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Book Review of Alfred Hitchcock Presents Twelve Stories They Wouldn't Let Me Do on TV

Alfred Hitchcock Presents Twelve Stories They Wouldn't Let Me Do on TV
perryfran avatar reviewed on + 1025 more book reviews

I always enjoy reading story collections compiled by Alfred Hitchcock. I'm really not sure how much he was actually involved in putting the stories together but for the most part they always hold my interest.

This collection was really a mixed bag of tales. Most of them were older stories written in the early part of the 20th century. A lot of his collections are merely reprints of stories from his Mystery Magazine or from Ellery Queen's Magazine but this collection were mainly reprints from other collections and included some very well-known stories and authors including Saki and M.R. James.

I particularly enjoyed the following:

Being a Murderer Myself by Arthur Williams: This was a classic tale of murder and how a murderer was able to hide his crime from the police. Somewhat dated by today's standards but at the time of its publication in 1948 it was probably quite baffling.

Lukundoo by Edward Lucas White: This was a true tale of terror taking place in Africa and written in 1927. It's about some African explorers who come upon another group that includes a man who seems to have a disease where numerous carbuncles break out all over his body. But what is really happening. Very disturbing tale involving a hint of voodoo. I have another collection of horror stories that also includes this one which apparently is a well known story.

The Perfectionist by Margaret St. Clair: Whimsical tale about a woman who takes up art and must get a perfect rendering of her subjects including fruit, a tree, and her pet dog. But what steps does she take for this perfection?

Love Comes to Miss Lucy by Q. Patrick: Tale about a rich spinster on holiday in Mexico with her friends who falls for a local Mexican youth. But what is the young man really after?

The Voice in the Night by William Hope Hodgson: A ship comes upon a drifting rowboat in the middle of the night in the Pacific with someone who calls out for help and food but doesn't want to show himself. So why not? A rather bizarre tale of horror.

How Love Came to Professor Guildea by Robert S. Hichens: This was probably the longest story in the collection about a man that seems to be haunted by another entity. But is the entity real and why has it latched onto the man?

Some of the other stories were misses for me and one, The Price of the Head, also was quite racist. I had always heard that M.R. James was one of the best writers of ghost stories but the story included by him, Casting the Runes, was to me quite boring. But overall, I did enjoy this collection.

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