“Bond fans, will of course, welcome their favourite ghost stories refreshed by the addition of the new tales.”

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

Ruskin Bond has put together a collection of his best loved ghost stories, along with a few specially written for this collection, like the title story.

He roams the world of Landour and Mussoorie at night and throws in a few La Belle Dame Sans Mercis for good measure, though his most outstanding stories remain the ones that have the hotel bar as their background.

Captain Young’s Ghost is set in one of these bars with a bravura ghost on horseback performance thrown in to distract the reader from a very benign spook.

There is also the story of the ghost who returned to a bar full of his cronies, minutes after his death, to collect his pipe. The bar ghosts are very human, with characters that Bond obviously knew in real life, like the Bengali actor and the jaded Maharani, while stories like The Black Bird tread on the heels of Edgar Allan Poe in their horror quotient.

Bond fans, will of course, welcome their favourite ghost stories refreshed by the addition of the new tales. As Bond himself writes, “If you live in the Indian hills, it is only a matter of time before you meet a ghost.”

 

Reviewed by:

Anjana Basu

Added 1st February 2019

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Anjana Basu