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Today's featured book

The Lost Stradivarius by John Meade Falkner (1895) is a short novel of ghosts and the evil that can be invested in an object, in this case an extremely fine Stradivarius violin. After finding the violin of the title in a hidden compartment in his college rooms, the protagonist, a wealthy young heir, becomes increasingly secretive as well as obsessed by a particular piece of music, which seems to have the power to call up the ghost of its previous owner. Roaming from England to Italy, the story involves family love, lordly depravity, and the tragedy of obsession, all conveyed in a "high" serious tone not uncommon in late Victorian literature. Preceding M. R. James's ghost stories by several years, it has been called the novel James might have written, had he written novels.

—Excerpted from The Lost Stradivarius on Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.

Today's Featured Short Story

Sredni Vashtar by Saki

Conradin was ten years old, and the doctor had pronounced his professional opinion that the boy would not live another five years. The doctor was silky and effete, and counted for little, but his opinion was endorsed by Mrs. de Ropp, who counted for nearly everything. Mrs. De Ropp was Conradin's cousin and guardian, and in his eyes she represented those three-fifths of the world that are necessary and disagreeable and real; the other two-fifths, in perpetual antagonism to the foregoing, were summed up in himself and his imagination. One of these days Conradin supposed he would succumb to the mastering pressure of wearisome necessary things---such as illnesses and coddling restrictions and drawn-out dullness. Without his imagination, which was rampant under the spur of loneliness, he would have succumbed long ago. Continue reading

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Quote of the Day

An utterly fearless man is a far more dangerous comrade than a coward.

—— Moby-Dick by Herman Melville