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Return to Book Page. Some of the finest horror stories ever written. Arthur Machen had a profound impact upon H.
Lovecraft and the group of stories that would later become known as the Cthulhu Mythos. This first volume of Chaosium’s Arthur Machen collection begins with the chilling “The Three Impostors” in its complete form, including the rarely seen sections “The Decorative Imagination” and Some of the finest horror stories ever written.
Paperbackpages. Published January 17th by Chaosium first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Bill Ramsell I recall one tentacle and one mass of gibbering protoplasm, but remember that Lovecraft, the creator of Cthulhu, was a great fan of Machen. Lists with This Book. May 21, Bill Kerwin rated it it was amazing Shelves: The Three Imposters is a strange little book, a narrative about a secret society’s efforts to retrieve a Roman coin “The Gold Tiberius”but this “novel” appears to be little more than a convenient device for telling a series of marvelous, horrific tales.
Two of these tales–“The Novel of the Black Seal” and “The Novel of the White Powder”–are first-class works of imaginative fiction, and the entire book itself is entrancing, reminiscent of Stevenson’s New Arabian Nights in its descriptions o The Three Imposters is a strange little book, a narrative about a secret society’s efforts to retrieve a Roman coin “The Gold Tiberius”but this “novel” appears to be little more than a convenient device for telling a series of marvelous, horrific tales.
Two of these tales–“The Novel of the Black Seal” and “The Novel of the White Powder”–are first-class works of imaginative fiction, and the entire book itself is entrancing, reminiscent of Stevenson’s New Arabian Nights in its descriptions of London–conveyed in musical, Swinburneian prose–make of this nineteenth century metropolis something as exotic and fantastic as the Baghdad of Haroun al-Rashid.
In addition, this collection contains not only two short stories but also the novella “The Great God Pan,” one of the acknowledged classics of the weird tale.
Its Chinese mahen structure–the horror revealed in fragments, in various voices, with lacunae which must be supplied by the reader–makes the narrative all the more compelling and terrifying in its obliqueness. Lovecraft used this structure as his model for “The Call of Cthulhu.
The Three Impostors and Other Stories by Arthur Machen
Instead of lower-class women murdered in the slums macheen an unknown male slasher, we have wealthy young men committing suicide lueblo the most fashionable sections of London–and this time a mysterious woman seems to be involved.
View all 10 comments. Mar 24, William2 rated it liked it Shelves: Artbur far, I have finished arthud the title novella. Blwnco was published in in UK, so the diction has its moments of old world British punctilio, but these are certainly no worse than anything found in other prominent Victorian writers. For the most part the narrative is beautifully compressed and the action brisk.
I generally do not read mysteries or stories of the occult unless they are by Edgar Allan Poe and one or two others, and reading this collection I was reminded why. For all its delights there is a weakness in the middle of the book that I found rankling. It appears in the chapter titled “Novel of the Black Seal. The reader is left wondering why everyone is so frightened. It’s this one section then, the longest in the book, in which the narrative fails.
A second annoying habit in this section is afthur relentless withholding of information. Now this is something that all writers of fiction do to keep us arthr what will happen next. But Machen is so chintzy with even the smallest particle of rationale that it’s a little maddening. Whenever the text calls for him to come clean, he squirms out of doing so through some cheap device or other. This is trickery, and bad ell. But mixed with these are fine moments, especially Machen’s clarity of voice and vivid detail, that satisfy deeply.
So recommended with reservations. En palabras de H. En esta novela corta, se nos presenta a Mr. View all 4 comments. Nov 11, Doug rated it really liked it. Ok, I’ve gone back and forth and thought about this review. I blaanco not read the second volume will soonbut this is how it seems to me. This book contains two important works: The first, and smallest, is the best: The second, the bulk, deals with sexual ho Ok, I’ve gone back and forth and thought about this review.
The second, the bulk, deals with sexual horrors and is basically how bad a particular woman is because of, you know, sexual horrors. Toss in a small twist to bring them back to together and you have a satisfying, but potentially so much more, product. You could write an entire book of discussion about what is meant and what could have been implied.
The White People – Wikipedia
A series of stories inside of stories are told, some with stories inside of them, many with a horror bend, and all linking back, however falsely and tentatively, artthur the search for a young man with spectacles and a gold coin.
Of the various interlocked tales four of which are pitched as “novels”, fantastical stories told by one character to anotherthe two most important are “Novel of the Black Seal” and “Novel of the White Powder”. Except it goes awry. Right up there with “Colour out of Space” Lovecraft and “Voice in the Night” Hodgson as a classic of the consumed-from-within horror. The four peublo and five or six “real” tales of The Three Impostors are subtitled “The Transmutations”, and most of the stories involve some element of things changing.
However, the connection between the storylines and change can be tenuous in places. I think I get it, but I wouldn’t be absolutely sure. If the whole thing was written in reverse sequence except the end would still be the endit would be better.
Which brings me to the bit that involves the second volume of Joshi’s Machen compilations. From what I have heard, “The White People” is the key piece of that. It seems like “Inmost” or “Pyramid” could have been culled and “The White People” put in its place to make a definitive Machen weird tale single volume with a second volume aimed at more completist ventures.
The Three Impostors and Other Stories
Still, the bookends–“Pan” and Impostors–are very worthy tales and I’m sad it took me this long to read them. Although I finished the book just minutes ago, my mind is still reeling with what must be one of the most subtle and insidiously terrifying works of the genre I have ever read. Picture to yourself a mysterious prologue, in which we are introduced to two men and a woman who are leaving a mysterious house in the suburbs of London.
They discuss some act which was performed mavhen move on. From another direction come the two main protagonists, Dyson and Phillipps, who take over from this point. What follows are a number of chapters titled as if they were independent short stories; yet they are all interlinked.
Two of the chapters contain substories, which Machen for some reason calls “novels,” which have been frequently anthologized, namely, “The Novel of the Black Seal” and “The Novel of the White Powder. Lovecraft, it is no accident.
In his essay “Supernatural Horror in Literature,” Lovecraft comments that they represent “perhaps the highwater mark of Machen’s skill as a terror-weaver. Rarely have I encountered such a short novel with so many interwoven skeins.
I have remarked in other reviews about the moral landscape of G. Chesterton’s tales, in which the sinister qualities of the landscape reflect in some way the moral flaws in the characters usually of the villains.
In Machen’s work, on the other hand, the scenes where the action takes place vary widely and sometimes strangely inappropriately, considering what takes place. Pkeblo point seems to be that great mysteries underlie our lives: I stand in a world that seems as strange and awful to me as the endless waves of ocean seen for the first time, shining, pueglo a peak in Darien.
Now I know that the walls of sense that seem so impenetrable, that seem to loom up above the heavens and to be founded below the depths, and to shut us in for evermore, are no such everlasting impassable barriers as we fancied, but thinnest and most airy veils that melt away before the seeker, and dissolve as the early mist of the morning about the brooks. At one moment, the sun may be shining; at another, one is lost in evil, with the faerie folk and witches and ogres bending our idea of what is real and proper into a cocked hat.
Tampoco puedo ignorar el hecho de que la experiencia literaria se ha visto enriquecida por mi copia de la novela, repleta de anotaciones y subrayados de un antiguo propietario.
Cada relato contiene un texto que se puede leer de forma independiente, una historia o puenlo paralela a la trama. Porque su prosa, tan bella y tan cuidada, no solo tiene la arhhur de deleitar.
Porque su prosa no es belleza por belleza, es un acto funcional envuelto en unas elegantes vestiduras. Machen logra que Lovecraft descienda a un plano terrenal. Lovecraft odiaba sus historias. View all 6 comments. Dec 04, Charles Dee Mitchell rated it really liked it Shelves: Machen reportedly changed one word.
The mahen was published without incident. Reading it today it is hard to imagine what the fuss would have been about. But Machen was known as a decadent writer.
I have unread on my kindle a appreciation of the author titled, Arthur Machen: Author of Ecstasy and Sin. And the three imposters in this series of linked short stories are, once you can untangle the convoluted narratives, involved in some pretty horrible stuff. But it is the sort of horrible stuff that now dominates horror programming on cable TV. And there is some genuine comedy in his choice of characters, diletantish young men of sufficient if limited means who remain clueless of the world they have stumbled into until the final gory revelation.
He has got to do simply this — to invent a wonderful story, and to tell it in a wonderful manner.