The Beckoning Fair One by Oliver Onions
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Hmm. I didn't enjoy this story that much. I can see why it's influential and respected as a ghost story. But, it's not my cup of tea. I think that the malevolent ghost aspect is interesting and appreciated, but I didn't care much for the execution, or the ending. I can see how this motif has been used in latter works. Definitely respect Oliver Onions for that. I also respect him for having such a dark aspect to this story.
Let's be real here. I like upbeat endings. I can enjoy some books that end negatively, but I didn't like this ending. I felt bad for Elsie. She genuinely cared about Paul. I wanted her to kick some ghost you know what. And Paul, well he just seemed to give up the ghost (no pun intended) and let the spirit suck him dry, practically. Nope, I didn't like that.
My other problem was how long and meandering it was. That doesn't tend to be my favorite kind of writing. I didn't think that Mr. Onions did much to build up the tension. It was awful vague, more suggestive and 'is it really happening or is Paul Oleron off his rocker?' But we know that's not the case.
Again, I can see why this is well-respected, and it was a pretty good story. Just not my thing. Man, I feel really bad for poor Paul and Elsie. What a downer--and no good scare with it. Bah!!!
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