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The Moonlit Road: And Other Stories Audio CD – Audiobook, Dec 22 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Naxos Audio Books; abridged edition edition (Dec 1 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9626344946
  • ISBN-13: 978-9626344941
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 13.9 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 100 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,090,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Journalist, short story writer, and satirist Ambrose Bierce (1842–1914) was equally adept in a variety of genres, from ghost stories to poetry to political commentary. Bierce's fiction is particularly distinguished by its realistic depictions of the author's Civil War experiences. His other Thrift Editions include The Devil's Dictionary, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and Other Stories, and Civil War Stories.
 
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) was a Victorian author of the weird and macabre specialing in ghost stories. Though during his life he was more renowned as a satirist, journalist, and editorialist. Thankfully, we've remembered him for his eerie tales. I've come across his stories in anthologies several times but this is the first author specific collection I've read. I had come across three of these stories before, but they make good re-reading. Bierce is comparable to Poe but easier to read. The stories in this collection have been selected from the 1909-1912 editions of "The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce" and show a mix of his ghost and, as the title calls them, "horror" stories (but I wouldn't necessarily give them that classification, but more general simply "weird tales"). I liked the weird, macabre tales the best and I'd recommend him to your reading list for those interested in Victorian ghost stories or tales of the weird.

1) The Eyes of the Panther - A young woman refuses to marry a man repeatedly and he demands to know why so she tells him she is insane and proceeds to tell him a story. It's a good story but it made me think too much of the original movie "Cat People", perhaps they got the idea from this story. (3/5)

2) The Moonlit Road - I hadn't recognized just by the title but it came to me quickly that I've read this one before. A son is called home from college urgently to discover his mother has been brutally murdered. Shortly afterward his father, while out on a walk with him, takes off and disappears forever. Told in three points of view first from the son, then the father and finally the mother, through the aid of a medium.
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Format: Paperback
The Moonlit Road and Other Ghost and Horror Stories is another marvelous, inexpensive reprint from Dover Publications. These twelve stories selected from The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce are remarkably good. I intend to become much better acquainted with Ambrose Bierce.
Bierce had an inventive imagination, much like Edgar Allan Poe. In this chilling collection we meet angry spirits seeking revenge, humans transformed into wild beasts, and individuals deranged by encounters with apparitions. Although written a century ago, several stories explored subjects that seemed surprisingly modern. The Man and the Snake is a frightening study of the psychology of one man's imagination. Time and space are transformed in A Psychological Shipwreck. And we meet an emotional, possibly unstable, thinking machine in Moxon's Master.
I considered listing the stories that were my favorites. However, as I enjoyed all twelve stories, I decided to forego the exercise. Buy this little collection. You won't be disappointed.
Ambrose Bierce fought at Shiloh and Chickamauga, was wounded at the battle of Kenesaw Mountain in 1864, and retired after the war at the rank of major. Later, as a newspaperman in San Francisco, his acerbic wit and penchant for satire made him a significant force in its vibrant literary community. In 1913 he disappeared while traveling in Mexico, possibly a victim of the Mexican Civil war.
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Format: Paperback
This contains only a small sampling of author Ambrose Bierce's work with ghost and horror stories. Most are the ghost sotries we are used to with vengeful spirits or loved ones trying to connect to the world of the living, but have just the right little twist to make them unique. In "The Middle Toe of the Right Foot," for example, what starts out as a duel in an empty house ends up with the death of a duelist by the ghosts that inhabit the palce and recognize him. Other stories deal with man's own fear of the unknown, such as in "The Man and the Snake" or "A Watcher of the Dead," in which the characters literally scare themselves to death. The most unique story in this collection, though, is the last one titles "Moxon's Master," which gives a dealy warning about the progress fo man and machine. These are all great tales to read aloud by the campfire and are sure to send just the right amount of chills down your spine.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9f46a2b8) out of 5 stars 13 reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f3f5720) out of 5 stars Contains several essential Bierce stories, and is cheap. Nov. 26 1999
By Ole Bentsen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
There is a reason why you should buy this book, and there is a reason why you should not.
If you have not read any stories by Ambrose Bierce before, then this book is a wonderful way for you to get acquainted with them, since it is cheap and has the stories essential for someone who wants to know what his writing is like.
On the other hand, any dedicated Ambrose Bierce fan will find this book inadequate and too short, so they should go for the greater books or anthologies, since they truly encompass the entire spectrum and contain all variations of Bierce's story-telling.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f3f5774) out of 5 stars Something for the reading around the campfire.... July 19 2001
By Jeffrey Leeper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This small book contains 12 of Ambrose Bierce's short stories (The Eyes of the Panther, The Moonlit Road, The Boarded Window, The Man and the Snake, The Secret of Macarger's Gulch, The Middle Toe of the Right Foot, A Psychological Shipwreck, A Holy Terror, John Bartine's Watch, Beyond the Wall, A Watcher by the Dead, and Moxon's Master). The stories cover ghosts, revenge, and otherworldly messages. This is by no means a definitive collection of Bierce's work, but it is a good, inexpensive introduction.
The stories are short and do not go into intense detail and background. These are compact and complete enough to be told around the campfire or just around the living room with the lights turned out. Bierce knows his reader and will often give the ending an unexpected twist.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f3f9b58) out of 5 stars Chilling Collection of Imaginative Ghost Stories Dec 6 2003
By Michael Wischmeyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Moonlit Road and Other Ghost and Horror Stories is another marvelous, inexpensive reprint from Dover Publications. These twelve stories selected from The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce are remarkably good. I intend to become much better acquainted with Ambrose Bierce.
Bierce had an inventive imagination, much like Edgar Allan Poe. In this chilling collection we meet angry spirits seeking revenge, humans transformed into wild beasts, and individuals deranged by encounters with apparitions. Although written a century ago, several stories explored subjects that seemed surprisingly modern. The Man and the Snake is a frightening study of the psychology of one man's imagination. Time and space are transformed in A Psychological Shipwreck. And we meet an emotional, possibly unstable, thinking machine in Moxon's Master.
I considered listing the stories that were my favorites. However, as I enjoyed all twelve stories, I decided to forego the exercise. Buy this little collection. You won't be disappointed.
Ambrose Bierce fought at Shiloh and Chickamauga, was wounded at the battle of Kenesaw Mountain in 1864, and retired after the war at the rank of major. Later, as a newspaperman in San Francisco, his acerbic wit and penchant for satire made him a significant force in its vibrant literary community. In 1913 he disappeared while traveling in Mexico, possibly a victim of the Mexican Civil war.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f88d750) out of 5 stars Worth the read May 29 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book showcases the fine writing talents of Ambrose Bierce, famous for his "Devil's Dictionary" among other things. These ghost stories are very fine and show a lot of thought and imagination. The title story in particular is extemely powerful in its perspective changes and genuine feeling of sadness experienced by the characters. I recommend this book and edition wholeheartedly.
HASH(0x9f7a7db0) out of 5 stars Masterful ghost stories from an excellent storyteller Jan. 15 2016
By Chris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
The Moonlit Road contains a number of excellent stories, including several considered Bierce’s best. I have to say, all of them were quite good, and I was impressed at how so many of them are still terrifying and suspenseful over a hundred years after Bierce wrote them. The title tale, for example, is a mind-bender that shows three perspectives of a man’s wife murdered by unknown assailants: three different characters, and each of their perspectives inform the reader a little more about the true cause of death. There’s also little thrillers like “The Man and the Snake,” in which a man finds a snake in his hotel room; hypnotized by its glowing eyes, he struggles in vain to leave the room, but is only capable of crawling closer to it. Hearing a scream, the hotel staff rush to the room and find the man dead… next to a stuffed snake, with shoe-buttons for eyes. That’s the kind of twist Bierce excels at—the horror is palpable, the revelation is even more shocking, and regardless of how crazy the stories’ ideas are… they work.

“The Secret of Macarger’s Gulch” was one of my favorites, an atmospheric little gem about a hunter who finds himself alone in the California wilds at dusk. Seeking refuge, he settles into the remains of an abandoned house for the night; as his fire burns low, his mind is filled with strange dreams… Awakened by wild thrashing in the house, he grips his shotgun tight and keeps his fire well lit for the rest of the night. Some years later, a chance meeting reveals the house’s dark past, a grim explanation of his night-time encounter. It’s a moody, morbid story, with an isolated atmosphere of suspense and unease, that also has a good deal of Bierce’s capable wit.

Another excellent chiller, “A Holy Terror,” sees a man reach the remains of an isolated gold-rush ghost-town, then mark off part of the cemetery as his mining claim. In a flashback, we learn that he’d went adventuring to amass his fortune for his loved one, a woman who has since renounced their love and moved on. It turns out that the cemetery has a cache of gold hidden under one coffin, and the man begins to unearth it… only to find the coffin was buried upside-down, when its contents fall through the rotting wood onto him. This is an excellent example of Bierce’s work: after the mounting sense of dread with the man struggling to exhume a grave, and the sharp terror of the coffin’s contents, the story has not one but two twists as well as an ironic revelation of the hidden cache’s contents.

Bierce uses the isolated American frontier as a backdrop to his tales of horror, a setting just a few generations removed from the world Bierce’s readers knew. “The Eyes of The Panther” has a vivid scene of a hungry mountain lion peering through a log cabin’s open window at a woman and her newborn; it’s not even related to the story’s true terror, of identity and sanity… and possibly, shape-shifters? “The Boarded Window” tells of an abandoned shack “only a few miles away from what is now the great city of Cincinnati,” where a frontiersman and his wife once scraped by. When the wife falls victim to fever, her husband tries to nurse her back to health, but to no avail. With her body lain in state on their table, the grief-stricken man loses his senses; he snaps back to reality to find some savage beast—another panther—coming through his open window. As usual, Bierce’s final twist is the horrifying part.

It helps that Bierce’s prose is so eloquent and captivating; it’s sparse and economical yet erudite, possessing a keen vocabulary and good sense of how to properly pace a short terror tale. Bierce’s horror stories are quiet and detached, but he tells them with a companionable storyteller’s voice. His stories embrace their dark imagery, full of isolated places in the American frontier wilderness—moonlit forests filled with savage panthers, abandoned houses in the rocky California chaparral. The literary devices he uses are chosen to throw the reader off balance and keep them on edge; the stories have abrupt beginnings, and often end with a line just as abrupt; he makes vague references to time, setting his stories in a near but unspecified past; his descriptions are limited, vague but chosen with enough distinction to imprint an idea on your mind.

In my mind, these tales have firmly entrenched Bierce’s status as a master of the weird tale. His influence on H.P. Lovecraft and Robert W. Chambers is documented, though he never gained the same reputation as Lovecraft or Poe—impacted in no small part by his misanthropic personality, while his strange disappearance left his legacy wide open. Bierce’s tales of the macabre are excellent, some of the best of their kind… I’ve read several similar volumes, and found this one of the better at building suspense and generating surprise. And readers who find older prose styles chafing should find Bierce’s tales a bit more modern and accessible. Anyone attracted to the horror genre ought to read some of them.


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