This book is the fifth original fiction collection from one of the true eccentrics of modern British writing - stories that blend erudite skill and a startling emotional intensity, classical elegance and unexpected experimentation, sophisticated miserablism and innocent beauty. A fairy tale as dark as they come amid a shattering clash of two opposing and poisoned personalities. A Meyrink-tinged dream of atavism and Italy that awakens the dreamer to philosophy and fate. A quiet and perfectly observed journey through the far reaches of Japan. Myth-working fantasy haunted by the motley ghosts of Lord Dunsany and Matsuo Bashô, and by the imps of postmodernism. A vision of the afterlife where heaven and hell are entwined in torturous symbiosis. The sinister Black Dog folklore re-imagined as a cosmology of thanatophobia. For all the diversity of styles in evidence, they are united by the author's distinctive voice - a window into a crepuscular human world torn between magic and reality, earth and infinity.