Filed Under: Books

The Duchess Dresser by

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"See, it's doing it again," said Tanner.
–Margo Lanagan - The Duchess Dresser - c.2012

one of the stories in Cracklescape

Tanner found an abandoned dresser on the street, thought it would be an addition to his room, and so took it home. But he may have gotten more than he bargained for. First the handle starts to rattle, with no cause that anyone can see. And then he begins to dream, or be haunted, by a woman. Is the dresser itself haunted?

I love Lanagan’s writing. It is just so brilliant. Even in the shortest of stories she always has some description or so line to grab your attention. In this one, it is the descriptions of the dresser that I loved.

The dresser stood silent, reflecting … The dresser crouched there

It isn’t exactly ominous, but it is atmospheric. The dresser certainly has a presence, an atmosphere all of its own.

The way the shadows fell, the dresser’s mirror was a giant pale heart-shape, hovering against the black wall.

But the problem with short stories, for me, is that they aren’t long enough. They capture moments, and tell brief stories, leaving the reader wanting more. And that is certainly the case here. Sure, I may think I know the reason for the ghost, Show Spoiler ▼

but I still want to know more. And yet, a full and proper resolution just wouldn’t fit.

But that is a good criticism. Leaves you wanting more is certainly the case here.

If you’ve reviewed any of the stories in Cracklescape let me know and I’ll link back.

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