The Best of Hawai’i’s Best Spooky Tales collected by Rick Carroll

That’s not a typo, that really is the title.  There’s six volumes originally.

You can tell where my parents have gone on holiday by which local ghost story collections I end up with.

The rationale behind this collection is first-person “real life” supernatural encounters.  A lot of them revolve around meetings with Madam Pele, the Hawai’ian volcano goddess.  A really impressive number are written by native Hawai’ians, and even those written by others have a take no prisoners approach to the use of Hawai’ian language words. (As an aside, this is interesting as these books are so often meant strictly for the tourist market and clearly this is not).  I’m cool with this – I have a high tolerance for ambiguity (a language teaching term) and if it bothers me that much, we live in the age of Google.

These stories are all really short and really well edited so that the voice of each writer comes through strongly.  It represents a good cross section of the ethnic groups that live in Hawai’i – Hawai’ians, Europeans, Japanese, etc.

There’s not much to it – I finished it in two days.

That makes two of these volumes in a row that have been better than average.  <eyes shelf>.  The law of averages says that I have some real stinkers waiting for me.

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