Originally published on Christmas in 1931 and widely regarded as A.M. Burrage’s masterpiece, “One Who Saw” tells the story of a writer enchanted by a spectre of a weeping woman. His obsession builds until her ghostly hand falls from her face and he, in horror, becomes “one who sees.” – Goodreads Synopsis
One Who Saw Review
One Who Saw is an excellent creepy read. I’ve not read any of Burrage’s other works, but I can see why this one would be called his master piece. In a mere 64 pages, the author gave such a great atmosphere and escalating level of creepiness that I found myself instinctively curling up into a ball on the couch as I read it. You can tell it was written in a different era, and it’s all the better for it. One Who Saw forces your imagination to fill in the blanks, and does it quite well. Even a half an hour after finishing the story, the curiosity about the weeping woman’s image was tugging at the edges of my mind.
Now, Biblioasis has partnered with Canadian cartoonist Seth, of It’s a Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken fame, to bring new life to these older stories, and restore the creepy Christmas spirit that has faded over time. (Yes, I said creepy Christmas. According to the foreword in the book, and the article, Christmas used to be a time for creepy fireside tales! I love this idea.) I’m completely unfamiliar with Seth’s work, but the 4 illustrations contained within the book seem to suit (at least to my cartoon ignorant mind) the time frame the stories were written in. With bold dramatic lines and a pleasing starkness, these illustrations help to entrench the atmosphere and give a basic idea of how some things might look rather than to clearly show anything.
Overall, very happy that I had the chance to get introduced to A.M. Burrage’s work, and I look forward to reading more from this project in the future. Pre-order One Who Saw on Amazon now. You won’t regret it.
For more information about this partnership, here’s a link to an article on CBC.ca.