John Burke – Tales Of Unease
Posted by demonik on August 31, 2007
John Burke (ed.) – Tales of Unease (Pan, 1966)
D’Arcy Niland – The Sound and the Silence
R.A. Hall – The Other Woman
Andrea Newman – Such a Good Idea
Penelope Mortimer – The Skylight
John Christopher – Rendezvous
Christine Brooke-Rose – Red Rubber Gloves
Michael Cornish – Superstitious Ignorance
B.S. Johnson – Sheela-Na-Gig
Joan Fleming – Gone is Gone
Brian Aldiss – A Pleasure Shared
Jack Griffith – Black Goddess
John Kippax – Reflection of the Truth
Charles Eric Maine – Short Circuit
John Marsh – The Appointment
Cressida Lindsay – Watch Your Step
Paul Tabori – Janus
Marten Cumberland – The Voice
Kate Barlay – A Mistake of Creation
Jeffry Scott – Out of the Country
Alex Hamilton – End of the Road
Dell Shannon – The Practical Joke
Not the first book I’ve got rid of and later wondered what the Hell I was playing at. The first of Burke’s three Unease collections. Here are a few tasters:
Brian Aldiss – A Pleasure Shared: “Public houses are the inventions of the devil, Mrs. Meacher”. A Saint in his own mind, Mr. Cream is fastidious to a fault due to his strict upbringing and there’s not a day goes by he doesn’t thank his parents for instilling in him a strong streak of self-discipline. Indeed, loose women so annoy him that he invites them back to his lodgings for a damn good throttling. When Flossie Meacher stabs a fellow tenant after he makes drunken advances toward her, she turns to Cream to help her dispose of the body, pointing out that she’s just seen Miss Colgrave’s corpse propped up in his room.
John Marsh – The Appointment: After squandering his inheritance on gambling, a man on the verge of suicide receives tomorrow’s newspaper from a mysterious figure at the tube station. Over the following months he accumulates a fortune but then, on the eve of his wedding to his long term girlfriend, he buys his customary newspaper from the stranger, only to be confronted with the screaming headline Bridegroom Dies In Sleep. He narrates his story while desperately trying to stay awake.
Jeffry Scott – Out of the Country: short-short in which Mr. Bullivant makes good his promise to smuggle a murderer across the sea – ground up in a hundred tins of dog food!
Alex Hamilton – End of the Road: Disorientated driver Henry winds up taking his nagging wife and sister through the windscreen.
Joan Fleming – Gone is Gone: The ghostly voice of Clowd over the telephone shortly after his funeral is too much for the scheming Comfort to take. For years he’s hated the man who was his partner in the antique shop because he would always outsmart him. Now, just as he’s about to cheat Clowd’s wife out of her estate, Comfort is turned over again – by a gramophone record.
Andrea Newman – Such A Good Idea: The narrator locks her husband in his study on a whim, wondering how long it will take him to realise. The situation escalates from the moment he does ….
Dell Shannon – The Practical Joke: Griffith’s has written a book scoffing at all things supernatural, and his friends decide to put his scepticism to the test. When the quiet Welshman takes a holiday cottage in a remote Somerset village, they rope in some locals to give him the full Blair Witch Project experience, unaware that the place is only empty in the first place due to its previous owner being an old creep who got his kicks from torturing small animals.See the Vault Of Evil Tales Of Unease thread.
My thanks to Peter C. for his kindness in providing me with a copy of this book.