More Tales of Twilight and Borderlands : Time of Passing by John Gaskin

More Tales of Twilight and Borderlands : Time of Passing by John Gaskin

Time of Passing by John Gaskin (Tartarus Press, August 20, 2023)

This is the fifth and apparently the last collection of short stories by John Gaskin, an excellent author of ghostly tales who has been entertaining and fascinating his readers for more than twenty years. Most of his books have been published by the independent British press Tartarus Press. An elegant, classy imprint for an elegant classy writer.

In the present volume Gaskin reproposes a few of his previous stories in a revised version.

“The Gathering “ is the masterful report of the dramatic last reunion of a group of friends during a frightening storm, while “Avernus” is a dark, unsettling story revolving around a mysterious and dangerous amulet.

In the tense, claustrophobic and dramatic “Cropsey’s Hole,” a man vacationing alone falls and gets trapped in an abandoned cave.

The book also includes some brand new stories such as “ Dead Ends,” a subtly disturbing piece about a piano endowed with unusual properties; “Blaeweary,” a gentle ghostly tale featuring a man enjoying a short break at a country hotel and discovering some hidden truths from a long gone past; and the splendid “The Sea,” a delicate summary of a long life seen as a journey that others will take again in a perennial circle.

A book for clever and sensitive readers, Time of Passing is the beautiful, melancholic literary last will of an author who’s supposedly retiring from writing.

We can only hope that he will change his mind.

Mario Guslandi was born in Milan, Italy, where he currently lives. He became addicted to horror and supernatural fiction (too) many years ago, after accidentally reading a reprint anthology of stories by MR James, JS Le Fanu, Arthur Machen etc. Most likely the only Italian who regularly reads (and reviews) dark fiction in English, he has contributed over the years to various genre websites such as Horrorworld, Hellnotes, The British Fantasy Society, The Agony Column and many more. His last review for us was Fantasmagoriana Deluxe, edited by EJ Guignard & LS Klinger.

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