The Four Corners of the World

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Author: A.E.W. Mason
Published: 1917
Language: English
Wordcount: 100,329 / 276 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 85
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 3,245
Added to site: 2009.04.11 23906

This is a rather eclectic group of stories.  It contains some very interesting tales of the supernatural, a couple of stories of war-time intrigue, and a drama, though the book is perhaps best known for The Affair at the Semiramis Hotel, which features French detective Inspector Hanaud.  It has a little of everything, just as the book's title suggests.

The Clock -- Green Paint -- North of the Tropic of Capricorn -- One of Them -- Raymond Byatt -- The Crystal Trench -- The House of Terror -- The Brown Book -- The Refuge -- Peiffer -- The Ebony Box -- The Affair at the Semiramis Hotel -- Under Bignor Hill

Show Excerpt

e shelves. A bright fire glowed upon the hearth, and drawing up a chair to the fender, he settled down to read. But the day was dull, and the fireplace stood at the dark end of the room. Mr. Twiss carried his book over to the window, which was a bay window with a broad seat. Now, the curtains were hung at the embrasure of the window, so that, when they were drawn, they shut the bay off altogether from the room, and when they were open, as now, they still concealed the corners of the window-seats. It was in one of these corners that Mr. Twiss took his seat, and there he read quietly for the space of five minutes.

At the end of that time he heard the latch of the door click, and looking out from his position behind the curtain, he saw the door slowly open. Archie Cranfield came through the doorway into the room, and shut the door behind him. Then he stood for a while by the door, very still, but breathing heavily. Mr. Twiss was on the point of coming forward and announcing his presence, but there was som


Average Rating of 3 from 1 reviews: ***
The Dial

"The Four Corners of the World" hold a number of bizarre things such as A. E. W. Mason, the author of a collection of stories by that name, loves to describe.

From an intriguing robbery at the Semiramis Hotel in London his imagination flits to Gibraltar and the bomb plots of the miserable Peiffer; from the story of "Green Paint" in a Latin Republic, to murder and suicide in an English country house. But though his imagination has range and facility, it has little depth. He has been reading Freud, or perhaps a book review on Freud, and to the varied complexes of his personages he has brought his own excellent short story technique. They are very enjoyable, these stories; and if writers like Conrad, Thomas Burke, and H. G. Dwight had not projected into the short story a quality that gives it vitality and endurance, we should perhaps be fully content with the temporary satisfaction to be got from "The Four Corners." According to the standard created by these writers, Mr. Mason's work is flat. According to the standard of the average, it is most excellently good.

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