E.F. Benson’s “The Face” – short story review

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction and philosophy related stuff and have been neglecting the horror genre so I decided to come back to an author that I recently spoke about.

A young and gorgeous woman who seems to have it all has a vivid nightmare in which a ghastly face tells her that he is coming for her. We find out that this nightmare is something that she used to dream about before. 10 years ago to be exact. She remembers that in that dream the apparition that came to her told her that he will come for her once she is older.

Frightened by all of this she goes to her husband for comfort who tells her to seek the help of a physician. The doctor tells her that she needs some rest and isolation in a quiet place so she decides to do just that. But as one would expect the peace and quiet do not last for long.

Now, if you have read stories from Benson before or my previous review on The Room in the Tower , you might recognize the style of the story. It seems very similar and repetitive, both having a protagonist who has a recurring scary dream that has a few details changing as time passes and it does get a bit annoying having read this right after I read The Room in the Tower but the way in which it is written makes it enjoyable. Maybe not as enjoyable as it would be reading it completely unaware of his other work but still, the wonderful writing style which I am really getting into is enough and it still has enough differences to make it stand out.

The author seems to have a fascination with dreams and nightmares and that is something that I enjoy exploring too so any type of work connected to that is a treat for me. If you wish to find his work I have found much of it on Librivox since it is in the public domain and there are versions on youtube as well.

Final verdict: 7/10

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