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Stories for Late at Night by Alfred…
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Stories for Late at Night (1961)

by Alfred Hitchcock (Editor)

Other authors: Robert Arthur (Editor), Jerome Bixby (Contributor), Ray Bradbury (Contributor), Ruth Chatterton (Contributor), John Collier (Contributor)13 more, Roald Dahl (Contributor), John B. L. Goodwin (Contributor), Brett Halliday (Contributor), William Hope Hodgson (Contributor), Cyril Hume (Contributor), M. R. James (Contributor), Will F. Jenkins (Contributor), George Langelaan (Contributor), Philip MacDonald (Contributor), C. L. Moore (Contributor), Gouverneur Morris (Contributor), Robert Trout (Contributor), Evelyn Waugh (Contributor)

Series: Alfred Hitchcock Presents

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Showing 5 of 5
This is one of a number of anthologies issued in the 1960s under Alfred Hitchcock's name, though they were actually ghost-edited by Robert Arthur (who is probably best known as the author of the Three Investigators series for young readers.) The stories of the macabre included here are a good mix of genres, from realistic suspense to the supernatural and fantastic to science fiction. I enjoyed most everything and here are a few of the most memorable ones:

"The Fly" by George Langelaan: The invention of teleportation technology becomes a scientist's nightmare when a wayward insect enters the equation.

"It's a Good Life" by Jerome Bixby: A young boy holds a small town in thrall, cut off from the rest of the world, with his seemingly limitless power to manipulate reality.

"The Whole Town's Sleeping" by Ray Bradbury: A group of lady friends navigates their quiet suburban town where there lurks a killer...who could be anyone.

"Pieces of Silver" by Brett Halliday: A pompous American looking for oil in Mexico treats the locals poorly and receives his comeuppance.

"The Whistling Room" by William Hope Hodgson: Carnacki, the psychic detective, investigates the case of an upstairs room that wails without an occupant.

( )
  chaosfox | Feb 22, 2019 |
I really enjoyed this collection of stories. I thought there was an excellent balance when it came to the length of the stories, with longer ones generally coming after a number of shorter ones. This made it ideal for reading on the bus to and from work, as I never really found myself at that awkward stage of only having 2 or 3 more pages to go but being unable to finish a story before having to be somewhere. The stories are quick reads and quite interesting, though some are predictable (Bradbury's contribution, for example, reminded me strongly of a child's campfire story). All are well-written and generally stay away from the truly "scary" section of the horror/mystery genre. Nothing in this book is likely to give anyone nightmares, unless that person is a child or an especially sensitive and/or imaginative adult.

I also enjoyed the chance to read stories by authors who aren't "big names." "It's a Good Life," written by a man whose name I'd never heard, was particularly interesting and haunting to me. Overall, a great collection of stories for those who like mysteries, the supernatural, and horror. ( )
  athenaharmony | Apr 28, 2014 |
What a shame that this book is out of print! A thoroughly enjoyable collection of horror, science fiction, and thriller stories, many of them adapted for television on the great thriller shows of the 60's like Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone. An outstanding mix of stories of different tones and genres, all excellent. The final story, really more of a novella, is a bit long for this collection, especially when one considers how many more various stories could have replaced it, but still an exceptional collection. If you're a fan of short stories writers like Roald Dahl and Shirley Jackson, you will love this collection, most of all because the stories that appear here are not reprinted to death, and you've likely never read them, even if, like me, you're a fan of the genre who despairs that you've read all the good stuff. ( )
1 vote TheBentley | Dec 17, 2010 |
Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Stories for Late at Night is one of a number of 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents' short story anthologies that came out in the sixties. Like the show they were named after, these books would have stories by then current luminaries in the mystery and weird fiction field. In this book, the focus is more on creating an eerie mood or suspenseful situation than setting up mysteries for the reader to puzzle out.

There are suspense stories along with supernatural horror and some that don't fit any other category than Weird Tales. While there were a few duds (unfortunately the very first story is one of them), I get the feeling that some of my favorites would be others' flops and vice-versa. I guess what I'm trying to say is that none of the stories (even ones I didn't care for) felt like filler.

Also, at an average of twelve to fifteen pages, they were just long enough to read right before bedtime (though there are two forty-ish page novellas and a one hundred and fifty page novel included in the mix). The book contains no obvious gore. Like the show and Alfred Hitchcock's movies, what violence there is occurs 'off screen' for the most part, so if you do read a story before going to sleep, at least you won't have nightmares.

There were a number of 'big names' represented (Ray Bradbury, John Collier, C.L. Moore), but I found a number of my favorite stories were from authors I was unfamiliar with (Jerome Bixby's "It's a Good Life", Will F. Jenkins' "Side Bet" and Philip MacDonald's "Our Feathered Friends"). The stories from famous authors weren't sub-par though. Ray Bradbury's "The Whole Town is Sleeping" is probably the creepiest story in the book and Henry Slesar's "A Cry From the Penthouse" is an excellent little thriller that reminded me of Stephen King's "The Ledge" (though "A Cry From the Penthouse" is the older story).

It is an EXCELLENT collection, well worth the read, though I'm not sure of the wisdom of putting the 150 page novel The Iron Gates at the end. After all the shorts, it's weird to cap the book off with the longest tale. However, the novel was enjoyable and though it is the closest to being a traditional mystery, it still fit with the tone of the rest of the book.

Many of the books in this series began with an introduction by Alfred himself. This one didn’t. I wish it would have. I loved the collection as it was, but a word from Hitch would have just been the cherry on top.

Regardless, I enjoyed this collection immensely and have already ordered Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Stories That Scared Even Me and Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Stories Not For The Nervous. ( )
3 vote jseger9000 | Aug 29, 2010 |
The stories in this collection aren't all ghost stories, like one would expect, although some of them are. Some are also science fiction and others are murder mysteries. The common thread is, of course, that they are frightening. They didn't give me nightmares or anything, but I did find myself revisiting the tales in my mind at other times of the day.
Along with short stories, the volume also contains two novelettes and one full-length novel. Vintage Season, the first novelette, I enjoyed the most of any other tale in this book. A man rents his home to some very unusual guests, with unexpected consequences. To say any more would be to give it away. I highly recommend it.
The novel comes at the end of the book, and after reading through various short stories which can always be set aside and picked up again later, to find something which contains chapters was a bit disconcerting. Also, I thought the novel quite lengthy; the plot of which could probably have been quite a bit condensed.
Overall, however, each of the tales has merit and an actual ending. The conclusions to the stories are all very satisfying, which for me is very important. I highly recommend you spend some time checking them out (late at night). ( )
4 vote EmScape | Jun 15, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hitchcock, AlfredEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arthur, RobertEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bixby, JeromeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bradbury, RayContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chatterton, RuthContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Collier, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dahl, RoaldContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goodwin, John B. L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Halliday, BrettContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hodgson, William HopeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hume, CyrilContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
James, M. R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jenkins, Will F.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Langelaan, GeorgeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
MacDonald, PhilipContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moore, C. L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morris, GouverneurContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Trout, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Waugh, EvelynContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
The editor gratefully acknowledges the invaluable assistance of Robert Arthur in the preparation of this volume.
First words
You're asleep now, David. ("Death is a Dream")
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Disambiguation notice
This is a compilation of 12 Stories for Late At Night and More Stories for Late at Night. Please do not combine them.
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The US edition (Random House, 1961) anthology contains:

Death is a Dream - Robert Arthur
It's a Good Life - Jerome Bixby
The Whole Town's Sleeping - Ray Bradbury
Lady's Man - Ruth Chatterton
Evening Primrose - John Collier
The Sound Machine - Roald Dahl
The Cocoon - John B.L. Goodwin
Vintage season - C.L. Moore (as Lawrence O'Donnell)
Pieces of Silver - Brent Halliday
The Whistling Room - William Hope Hodgson
Told for the Truth - Cyril Hume
The Ash-Tree - M.R. James
Side Bet - Will F. Jenkins
Second Night Out (a.k.a. The Black, Dead Thing) - Frank Belnap Long
Our Feathered Friends - Philip MacDonald
The Fly - George Langelaan
Back There in the Grass - Gouverneur Morris
The Mugging (a.k.a. A Mugging at Midnight) - Edward L. Perry
Finger, Finger - Margaret Ronan
A Cry From the Penthouse - Henry Slesar
The People Next Door - Pauline C. Smith
D-Day - Robert Trout
The Man Who Liked Dickens - Evelyn Waugh
The Iron Gates - Margaret Millar.

The UK version (Max Reinhardt, 1962) omits the titles by Dahl and Morris.
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