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Harvest Tales Midnight Revels is both a guide to giving storytelling parties at Halloween and an anthology of original tales Editor Michael Mayhew begins by describing how much he used to enjoy Halloween as a kid especially for its affirmation in the face of death You may get me someday but tonight I am alive As an adult he missed the magical shivers of those eerie nights So he started an annual gathering in which people would feast and tell stories The large middle part of the book is an anthology of the best read aloud pieces that were shared with others at those parties 16 stories and 3 poems The only rule they had was that the story had to relate to Halloween in some way So it's a mixed bag of creepy uiet corny tacky gory and just plain silly tales with such topics as late night meetings with strangers adventures in an urban underground a pagan woman ie witch of the old times and even the gunk in the bottom of the refrigerator None is longer than 2500 words a length that when read aloud comes to about 15 minutes The final section is a primer on how to give your own storytelling party with suggestions for the number of guests how to solicit stories and how to plan the evening Some of the ideas are awkwardly overstated for an adult book surely everyone knows how to throw a potluck but most of them including suggested decor and music seem well founded If I could share only one thing about what we did and learned over ten years of story parties writes Mayhew it would be this the Halloween that shrieked with glee when you were eight is still out there only now it murmurs to itself in the dead of night Fiona Webster

10 thoughts on “Harvest Tales and Midnight Revels; Stories for the Waning of the Year

  1. says:

    Finally A book of Halloween tales marked not for childrenit is an older book1998 but has wonderfully creepy storiesI wish I could find out there like this Not your regular Halloween tales

  2. says:

    I've tried to organize a storytelling evening before with very little interest This shows what happens when it goes right

  3. says:

    This book was a good collection of short stories some as always better than the others I really liked the reasoning behind it though The thought of having story parties is a great idea