Skip to product information
1 of 1

Notting Hill Editions

The Wrong Turning

The Wrong Turning

Encounters with Ghosts

edited and with an introduction by Stephen Johnson

Regular price $19.95
Regular price Sale price $19.95

Why do people love ghost stories, even if they don’t believe (or say they don’t believe) in ghosts? Is it simply the adrenaline rush that comes from being mesmerized and terrified by a great storyteller, or do these tales yield deeper meanings—telling us things about our own inner shadows? Stephen Johnson brings together some of the most memorable encounters with ghosts in world literature, from Europe, Russia, the United States, and China. Recurring themes and imagery are noted, interpretations suggested—but only suggested, since ambiguity and resistance to rational interpretation are key elements in the best ghost stories. As the writer Robert Aickman observed, often the decisive moment comes when someone, somehow, makes a “wrong turning”—literally, perhaps, but at the same time psychologically, even morally—and some mysterious nemesis takes over.

Old favorites by M. R. James, Ambrose Bierce, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman are interlaced with extracts from longer works by Emily Brontë, Henry James, Alexander Pushkin, along with slightly left-field apparitions from Tove Jansson, and Flann O’Brien. With such expert guides, who knows what we will be led to encounter in the haunted chambers of our minds?

Additional Book Information

Series: Notting Hill Editions
ISBN: 9781912559305
Pages: 192
Publication Date:


View full details
  • Shopping for someone else but not sure what to give them? Give them the gift of choice with a New York Review Books Gift Card.

    Gift Cards 
  • A membership for yourself or as a gift for a special reader will promise a year of good reading.

    Join NYRB Classics Book Club 
  • Is there a book that you’d like to see back in print, or that you think we should consider for one of our series? Let us know!

    Tell us about it