The Travelling Grave and Other Stories – L.P. Hartley

The Travelling Grave and Other Stories by L.P. Hartley

Valacourt Books – 2017
This book was first published by Arkham House in 1947, but many of the stories were published years before that. In truth, I found it very boring. It’s mostly ghost stories, but none of them are particularly scary. The writing is quite dense at times too, and it usually didn’t feel worth the effort. It’s less than 250 pages, but it took me more than 4 months to get through it.

Here’s what I remember about the stories:

StoryMy thoughts (includes spoilers)
A Visitor from Down UnderA lad listens to weird kids’ games on the radio and a ghost comes from Australia to get him. Shit and confusing.
PodoloA creepy island. Somebody tries to kill a kitten? Maybe it’s a werewolf or something. I forget.
Three, or Four, for DinnerSome lads arrange to meet another lad, but he dies. Shows up to dinner anyway. Supposed to be droll?
The Travelling GraveA lad collects coffins. One can bury itself and does when a person is in it.
Feet ForemostA ghost can’t come into the house because there is a step or something. Not scary at all.
The CotillonA lad kills himself, but he goes dancing afterwards.
A Change of OwnershipA truly idiotic man gets upset because he was too much of a wuss to invite his boyfriend in for some sex, so he has a nervous breakdown instead and imagines he is a ghost or something.
The ThoughtA lad goes for a walk and gets confused. This went so far above my head. Hated it.
Conrad and the DragonPredictable fantasy story. Maybe for kids.
The IslandA lad gets caught by his girlfriend’s husband. At least one of them is dead.
Night FearsA lad gets scared while working the night shift. Short.
The Killing BottleA lad gets mixed up with another chap who murders people who hurt animals. Then the other chap kills his own brother. Who knows what becomes of the dipstick protagonist?
A lot of lads.

I have nothing else to say about this book.

This is probably a poor time to mention this, as the above review is hardly riveting reading, but I have noticed a dramatic drop in traffic to this blog recently. Google updated its algorithm on the 15th of last month, and it seems to have worked against me. I’m seeing roughly half of what I had been seeing for the last 3 years. This is quite frustrating, as (with the exception of the above post) the content on here has been pretty good recently. I have glanced through a few pages explaining search engine optimization, but the thoughts of spending hours trying to make sure my posts are tagged and titled appropriately seems horrendously boring. I’d far prefer to spend my time reading a weird book. I’ll probably update the layout in the near future to make the 400+ posts on here easier to sift through, but until then, do me a favour and share this blog with your friends.

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