Jay Gilbert

The Ghost & the Machine

Reality and Other Stories

By

Faber & Faber 240pp £12.99 order from our bookshop
 

As Halloween approaches, we tend to cast about for ghost stories. Reality and Other Stories, John Lanchester’s new collection, has evidently been pitched to satisfy this autumnal craving. It opens with Horatio’s warning in the first act of Hamlet that when in Caesar’s Rome ‘the graves stood tenantless’ all hell broke loose: a ghost is, despite those who would scoff at it, ‘a mote … to trouble the mind’s eye’. I was primed to expect ghosts – and to be troubled.

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