Antique Dust: Ghost Stories by Robert Westall


Antique Dust 
by Robert Westall
Narrated by R.C. Bray
Quiet Horror 
Audiobook 8+ Hours
Amazon ♦ Goodreads
This ghost story tells about a one-time bomber pilot who is now an antique dealer and keeps getting involved with ghosts. While this is his first book for adults, he has been writing ghost stories for young adult readers such as "The Machine Gunners".

            

I’ve always believed that old things are haunted but I never realized that the quiet little world of antique buying and selling was so cut-throat!

I listened to this collection of eerie stories on unabridged audio. They’re all stories about antique dealer Geoff Ashton, except for one or two that are stories told to him or are about a close relative. My copy was narrated by R.C. Bray whose voice is wizened and quite perfect for this book about old stuff.

The Devil and Clocky Watson

This first story introduces us to Geoff. He’s an honest dealer just trying to make a living but others, namely a shifty character named Clocky Watson, cheat the system. Geoff attempts to get back at Clocky in what he thinks is the most fitting of ways but things go awry. This tale, like all the stories that follow, is eerie and dripping with creepy atmosphere. 4.5 Stars

The Doll

Geoff realizes that old dolls = $$ and buys a large collection of them from a boozy widow for a song but trouble soon follows. Creepy dolls will always be creepy and this story is no exception. There were two points here where frighteningly loud music was piped in and it nearly made me pee my pants and overrode the narration. Beware!

This one was probably my favorite. 5 Stars

The Last Day of Miss Dorinda Molyneaux

This story was about a creepy old church, desecrated graves, unnerving goings-on and Miss Dorinda Molyneaux.

The Dumbledore

This one simply wasn’t meant for me and it more than likely comes down to a matter of taste and my lack of it. The Dumbledore was a watering hole for men during war times. It's about secrets, war heroes and a young boy named Little Tex. 3 Stars

The Woolworth Spectacles

This one features Geoff’s cousin and was much more my speed. Shy Maude's always been told that "men don't make passes at girls who wear glasses". But then she finds a pair of spectacles at Woolworth's (that's an old department store for you youngin's) left behind by an old woman and puts them on her face.

And she can see the world in wondrous detail! Initially she’s pretty thrilled but then people start looking at her differently. Crude work-men leer at her and she is unsettled. Soon, though, she finds her power over men a little intoxicating and begins to use it even to her advantage even though she knows deep down that this is very unlike her. She revels in it anyway and it leads to disaster.

I liked this story quite a bit and found Maude’s personality change both organic and frightening. 5 Stars

Portland Bill

Geoff is on vacation with his wife, who has meandered off to do things without him. Before long, he finds a beautiful and distraught woman who begs for help. Her son has gone missing and Geoff being the dirty, old, and let’s not forget MARRIED perv that he is, has lustful thoughts about her even though she’s frantic to find her son.

“My bowels moved with lust for her.”

Oh Geoff, you sexy beast, however did you convince a woman to marry you?


Despite his pervy thoughts, he’s not so bad a guy and decides to help her out. When the townsfolk and police brush him off Geoff starts to have ominous feelings about the situation.

Haunting and, like all the rest, beautifully atmospheric. 4 Stars

The Ugly House

I listened to this one twice because when I sat down to write this up, I couldn’t remember a thing about it and figured I had sleep-walked through it. Now after the 2nd listen and writing all of the above, I still can’t remember much about it besides the fact that there was a building inspector and an ugly house that Would Not Be Demolished and damned if I can remember anything else about it. Guess it wasn’t meant for me. 3 Stars


I’d easily recommend this collection to anyone looking for slower paced, old-style horror that crawls under your skin and creeps you out.

Audiobook #3: Audiobook Challenge
Book #1 Horror Challenge 
Book #4 HA Mount TBR Challenge
HA Pages Read Challenge thread

Comments

  1. Some of these stories sound like really interesting reads. Did you finally finish Nightmares or give up? I know it was giving you fits for a while.

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    Replies
    1. That book truly was a Nightmare. I finished it over the weekend. Finally. I've been putting off a review so my frustration doesn't taint the good stories. Last night I DNF'd another book that promised me a ghost story and didn't deliver. I am having the worst luck this month.

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  2. I am not normally a fan of short stories but this sounds like an interesting collection.

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    Replies
    1. It was really good, especially if you're in the mood for a moodier, creepier type of story.

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  3. I like R.C. Bray as a narrator. I haven't listened to a short story collection for a long, long time. I like the sound of this one. Great review!

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  4. Sounds like a really good collection. Ugh, creepy dolls. lol

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    Replies
    1. They're the worst. My mom collects the antique ones with the dirty clothes and I can't, for the life of me, figure out the attraction. But she loves 'em.

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  5. The cover alone creeps me out! (Looks great. Ha!)

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  6. Wow, I don't think I've heard/read a ghost story since I was a kid and read those Scary Stories books lol. But I'm way too easily creeped out for books like this! Creepy dolls are just... especially creepy. And that one about the glasses sounds like a really unique kind of frightening story!

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