Thirty Hours with a Corpse: and Other Tales of the Grand Guignol
Maurice Level, S. T. Joshi, editor
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 Th‚tre 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.
Dover (2016) original publication.
French author Maurice Level (1875‚¨1926) specialized in macabre¨‚short stories that appeared in Parisian newspapers and were staged by the Th‚tre du Grand-Guignol,¨‚a repertory company famed for its gory melodramas. S. T. Joshi is a literary critic, novelist, and a leading figure in the study of H. P. Lovecraft and other authors of weird and fantastic fiction.