Author E. F. Benson first impressions: The Room in the Tower – short story review

It’s been a long time since I dove deep into the entire work of an author. These past few days I’ve been reading a few works, mainly short stories from multiple authors and most were great, but there were a few that really stood out. Including this story and author.

First, a few words about the author. E.F. Benson was an English novelist, biographer, memoirist, archaeologist, and short story writer. He was born on 24 July 1867 and died on the 29th of February 1940. His most notable works include the Make Way For Lucia series which are much more comical and light-hearted in nature but he also wrote a lot of short horror stories.

I read a few of his stories, more of which I will talk about in other blog posts but today I wanted to start with the one that I enjoyed the most – The Room in the Tower.

A young man talks about his vivid recurring nightmare in which he visits a friend’s house during the summer over and over again. Each time, in the dream, the mother of his friend – the creepy and sinister Mrs. Stone assigns a room in the tower to him. And each time he hears that he is filled with dread. But even though he dreams the same dream, the dream is never the same. The people in the dream constantly seem to change, they grow older and seemingly decay. One day, one of his friends invites him to his country house. A house that is very similar, even identical to the house in his dreams, only not as dark. Will this house repeat the events from his dreams or will nothing happen?

As with his other stories, this one was very well written and easy to follow, yet very vivid and descriptive. The author managed to create a very creepy atmosphere that I have not come across in a while. This was among the scariest stories that I’ve read in a while. It was effective and with a great spin on the usual nightmare related stories that you might come across. Definitely worth a read. You can check it out for free on Librivox or on YouTube:

Something tells me that Benson might become one of my favorite authors, but it is yet too early to tell. For now, this story gets a 9/10.

Have you read any of his work? Did you enjoy it?

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