Posts Tagged ‘richard marsh’

The Magnetic Girl : Richard Marsh

Monday, November 26th, 2012

So I read ‘The Magnetic Girl’ by Richard Marsh. It is part of ‘The Collected Supernatural & Weird Fiction of Richard Marsh’ from the publishers Leonaur. It is a nice little comdey. There is a supernatural element, but only slightly so. The only issue I have with this book is the punctuations. They forgot most of the periods in it.

Richard Marsh was kind of a feminist I guess. The heroine of our tale is the tomboyish and plain Norah O’Brady. She is the ugly duckling with four pretty sisters and a mother who berates her ‘vulgarity and ugliness’. Men who flock to the house to meet her sisters generally ignore her, except the kind hearted Ben Morgan, whom the sisters call Crooked Ben. After cruelly refusing his marriage proposal and then treated rudely by her family, Norah in heat of pasision wishes she could show others how it feels to be her. She wishes that every man fall in love with her on sight. And as luck would have it, every man begins to fall in love with her from then onwards. She assembles a varied set, from the bread delivery boy, to a waiter to all her sister’s and mother’s suitors to a real live Duke. Her sister Audrey seems to understand she is a ‘witch’ for the day and tells her to go ahead and enjoy her power. And to trample on them for all they are worth. That’s what she sets out to do, even though things do tend to get out of hand now and then. It is a slapstick comedy of all the men crawling after the girl they didn’t notice till then.

In the end there is the loyal friend and a happy ending. The grenadier finds her straight man.

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Curios – Richard Marsh

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

After searching the Judith Lee story The Man Who Cut Off My Hair for a decade, I am kinda into Richard Marsh now. I read the Beetle and some other stories from Project Gutenberg and enjoyed them. There are titles available from Flipkart and I went ahead and ordered a couple for that paper experience. They are mighty expensive when you pay in rupees though. Still worth it.

I read this collection of short stories “Curios” subtitled `Some Strange Adventures of Two Bachelors’.The stories itself have various chapters, but they are too small to be novellas. The stories are about two collectors of curios, Mr. Tress and Mr.Pugh. They are friends, rivals and sometimes downright enemies. As is the norm with Marsh, people are not really the goody goody ones. These gentlemen kinda reminds you of PG Wodehouse gang though. A bit.

There are seven stories in all.
1. The Adventure of the Pipe : A pipe comes into life when smoked. Here you get a glimpse of the characters of your leading men. Though they were much too hostile in this and kept becoming friendlier as the stories moved on. To me.
2. The Adventure of the Phonograph : Someone is murdered, or so Pugh believes. All he has is a woman’s last words on a phonograph he picked. Who is it?
3. The Adventure of the Cabinet : Pugh and Tress are at loggerheads about the ownership of a valuable cabinet.
4. The Adventure of the Ikon : Mr Tress buys a holy ikon from a Jew. A beautiful woman and a dwarf is set to rob him off it. This of course has all the Victorian stereotypes you expect from British novels, but is still a good drama.
5. The Adventure of the Puzzle : Mr Pugh acquires a puzzle and asks Tress’s help in solving it. This story again tells you how so not heroic or heroes are.
6. The Adventure of Lady Wishaw’s Hand : Pugh gets a 13th century hand in mail. Except it still looks alive and is murderous.
7. The Adventure of the Great Auk’s Egg : This is hilariously insulting of every collector and their loose morals when it comes to adding to their collections.

Pugh and Tress tells the stories alternately. They are all rather different. And there is suspense. And intrigue. A rather fine collection of stories.

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The Chase of the Ruby – Richard Marsh

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Read this little novel “The Chase of the Ruby” by Richard Marsh. A nice little feel good story. There’s something impishly unvictorian about Richard Marsh. The novel starts with a little ghost story, or a vision as Guy Holland says. An eccentric uncle sets a weird condition in his will, and there are two nephews vying for inheritance. A good one,(well, with slight gray edges) and a thoroughly bad lot. The rest of the story is how they both are in pursuit of a ruby signet ring. And they needn’t even have tried! There is of course the fiesty little girlfriend and the actress you aren’t quite sure of and the exotic foreigner with a temper. Yes, very Victorian and British, but quite entertaining in its way.

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The Beetle – Richard Marsh

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Read “The Beetle” by Richard Marsh.

It so happened that I read some books by Richard Marsh from Project Gutenberg.

I read the Beetle, which is quite the page-turner and I wonder why I never heard of it before. The shape-shifting beetle-person and somehow very 20th century love stories(not the idealistic stuff from other Victorians) were interesting.

Then the same day I happened to watch the Doctor Who episode with Agatha Christie and the giant wasp. What are the chances!

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The man who cut off my hair

Monday, January 9th, 2012

As a child I read a short story with a title ” The cruel man who cut my hair.” Or so it must be if translated from Malayalam. I lost the book somehow, and from then on I was searching for it. It was part of a set of translated detective stories from around the world, and I knew the story by heart, except for all the names. There was a little girl who could lip-read and she surprised some thieves at a neighbours house, and they cut off her hair before taking away all the silver. Every year or so I do a google search on it. Yet, I never figured out which was that story. Till today. :)

It is a Judith Lee story by Richard Marsh. And the title is “The man who cut off my hair”. Unfortunately no Judith Lee stories online,though I found some other titles by the author on project gutenberg. So off I go to read a childhood favourite.

An Update: I bought the book “The complete Adventures of Judith Lee” from flipkart.. Yippee… :) So I was able to read it all over again. And the other twenty one Judith lee stories as well. The book is from Black Coat Press, and the quality is much better than the ‘Weird and supernatural collection of Richard Marsh’ I bought earlier.Even though I did find a couple of errors here and there. I loved the cover illustration of Judith Lee as well. The collection starts with ‘The Man Who Cut off My Hair’ as it indeed is the first ever Judith Lee story. The first paragraph tells all we want to know about the heroine. She is a teacher of the deaf and dump, and a very good one at that. In the subsequent stories we learn that people consult her when they start new schools, she trains the teachers and she attends conferences in Berlin. A very independent and smart young woman. She can also do jujitsu, a la Sherlock Holmes. She even gets into a kind of knife fight with the mafia while rescuing damsel in distresses. The stories and plots are good, and the heroine as little busybody with a very active social and professional life is a refreshing one.

She also says thing like I am a woman, and sometimes women are almost as illogical as men, though not often. Can you wonder I absolutely love Miss Lee?

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