Robert Aickman (1914–1981) was the son of an architect and the grandson of Victorian Gothic novelist Richard Marsh. A novelist, critic, editor, memoirist, literary agent and saviour of the British waterways, he is regularly acclaimed as the most singular, alarming and accomplished writer of supernatural fiction in the twentieth century.


Andrew Michael Hurley
The Telegraph

‘To try and make sense of [Go Back at Once’s] assortment of images and metaphors is like trying to interpret a feverish dream . . . the pleasure comes not from retaining a firm grasp on meaning, but in yielding to “the greater power of imagination than reality”, something Cressida comes to appreciate herself.’

Catriona Ward
The Times

‘Aickman's hitherto unpublished second novel . . . is an oddity, a puzzlebox of queerness and a utopian fantasia . . . The prose vibrates with energy.’

Peter Straub

‘[The] most profound writer of what we call horror stories.’

Ian McCord, Avid Bookshop

‘With brilliant dialogue and oblivious schlepping, à la Stoppard’s Guildenstern and Rosencrantz, Aickman’s two hilarious ladies-in-waiting wander through the horrors of war, men of all disastrousies, and political upheaval unfazed.’


‘For fans of cutting remarks, philosophy, and scandalous divorcées.’

Kirkus Reviews

‘[T]his novel offers readers…a witty, sophisticated work of 20th-century British fiction.’  

Publishers Weekly

‘Mesmerizing. This unconventional story gets by on the author’s sly wit.’

The Complete Review

‘There's a nice light touch to the all skips along nicely and if it all isn't quite clear, the sheer oddity of the place and events is just as baffling to its two protagonists...It makes for a quite charming novel of two young innocents learning about life.’

Neil Gaiman

‘Reading Robert Aickman is like watching a magician work, and very often I’m not even sure what the trick was. All I know is that he did it beautifully.’

Anwen Crawford
The New Yorker

‘In Aickman’s fiction, peculiarity is intertwined with a drab twentieth-century realism that is very English and sometimes dryly funny. Think Philip Larkin, or Barbara Pym, gone eldritch.’

John Darnielle, author of Wolf in White Van

‘His name should be placed among the greats—Flannery O’Connor, Irwin Shaw, Raymond Carver . . . You will never forget the first Aickman story you read, nor be satisfied when you’ve read them all.’

Matthew Cheney
Electric Literature

‘Unsettling is a key description for Aickman’s writing, not merely in the sense of creating anxiety, but in the sense of undoing what has been settled: his stories unsettle the ideas you bring to them about how fictional reality and consensus reality should fit together . . . He was drawn to ghost stories because they provided him with conventions for unmaking the conventional world, but he was about as much of a traditional ghost story writer as Salvador Dalí was a typical designer of pocket watches.’

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