“’Two for the price of one! How’s that for a special offer?.. Ghosts don’t come cheap, of course. Not weighed and packaged like your supermarket commodities, naturally.’
‘Naturally,’ said Godfrey Snood. ‘How much?’”
Published 2017 by Greenwich Exchange
‘The Man Who Sold Ghosts’ aptly describes Roger F Dunkley, the popular author of this newly published collection of black comic and sinister tales. Light of touch but dark of purpose, these twenty-four wide-ranging stories emerge blinking from the blackness of the crypt poised to alarm and charm our Christmas reading, all chillingly tainted with the author’s characteristic mix of stylish humour and inventive storytelling.
Things that go nocturnally bump
Perhaps living in a thatched cottage with malevolently low beams may reflect Dunkley’s fascination with the paranormal and things that go nocturnally bump which informs many of these elegant, blackly humorous tales which have made readers of ‘Twilight Zone’, Pan Horror, Fontana and Gollancz Ghost and many other haunting anthologies shiver and chuckle over the years.
Thought-provoking questions which tease the imagination
Beneath the stylised sophistication of the surface, Dunkley explores thought-provoking questions which tease the imagination and enhance our sense of wonder in the mysteries of the unseen universe – ideas of survival and reincarnation, prophecy and fate, time-slips and telepathy, extra-terrestrial hopes and Armageddon fears, as well as the phenomena of ghosts and ESP in general. And, suggests the writer, you’d be wise to check your doors are safely locked and bolted and look once more under the bed (you can never be too sure) before you embark on the toe-curling tale of the Tibetan thought-ghost, ‘Mea Tulpa’, which crowns this anthology from Greenwich Exchange Press – a disturbing descent into the grim vaults of the gothic imagination to discover what monsters and nightmares are lurking there in the dark pit of the collective racial unconscious waiting to be born…
About Roger F Dunkley
“ Mr Snipe’s fists tightened. ‘You kidnapped her,’ he said bitterly.
‘And you cooked her! Eating People is Wrong, Dennis.’ Mrs Snipe’s tone was sadly reproving.”
A Question of Taste
Roger F Dunkley has always aspired to retirement and indolence but a life fraught with education and bedevilled by passions for theatre, music and travel always got in the way.
After gaining a BA in Eng. Lit. at Leeds University, and serving time educating the unwary teaching English at King Henry VIII Grammar School, Coventry (where he was also a student) and subsequently at Pilgrim Upper School, Bedford, he finally jumped the wire into Retirement and Real Life!
Living in a thatched cottage with malevolently low beams may reflect his fascination with the paranormal and things that go nocturnally bump which informs many of the forty or so stories he has found time to write and publish in several countries, many of them in the Pan Horror and Fontana Ghost and Horror series.
“A confession. There is no point in pretending to myself any longer. Prise up your knitted night cap, or adjust your Cumfi-curlers, my Horlicks-heavy reader, and permit me to whisper through the grill, so to speak, of your ear. I am afraid. The horror story writer is afraid!“
Mike Ashley’s Who’s Who in Horror and Fantasy Fiction comments generously on ‘his gift for black humour’ and certainly Dunkley is pleased to find himself holding anthologised hands with his literary heroes – Dickens, Poe, M.R. James, Wells, Waugh, ‘Saki’ et al – as well as contributing spectral shudders to Twilight Zone in the States.
Reviews of The Man Who Sold Ghosts
“ It was the day she tried to buy Stonehenge that they said Mrs Zazine Forsyth III had gone too far.”
Zazine Forsyth’s Resurrection Affair
‘The majority of his work reflects his gift for black humour …[in tales that are] exercises in fear.’
Mike Ashley, Who’s Who in Horror and Fantasy Fiction
Roger F Dunkley is best known in Britain as the creator of elegant, blackly humorous, supernatural tales … ‘Twisted Shadow, however, which Mike Ashley calls “his most chilling to date” is a grimmer work than most, conjuring up a horror both ancient and terribly modern – and one that touches us all.’
Ted Klein, The Twilight Magazine
Roger F Dunkley relates his ghost stories with tongue wedged firmly in his cheek and ‘The Ghost machine” has us chuckling and shivering, whilst marvelling at the ingenuity of the plot.’
R. Chetwynd-Hayes, Fontana Great Ghost Stories
He has many excellent short stories to his credit, most combining mystery and horror with memorable black humour.’
Richard Dalby, Mystery for Christmas
I like “Twisted Shadow” very much. It is very good.’
Herbert Van Thal
I read “Zazine Forsyth’s Resurrection Affair again the other day and was delighted once more by it.’
James Hale, Gollancz, Macmillan inter alia
‘”The man Who Sold Ghosts” diverted me very much … “Miss Brood’s Speciality is a goodie … “Surprise! Surprise! Is one of the funniest yet.’
Mary Danby, Fontana/Collins inter alia