Today via Wormwoodiana I learned of this book review by Michael Dirda of S. T. Joshi’s new book, Unutterable Horror, at The Weekly Standard’s Book Review.
Because Joshi is so opinionated, Dirda suggests that we “trust Joshi on the books he praises, but look for yourself at those he dismisses or disdains.”
Here’s an excerpt of the review:
Nothing human is alien to supernatural fiction. Transgressive by definition, it ventures into the dark corners within all of us, probing our sexuality, religious beliefs, and family relationships, uncovering shameful yearnings and anxieties, questioning the meaning of life and death, even speculating about the nature of the cosmos. It’s no surprise that almost every canonical writer one can think of has occasionally, or more than occasionally, dabbled in ghostly fiction: Charles Dickens, Henry James, Somerset Maugham, Elizabeth Bowen, John Cheever, even Russell Kirk, to name just a few outstanding examples. The genre’s best stories are, after all, more than divertissements. They are works of art that make us think about who and what we are.
And, yes, they are also scary. Sometimes really scary.