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Strange Tales From the Strand by Jack Adrian
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Strange Tales From the Strand

by Jack Adrian (Editor)

Other authors: Grant Allen (Contributor), C. J. Cutcliffe-Hyne (Contributor), L. de Giberne Sieveking (Contributor), Vlliers de l'Isle-Adam (Contributor), Arthur Conan Doyle (Contributor)22 more, W. L. George (Contributor), Graham Greene (Contributor), J. B. Harris-Burland (Contributor), Henry A. Hering (Contributor), W. W. Jacobs (Contributor), B. L. Jacot (Contributor), Ianthe Jerrold (Contributor), F. Tennyson Jesse (Contributor), D. H. Lawrence (Contributor), L. T. Meade (Contributor), L. G. Moberly (Contributor), E. Nesbit (Contributor), Beverley Nichols (Contributor), Rina Ramsay (Contributor), Morley Roberts (Contributor), Sapper (Contributor), H. Greenbough Smith (Contributor), Martin Swayne (Contributor), Julian Symons (Foreword), Edgar Wallace (Contributor), Hugh Walpole (Contributor), H. G. Wells (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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932203,114 (3.86)2
Containing twenty-nine stories of the weird and uncanny, all originally published in the Strand, this collection is an enthralling mix of horror and the supernatural, unnatural disasters, madness, and revenge. We read of a germ that turned the world blind in Edgar Wallace's "The Black Grippe." In "A Sense of the Future," the world supply of oil gives out, cars become obsolete, and after three months we have returned to the days of horse-drawn carriages. In other tales, a camera takes pictures of the future, and a 1971 newspaper is pushed through a mail slot forty years earlier. With spine-tingling stories from the likes of Sapper, Graham Greene, D.H. Lawrence, and Arthur Conan Doyle, and a comic fantasy by H.G. Wells, as well as two tales from the children's writer E. Nesbit, Strange Tales from the Strand provides a rich collection for all lovers of the macabre.… (more)

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The original Strand Magazine was published in London from 1891 to 1950; its initial slogan described it as “a monthly magazine costing sixpence *but worth a shilling*,” which I find hilarious. On the 100th anniversary of the initial publication, Oxford University Press released this and a companion volume (“Detective Stories from The Strand”) to celebrate its accomplishments. The tales in this anthology are all somehow “weird” or uncanny, and feature some of the most notable writers of the day: Arthur Conan Doyle (with non-Sherlock stories), E. Nesbit (decidedly NOT children’s tales), Graham Greene, H.G. Wells, D.H. Lawrence and more. The structure is a little odd: each section of the anthology (“Revenants,” “Murder and Madness,” “Odd Man Out,” “Sheer Melodrama,” “Superbeasts,” “Unnatural Disasters” and “Two Storytellers”) is prefaced with brief biographies of the writers featured in the section, but once the reader gets used to that system, the stories are easily entered into and extremely enjoyable. Of course, given the time and place, pretty much each story deals primarily if not exclusively with rich white men, but that’s what people were writing and reading back then. An historical treasure-trove, really; recommended! ( )
  thefirstalicat | Nov 29, 2019 |
Before I read this anthology, The Strand Magazine brought to mind only Sherlock Holmes. My three-and-one-half stars rating is only an average. Judging by the stories here, Mr. Adrian is correct about their writers knowing how to entertain. The stories I gave only three stars I would probably have rated higher if I hadn't been reading strange fiction since the fifth grade, very close to five decades ago.

When I buy an anthology of weird fiction, I like to check the table of contents to see if at least half of them are unfamiliar. Of the stories here, I'd read only 'A Torture of Hope' before, and I'm pretty sure that was for some class. That makes this collection a particularly happy find.

Here's my rating for and a short description of each story:

'All But Empty' by Graham Greene ***
Sitting next to a chatty stranger in a cinema shouldn't be a big problem when the movie is silent.

'Lord Beden's Motor' by Mr. J. B. Harris-Burland ***1/2
Lord Beden is determined to catch up with that strange vehicle no matter how fast he has to drive or how bad the road -- and seat belts and air bags haven't been invented yet.

'The Tarn' by Hugh Walpole *****
A man who blames the bitter failures of his life on another finally has the object of his hatred in his power.

'Resurgam' by Rina Ramsay ***
A parson from a London slum can't imagine what could possibly be making the parson of a peaceful country town a nervous wreck.

'The Railway Carriage' by Ms. F. Tennyson Jesse***
There's something rather creepy about the other passengers in Solange's railway car.

'The Bell' by Mr. Beverley Nichols ***
A middle-aged man with a weak heart contemplates the freedom he'll have now that his control freak manservant is dead.

'His Brother's Keeper' by Mr. W. W. Jacobs****
Can't a poor, honest murderer get a bit of peace?

'Touch and Go' by Sapper [Herman Cyril McNeile]****
If you knowingly rent a house where a brutal murder once took place, you have to expect difficulties keeping servants.

'Waxworks' by Mr. W. L. George ***1/2
We have our cover story and the look of fear on the visitors is deserved. Here's a link to one of the lesser-known exhibits:
http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2010/10/murder-in-19th-century-france-and-the-birth-of...

'White Spectre' by Mr. B. L. Jacot***1/2
Six plane crash survivors holed up in a cave in the mountains, then there were five...

'Tickets, Please' by D. H. Lawrence**** [uncut version]
A handsome young ladies' man may have been dating a few too many of his co-workers, heh-heh...

'A Torture by Hope' by Villiers de l'Isle-Adam [Philippe-Auguste. Compte de Villiers de l'Isle-Adam]****
A very nasty story set in the bad old days of the Spanish Inquisition.

'A Horrible Fright' by Mrs. L. T. Meade***
A foolhardy girl soon wishes she'd stayed in a ladies' railway carriage as her father had advised.

'The Case of Roger Carboyne' by Mr. H. Greenhough Smith***1/2
It's the late 19th century and there are no helicopters, so how could the marks of a body being dragged suddenly stop, leaving only unbroken snow? (From my copy of The Annotated Tales of Edgar Allen Poe, I believe that when the Coroner asks if the police are entirely at fault, he is using 'fault' in the hunting jargon sense of being at a loss or puzzled.)

'The Orchestra of Death by Ianthe Jerrold***1/2
A dancer fears she will be mudered, but the show must go on.

'The Lizard' by C. J. Cutcliffe-Hyne***1/2
A hunter and cave enthusiast finds something special during a new exploration.

'Inexplicable' by Ms. L. G. Moberly****
The couple are so pleased with their new house, especially that beautiful carved crocodile or alligator-legged table that the last tenant left behind for some reason. (Both terms are used.)

'The Prophetic Camera' by L. de Giberne Sieveking [L = 'Lancelot,' also known as 'Lance Sieveking']***1/2
Yes, the camera takes pictures of the future. My favorite reaction was the wife's.

'Cavalanci's Curse' by Henry A. Hering ***1/2
The curse involves magic violins. The dialogue of the non-English characters was so stupidly stereotypical that it made me snicker.

'The Queer Story of Brownlow's Newspaper' by H. G. Wells [Herbert George]***
1930s Wells' idea of what the world would be like in 1971 is good for some chuckles. Note: 'queer' is being used in its old sense of being strange, odd, weird, etc. Also, when Brownlow's state is described as having been on the gayer side of sobriety, it means he was happy, cheerful, blithe, etc.

'The Black Grippe' by Edgar Wallace***1/2
A London doctor's animal testing shows that what seemed to be a minor pandemic will make people blind for days, and he tries to warn the world.

'The Fog' by Morley Roberts*****
London is choked by a fog we'd probably call 'smog' that's so dark and thick that the people can't see. A blind veteran is trying to keep a small group alive. The descriptions of mob behavior are very believable.

'The Thames Valley Catastrophe' by Grant Allen****
A man tries to warn others of the terrible danger they're in while he races to rescue his family.

'A Sense of the Future' by Martin Swayne***
If a canny financier is correct, the world's oil will soon run out. There'll be no more petrol (gasoline)! What's a car lover to do?

'The Silver Mirror' by Arthur Conan Doyle***1/2
An accountant's antique mirror starts showing him a dramatic scene from the past.

'The Haunted House' by E. Nesbit****
A young man answers an advertisement to investigate a haunting. Is it ghost or a vampire that infests the place?

'How It Happened' by Arthur Conan Doyle***
We get the story through a writing medium [a medium who practices automatic writing?]. It's rather like one of those mystery shows where the audience is shown the murderer before the first commercial, so the rest of the show is spent wondering how or when the hero/ine will figure it out.

'The Power of Darkness' by E. Nesbit****
Two friends, both in love with the same woman, have bet each other that neither could bear to spend a night alone in a wax museum.

'The Horror of the Heights' by Arthur Conan Doyle****
In a story published the year before World War I started, a pilot is determined to take his little monoplane more than 40,000 feet into the air -- even though he suspects he'll encounter something deadly. I don't know if the descriptions of the plane's workings are accurate, but even the thought of going that high in a plane of that era certainly scared me.

I recommend this collection to weird fiction fans who enjoy late 19th through the first half of 20th century writing. ( )
  JalenV | Jun 19, 2013 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Adrian, JackEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Allen, GrantContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cutcliffe-Hyne, C. J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
de Giberne Sieveking, L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
de l'Isle-Adam, VlliersContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Doyle, Arthur ConanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
George, W. L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Greene, GrahamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harris-Burland, J. B.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hering, Henry A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jacobs, W. W.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jacot, B. L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jerrold, IantheContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jesse, F. TennysonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lawrence, D. H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Meade, L. T.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moberly, L. G.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nesbit, E.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nichols, BeverleyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ramsay, RinaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Roberts, MorleyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
SapperContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, H. GreenboughContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Swayne, MartinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Symons,JulianForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wallace, EdgarContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Walpole, HughContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wells, H. G.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brownfield, MickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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People/Characters
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Important events
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Epigraph
Dedication
Dedicated to the Editors
of the
Strand Magazine
H. Greenbough Smith (1891-1930)
Reeves Shaw (1930-1941)
R. J. Minney (1941-1942)
Reginald Pound (1942-1946)
Macdonald Hastings (1946-1950)
First words
It is not often that one finds an empty cinema, but this one I used to frequent in the early 1930s because of its almost invariable, almost total emptiness. (All But Empty)
A HARD man was Ralph Strang, seventh Earl of Beden, seventy years of age on his last birthday, but still upright as a dart, with hair white as snow, but with the devilry of youth still sparkling in his keen dark eyes. (Lord Beden's Motor)
As Foster moved unconsciously across the room, bent towards the bookcase, and stood leaning forward a little, choosing now one book, now another, with his eye, his host, seeing the muscles of the back of his thin, scraggy neck stand out above his low flannel collar, thought of the ease with which he could squeeze that throat and the pleasure, the triumphant, lustful pleasure, that such an action would give him. (The Tarn)
THE London parson had taken a night off to run down and preach for stackhouse. (Resurgam)
SOLANGE FONTAINE nearly missed the train that Monday morning. (The Railway Carriage)
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Book description
This volume contains the following stories:
Graham Greene: 'All But Empty'
J. B. Harris-Burland: 'Lord Beden's Motor'
Hugh Walpole: 'The Tarn'
Rina Ramsay: 'Resurgam'
F. Tennyson Jesse: 'The Railway Carriage'
Beverley Nichols: 'The Bell'
W. W. Jacobs: 'His Brother's Keeper'
Sapper: 'Touch and Go'
W. L. George: 'Waxworks'
B. L. Jacot: 'White Spectre'
D. H. Lawrence: '"Tickets, Please"'
Villiers de l'Isle Adam: 'A Torture By Hope'
L. T. Meade: 'A Horrible Fright'
H. Greenhough Smith: 'The Case of Roger Carboyne'
Ianthe Jerrold: 'The Orchestra of Death'
C. J. Cutcliffe-Hyne: 'The Lizard'
L. G. Moberly: 'Inexplicable'
L. de Giberne Sieveking: 'The Prophetic Camera'
Henry A. Hering: 'Cavalanci's Corpse'
H. G. Wells: 'The Queer Story of Brownlow's Newspaper'
Edgar Wallace: 'The Black Grippe'
Morley Roberts: 'The Fog'
Grant Allen: 'The Thames Valley Catastrophe'
Martin Swayne: 'A Sense of the Future'
Arthur Conan Doyle: 'The Silver Mirror'
E. Nesbit: 'The Haunted House'
Arthur Conan Doyle: 'How It Happened'
E. Nesbit: 'The Power of Darkness'
Arthur Conan Doyle: 'The Horror of the Heights'
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