Philip Van Doren Stern, himself an expert in the occult, has collected these novels and short stories of Arthur Machen in which diabolic magic, ghosts, mystic experiences provide a landscape of fantasy in which unnatural manifestations, pagan rites and influence, outrageous experiments play their part. The atmosphere is hallucinatory; normal bonds are broken; and little people, visions and malevolence offer a cumulative effect to the reader. Machen's audience has always been somewhat specialized, though appreciative, and this stressing of his eerie writings may call attention to a wider public. There's a hurdle for today's readers in his rather sonorous qualities, the somewhat ponderous leisure with which he achieves his effects, and the vast learning which backgrounds his grotesqueries. Try as samples the shortest, The Bowman, a sort of World War I Snow Goose; the most chilling, The Bright Boy; or the most unusual, The Terror. For the Machen-iacs -- and a plus for the thriller section.