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Showing 1-10 of 14 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 21 reviews
on March 22, 2016
The White People one of the most macabre stories I have ever read. Machen was a genius.
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on April 5, 2016
Nice compendium of stories. I read it straight through.
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on October 16, 2016
It's my thing, admittedly .
It's not for everyone.
especially if you aremore accustomed to the popular fiction today.

It's ironic, somewhat misleading, as in the theme is not quite what the reader is led to believe.
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on February 20, 2015
It's best to just read this one and not talk about it.
Arthur is a master of the ghost story.
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on June 3, 2015
Being a H.P: Lovecraft fan for many years, I highly recommend this book to all HPL fans
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on November 22, 2016
Wonderful overview.
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on October 11, 2016
Arguably the greatest Welsh author of all time, Arthur Machen is one of the most legendary and influential writers of his time; although, his work can be hard to find these days where people tend to shy away from older literature. Penguin Classics always provide a great introduction to any author for new readers, as well as an excellent compilation for seasoned fans of Machen or other weird tales. Machen, a Welshman that hit the scene a few decades before Lovecraft, is one of the fathers of supernatural literature, fantastical tales, horror stories, and most of all: the so called "weird tale" which is an eclectic literary splicing of all three. This book is a must have for any fans of Lovecraft or the aforementioned genres. In addition to Arther Machen, some of his contemporaries and other similair authors that I highly recommend, all of which have a wonderful Penguin Classics edition of their tales as well, include Algernon Blackwood, Ambrose Bierce, Clark Ashton Smith, and Lord Dunsany.
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on October 18, 2011
I attended last night's Penguin Classics signing by S. T. Joshi, and although they had gobs and gobs of the newly-published Deluxe Edition of THE CALL OF CTHULHU AND OTHER WEIRD STORIES, they had but ONE copy of the Machen. I had already ordered it here at Amazon, and thus I was happy to see some other fellow who really wanted it and bought that copy.

S. T. said that Penguin were initially hesitant to publish the book, but they finally told him that if he could get Guillermo del Toro to write a Foreword, they'd publish it. It looks like they commissioned a new cover illustration of Pan, and that's odd since "The Great God Pan" does not appear in the book. The Contents are:

"The Ecstasy of St. Arthur," Foreword by Guillermo del Toro
Introduction by S. T. Joshi
Suggestions for Further Reading
A Note on the Texts
The Inmost Light
Novel of the Black Seal
Novel of the White Powder
The Red Hand
The White People
A Fragment of Life
The Bowman
The Soldier's Rest
The Great Return
Out of the Earth
The Terror
Explanatory Notes

Some people don't like Notes and Annotations. I love them and find that they enhance my enjoyment of an author. S. T. is so well read in the weird fiction field that he has a vast knowledge of things therein, and so his Notes are always illuminating. He begins each note with the writing/publication history of the tale, and the Notes then pertain to foreign words, historical aspects and the like.

This is a good solid selection of Machen's amazing weird fiction. The strangeness that these tales evoke, the threat of lingering aspects of the past, the trespassing into arcane realms, is in a class all its own. Machen had a magnificent and unique imagination, and he wrote in a plain yet literary style that flows easily. I highly recommend this book to all who enjoy excellent weird fiction.

"Of living creators of cosmic fear raised to its most artistic pitch, few if any can hope to equal the versatile Arthur Machen, author of some dozen tales long and short, in which the elements of hidden horror and brooding fright attain an almost incomparable substance and realistic acuteness."
--H. P. Lovecraft
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on March 21, 2014
There are many good ghost story writers, but there are only a handful of "masters" of this genre. M.R. James and Lord Dunsany are two such gifted storytellers. Arthur Machen is one of the best and, arguably, a true master of the bone-chilling stories...the true classics. Machen (1863-1947) took the haunted house and cursed graveyard narratives into a new realm, a realm that is both dark, terrifying and mythic. Fans of H. P. Lovecraft will recognize the style and iconic themes that Machen originated. Arthur Machen and H. P. Lovecraft were perfect partners in the emerging genre of myth-making as a major sub-text of the ghost story structure. Lovecraft (1890-1937) owes a great debt to Machen for establishing the foundations of the Cthulhu Mythos (more Lovecraftian, really, than Machen). In the world, they and others write about us as ordinary humans who happen to coexist with a race of "The Ancient Ones," who live just beyond a veil. If a human penetrates that veil, through a study of arcane subjects, we will then encounter a more demonic class of beings. Ones you don't want to meet on a dark and foggy night in a London alley.
My favorite story in this collection is the "Novel of the Black Seal". It helps to explain why most people feel an intense foreboding when standing in the shadows out beyond the camp-fire or cozy fireplace of a book-lined den.
I highly recommend this volume for anyone interested in reading something written decades before the present vampire-laden fiction. This is the real thing, and it's not comfortable to be holding a book like this alone, in bed, when the candle light grows dim.
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on March 7, 2014
This book is fantastic it gives you a great example of his writing skills and the stories will blow you away anyone who loves suspense horror and action will love the stories.
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