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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disquieting classic horror
A brilliant piece of period 'weird fiction' with a genuinely unsettling air, it builds through subtlety, nuance and implied threat -- great atmosphere. Arguably it says more about attitudes to race, class and gender at the time that anything else, but still very powerful.
Published 19 months ago by Wembley

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3.0 out of 5 stars Of its time, nuances probably lost on today's readers
The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen is something of an old fashioned gothic horror story with flowery language and drawn out melodrama some of the nuances of which would be lost on the modern reader (as indeed they were with me - a second reading is almost certainly required).

The story opens with a couple of gentlemen conducting an unusual experiment which...
Published 9 days ago by Jason Hanrahan


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1.0 out of 5 stars wasted few days..., 9 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Great God Pan (Kindle Edition)
I have no idea when this book was named under the horror genre because it certainly isn't now!! Composed almost entirely of dialogue, there is a total lack of description of the characters or what's going on, which leads to having absolutely no atmosphere..it literally just appears to be two men in a room telling each other what they saw, heard or read the bloody day before! All I can say is thank goodness this kindle edition only cost me 39 pence as this was a total waste of my time!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent novella. I came across it on a recommendation ..., 5 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: The Great God Pan (Kindle Edition)
Excellent novella. I came across it on a recommendation after reading Lovecraft but didn't settle down to read it till I saw it mentioned in passing by Steven king as being a trasil blazer in the horror genre. By modern sensibilities, it's a fairly tame read, but read in context, this is innovative, brave genre fiction. Loved it and would highly recommend.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Horror offstage., 1 July 2014
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Jason Mills "jason10801" (Accrington, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Great God Pan (Paperback)
This novella opens with a classic Mad Scientist explaining his plan to use neurosurgery so that a person can see the unfiltered mysteries of the universe, embodied in the Great God Pan. It proceeds in a series of episodes involving a handful of protagonists and testimonies. The fragmentary telling adds to the mystery, in which only glimpses, hints and shadows of events are revealed: Machen shrewdly provides only enough detail to trigger the reader's own imaginings. The form also places the reader in the same predicament as that of the protagonists, seeing little but fearing much.

It's justly seen as a classic horror tale, its economical, guarded narrative more like the mannered tales of M R James than the full-on experience of a Stephen King. Still, for me the beginning chilled more than the end, as the high-handed scientist blithely experiments on the young woman who dotes on him. From this terrible act, coolly described, all else flows.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A curiosity, 16 Dec. 2013
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Mr "rat de biblio" (Paris, France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Great God Pan (Kindle Edition)
Not the most brilliant novella in the world, but worth a look as it's one of the first horror stories and it is brilliantly developed. Like the much better and more famous DRACULA, it fathered a ton of followers!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Great God Pan, 28 May 2013
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This review is from: The Great God Pan (Kindle Edition)
As Arthur Machen was born in my village, I though tourists might ask about his work. I found this book fascinating. The characters interweave amongst strange deaths. Who is this mysterious woman? The language appears dated to begin with, but this is another added attraction. Have now moved eagerly on to The House of Souls.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Great God Pan - A Review by Barry Van-Asten, 1 Feb. 2012
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Mr. B. P. Van-asten (London, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Great God Pan (Paperback)
This classic novella is the story of an experiment which attempts to cross and unite the division between the ancient gods and mankind. Mary, a seventeen year old orphan is under the protection of a certain Dr Raymond, a specialist in 'transcendental medicine', living in Wales. The doctor experiments upon Mary in order to facilitate her seeing the great god of nature himself - Pan! Mary succeeds in seeing the goat-footed god and descends into madness and dies after giving birth to a little girl.
Years later, an attractive young woman named Helen Vaughan arrives in London society and captivates the men around her, like satellites, who all succumb to the horror that seems to follows her - death! And so it seems Helen's mother, Mary, did indeed succeed in her union with the great god Pan and Helen is the beautiful yet monstrous offspring. Disturbing and fantastic!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting shift story, 28 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: The Great God Pan (Kindle Edition)
I don't usually enjoy short stories preferring longer books but The Great God Pan was a good short story. Filled with intrigue and subtlety, it was a lot more covert than most short stories I'm used to and I found this to make for a more interesting reading experience. Very enjoyable to read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars dark, fanciful and rather good, 4 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: The Great God Pan (Kindle Edition)
Victorian literature can be heavy going but this albeit short, book is rather a gem. Well worth a download to while away a few hours.
My advice would be to read in a gloomy room by a fire, just for some added atmosphere...
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4.0 out of 5 stars A book to make you think., 23 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: The Great God Pan (Kindle Edition)
Arthur Machen's book is one of those that make you think and then re-think the story. Are there some levels of understanding that should simply be left alone? Is it right to carry out research just because we can?
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good read if you appreciate old fashioned literature and language, 12 Dec. 2014
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As with all classic stories, no doubt shocking in its day; but by modern standards it is not a horror story. A good read if you appreciate old fashioned literature and language.
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The Great God Pan
The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen (Paperback - 12 April 2005)
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