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M. P. Shiel (1865–1947)

Teoksen The Purple Cloud tekijä

62+ teosta 1,237 jäsentä 28 arvostelua 1 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä

Tekijän teokset

The Purple Cloud (1901) 674 kappaletta
Prince Zaleski (1895) 78 kappaletta
Xelucha and Others (1975) 77 kappaletta
The Lord of the Sea (1901) 58 kappaletta
Shapes in the Fire (1896) 32 kappaletta
The Pale Ape and Other Pulses (2006) 17 kappaletta
How the Old Woman Got Home (1928) 17 kappaletta
Huguenin's Wife (2000) 15 kappaletta
The Isle of Lies (1964) 12 kappaletta
Cold Steel (1929) 11 kappaletta
The Lost Viol (1905) 10 kappaletta
The World, the Flesh and the Devil [1959 film] (2011) — Tekijä — 10 kappaletta
Dr. Krasinski's Secret (1929) 10 kappaletta
The Last Miracle (2013) 9 kappaletta
The Dragon 8 kappaletta
Xélucha (1975) 7 kappaletta
Children of the wind (2014) 6 kappaletta
The Rajah's Sapphire (1981) 5 kappaletta
The Black Box (1930) 5 kappaletta
Science, Life and Literature (1950) 4 kappaletta
The Invisible Voices (1935) 4 kappaletta
Here Comes The Lady 4 kappaletta
The Yellow Wave 3 kappaletta
THE MAN-STEALERS (2018) 3 kappaletta
THIS ABOVE ALL (1933) 3 kappaletta
The Young Men are Coming! (1979) 3 kappaletta
The Weird O'IT 3 kappaletta
THE EVIL THAT MEN DO (2018) 3 kappaletta
The Bride 2 kappaletta
THE WHITE WEDDING 2 kappaletta
Many a Tear 2 kappaletta
THIS KNOT OF LIFE 2 kappaletta
The Pale Ape 2 kappaletta
Vaila (2008) 2 kappaletta
Above All Else 2 kappaletta
Orazio Calvo 1 kappale
Phorfor 1 kappale
THE NEW KING 1 kappale
CHINA IN ARMS 1 kappale

Associated Works

Great Irish Tales of Horror: A Treasury of Fear (1995) — Avustaja — 326 kappaletta
Late Victorian Gothic Tales (2005) — Avustaja — 191 kappaletta
The Phantom of the Opera and Other Gothic Tales (2018) — Avustaja — 187 kappaletta
Science Fiction Stories (1991) — Avustaja — 183 kappaletta
Great Tales of Science Fiction (1985) — Avustaja — 162 kappaletta
Shadows of Carcosa: Tales of Cosmic Horror (2014) — Avustaja — 130 kappaletta
H.P. Lovecraft's Favorite Weird Tales (2005) — Avustaja — 84 kappaletta
The Century's Best Horror Fiction Volume 1 (2011) — Avustaja — 51 kappaletta
The Arbor House Treasury of Science Fiction Masterpieces (1983) — Avustaja — 43 kappaletta
Endless Apocalypse Short Stories (Gothic Fantasy) (2018) — Avustaja — 42 kappaletta
The Screaming Skull and Other Classic Horror Stories (2010) — Avustaja — 37 kappaletta
Dark Mind, Dark Heart (1962) — Avustaja — 32 kappaletta
Heavy Weather: Tempestuous Tales of Stranger Climes (2021) — Avustaja — 31 kappaletta
In the Shadow of Sherlock Holmes (2011) — Avustaja — 25 kappaletta
Spectral Sounds: Unquiet Tales of Acoustic Weird (2022) — Avustaja — 24 kappaletta
The Third Book of Unknown Tales of Horror (1979) — Avustaja — 18 kappaletta
Victorian Tales of Terror (1974) — Avustaja — 16 kappaletta
Paha vieras (1996) 15 kappaletta
A wave of fear: A classic horror anthology (1973) — Avustaja — 11 kappaletta
The Zinzolin Book of Occult Fiction (2022) — Avustaja — 10 kappaletta
Thrills, Crimes and Mysteries (1936) — Avustaja — 10 kappaletta
Classic Crime Stories (2014) — Avustaja — 10 kappaletta
The Black Magic Omnibus Volume 1 (1976) — Avustaja — 6 kappaletta
150 anni in Giallo (1989) — Avustaja — 2 kappaletta
Explorers of the Infinite (1963) — Avustaja — 1 kappale

Merkitty avainsanalla




This is a post apocalyptic novel published in 1900 but feels quite modern in a lot of aspects. Adam Jeffson is the sole survivor of an early expedition to the North Pole. As he returns from the polar extremities he encounters large numbers of dead fish and animals, followed by shiploads of dead mariners, and a smell of peaches and almonds. He gradually realises that almost every living animal is dead, both on sea, in (or from the) air, and on land ("I could have come to land a long time before I did: but I would not: I was so afraid. For I was used to the silence of the ice: and I was used to the silence of the sea: but, God knows it, I was afraid of the silence of the land"). When he reaches London and is able to check newspapers, he realises that all living things have been wiped out by a purple cloud arising east of New Zealand and then proceeding at a pace of about 100 miles a day westwards. Panic ensued as people stampeded westwards to try to escape.

This is a horrific and chilling explanation, but after this the novel somewhat lost its way for me. Basically for months and then years he wanders around the world looking for survivors and there are endless descriptions of piles of bodies in streets, buildings, down mines (to try to escape the poison cloud) and so on - "the arrangement of One planet, One inhabitant, already seems to me, not merely a natural and proper, but the only natural and proper, condition; so much so, that any other arrangement has now, to my mind, a certain improbable, wild, and far-fetched unreality, like the Utopian schemes of dreamers and faddists....It seems to me not less than a million million aeons since other beings, more or less resembling me, walked impudently in the open sunlight on this planet, which is rightly mine". These thoughts are symptoms of a growing dislocation and megalomania. He starts to use his engineering skills to, highly implausibly, burn and destroy whole cities, and build himself an opulent palace in Greece. Eventually he finds one other survivor, but cannot decide on his attitude towards her and treats her horribly, though in time this changes. It is implied at the end that they are basically a new Adam and Eve.

This novel had many strengths as an early post-apocalyptic story, but the wanderings around the world were just too long and drawn out and affected the pace of the narrative, and the final encounter with the other survivor does not come across as realistic.
… (lisätietoja)
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john257hopper | 15 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 20, 2024 |
Adam Jeffson es el primer hombre en llegar al Polo Norte. Para conseguirlo ha mentido, ha sido cómplice de un envenenamiento y ha matado a sangre fría. Pero, sobre todo, ha desobedecido un mandato divino: el Polo Norte es un páramo vedado a la especie humana. Cuando, exultante, inicia el camino de retorno, descubre que su ruta está marcada por un macabro rastro de cadáveres. Una muerte fulminante y silenciosa parece haber sorprendido a la humanidad bajo la forma de una nube púrpura. Adam se convierte así en el último hombre vivo, y quizá en el amo del mundo.… (lisätietoja)
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Natt90 | 15 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 9, 2023 |
This is a preliminary review. I've only read three of the stories in this collection. Have had the book for years -- long enough to not be able to remember why (outside of it being an Arkham House product, and I was way into H. P. Lovecraft as a teen) I bought it.

If you have ever wondered what the phrase "purple prose" was trying to describe, read Shiel. August Derleth apparently really liked Shiel's style, and they were friends ... but hoo! boy. The style, knotted, convoluted, over-emotive and crushingly multisyllabic, often (for this reader, anyway) obscures exactly what it is Shiel is trying to convey ... and on the evidence of the first three stories in this volume, what he's trying to convey -- in terms of plot at least -- is not really ... all that. So is the style a compensation of sorts for the not-quite-stunning-originality of the plots? I don't know yet.

UPDATE: thought about adding a star, since the story "The Dark Lot of One Saul" has some sentences in it that are ... well, quite beyond belief. So that's good. And there are other moments (see "The Bell of St. Sepulcre," where the weird woman first appears, and bits of "Huguenin's Wife") of real power that make one wish that Shiel had been more in control of, and less at the mercy of, his stylistic choices. Without fail, however, these moments of power are balanced by moments like the one in "The Tale of Henry and Rowena" when, to further the plot, the titular characters encounter a damned PANTHER in Rome, and Henry is compelled to CUT OFF HIS OWN ARM AND FEED IT TO THE PANTHER so they can escape ... and without this patently ludicrous moment, the story would not ... be.

Perhaps the saddest instance of the obscuring curtain of style (I did note that Shiel often indulges in swathes of alliteration and assonance, which makes me wonder if he was a fan of Anglo-Saxon poetry!) is the story "The House of Sounds." This, according to H. P. Lovecraft, was doubtless Shiel's masterpiece -- and I tell you what, I can make little of it. The best I can manage is that it is some wack *inversion* of Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher," and it is not saying much to say that it suffers badly in the comparison. I am not sure what HPL saw in this story -- but then I guess he can't really be trusted as a critic of style, since his own was often ... pretty dire.

And there you have it. I had to check the brute 'monetary value' of the book -- since it's an Arkham House volume I was wondering whether it had any collectible value -- but it doesn't, really, so it will probably exit my collection since I don't feel much impulse to read these stories again. Alas.
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tungsten_peerts | Oct 26, 2022 |

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louchobi | 15 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 12, 2022 |



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