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22gigantes.com - A discussion between two men on the nature of evil leads one of them to reveal a mysterious diary in his possession. Written by a young girl in the care of a nurse, its pages detail a horrifying initiation into a world of witchcraft, folklore and ritual magic which may have culminated in tragedy.Originally published in 1904 and considered by E. F. Bleiler to be "probably the finest single supernatural story of the century, perhaps in the literature", this is one of Machen's most celebrated stories, with its influence being seen in the works of genre greats such as H. P. Lovecraft (who called it "a triumph of skilful selectiveness and restraint") and T. E. D. Klein.
Most helpful customer reviews 5 of 5 people found the following review helpful. For any fans of Lovecraft, supernatural literature, fantastical tales, horror stories, or weird tales: this is a must have. By Amazon Customer 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. 4 of 4 people found the following review helpful. Wonderful By Spyros Drivas 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. 74 of 80 people found the following review helpful. Machen in Penguin at Last By Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire, Esq. 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 ToroIntroduction by S. T. JoshiSuggestions for Further ReadingA Note on the TextsThe Inmost LightNovel of the Black SealNovel of the White PowderThe Red HandThe White PeopleA Fragment of LifeThe BowmanThe Soldier's RestThe Great ReturnOut of the EarthThe TerrorExplanatory NotesSome 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 See all 19 customer reviews...
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