Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Monticus Triumphulus

No, I don't know Latin, why do you ask? The M.R. James story poll is finished, done, closed, over, had its chips, and bought the farm. ''Oh Whistle...'' won by a short, terrifying head over 'Lost Hearts' and 'Casting the Runes'.

The winner is arguably Monty's best-known story, while the runners-up are both full-on horror tales and much anthologised. So a bit of a split vote, I suspect. My big mistake in this poll was trying to limit the field to just ten stories instead of listing  them all, then weeding out five or six that couldn't win. One lives and learns.

Surprises? 'The Mezzotint' pipping 'The Ash-tree', and a strong showing for 'An Episode of Cathedral History'.

2 comments:

Oscar Solis said...

I'm definitely in the minority but "Oh, Whistle..." it's not one of my favorite M.R. James stories. While I certainly enjoy it, it's never given me a scare like "An Episode...", "Rats", or "Wailing Well", to name just three. The image of a sheet coming to life just doesn't compare to the image of the girl coming out of the pond in "Martin's Close".

Having said that, it's still scarier when compared to a lot stories by other authors but that's because of the high bar set by James.

valdemar said...

Quite so! '"Wailing Well' is very good. Another one I should have included.