Friday, October 30, 2009

A Storyteller's Ghost Stories

A Storyteller's Ghost Stories [Tales From Nebraska and Iowa]
by Duane Hutchinson [813.08 Hut]

A regional classic, Duane Hutchinson's popular ghost story collection has gone through multiple printings and generated two subsequent volumes. Hutchinson served for nearly two decades as a chaplain at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, before retiring and hitting the road as a professional story teller. In this volume, he has collected some of the most popular stories he tells, to groups both young and old. His stories are often based on real events, as expressed to him by those who experienced them. In many cases, though, he alters details -- both to protect identities and to streamline the stories. He also presents the stories with instructions on how to "perform" them to an audience...where to take dramatic pauses, etc. One thing I found interesting is that Hutchinson only includes ghost stories in which there's no trace of malevolence, or often in which there is an upbeat ending. Well-known ghost stories in this first volume include the ghost at Nebraska Wesleyan University, the Temple Building ghost at UNL and the South Branch Book Club ghost. If you're looking for a little frisson of thrills, with a local flavor, don't miss A Storyteller's Ghost Stories by the late Duane Hutchinson, especially volume one. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[Also available: The Ghost of Nebraska Wesleyan -- a videotaped storytelling by Hutchinson ]

Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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