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IN-PRINT TITLE INFORMATION

 

THE FIVE QUARTERS
by Steve Duffy & Ian Rodwell

ISBN: 1-55310-027-1; xii + 254pp
Published 30 November 2001

Price: Cdn$58.00 / US$43.00 / £27.50 (Postage Code B)

THE FIVE QUARTERS is a Society with five members: professional men, all of them solid citizens, unassuming, with their feet firmly planted on the ground. Anyone encountering them during one of their quarterly meetings would almost certainly pass them by without a second glance: five men enjoying good food and (especially) drink, companionable company, and a few stories.

During one Christmas meeting the talk turns, perhaps inevitably, to ghosts. The sceptical Mr Wilde feels that he has thoroughly put an end to such ridiculous talk—and is therefore startled when his friend Mr Gliddon says, somewhat hesitantly, 'I do believe that once . . . I encountered something . . . let us say, something not quite ordinary. . . .'

'Mr Gliddon's Confession' sets the stage for future meetings, at which talk inevitably turns to the supernatural, to the disgust of the disbelieving Mr Wilde. He attempts to find a natural explanation for everything; but as the stories continue, the events described become more difficult to explain away. Finally Wilde finds himself occupying—with great reluctance—centre stage in a chain of supernatural events which concerns all Five Quarters: one which also has potentially grave consequences for England as a whole. . . .

In his introduction, co-author Ian Rodwell writes that all the best tales of the uncanny contain 'an image that resonates and disturbs in a way that you don't, and maybe never should, understand.' All the stories in The Five Quarters contain such an image, from a kneeling figure spied on a desolate Provençal hillside to an abandoned pier guarded by a sinister figure on the coast of England: images which will linger in the memory long after the book is closed.

CONTENTS: Introduction; Mr Gliddon's Confession; The Penny Drops; Forever and a Day; Better Than One; Uneasy Lies the Head; Notes on the Stories by Steve Duffy.

Jacket painting (The Penny Drops) is by Paul Lowe. Limited to 500 copies.

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