American Midnight: Tales of the Dark

American Midnight by Anthology
Published by Pushkin Collection on August 31, 2021
Genres: Gothic, Horror
Pages: 220
Format: ARC
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase on: Amazon// Barnes & Noble// BookBub
Add to: Goodreads // StoryGraph

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A chilling collection of classic weird and supernatural tales from the dark heart of American literature

A masquerade ball cut short by a mysterious plague; a strange nocturnal ritual in the woods; a black bobcat howling in the night: these ten tales are some of the most strange and unsettling in all of American literature, filled with unforgettable imagery and simmering with tension. From Edgar Allan Poe to Shirley Jackson, Nathaniel Hawthorne to Zora Neale Hurston, the authors of these classics of supernatural suspense have inspired generations of writers to explore the dark heart of the land of the free.

The stories in this collection have been selected and introduced by Laird Hunt, an author of seven acclaimed novels which explore the shadowy corners of American history.


'The Masque of the Red Death', Edgar Allan Poe
'Young Goodman Brown', Nathaniel Hawthorne
'The Eyes', Edith Wharton
'The Mask', Robert Chambers
'Home', Shirley Jackson
'A Ghost Story', Mark Twain
'Spunk', Zora Neale Hurston
'The Yellow Wallpaper', Charlotte Perkins Gilman
'An Itinerant House', Emma Frances Dawson


American Midnight is a gothic horror anthology featuring classic American short stories. This was a really great collection mixing well known authors with some that might not be as ‘popular,’ as well as a good mix of familiar stories with lesser known. As with most anthologies, it’s going to be a mixed bag of what you’ll like and what you won’t. That said, I, obviously and of course, loved The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe considering I’ve read his works countless times. The rest of the short stories were all new to me and there were a few I really enjoyed.

Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a classic religious horror that warns against the dangers of, gasp, thinking for yourself! The Mask by Robert Chambers was also super interesting. It had friendship angst, weird science, and love. Home by Shirley Jackson was a fun, but cookie cutter ghost story. A Ghost Story by Mark Twain was surprisingly cute but ultimately forgettable. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman was great! The horrors of postpartum and what women were subjected to when they showed the slightest bit of emotion that was uncomfortable for men. An Itinerant House by Emma Frances Dawson was okay but too long-winded for me to feel really compelled. The two that I didn’t care for where The Eyes by Edith Wharton which truly just bored me, and Spunk by Zora Neale Hurston which was difficult to read due to dialogue being written in accent.

I think for anyone wanting to stretch their wings into classic American literature but are unsure where to start, American Midnight curated by Laird Hunt is a great way to get a quick taste of authors.


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