange transformation of the Major which drives those who witness it to madness and death?) 'The Bunyip' by Rosa Campbell Praed and 'The Accurses Thing' by Edward Dyson.
In short,this is a marvelous collection of unusual ghost stories which deserves to be better known. ( )
  devenish | Dec 15, 2011 |
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Human religious experiences are remarkably uniform; many can be pharmacologically induced. Recent research into the neurology of religious experience has shown that, when worshipping or praying, a certain part of the brain, apparently dormant during other activities, becomes active.What does all this mean for those of faith and those with none? In this fascinating book barrister Charles Foster takes a survey of the evidence ? from shamans to medieval mystics, to out-of-body experiences and epilepsy, via Jerusalem and middle-class Christianity ? and assesses its significance.… (more)

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