The Doll Maker is the story of Clare Lydgate, a young woman studying at boarding school for her Oxford scholarship examinations. In the evenings, she escapes the school grounds by climbing over the wall of Brackenbine Hall. It is here that she encounters the charismatic and mysterious Niall Sterne, the Doll Maker of the title. This is a subtle, intelligent and compelling tale of horror. The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural describes Sarban's stories as nicely written, with solid characterizations, convincingly detailed backgrounds . . . and a fine sense of pacing and atmosphere. It notes that The Doll Maker is Sarban's most intriguing work, and that Niall Sterne offers no ordinary seduction, and there is a delicate horror in his beautiful, sterile doll-world, the antithesis of life itself. First published in 1953, The Doll Maker appears with two other horror short stories: "The Trespassers", and "A House of Call".
Used availability for Sarban's The Doll Maker and Other Tales of the Uncanny
October 2002 : UK Hardback
April 1999 : UK Hardback