The Horror of the Heights and Other Strange Tales collects fourteen vintage stories, told as only a master of the Victorian terror tale can tell them. In these sophisticated fictions souls change bodies, monsters haunt the upper atmosphere, seances summon creatures from the astral plane, and mummies stalk the fog-shrouded streets of London.
Anybody who knows me, knows that I am a complete fanatic about Sherlock Holmes (the real character, not the parody from the recent movie). I have read all the stories that feature him, and so therefore, I have a fascination for Sir Arthur C. Doyle's writing (I almost forgot the Sir, the horror!).
I know that although Holmes's stories are what he is best known for, they are actually the author's least favorites. He resented being known only for that, when he considered some of his other writings more important and valuable. Which brings me to the reason why I chose to read this book. Apart from loving the author, I wanted to show my loyalty in reading something that does not include his most famous creation.
All that to say that I loved this book. Who knew he was so fantastic at the macabre!? My favorite story from the whole bunch is "The Parasite", which deals with mesmerism. It's interesting to see Doyle's own passion in the occult manifested in these little gems.
His details are wonderful and the Victorian atmosphere jumps off the pages. They have a fabulous sense of rhythm and the plotting is sharp and concise.
I was truly on edge with some of them. I don't want to give anything away because they truly are worth reading. I highly recommend them.
5 out of 5 Stars