A short story collection framed by the tale of a boy who catches the wrong train.
In this British import, a boy runs to catch his train only to find that he’s gotten on the wrong one. In a panic, he gets off at the lonely first stop. While he waits for the return train, an old man and his dog join the boy, and the old man decides to keep the boy company and entertain him with stories. After the first horror story, the boy has had enough, but the man pushes forward with more, and the boy, stuck in the dark, has no choice but to listen. The eerie, atmospheric setup will likely deter those who do not enjoy horror, and should that fail, the twist at the end of the first story will, leaving the rest of the book for connoisseurs of the genre. The supernatural horrors range in subject matter (monsters, haunted cars, and a whole menagerie of dreamlike impossibilities) as well as in length, structure (single-scene vignettes and traditional stories), and back story (with many resolutions simply unexplainable but unpleasant—don’t expect any happy endings here). In between, the boy and the man talk—these launch pads for the stories get quite repetitive, but the framing device comes into play for one last twist. Physical and racial descriptors are generally absent.
Invites imaginations to run wild with petrifying preternatural possibilities. (Short stories/horror. 10-14)