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Children's Literature Reviews
Item 1 of 1

In camera and other stories
Robert Westall.
New York : Scholastic, 1993.
152 p. ; 22 cm.


Five tales of psychological suspense and the possible supernatural, featuring such characters as a satanic baby and a man who may have turned himself into a cat.

State and Provincial Reading Lists:

South Carolina Young Adult Book Award, 1997 ; Nominee; South Carolina

Reading Measurement Programs:

Reading Counts-Scholastic
Interest Level High School
Reading Level 8
Title Point Value 8
Lexile Measure 790


Hazel Rochman (Booklist, Aug. 1993 (Vol. 89, No. 22))
Even in his most realistic World War II stories, the late Robert Westall was a master at revealing disorder beneath conventional pieties. In this entertaining collection of five scary short stories, the supernatural is just on the edge of conscious control, a wildness that can barely be contained. Sometimes the confrontation is overexplained: "the prisoner of life" fights "the frenzied flood of desire and delusion." But the best tales dramatize the battle inside one person, usually a woman who is trying to free herself from an overbearing father and/or a wimpy husband. The title story is a clever mystery about a policewoman who is as sexy as she is smart. The longest story begins with a bride knowing that she's walking down the aisle into the trap of a bad marriage. She finds the strength to free herself when she believes that she's possessed by a kindly ghost; but with an astonishing twist, the story reveals that the ghost was a vicious character and that her strength and creativity have come from herself. Westall shows in all these selections that it's the power of the imagination that both sets the ghosts free and keeps them at bay. Category: Older Readers. 1993, Scholastic, $13.95. Gr. 7-12.

Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, 1993)
A part of O. Henry, a dash of Oscar Wilde, and all Westall: five stories that give ample evidence of a lifetime of careful character study and craftsmanship. Though billed as dealing with the uncanny, none of these is overtly occult, horrific, or fantastic, but all stretch the imagination. In the title story, film found in a 50-year-old camera leads to the scene of a supposed half-century-ago crime, only to reveal heartbreak instead. A martinet of a records clerk is asked to register the baby of "Beelzebub"--but only in the clerk's unsuspectedly ripe imagination. "Henry Marlborough," a beguiling presence from the past, leads an intellectually stifled young woman to independence, even though the romantic figure she imagines is nothing like the real Henry. Through all these tales runs a theme of possibility, of nothing being quite what it seems. The settings are English, as are the social milieu and some of the phrasing, but that shouldn't deter readers who respond to the characters' charm and the expressiveness of the writing. 1993, Scholastic, $13.95. © 1993 Kirkus Reviews/VNU eMedia, Inc. All rights reserved.


Horror tales, English.
Horror stories.
Occultism Fiction.
Short stories.
LanguageCall NumberLCCNDewey DecimalISBN/ISSN
English (eng) PZ7.W51953 In 1993
92013815 [Fic]
0590459201 : $13.95
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