Sunday, April 18, 2021

Book cover: "Avon Ghost Reader"

  • Title: Avon Ghost Reader
  • Authors: Collected stories by H.P. Lovecraft, August Derleth, Henry S. Whitehead, M.R. James, Bram Stoker, H.F. Heard, A. Merritt, Mindret Lord, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Collier, Stephen Vincent Benet and William B. Seabrook. (The "and Others" — literally the only two authors not named on the cover — are: F. Scott Fitzgerald and Stephen Vincent Benet.)
  • Cover illustrator: Still unknown, per the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  • Cover illustration grade: A+
  • Publisher: Avon Book Company, New York (New Avon Library, #90)
  • Year: 1946
  • Pages: 258
  • Format: Hardcover 
  • Original price: 25¢, according to Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  • Provenance: A faint stamp on the inside front cover states: "MRS. W. STANTON KIP 2ND, Sycamore Farm, Audubon, Penna." ... A search finds that Mary Louise Rhoads Kip of Audubon died May 10, 2013, at age 87. She "was the beloved wife of W. Stanton Kip." More about Mary: " A graduate of Norristown High School, class of 1943, Mary Louise went on to earn a degree in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1947. She was a person of diverse interests. With her husband Stanton, she spent some of her happiest hours sailing on Chesapeake Bay. She was a voracious reader and science fiction enthusiast. ... She was a lifelong animal lover, and all who knew her remember her deep love for her extended family of cats, who provided endless entertainment and companionship. Her intelligence and outgoing manner earned her many friends."
  • Mary Louise was quite awesome: Yes.
  • Excerpt from the inside front cover: "In these pages you will encounter soul-clutching terror and strange nameless horrors which inhabit the night. ... You will shrink from macabre scenes that the human eye should never look upon. ... The authors of these blood-curlers are world famous both for the fertility of their imagination and the excellence of their prose. ... Here is a book that will give you many a spine-tingling thrill and hours of solid entertainment."
  • Excerpt from the introduction: "Then there is Stephen Vincent Benet's 'By the Waters of Babylon,' unforunately all too close to what may be the future, in this present age when the threat of the atomic bomb hangs over us all."
  • Thoughts on the book: Bev Hankins reviewed it on the blog My Reader's Block in 2016. In summary, Bev wrote: "Overall, a solid collection of stories," but "I'm afraid that I found this one less satisfying than the Avon Mystery Story Teller.

I'm going to let this one back into the wild. If you're interested in having it on your shelf, drop me a line at chrisottopa (at) and I'll gladly send it your way!  

Back cover

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