MISTER CORBETT'S GHOST by Leon Garfield
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MISTER CORBETT'S GHOST

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KIRKUS REVIEW

I want your heart and soul, Master Partridge. I expect them. I demand them."" In revenge, apprentice Benjamin Partridge, sent to deliver a potion on New Year's Eve, bargains with the dusty customer for the death of his apothecary master, then, unable to dispose of the body, bargains for a ghost as the lighter burden. But Mister Corbett's ghost is more than he can bear: it reveals itself by its very transparency, causing the two to be shunned, subsequently discloses that the apothecary, contrite, was on his way to recall Benjamin when he was felled. ""Fear, shame and remorse"" fill the boy, but there is a remedy--the selfsame jar that entombed Mister Corbett gives up his ghost and renews his spirit. The concluding ""Happy New Year"" recalls another haunted holiday, and, indeed, this novella stands in relation to Garfield's work as much as A Christmas Carol does to Dickens'. Not an instant classic, perhaps, but a stylish chiller-thriller to warm your heart.

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1968
Publisher: Pantheon