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A TV reality show host helps to restore an East End music hall and uncovers the dreadful secret of Mrs Midnight and her Animal Comedians…. A historian travels to Switzerland to ghost the autobiography of an exiled Balkan king and encounters a sinister cult…. The Master of an Oxford college tries to introduce a dubious piece of modern sculpture into his college chapel with dire consequences…. A strange meeting takes place on a playing field between an officer on leave from the trenches and his former headmaster….
The settings and characters in Reggie Oliver’s fifth collection of ‘strange’ stories are as varied and unusual as ever, though, as in previous volumes, the theatre forms the milieu of a number of his tales. But the theatres are not just English ones, in the provinces and the West End: one is on the Black Sea; another in post-colonial Kenya. Themes are equally varied, but…[more]
In his first two collections of supernatural tales, The Dreams of Cardinal Vittorini, and The Complete Symphonies of Adolf Hitler, playwright, actor, and theatre director Reggie Oliver demonstrated his mastery of the classic ghost story. Now, in his eagerly anticipated third collection, Masques of Satan, Oliver shows why he is being hailed as one of the best and freshest new voices to emerge in the genre in recent years.
Many of the tales in the collection draw on the author’s theatrical background, and in such stories as ‘Mmm-Delicious’, ‘Puss-Cat’, ‘Blind Man’s Box’, ‘Grab a Granny Night’, ‘Mr Poo-Poo’, ‘The Road from Damascus’, and the stunning novella ‘Shades of the Prison House’ he takes us backstage into a world of easy friendship and a surface glamour which conceals something much more dark and desperate. Oliver’s talent for pastiche shines in ‘The Silver Cord’, which won the…[more]
Variety and originality of setting, strength of characterisation, stylistic elegance and narrative power are qualities for which Reggie Oliver has become well-known in his five volumes of ‘strange stories’. All are present in this groundbreaking debut volume.