The Dead of Night by Oliver Onions

The Dead of Night

With an Introduction by David Stuart Davies.Oliver Onions is unique in the realms of ghost story writers in that his tales are so far ranging in their background and substance that they are not easily categorised. His stories are powerfully charged explorations of psychical violence, their effects heightened by detailed character studies graced with a powerful poetic elegance. In simple terms Oliver Onions goes for the cerebral rather than the ju...

Details The Dead of Night

TitleThe Dead of Night
Release DateAug 5th, 2010
PublisherWordsworth Editions
GenreHorror, Short Stories, Ghost Stories, Fantasy, Weird Fiction, Paranormal, Ghosts, Fiction

Reviews The Dead of Night

  • Nancy Oakes
    Oliver Onions is probably best known for his excellent "The Beckoning Fair One," which will live in my head as one of the greatest ghost stories of all time, one that explores the tenuous connection between, as editor David Stuart Davies says in his introduction to this book, "creativity and insanity." That one I've read several times and I'd read it several times again because it's so good. It's his lesser-known stories that captured my attentio...
  • T.D. Whittle
    I had never heard of Oliver Onions until I ran across his name on Amazon whilst purchasing collections of M.R. James, Algernon Blackwood, and E.F. Benson. I had never read any of these authors prior to 2012, and they are all brilliant writers. Who can resist reading an author named Oliver Onions anyway?OO is great at building character and atmosphere. The amazing thing about his stories, as well as those of the other (I believe more famous) write...
  • Simon
    For some reason, these Wordsworth collections of old ghost stories often take me many months to read, probably because they are quite intense and sesquipedalian that reading any more than one or two stories together get's a bit much. Taken in small doses though, they are deeply enjoyable.Oliver Onions, as an English writer of ghost stories in the early twentieth century, one might be inclined to compare him to M. R. James. In terms of quality and...
  • Andy
    Let this review be a warning to the modern reader with limited reading time. There's some true masterpieces here, but I'm reviewing the WHOLE book which I read, in my masochistic completism.The few great stories here subtly and skillfully build psychological suspense and release it in conclusions with emotional punch that's as undeniable as it is uncommon. These aren't "easy" stories though; some will find them elusive, overly psychological, and ...
  • Hugo Emanuel
    I would like to commend Wordsworth for publishing great books at such affordable prices. The covers are decent, the pages do not rip off (I have bought their edition of The Karamazov Brothers, carried it with me everywhere and my copy remains in one piece) and their criteria of what to publish is outstanding. I recently became very interested in supernatural fiction but did not know where to start. So based on the reviews by other users I have bo...
  • Paul
    This collection’s subtitle is rather unfortunate and misleading. Few of these stories could be described as ghost stories in any ordinary sense. Rather, these tend to be enigmatic, ambiguous weird tales focused on inner psychological landscapes of their protagonists. Supernatural is barely, if at all, present – but, even when they are slight and when their objective reality is in question, Onions’ evocations of supernatural are effective an...
  • Hatebeams
    Some great stories in here, notably 'Benlian' and 'The Rope in the Rafters' as well as the invaluable 'Beckoning Fair One'. Padded with lesser stories that tend to follow a fairly deadpan supernatural romance formula, but Onions' wry characterisations and chilling atmospherics make them worth ploughing through anyway (to be fair, a couple such stories are really excellent). Artistic inspiration is a recurring theme and one which Onions handles ex...
  • Jim Smith
    In his opening Credo, which is absolutely key to properly enjoying and understanding this book, author Oliver Onions describes the stories as ranging between the infra-red and ultra-sound of ghostly fiction, i.e. the impression of ghostiliness and the intangible other is more important to his stories than the actual appearance of spiritual apparitions. Onions crafts psychical planes in which personas murkily dimmer and flow into one another. This...
  • James Hold
    I didn't like this. I can't pinpoint why unless it's that I like stories that get to the point and Onions takes too much time doing so. I'd start the book, read a bit, set it aside, come back to it, then start skipping pages (which is always a bad sign), and finally after 3 months tossed it in my give-to-charity box. All in all a disappointing experience because I'd heard so much about how good OO is supposed to be.
  • Richard
    The four stars are in recognition of the presence of the undeniable classics like The Beckoning Fair One and Roumm and the general high quality of Onions' writing. This is far and away the best value collection of Onions' short fictionthere is: it's cheap and it's just about complete. However, the ghost story fan should be aware that about half the stories aren't ghost stories at all. The collection included here, 'Ghosts by Daylight', would have...
  • Steve
    Oliver Onions is the author of some of the finest stories of supernatural terror ever put to paper, and almost all of them are contained in The Dead of Night: The Ghost Stories of Oliver Onions. I cannot recommend this Wordsworth edition highly enough, but here I am trying to do so. A five-star rating doesn't do it justice. Read it.
  • Carolyn
    I greatly enjoyed this thick collection for two reasons-1. It was the right kind of twisted, ghostly and odd stories collection to pull me in and hold me captivated so I kept returning to it over and over more than any other story collection I own. 2 Oliver Onions was one of my late fathers favorite writers; I searched for one of his books for years and I found one finally and I am not letting it go. I will return to it whenever I need a ghostly ...
  • Stephen Curran
    The first story in this collection (the frequently anthologised The Beckoning Fair One) will be of interest to anyone of a writerly bent. A stalled novelist moves into a new house with the intention of finishing his book but ends up distracted by whitewashing the walls, putting up curtains and napping. Then things turn spooky. It's a tale of procrastination as horror.Elsewhere, one or two of the tales share the icky, off-kilter flavour of the sho...
  • Rick
    Edward Gorey loved Onions' work. He incorporates a certain amount of mysticism, ideas of reincarnation, and a certain gothic dreaminess in his stories, many of which are quite long. He is more like Henry James and Edith Wharton, less like the run-of-the-mill wraiths and bloody bones, demonic possessors and the like, which one finds in a lot of contemporary horror films and stories. He deserves to be re-read, to glean all of the atmosphere and por...
  • Susi Haisty
    The stories are a bit unusual, not many ghosts in this except for the first story. But they were interesting tales, rather different, and very art-involved, in that most of the stories are about artists. Interesting to read.
  • Alice
    Simply excellent. It takes a lot to creep me out, and Onions succeeded more than once.
  • Chiefdonkey Bradey
    I knew, whilst reading these stories, I might wake up in the dark and feel, again, the delicate shuddering unease they evoked
  • Tony Glover
    These stories linger in the memory, just like the name of their author. Much less well known than MR James, but just as unsettling.
  • Dylan Rock
    It is a great shame that Oliver Onions isn't better known when you consider Algernon Blackwood, H.P. Lovecraft and Robert Aickman considered him to be one of the greatest horror writers of the 20th century, his stories blend the supernatural with the psychological an absolutely fantastic writer in every regard
  • Jay Rothermel
    Great collection, great stylist, not just Henry Jamesian psychological abstraction, but genuine mostly genuine tales of the supernatural, strange and weird.