Thirty Hours with a Corpse
Characterized by gratuitous acts of brutality and surprise endings, these tales of obsession and violence are the creations of a twentieth-century French writer whose works were staged by the legendary Théâtre du Grand-Guignol of Paris. The precursors of modern thrillers and slasher films, these stories have been specially selected for this edition and introduced by horror specialist S. T. Joshi. Thirty-nine conte cruel ("cruel tales") include "In the Light of the Red Lamp," in which a husband's photographs of his dead wife reveal a deeper tragedy; "Fascination," the tale of a morbid passion that develops when the narrator, determined to stay at home, shoots his mistress for the sake of peace and quiet; and "The Bastard," concerning a father's suspicions about his son's paternity. Other stories include "The Taint," a view of infanticide as mercy-killing; "The Test," in which an accused murderer is forced to reenact his crime; and "A Maniac," recounting a thrill-seeker's ghoulish impulse to witness death-defying stunts gone wrong.
- 2016 Dover Publications
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