Dark Entries by Robert Aickman

Dark EntriesA review by C J Dee
  • Page count: 238
  • Format: Paperback
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Limited
  • Rating: ★☆ 4/5

Within this book you will find,
short stories of an unusual kind, (“Oy, verse.”)
The author preferred to call them ‘strange’,
to properly reflect his range,
Strange indeed are these stories – all six,
but within them you’ll get your fix,
Whether ghosties and ghoulies make your blood cold,
or a twisted tale you’d rather be told,
Mr Aickman has a taste for you,
just be sure his creatures don’t too.

I got chills while reading several of Robert Aickman’s stories. One flat out gave me the heebie jeebies. For a horror fan these are fantastic things.

My favourite story from the collection involves two visitors to a town where the church bells don’t stop ringing. Upon enquiring, the couple find themselves stuck in a twisted town with a macabre ritual taking place and no way to escape.

Not being familiar with Mr Aickman’s work, I particularly enjoyed reading the introduction (“Robert Aickman: An Introduction”) and the afterword (“Robert Aickman Remembered”). They gave a good reflection of Robert Aickman the man and Robert Aickman the writer.

As with all short story collections, some of the stories were strong and some were much weaker. However, as an overall collection from 50 years ago, I applaud Mr Aickman’s work for standing the test of time and still managing to impact on a contemporary horror fan. Bravo, Mr Aickman.

I would definitely recommend Dark Entries to fans of the macabre and fans of classic literature. Just keep in mind that the stories were originally published in 1964 so if you don’t have the patience to read the prose from that era, then Dark Entries probably isn’t the book for you.