Hot Best Seller

The Moonlit Road and Other Ghost and Horror Stories

Availability: Ready to download

Famed for the mordant wit and satire of his essays and newspaper columns, Ambrose Bierce (1842–1914) also possessed a fascination with the macabre. His masterful tales of the supernatural bespeak an imagination generations ahead of its time, exhibiting impressionistic conceits of reality in which space and time expand and contract according to individual perception. This st Famed for the mordant wit and satire of his essays and newspaper columns, Ambrose Bierce (1842–1914) also possessed a fascination with the macabre. His masterful tales of the supernatural bespeak an imagination generations ahead of its time, exhibiting impressionistic conceits of reality in which space and time expand and contract according to individual perception. This stimulating and provocative collection of twelve of Bierce's finest ghost and horror stories abounds in crimes of passion, restless specters seeking revenge, haunted houses, forewarnings of doom, and sound minds deranged by contact with the spirit world. Selections include "The Eyes of the Panther," a chilling account of a young woman's supernatural link to a beast of the forest; "A Watcher by the Dead," in which a madcap wager has ghastly consequences; "The Man and the Snake," a hallucinogenic encounter between serpent and human; "Moxon's Master," a nineteenth-century caveat against the coming Machine Age; the celebrated title story; and seven other vignettes. A feast for devotees of ghost and horror stories, this remarkable collection of intelligent and inventive tales will captivate any reader who enjoys a compelling and suspenseful narrative. --back cover


Compare

Famed for the mordant wit and satire of his essays and newspaper columns, Ambrose Bierce (1842–1914) also possessed a fascination with the macabre. His masterful tales of the supernatural bespeak an imagination generations ahead of its time, exhibiting impressionistic conceits of reality in which space and time expand and contract according to individual perception. This st Famed for the mordant wit and satire of his essays and newspaper columns, Ambrose Bierce (1842–1914) also possessed a fascination with the macabre. His masterful tales of the supernatural bespeak an imagination generations ahead of its time, exhibiting impressionistic conceits of reality in which space and time expand and contract according to individual perception. This stimulating and provocative collection of twelve of Bierce's finest ghost and horror stories abounds in crimes of passion, restless specters seeking revenge, haunted houses, forewarnings of doom, and sound minds deranged by contact with the spirit world. Selections include "The Eyes of the Panther," a chilling account of a young woman's supernatural link to a beast of the forest; "A Watcher by the Dead," in which a madcap wager has ghastly consequences; "The Man and the Snake," a hallucinogenic encounter between serpent and human; "Moxon's Master," a nineteenth-century caveat against the coming Machine Age; the celebrated title story; and seven other vignettes. A feast for devotees of ghost and horror stories, this remarkable collection of intelligent and inventive tales will captivate any reader who enjoys a compelling and suspenseful narrative. --back cover

30 review for The Moonlit Road and Other Ghost and Horror Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    The woman of a rich estate owner is murdered. In three chapters we hear about the story from the perspective of the son, his father (who gets lost) and the murdered woman (a ghost now). Why may the story be named that way? And who goes by the name of Grattan? A cleverly composed sinister ghost story like only Bierce could come up with. I absolutely enjoyed the atmosphere and structure of the story. Absolutely recommended!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    ***** The Eyes of the Panther "See these eyes so green / I can stare for a thousand years Colder than the moon... you wouldn't believe what I've been through." A young woman refuses to marry her suitor, although she professes to love him. Her reason? She believes she is insane, she claims. Of course, there has to be more to her story than that... and this is that story, which starts one dark night in a poor woodsman's cottage on the wild frontier. **** The Moonlit Road Heavily ironic, 'The Moonlit Ro ***** The Eyes of the Panther "See these eyes so green / I can stare for a thousand years Colder than the moon... you wouldn't believe what I've been through." A young woman refuses to marry her suitor, although she professes to love him. Her reason? She believes she is insane, she claims. Of course, there has to be more to her story than that... and this is that story, which starts one dark night in a poor woodsman's cottage on the wild frontier. **** The Moonlit Road Heavily ironic, 'The Moonlit Road' is an excellent example of Bierce's "mordant wit." Three different perspectives on a brutal death unpeel layers of truth - and reveal a none-too-flattering outlook on humanity. *** The Boarded Window Is this one supposed to be a tie-in to 'Eyes of the Panther,' or is it just similar in theme? I'm not sure. I felt that it was a less-successful variation of the story, as there's no explanation or seeming meaning behind why the 'creepy' events occur. An old hunter-trapper, out on the frontier, has lived alone in his modest cabin for years. His one window has remained boarded shut for as long as anyone can remember. This is the story of why he boarded that window for good. *** The Man and the Snake Staying over at a friend's house, a man picks up some bedtime reading - which happens to be an outdated scientific book mentioning the purported mesmeric abilities of snakes. It just so happens that the house belongs to a herpetologist, so the visitor is not that surprised when he finds a snake in his room. But although he skeptically scoffed at the phenomena attributed to serpents, perhaps the power of suggestion is not something he's immune to. Or perhaps, some true supernatural power is as work... *** The Secret of Macarger's Gulch A hunter caught far from home at sundown decides to camp out in an abandoned and dilapidated house. However, he doesn't pass a restful night - he's plagued by vague fears and strange dreams. Only much later does he learn the bloody history of Macarger's Gulch and discovers how close to the truth his dreams came. *** The Middle Toe of the Right Foot What? You don't think a reputedly haunted house is the ideal location for a duel to the death? A group of obnoxious and arrogant young men accept a stranger's challenge - but the contest doesn't end up quite how any of the parties expected. It does end in death, however. And the event is, of course, linked to the brutal murders that took place in the house years before. It's a good ghost story, but I thought it would've been better with a bit more explication - some of the elements just didn't make a huge amount of sense to me. **** A Psychological Shipwreck While on board a ship, a man takes ill and has all manner of hallucinations - hallucinations which turn out to be eerily true - of another ship. Really well-crafted, and quite spooky. **** A Holy Terror There are a couple of bloody brilliant things about this story. First, it's just terribly funny. Bierce just keep edging in these horribly astute little witty observations. It's great. Second, it's a historically wonderful depiction of the gold rush era (and its fallout.) It's also a horror story, and that part of it isn't quite as strong. It relies too heavily (and twice) on "The experience was just so awful that they dropped dead." If you're going to pull that one, it has to be a truly, truly awful experience... and I didn't think the ones here managed it. I'll forgive that though, because reading this was just wholly a pleasure. **** John Bartine's Watch A psychologist notices that his friend seems to have a peculiar obsession with his watch, and decided to do a little ad hoc experiment. But all doesn't end well... The watch was inherited from a great-grandfather who was never seen again, after being arrested by 'that damned traitor, Washington, and his ragamuffin rebels!' - and some evil taint clings to it. *** Beyond the Wall Upon visiting an old friend, the narrator finds him much, and distressingly changed. Sick and alone, in an eerie house that seems haunted, he tells a cautionary tale... The moral here may be, 'carpe diem,' but Bierce also gets in a bit about the foolishness of the 'upper class' giving themselves airs. *** A Watcher by the Dead This is another Bierce story where the simple reality of 'dead bodies' is presumed to be a lot more fear-inducing than it is. Here, a group of doctors make a bet that basically, anyone who's not a doctor or a soldier, who spends the night alone with a corpse will be unable to take it, and will go insane. So, the guy who takes the bet sets himself up to stand vigil... and well, the 'prank' goes horribly wrong. I dunno, the story seems to ignore the long-standing and respectful (and non-horrific) tradition of standing vigil over the dead... **** Moxon's Master It's an early sci-fi robot story! Adding an extra star just for that. A machinist has seemed unduly preoccupied with the philosophy of life, of late. He's been bringing up topics such as whether machines might be sentient to his friends. Little do they know these questions are not just academic - they have something to do with the invention he's kept concealed in his workroom. It all ends in grand Frankenstein/paranoid fashion. Many thanks to Dover and NetGalley for the opportunity to read. As always, my opinions are solely my own...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    Description: Famed for the mordant wit and satire of his essays and newspaper columns, Ambrose Bierce (1842–1914) also possessed a fascination with the macabre. His masterful tales of the supernatural bespeak an imagination generations ahead of its time, exhibiting impressionistic conceits of reality in which space and time expand and contract according to individual perception. This stimulating and provocative collection of twelve of Bierce's finest ghost and horror stories abounds in crimes of Description: Famed for the mordant wit and satire of his essays and newspaper columns, Ambrose Bierce (1842–1914) also possessed a fascination with the macabre. His masterful tales of the supernatural bespeak an imagination generations ahead of its time, exhibiting impressionistic conceits of reality in which space and time expand and contract according to individual perception. This stimulating and provocative collection of twelve of Bierce's finest ghost and horror stories abounds in crimes of passion, restless specters seeking revenge, haunted houses, forewarnings of doom, and sound minds deranged by contact with the spirit world. The Eyes of the Panther The Moonlit Road The Boarded Window The Man and the Snake The Secret of Macarger's Gulch The Middle Toe of the Right Foot A Psychological Shipwreck A Holy Terror John Bartine's Watch Beyond the Wall A Watcher by the Dead Moxon's Master This is without doubt the Main Man's favourite collection: intsy-wincy stories to be read to and by each other in the sauna. A month of Halloween 2015 reads: #1: 3* Nobody True by James Herbert: fraudio #2: 4* The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard: fraudio #3: 1* Brain Child by John Saul: fraudio #4: 3* Domain (Rats #3) by James Herbert: fraudio #5: 3* The Mourning Vessels by Peter Luther: paperback #6: 2* The Doom of the Great City: ebook short-story #7: 5* Long After Midnight by Ray Bradbury: fraudio #8: 5* The Dead Zone by Stephen King: fraudio #9: CR The Chalice: hardback #10: WL Seven Gothic Tales #11: 4* Tales of Men and Ghosts: gutenberg #12: 2* Shattered by Dean Koontz: fraudio #13: 5* The Dunwich Horror: e-book: gutenberg #14: 4* Death At Intervals: paperback #15: 3* Alone: gutenberg #16: 3* The Shunned House: gutenberg #17: 4* The Thing on the Doorstep #18: 2* Shadows by Saul: fraudio #19: CR Precious Cargo: paperback #20: 2* The Magicians of the Golden Dawn: ebook #21: 2* The Book of Black Magic #22: 4* Beyond the Wall of Sleep #23: 3* The Haunting of Hill House #24: 2* Inferno #25: 4* Monkey's Paw #26: 4* The Pit and the Pendulum #27: 3* William Wilson #28: CR The Moonlit Road and Other Stories #29: 3* The Black Cat #30: 4* The Cask of Amontillado #31: 4* The Tell-Tale Heart #32: 3* The Devil Rides Out #33: 3* The Omen (I, II, and III)

  4. 4 out of 5

    ᴥ Irena ᴥ

    3.5 This is a lovely collection of twelve stories with fear as the most prevalent, although not only, theme. I enjoyed most of these stories a lot. Then you have mocking of 'upper' classes, superficial friendships, revenge and so on. The Eyes of the Panther A young woman refuses to marry a man even though she clams she loves him. Her reason? One does not always marry when insane opens the story and it seems she believes she is insane. Then she tells him a story from her family's past. The Mo 3.5 This is a lovely collection of twelve stories with fear as the most prevalent, although not only, theme. I enjoyed most of these stories a lot. Then you have mocking of 'upper' classes, superficial friendships, revenge and so on. The Eyes of the Panther A young woman refuses to marry a man even though she clams she loves him. Her reason? One does not always marry when insane opens the story and it seems she believes she is insane. Then she tells him a story from her family's past. The Moonlit Road One of my favourites. It tells the story of jealousy and murder from three different POVs. The best part is that neither of the three is simply retelling the story. Each has its own mark. The Boarded Window This story also takes place in a remote cabin in the woods as the first story. It explains why the only window is boarded shut. The Man and the Snake There is a legend that some snakes can charm people holding them captive. Visiting his scientist friend who is an expert on snakes, Harker Brayton's mind will be put to test as far as this legend go. You are never given a complete explanation of what had . The Secret of Macarger’s Gulch A man decides to rest in an abandoned house in the woods. His dreams are terrifying and very vivid. Later he finds out that his dreams were very close to the truth. The Middle Toe of the Right Foot A duel in a haunted house reveals whether the place is haunted or not. A Psychological Shipwreck Hallucinations on a ship turn out to be creepily close to what happened miles away. A Holy Terror I loved this heart-breaking historical horror story. The time setting of gold rush is perfect. John Bartine’s Watch John Bartine is obsessed with his watch, or eleven in the evening to be precise. He tells a story of the watch to his friend who decides to do an experiment without telling Bartine. He doesn't expect what happens next. Beyond the Wall Everyone has a regret or two. A man visits his friend after years of travelling around the world. The friend is ill and lives alone. He tells his guest the story of his greatest regret. A Watcher by the Dead This one is a story of a bet gone horribly wrong. Moxon’s Master A horror science fiction story. 'ARE YOU serious? — do you really believe that a machine thinks?' It seems Moxon made one who does. ARC provided by Dover Publications via NetGalley

  5. 4 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    Heavily ironic, 'The Moonlit Road' is an excellent example of Bierce's "mordant wit." Three different perspectives on a brutal death unpeel layers of truth - and reveal a none-too-flattering outlook on humanity.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

    Both times I read this story it was rather good. The big treat about this creeper is that is has three different points of view.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    The Moonlit Road contains a number of excellent stories, including several considered Bierce’s best. I have to say, all of them were quite good, and I was impressed at how so many of them are still terrifying and suspenseful over a hundred years after Bierce wrote them. The title tale, for example, is a mind-bender that shows three perspectives of a man’s wife murdered by unknown assailants: three different characters, and each of their perspectives inform the reader a little more about the true The Moonlit Road contains a number of excellent stories, including several considered Bierce’s best. I have to say, all of them were quite good, and I was impressed at how so many of them are still terrifying and suspenseful over a hundred years after Bierce wrote them. The title tale, for example, is a mind-bender that shows three perspectives of a man’s wife murdered by unknown assailants: three different characters, and each of their perspectives inform the reader a little more about the true cause of death. There’s also little thrillers like “The Man and the Snake,” in which a man finds a snake in his hotel room; hypnotized by its glowing eyes, he struggles in vain to leave the room, but is only capable of crawling closer to it. Hearing a scream, the hotel staff rush to the room and find the man dead… next to a stuffed snake, with shoe-buttons for eyes. That’s the kind of twist Bierce excels at—the horror is palpable, the revelation is even more shocking, and regardless of how crazy the stories’ ideas are… they work. “The Secret of Macarger’s Gulch” was one of my favorites, an atmospheric little gem about a hunter who finds himself alone in the California wilds at dusk. Seeking refuge, he settles into the remains of an abandoned house for the night; as his fire burns low, his mind is filled with strange dreams… Awakened by wild thrashing in the house, he grips his shotgun tight and keeps his fire well lit for the rest of the night. Some years later, a chance meeting reveals the house’s dark past, a grim explanation of his night-time encounter. It’s a moody, morbid story, with an isolated atmosphere of suspense and unease, that also has a good deal of Bierce’s capable wit. Another excellent chiller, “A Holy Terror,” sees a man reach the remains of an isolated gold-rush ghost-town, then mark off part of the cemetery as his mining claim. In a flashback, we learn that he’d went adventuring to amass his fortune for his loved one, a woman who has since renounced their love and moved on. It turns out that the cemetery has a cache of gold hidden under one coffin, and the man begins to unearth it… only to find the coffin was buried upside-down, when its contents fall through the rotting wood onto him. This is an excellent example of Bierce’s work: after the mounting sense of dread with the man struggling to exhume a grave, and the sharp terror of the coffin’s contents, the story has not one but two twists as well as an ironic revelation of the hidden cache’s contents. Bierce uses the isolated American frontier as a backdrop to his tales of horror, a setting just a few generations removed from the world Bierce’s readers knew. “The Eyes of The Panther” has a vivid scene of a hungry mountain lion peering through a log cabin’s open window at a woman and her newborn; it’s not even related to the story’s true terror, of identity and sanity… and possibly, shape-shifters? “The Boarded Window” tells of an abandoned shack “only a few miles away from what is now the great city of Cincinnati,” where a frontiersman and his wife once scraped by. When the wife falls victim to fever, her husband tries to nurse her back to health, but to no avail. With her body lain in state on their table, the grief-stricken man loses his senses; he snaps back to reality to find some savage beast—another panther—coming through his open window. As usual, Bierce’s final twist is the horrifying part. It helps that Bierce’s prose is so eloquent and captivating; it’s sparse and economical yet erudite, possessing a keen vocabulary and good sense of how to properly pace a short terror tale. Bierce’s horror stories are quiet and detached, but he tells them with a companionable storyteller’s voice. His stories embrace their dark imagery, full of isolated places in the American frontier wilderness—moonlit forests filled with savage panthers, abandoned houses in the rocky California chaparral. The literary devices he uses are chosen to throw the reader off balance and keep them on edge; the stories have abrupt beginnings, and often end with a line just as abrupt; he makes vague references to time, setting his stories in a near but unspecified past; his descriptions are limited, vague but chosen with enough distinction to imprint an idea on your mind. In my mind, these tales have firmly entrenched Bierce’s status as a master of the weird tale. His influence on H.P. Lovecraft and Robert W. Chambers is documented, though he never gained the same reputation as Lovecraft or Poe—impacted in no small part by his misanthropic personality, while his strange disappearance left his legacy wide open. Bierce’s tales of the macabre are excellent, some of the best of their kind… I’ve read several similar volumes, and found this one of the better at building suspense and generating surprise. And readers who find older prose styles chafing should find Bierce’s tales a bit more modern and accessible. Anyone attracted to the horror genre ought to read some of them. Full review, and other book reviews, on my blog.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Ambrose Bierce remains--in my opinion--one of the early masters of the "quiet, atmospheric" ghost tales. So many of his stories have stood the test of time and are STILL able to bring genuine chills to the reader, no matter how many times certain selections are read. This collection brings together twelve of his ghostly tales, ranging from the well known ("The Boarded Window") to lesser known ("Moxon's Master"). The majority of these tales play on man's innate fear of things that come naturally: Ambrose Bierce remains--in my opinion--one of the early masters of the "quiet, atmospheric" ghost tales. So many of his stories have stood the test of time and are STILL able to bring genuine chills to the reader, no matter how many times certain selections are read. This collection brings together twelve of his ghostly tales, ranging from the well known ("The Boarded Window") to lesser known ("Moxon's Master"). The majority of these tales play on man's innate fear of things that come naturally: the dark; a decaying, abandoned structure; an unexplained sound breaking the silence of the night . . . As Bierce states in his tale, "The Moonlit Road", "Fear has no brains; it is an idiot". There are those things we universally "fear" without any sort of reason to accompany them. These are the things that Bierce so masterfully uses to manipulate our emotions and bring about that dread of the unknown. Personal favorites of mine in this collection include "The Middle Toe of the Right Foot", "The Moonlit Road", and "Moxon's Master". Highly recommended to fans of atmospheric horror. *I received an e-copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

  9. 4 out of 5

    Brenda A

    As usual, I am disappointed by this newest book's lack of scary. I find that I have gotten to the point where most horror novels aren't truly horror anymore; rather, I spend the entire length reading at night in the dark to try and get the proper creepiness factor in place. There were a few times here where I got a creeping chill, but then there was never any pay off. The author was gifted at build up, setting the suspense and characters. But then he's just drop off suddenly, a couple sentences As usual, I am disappointed by this newest book's lack of scary. I find that I have gotten to the point where most horror novels aren't truly horror anymore; rather, I spend the entire length reading at night in the dark to try and get the proper creepiness factor in place. There were a few times here where I got a creeping chill, but then there was never any pay off. The author was gifted at build up, setting the suspense and characters. But then he's just drop off suddenly, a couple sentences as my only indication the store was over. I wanted more and I would have been so much happier if the stories just told a tiny bit more. I think this is my usual issue with short stories though. I always want more than I am given. Thanks, NetGalley!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Randolph

    Bierce is so terse yet so erudite its hard to fault even his weaker fare. He's not as concise as Saki but close. They both share a strain of wicked humor. This entire book was good, there wasn't a single dud in the book. Best $1.00 you could invest.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jon Hieneman

    The stories are excellent, but the presentation is lacking. This is an audiobook, and it doesn't break between the stories or identify them by author or title at the beginning. If you're not listening carefully, sometimes the transition from one tale to the next passes almost unnoticed.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Mansfield

    Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) was a Victorian author of the weird and macabre specialing in ghost stories. Though during his life he was more renowned as a satirist, journalist, and editorialist. Thankfully, we've remembered him for his eerie tales. I've come across his stories in anthologies several times but this is the first author specific collection I've read. I had come across three of these stories before, but they make good re-reading. Bierce is comparable to Poe but easier to read. The sto Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) was a Victorian author of the weird and macabre specialing in ghost stories. Though during his life he was more renowned as a satirist, journalist, and editorialist. Thankfully, we've remembered him for his eerie tales. I've come across his stories in anthologies several times but this is the first author specific collection I've read. I had come across three of these stories before, but they make good re-reading. Bierce is comparable to Poe but easier to read. The stories in this collection have been selected from the 1909-1912 editions of "The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce" and show a mix of his ghost and, as the title calls them, "horror" stories (but I wouldn't necessarily give them that classification, but more general simply "weird tales"). I liked the weird, macabre tales the best and I'd recommend him to your reading list for those interested in Victorian ghost stories or tales of the weird. 1) The Eyes of the Panther - A young woman refuses to marry a man repeatedly and he demands to know why so she tells him she is insane and proceeds to tell him a story. It's a good story but it made me think too much of the original movie "Cat People", perhaps they got the idea from this story. (3/5) 2) The Moonlit Road - I hadn't recognized just by the title but it came to me quickly that I've read this one before. A son is called home from college urgently to discover his mother has been brutally murdered. Shortly afterward his father, while out on a walk with him, takes off and disappears forever. Told in three points of view first from the son, then the father and finally the mother, through the aid of a medium. None of them knows the whole truth, only the reader is able put most of it together, but afterthought still leaves a few questions. A creepy story. (4/5) 3) The Boarded Window - This is a creepy shocker that you have no idea where it is going. It starts off easy going enough and you wonder where it is going by the halfway point; it is quite short. Then it starts getting interesting with the tension mounting and pow! it gets you with the ending. (5/5) 4) The Man and the Snake - Another creepy little story with the shocker ending. This time, it leaves you puzzled wondering if what occurred was real or all in the mind. (5/5) 5) The Secret of Macarger's Gulch - A well-told ghost story! A man stops at an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere. He can't get to sleep because of a feeling of danger, perhaps a bear or a ghost? He does fall asleep, dreams, then wakes up and that is when the adventure begins. Leaves an uneasy feeling. (5/5) 6) The Middle Toe of the Right Foot - Oh I liked this, not very frightening but a bit grizzly to start. A house remains abandoned because of its claim to be haunted but not least likely because the former owner one night slashed the throats of his wife and two children and then absconded into the night. Some time later the house becomes the designated sight of two gentlemen who have called each other out to a duel: a knife fight in a darkened room. (4/5) 7) A Psychological Shipwreck - A man has a vision of an encounter with a young woman on a sinking ship, then rouses to find that he himself has been fine and dandy on another ship all this time. Then ensues an interesting story. A bit "whoo-whoo" for the times but didn't do much for me. (3/5) 8) A Holy Terror - This is just plain creepy. I'm not sure if it is a ghost story or not but a man does meet up with a skeleton and his death while grave digging and that is only a part of the story! A man goes to a ghost town that was once a thriving California Gold Rush town. Now deserted he plots off a stake and decidedly sets out looking for something specific and then we are told his curious history and what follows. This is the longest story in the collection so far. (4/5) 9) John Bartine's Watch: A Story by a Physician - A fairly short story of a man who is troubled by the watch of an ancestor who was taken away as a traitor to the rebel George Washington and never heard from again. Atmospheric, but predictable ending. (3/5) 10) Beyond the Wall - A man visits an old friend he hasn't seen in some time to find him in a dejected state, upon hearing a tapping on his tower wall the friend relates a tale of unremitted love, sorrow, death and ghosts. Again very atmospheric. (4/5) 11) A Watcher by the Dead - Three doctors play a game by betting that a man cannot spend the night in an abandoned house with a corpse in the dark due to some theory they have. Things turn out as we suspect but there is a surprising twist ending and then the author turns to humour to finish off the tale. I didn't like the funny part but the rest was good. (4/5) 12) Moxon's Master - This would have been a chilling tale at its own time. One that deals with whether machine's have intelligence. The first half was a bit boring for me as the philosophy and science is outdated by modern standards but I can imagine the thought it provoked at the time. Then it gets into the story of whether one man, a machinist, has created a thinking machine. It has a creepy ending. I really enjoyed this, though, because it explored an automaton chess player and a few years ago I read a graphic novel on *the* famous Victorian automaton chess player which was very good. (4/5)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ben Taylor

    Ambrose Bierce is one of those authors whose place in the canon of American Literature proper is too-often overlooked -- and I’m not certain why. This collection brings together some of Bierce’s short fiction, and it shows his relationship to better-known authors who came before (and who have come since). Bierce (1842-1914) falls between Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) and H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) in both chronology and writing style and subject. That’s not to construe Bierce as a bridge between Ambrose Bierce is one of those authors whose place in the canon of American Literature proper is too-often overlooked -- and I’m not certain why. This collection brings together some of Bierce’s short fiction, and it shows his relationship to better-known authors who came before (and who have come since). Bierce (1842-1914) falls between Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) and H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) in both chronology and writing style and subject. That’s not to construe Bierce as a bridge between early horror writers and later ones; his macabre fiction is foundational in the development of American horror fiction. This collection of stories takes readers all over the American continent (and England) as it looked in Bierce’s day: from a haunted shanty in the Sierra Nevadas, in which we meet a pair of ghosts from Edinburgh, to a haunted shipwreck off the coast of mother England herself. Bierce takes readers into dark corners of a dark world in these stories, often presenting us with occurrences of which readers may never have thought; in one story, “John Bartine’s Watch”, we find a loyalist to King George who both deplores George Washington and is terrified of looking at his pocket watch. That story also shows a side of Washington and his rebels that present-day readers may not have considered, with lines such as “[My great-grandfather] was permitted to say farewell to his weeping family, and was then marched away into the darkness which swallowed him up forever” (Loc. 1130). Such was the fate of John Bartine’s ancestor, who supported King George, at the hands of colonists loyal to Washington. Such lines are characteristic of Bierce’s fiction, the style of which matches his famous wit and satire in his journalism. The settings of his stories also mirror his travels around the continent which, to me at least, is an insight into how the author may have been inspired by his surroundings. Lines such as the one above are characteristic of his wit, while others, such as this one from “The Secret of MacArger’s Gulch”, show Bierce’s influence to Poe. “It was as if two pictures, the scene from my dream, and my actual surroundings, had been blended, one overlying the other, until the former, gradually fading, disappeared, and I was broad awake in the deserted cabin” (Loc. 600). It puts me in mind of Poe’s famous couplet “All that we ever see or seem / is but a dream within a dream”. The two quotes I mentioned are certainly not alone in this collection, which is a wonderful (and affordable -- it’s a Dover Thrift Edition, which is famous among academics for low-cost reading copies of books) read. The only word of warning I would offer to readers involves Bierce’s writing style. Some may call it dense, some may say he “tells” too much instead of “showing”, but Bierce is a product of his time, and his work reflects the style and conventions of fiction writing -- all writing, really -- of his time. Though his style may be daunting, it’s worth anyone’s time and effort to pursue his fiction.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ripley

    From the piercing eyes of a snake to the ghost of lost love and everything in between these are definitely stories to tell in the dark. This anthology was written by Ambrose Bierce in the 1890s around the time Mark Twain was popular. This tome deals with many different themes: supernatural, psychological, and has something to appeal to the fears of everyone. Though the writing is antiquated, the subject is not lost to the reader, and will especially appeal to those lovers of Victorian literature From the piercing eyes of a snake to the ghost of lost love and everything in between these are definitely stories to tell in the dark. This anthology was written by Ambrose Bierce in the 1890s around the time Mark Twain was popular. This tome deals with many different themes: supernatural, psychological, and has something to appeal to the fears of everyone. Though the writing is antiquated, the subject is not lost to the reader, and will especially appeal to those lovers of Victorian literature. Bierce is known for having twist endings and these stories can definitely be considered to have twist endings. Unfortunately, we live in a society where most scary story tropes have been done so the stories come off slightly predictable. If you can take this for what it is, old scary stories then they are very enjoyable. There wasn't a tale I didn't like. The style reminded me of Poe and can be confidently added to one's collection of classic gothic horror. I give this book a 5 out of 5 and recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Edgar Allen Poe and the like. I will be looking for more of Ambrose Pierce's publications.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Soudha

    I'll be honest here. Prior to reading this book, I was not in any way familiar with Ambrose Bierce. So I'm in fact really glad Dover Publications has compiled this nice little collection of some of his horror stories. I suppose that by modern standards, readers would rather see these stories as psychological and gothic horror stories rather than actual scary stories. I really enjoyed this collection regardless, as each story was nicely crafted and came with a unique twist at the end. And I'm ver I'll be honest here. Prior to reading this book, I was not in any way familiar with Ambrose Bierce. So I'm in fact really glad Dover Publications has compiled this nice little collection of some of his horror stories. I suppose that by modern standards, readers would rather see these stories as psychological and gothic horror stories rather than actual scary stories. I really enjoyed this collection regardless, as each story was nicely crafted and came with a unique twist at the end. And I'm very happy to say that I didn't see any of those endings coming. And that's how you know you've just read a great horror story! To me, Bierce is a bit the American E.A. Poe. I loved diving into the world his stories were set in and rediscovering horror through the voice of a man who lived more than a century before my time. To conclude this review, I'll just say this: I'm very glad to have found this collection and I'll definitely be reading more of Bierce's stories in the future. Thanks to the publisher for putting forth this collection and reintroducing these stories to modern readers!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rick West

    This is a fascinating story told from three views. The first is narrated by Joel Hetman, Jr.. He is a college boy called home by his father, because his mother, Julia, has been strangled to death. His father claims that he returned from a business trip and saw a man running from home. When he went inside the house, he says he found his wife dead on the bedroom floor. Quite some time later the father and son are walking down a moonlit road when the father sees something that quite upsets him and This is a fascinating story told from three views. The first is narrated by Joel Hetman, Jr.. He is a college boy called home by his father, because his mother, Julia, has been strangled to death. His father claims that he returned from a business trip and saw a man running from home. When he went inside the house, he says he found his wife dead on the bedroom floor. Quite some time later the father and son are walking down a moonlit road when the father sees something that quite upsets him and then he just disappears. The second part of the story is told by the father. And the third and final section is the statement of the murder victim, Julia Hetman. This is put together very very nicely and is a combination mystery / ghost story.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hwydiva

    Audio book contains classic short stories: A Pair of Silk Stockings - Kate Chopin A Hunger Artist - Franz Kafka The Yellow Paint - Robert Louis Stevenson The Model Millionaire - Oscar Wilde The Singing Lesson - Katherine Mansfield The Ambition Guest - Nathaniel Hawthorne Tobermory - Saki Up In the Gallery - Franz Kafka Wakefield - Nathaniel Hawthorne The Quince Tree - Emma Topping The stories are great, but this audio does not give the name and title of the books before beginning the stories. Sometimes it Audio book contains classic short stories: A Pair of Silk Stockings - Kate Chopin A Hunger Artist - Franz Kafka The Yellow Paint - Robert Louis Stevenson The Model Millionaire - Oscar Wilde The Singing Lesson - Katherine Mansfield The Ambition Guest - Nathaniel Hawthorne Tobermory - Saki Up In the Gallery - Franz Kafka Wakefield - Nathaniel Hawthorne The Quince Tree - Emma Topping The stories are great, but this audio does not give the name and title of the books before beginning the stories. Sometimes it is hard to tell when a story ends and another begins.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brendan

    As a whole the collection is better than average, but Bierce carries such a lofty reputation that I expected even better. A few pieces, such as "The Man and the Snake", meet expectations, but a few weaker entries just aren't worthy of a master. At his best, he handles the surprise ending well or introduces an idea that sparks the reader's imagination. At his worst, he falls back on his redundant fascination with death-by-terror and fails to compensate for the cliche.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Krista

    This is a collection of short stories that are suppose to be ghost and horror stories compiled together. Although, these stories were enjoyable there was really no excitement in reading them. Each and every one was predictable, not scary, and overdone. I did however enjoy a few so I didn't want to give less then 2 stars. I also increased my vocabulary quite a bit by reading these. Overall, this book was only 1.25 on Amazon (paperback), and worth the quick read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sohail

    What a sad and incredible story. According to Wikipedia, this story was a template for 'In a Grove', which in turn was the basis for Akira Kurosawa's famous film Rashōmon. In other words, what we call today as the Rashōmon effect, should have been called 'The moonlit road effect'. Highly recommended to everyone.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    A man's mother is brutally murdered but, except for the finger marks around her neck, no trace of the killer can be found.

  22. 4 out of 5

    K. Anna Kraft

    I've arranged my thoughts into a haiku: "Mute and struck affright, Lost in a lasting gray haze On the moonlit road."

  23. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Åsgård

    Pretty cool and unique little story! A murder told from three different perspectives - including the victim's!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Scott Doherty

    “When I turned to look for my father he was gone, and in all the years that have passed no whisper of his fate has come across the borderland of conjecture from the realm of the unknown.” The Moonlit Road is a short horror story written by Ambrose Bierce, an American editorialist, journalist and short story writer. The moonlit Road was first published in Cosmopolitan magazine in 1907. Ambrose Bierce switched back and forth between rigidly controlled war stories and macabre, otherworldly ghost sto “When I turned to look for my father he was gone, and in all the years that have passed no whisper of his fate has come across the borderland of conjecture from the realm of the unknown.” The Moonlit Road is a short horror story written by Ambrose Bierce, an American editorialist, journalist and short story writer. The moonlit Road was first published in Cosmopolitan magazine in 1907. Ambrose Bierce switched back and forth between rigidly controlled war stories and macabre, otherworldly ghost stories but he also publishes several volumes poetry. This is my first experience with Ambrose Bierce and was a wonderful way to become acquainted with his works. This morbid and tragic tale of Julia Hetman is imparted to the reader from three perspectives that being Julia Hetman, her husband Joel Hetman, and her son Joel Hetman, Jr. The irrational state of events is conveyed n an ambiguous and distorted manner which is never really resolved leaving the reader to make gleam some sense out of the affair for themselves. I enjoyed the narrative segments each one building on the story from a different point of view and it is completely subversive. The language used is also beautifully eloquent and the three-handed narration is a very clever technique that I have never come across until now. The abrupt dark imagery used to describe these impossible events serves to not only draws you further into this world but to do so with ease. I would recommend this little tale; it plays out almost like a fireside ghost story or an urban legend.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chazlyn

    Lovecraft-lite. Less cosmic horrors and more ghost stories to tell to your friends at camp. Actually contains the sentence "It was of the Earth, earthy."

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kati Stafford

    So thought provoking. Left me thinking about the stories for hours afterwards. I loved his writing style and his quirky descriptions. I particularly enjoyed Psychological Shipwreck.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    meh, none of the stories have any real punch and Bierce is known for milking the "twist ending." some of the tales just didn't make a whole lot of sense in terms of narrative.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Keith Parrish

    This is a collection of short stories by 19th century writer Ambrose Bierce whose most famous story is probably "An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge" which is not included here. These stories are more spooky than scary. Bierce, in the classic 19th century style sets up mood for each story, but the punch is often less haymaker than gentle nudge. Reading these, it is understandable where Bierce's reputation comes from. I'm not sorry I read it, but it's not one that will stay with me for long.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nathan San Filippo

    GHOSTS

  30. 5 out of 5

    delete

    The Moonlit Road is a short horror story written by Ambrose Bierce, an American editorialist, journalist and short story writer. The moonlit Road was first published in Cosmopolitan magazine in 1907. Ambrose Bierce switched back and forth between rigidly controlled war stories and macabre, otherworldly ghost stories but he also publishes several volumes poetry. This is my first experience with Ambrose Bierce and was a wonderful way to become acquainted with his works. This morbid and tragic tale The Moonlit Road is a short horror story written by Ambrose Bierce, an American editorialist, journalist and short story writer. The moonlit Road was first published in Cosmopolitan magazine in 1907. Ambrose Bierce switched back and forth between rigidly controlled war stories and macabre, otherworldly ghost stories but he also publishes several volumes poetry. This is my first experience with Ambrose Bierce and was a wonderful way to become acquainted with his works. This morbid and tragic tale of Julia Hetman is imparted to the reader from three perspectives that being Julia Hetman, her husband Joel Hetman, and her son Joel Hetman, Jr. The irrational state of events are conveyed n an ambiguous and distorted manner which is never really resolved leaving the reader to make gleam some sense out of the affair for themselves. I enjoyed the narrative segments each one building on the story from a different point of view and it is completely subversive. The language used is also beautifully eloquent and the three-handed narration is a very clever technique that I have never come across until now. The abrupt dark imagery used to describe these impossible events serves to not only draw you further into this world but to do so with ease. I would recommend this little tale, it plays out almost like a fireside ghost story or an urban legend.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.