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by Mack Samples
In the spirit of Chaucer's famed Canterbury Tales, West Virginia writer Mack Samples has produced an entertaining gem with his latest book, The Devil's Tea Tables. The author has created a busload of gregarious travelers who share their strange and ghostly tales as they traverse the West Virginia hills. The stories tell about all kinds of strange dealings, some with horse traders, disturbed graves, kind hobos, vanishing moonshine, and fiddle-playing preachers. Many of the stories the author heard growing up along the Elk River. Sit back and read some mysterious tales about bygone days in the hills of West Virginia.
â€œPicture a busload of gregarious wayfarers rambling through the richest tall-tale country in America, and you will have a good idea of what Mack Samples accomplishes in his latest book. Each of the pilgrims in Devil's Tea Tables leaves us a chilly yarn, all adding up to a fine regional collection of ghost lore and the supernatural. Samples is a true son of the hills who speaks with the authority of a native. We are lucky to have him as our guide through this spooky terrain.â€ Ken Sullivan, West Virginia Humanities Council
â€œMack Samples is a true mountain storyteller. In telling these timeless tales, he not only honors the stories but those who have passed them down through the generations. Mack knows the tellers are as important as the stories themselves. You'll not find a better bunch of stories anywhere in America. Their universal themes never get outdated and their meanings are as fresh today as they were in the dim past when they were hatched from a real incident or the fertile mind of an ancient bard. In putting these stories on paper, Mack is preserving them and paying homage to those who have kept them in their memories and in their hearts. In reading them may you do the same.â€ Dave Peyton, columnist, The Charleston (WV) Daily Mail