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Summary

From the foggy streets of Victorian London to the eerie perfection of 1950s suburbia, the everyday is invaded by the evil otherworldly in this unforgettable collection of new ghost stories from the author of The Woman in Black.

In the title story, on a murky evening in a warmly lit club off St James, a bishop listens closely as a paranormal detective recounts his most memorable case, one whose horrifying denouement took place in that very building.

In 'The Front Room', a devoutly Christian mother tries to protect her children from the evil influence of their grandmother, both when she is alive and when she is dead.

A lonely boy finds a friend in 'Boy Number 21', but years later he is forced to question the nature of that friendship and to ask whether ghosts can perish in fires.

This is Susan Hill at her best, telling characteristically flesh-creeping and startling tales of thwarted ambition, terrifying revenge and supernatural stirrings that will leave readers wide awake long into the night.

©2016 Susan Hill (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

Critic reviews

"Traditional ghost stories of wonderful elegance.... Hill builds an atmosphere of creepiness in very few words; the pictures she creates in these stories are unforgettable." ( The Times)

What listeners say about The Travelling Bag

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Scary listening! But loved them!

Great short stories, well read. All a bit spooky but very enjoyable!
Highly recommended, but maybe not for younger listeners!

4 people found this helpful

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Good stories let down by the narration.

Classic ghost stories as Susan Hill excels in. The narration, however, was questionable with pauses in unexpected places and a languid delivery that made it sound that the narrator was bored stiff! There was also little to signify the end of one story and the start of the next.

7 people found this helpful

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Definitely Recommended

Susan Hill doesn't disappoint - and well-read by all of the narrators! Definitely a recommended book!

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant spooky stuff

This is a good, old fashioned book of short spooky storied. I enjoyed each of them immensely. Where short stories usually leave me feeling cheated, and wondering where the rest of the story went, these felt rounded and complete. Good stuff.

1 person found this helpful

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Simply Thrilling!!

Very good! Love Susan Hill's awesome stories and this collection proved perfectly creepy and spooky in equal measure!

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A good book let down by poor narration

Overall I enjoyed this book. The sense of atmosphere and skilful pacing are vintage Susan Hill. Unfortunately, though, the reader is just wrong for this text. Her voice is droning and disagreeable. It’s a shame as otherwise it would be a 5 star overall. I did manage to get past the narration, though, and would say it’s still worth getting the book.

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Neither scary nor entertaining

What would have made The Travelling Bag better?

The intervention of an editor to discuss plot, character and endings.

Would you ever listen to anything by Susan Hill again?

Never

Would you listen to another book narrated by Maggie Ollerenshaw?

Maybe

Any additional comments?

The plots where threadbare, rambling and incomplete, characters hollow and unconvincing and the endings - no twist, no dramatic enlightenment and no exciting finale. I bought this based on a brief review in the Guardian that left me intrigued. The narration was irritating at times but I believe this was due to the poor material. I listened to all three stories! I couldn't have been more disappointed.

2 people found this helpful

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The Misty Woman In The Small Painting

Four spooky yarns spun by that contemporary queen of the retro ghost story, Susan Hill. The titular novella is a dark tale of supernatural revenge in the Gentlemen's Club attire and period tradition of 'Mist In The Mirror' or 'The Man In The Painting', whilst the other three short stories occupy a vague, unspecified era of post-War modernity that I'm assuming to be somewhere between the 1950s and 1980s. Of these, 'Boy 21' was the slightest: somewhat Daphne Du Maurier in spirit, and beset by Hill's abiding flaw of underwhelming endings. 'The Front Room' was the bleakest effort: a clear cousin to Hill's most famous book, with its malevolent female ghost and imperilled children. My personal favourite was the moody 'Alice Baker', which turned the tale of an enigmatic haunting into a metaphor for the futility of office life.
Even Hill's most ardent admirers would be hard-pressed to claim these as her finest works, but they are all invested with enough atmosphere to make them an entertaining listen on a dark and stormy night. Maggie Ollerenshaw's downbeat narration suits the mood but was a little too drab for my tastes.