book thoughts: The Restless Dead (2007)

Noyes, D. The Restless Dead
Candlewick Press, 2007. 256 pages.
$16.99 ISBN: 978-0-76362-906-9

Ghosts, ghouls, tell-tale hearts, and vampires.  This collection of short stories has something for everyone that is a fan of supernatural tales, all written by some very well known young adult authors. 

As I’ve heard other readers mention, the problem with short stories is that they either tend to feel formulaic, as the writer tries to craft a tale to fit a certain length (and in this case, genre) OR the other extreme – they are too short and you would rather sit down with the characters for a full length novel.

I found several of the stories in this collection hit or miss.  A few of them felt like the authors were just doing an assignment: write a short story that incorporates something supernatural.  But there were a few stand-outs for me.  Ones that went beyond the basic retelling of a classic eerie story and really tried to make it their own. 

If I hadn’t been assigned to read this book for ” Books the for>978-0-76362-906-9

Ghosts, ghouls, tell-tale hearts, and vampires.  This collection of short stories has something for everyone that is a fan of supernatural tales, all written by some very well known young adult authors. 

As I’ve heard other readers mention, the problem with short stories is that they either tend to feel formulaic, as the writer tries to craft a tale to fit a certain length (and in this case, genre) OR the other extreme – they are too short and you would rather sit down with the characters for a full length novel.

I found several of the stories in this collection hit or miss.  A few of them felt like the authors were just doing an assignment: write a short story that incorporates something supernatural.  But there were a few stand-outs for me.  Ones that went beyond the basic retelling of a classic eerie story and really tried to make it their own. 

If I hadn’t been assigned to read this book for “Books for the Beast”, I probably would have skipped over a few of the tales that I felt moved too slowly or were too predictable.  None of the stories are particularly keep-you-awake-at-night scary, but several of them have moments that will give you a chill. 

If you’re craving some short stories to read while you gear up for Halloween, this might be a good place to start.  It’s also a nice way to get a taste of several different writing styles.  I know I jotted down a couple of the authors’ names so I could look into their full length works.  And there are a few I might avoid after reading this book as well. 

2.5 stars

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