I read this book in an evening. The stories are intoxicating, grim, beautiful and pensive. Grabinski's world is filled with foreboding, the sensual one step away from the macabre. For me, Dedalus continues to be the most reliable source of the ghoulish and supernatural in literary European fiction. This book is its own reward. (However...I seem to get a little sad after finishing a great read - story collections like this are few and far between. Each story is worth a second, if not a third, fourth or fifth read.)
As for the author: Stefan Grabinski was relatively unknown in his native land, fantasy writing at the beginning of the 20th century was not especially popular amongst the Polish reading public. He died in near obscurity. Thankfully, his works have been revisited by a new generation of readers. Roman Polanski, the controversial filmmaker has been said to be inspired by the Grabinski' horror style. Stanislaw Lem, the great Polish sci-fi author is a big fan of his works.
Reading through this collection, you might see the world with Grabinski-esque glasses - I don't think I'll be able to look at trains, snow drifts, empty houses and watchmakers in the same light. (I also recommend the story collections of Bruno Schulz, they are very comparable to Grabinski's work.)
Once again, Dedalus delivers.