Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Review: The Body-Snatcher by Robert Louis Stevenson

Ghost Stories (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets):
The Body-Snatcher by Robert Louis Stevenson
Peter Washington
Everyman's Library (2008), Hardcover, 416 pages

When the past rings two times.

First time: a group of friends, Fettes among them, are reunited talking and drinking. A sick man in the village needs a doctor, so they are waiting for this doctor to show up. Eventually the doctor rings at the door and Fetter is shocked: MacFarlane enters, he is an old Fetter’s companion from the time of medical school. Fetter and MacFarlane pick up corpses for the school of anatomy; sometimes when dead corpses lack, MacFarlane, in disagreement with Fetter, kills someone.

Second time: Fetter and MacFarlane after resuming a woman’s corpse from the grave and returning to the city from the graveyard, when rain is pouring and every light is (also) dead … they become aware that they are carrying a different corpse: a man who Fetter and MacFarlane have already dissected in the past …

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