365 days, 365 short stories – 1/7/18-1/13/18

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As I continue my effort to read 365 short stories in ’18, I find that I’m really enjoying it and that it isn’t as difficult as I was afraid it was going to be. I’ve already gotten in the habit of grabbing the odd twenty minutes in between one obligation and another.
This week I read:

“A .45 to Pay the Rent” by Charles Bukowski. I haven’t read a lot of Bukowski, but I’m starting to think that he is noir for people who don’t read noir.

“Spurs” by Tod Robbins. The story that inspired the Tod Browning film Freaks, and as messed up as that implies. From The Best Noir of the Century, edited by James Ellroy and Otto Penzler.

“In the Forest of Villefère” by Robert E. Howard. A three-page trifle, only notable for introducing the character of de Montour and Howard’s concept of lycanthropy. Both would reappear to much better effect in his story “Wolfshead.” From The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard.

“The Guilty Party” by Richard S. Prather. My first experience reading Shell Scott. It’s as if Bruce Campbell narrated a private detective story. This is from The Shell Scott Sampler, with its infamously bad cover.

“Sea Curse” by Robert E. Howard. Exactly what it sounds like. First published appearance of Faring Town, which would appear in other Howard Tales. A pedestrian story elevated by Howard’s style. From The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard.

“A Case of Identity” by Arthur Conan Doyle. A lesser Sherlock Holmes mystery. From The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

The Shining Pyramid” by Arthur Machen. Who is leaving strange symbols in the English countryside? A classic tale of the supernatural.

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