Review: Boroughs of the Dead: New York City Ghost Stories

Boroughs of the Dead: New York City Ghost Stories
Boroughs of the Dead: New York City Ghost Stories by Andrea Janes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This sparingly-rendered treasure chest of ten tales is fresh and fun. On a technical level, what’s most impressive is the sharp imagery, deft use of single effect, and economy in the telling. Poe fans who have any deeper familiarity with the man’s body of work shouldn’t let this one pass them by—it’s chock full of subtle allusions to even some of his lesser known works at every turn and works heavily with many of his primary themes. As a bonus, lovers of New York City will appreciate not only the variety of locations depicted in the book—from the Morgan Library in Midtown to the Village to Prospect Park—but also the setting of stories during some of the city’s darker chapters: The fire and sinking of the General Slocum, a man’s murdering of his fiancé in SoHo, the terrible oil leak at Newtown Creek. Standouts for me included “We’ll All Be in the Arms of our True Loves Before Long,” “A Fitting Tribute,” “The General Slocum,” and “The Northern Dispensary” (this last one has a total party with Poe’s “Berenice”!), but they’re all enjoyable and skillfully written. A quick read that’s difficult to put down, Boroughs of the Dead is a must for any ghost story lover.

View all my reviews

About kristipetersenschoonover

A ghost story writer who still sleeps with the lights on, Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s fiction has appeared in countless magazines and anthologies. She has received three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Residencies, served as a co-editor for Read Short Fiction, has judged both writing and grant competitions and co-hosts the Dark Discussions Podcast. Her work Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole is a collection of ghost stories set in Disney Parks; her novel, Bad Apple, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She’s also a member of the New England Horror Writers Association. More info:

Posted on January 30, 2014, in News. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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