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Other titles in the Penguin Classics series:
The White People and Other Weird Storiesby Arthur Machen
Synopses & Reviews
"Of living creators of cosmic fear raised to its most artistic pitch, few if any can hope to equal the versatile Arthur Machen." -H.P. Lovecraft
Actor, journalist , devotee of Celtic Christianity and the Holy Grail legend, Welshman Arthur Machen is considered one of the fathers of weird fiction, a master of mayhem whose work has drawn comparisons to H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe. Readers will find the perfect introduction to his style in this new collection. With the title story, an exercise in the bizarre that leaves the reader disoriented virtually from the first page, Machen turns even fundamental truths upside down. "There have been those who have sounded the very depths of sin," explains the character Ambrose, "who all their lives have never done an 'ill deed.'"
"At the turn of the 20th century, Welsh author Machen (The Hill of Dreams) wrote tales about evil and 'ecstasy' (his term for supernatural experience) that made a significant impact on horror fiction. For this volume, weird fiction scholar S.T. Joshi collects 11 key works that typify Machen's vision of the uncanny and the veil that keeps 'the Beyond' mercifully concealed from mortal eyes. Included are his masterpieces 'The White People,' about an innocent's unwitting indoctrination into foul rites of sorcery; 'Novel of the Black Seal,' which uncovers the survival of a malignant race of 'little people' in present times; and 'Novel of the White Powder,' in which a drug brings on a terrifying transformation in a victim who abuses it. Though the volume doesn't include Machen's best-known tale, 'The Great God Pan,' it features an insightful foreword by horror movie director Guillermo del Toro, which should help get the book into the hands of contemporary horror fans unfamiliar with Machen's magnificent legacy. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Arthur Machen (Arthur Llewelyn Jones, 1863-1947) was born and raised in Wales. He moved to London in 1881 and worked as a journalist, children's tutor, and publisher's clerk before finding literary success in 1894 with the story "The Great God Pan."
Guillermo del Toro is a film director, producer, screenwriter, novelist, and designer. He is best known as the director of Pan's Labyrinth and the Hellboy franchise.
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