Saturday, June 11, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Chinese Ghost Stories Curious Tales of the Supernatural

Title:                      Chinese Ghost Stories Curious Tales of the Supernatural
Author:                   Lafcadio Hearn
Publisher:              Tuttle Publishing
RRP:                       $12.99
ISBN:                      9780804841375
Release Date:       July 2011

Chinese Ghost Stories is a personal selection of the most entertaining traditional Chinese tales of the strange and fantastic. Set in richly atmospheric locales, these tales speak of heroic sacrifice, chilling horror, eerie beauty and otherworldly intervention.


If you like J-Horror movies, like The Grudge and The Ring, then this short collection of Chinese Ghost stories will probably appeal to you as well. I know J-Horror is mainly horror films set in Japan, but the oriental feel of Chinese Ghost Stories resonates closely with the style of these flicks. The story title, The Tradition of the Tea Plant is also about a Japanese legend of a Buddhist priest who went to China in 519 A.D. and the tragedy that surrounded this event.

There are six chilling tales in this collection; The Soul of the Great Bell, The Story of Ming Yi, The Legend of Zhi Nu, The Return of Yan Zhenjing, The Tradition of the Tea Plant and The Tale of the Porcelain God.

As with remakes of foreign films, there may be some loss of the original feeling in the author’s interpretation of these tales into English, but unless you can read the original language and text, then you won’t know what you are missing and will enjoy the retelling of these horrific fables.

Included in this book is a Glossary to help with the understanding of Chinese terms and beliefs. I found all of the six stories and information in the Glossary to be quite interesting, especially when you get an insight into the beliefs and fables of other cultures, such as China.

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