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The Great God Pan Paperback – October 23, 2015
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Of creators of cosmic fear raised to its most artistic pitch, few can hope to equal Arthur Machen. -- H. P. Lovecraft
What can I say about a writer whose influence has been acknowledged by H.P.Lovecraft, Peter Straub, T.E.D.Klein, M.John Harrison and Clive Barker? Perhaps that he managed to communicate a sense of the inexpressibly and awesomely supernatural with more power than he ever knew. -- Ramsey Campbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Arthur Machen (3 March 1863 – 15 December 1947) was a Welsh author and mystic of the 1890s and early 20th century. He is best known for his influential supernatural, fantasy, and horror fiction. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The story begins with a research doctor making an experimental surgical adjustment to a girl’s brain that he believes will enable her to see the world as it really is, as opposed to how mankind has been conditioned to perceive it. He calls this “seeing the Great God Pan”. “Pan” being the Greek god of nature. The experiment sets in motion a sequence of events spanning many years. As the story progresses we shift to new characters who are drawn into a mystery from various angles. Only at the end do the pieces come together. Occult imagery abounds, but the genius of the story is that the deviltry is ambiguous enough to be compatible with just about any worldview. It’s simply a terrifying encounter with the unknown.
Machen was an interesting man. The son of a clergyman, he was raised in a Christian home, but developed a deep interest in the occult. His knowledge influenced his fiction, but he apparently stayed true to his faith until his death. As far as I know he is the only Christian weird fiction writer of his day.
If this were written today, it would probably merit 3.5 stars. But given that it was highly original in 1894, and prototypical of weird fiction that would become popular in the coming decades, it gets an easy 5 stars.
The prose of Pan is over a century old and sometimes, perhaps, it is tough to take hold. But Pan, that old God, is a basis for Lovecraft and much modern horror. The Great God Pan unfolds slowly, for a short story, but it horror is old and elemental. Just be prepared for the Victorian Era prose.
Pan is still about. Pan even appeared in a recent biography of Rolling Stone Brian Jones.
And, especially at the Kindle Price, with recommendations from King and Lovecraft who can say no to The Great God Pan?
This horror story actually has a global reach as the protagonist roams the earth from South America to London. It stretches overtime and jumps around a host of people who wish they had never become involved. It's a very satisfying read.