WHISTLING PAST THE CHURCHYARD by Jon Manchip White

WHISTLING PAST THE CHURCHYARD

Strange Tales from a Superstitious Welshman
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 White, who has written a number of thrillers, a parapsychological novel (Death by Dreaming, 1981) and his memoirs (The Journeying Boy, 1991) tells 17 moderately spooky stories, all set in his native Wales. Eschewing the monsters and gore of American horrormeisters, the courtly White sticks to pleasantly old-fashioned table-rapping, premonitions, and Eerie Coincidence for the special effects--e.g., a dead concert pianist makes her presence known to her husband and brother as they hear her fingers tapping a score in her old studio; a civil servant foresees the death of his lost love's little boy; the fate of a landowner is tied to the tree out by the front gate. The blood never curdles, and there are never any body parts lying about. There aren't really even any shivers, or at least not from the scary stuff. Such chills as are to be found come from the cold winds off the Irish Sea, the damp walls of the cottages, and the derelict Welsh mansions that White uses, most effectively, for his scenery. Saki visits the Druids. Awfully tame, but cozy and literate.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1992
ISBN: 0-87113-487-X
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1992