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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Connoisseur's Delight, 18 Aug 2004
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Far from just being a "Polish Poe", Grabinski occupies a space of his own somewhere between the European Decadents and more modern weird writers like Kafka and Aickman. His writing makes a knowing use of horror tropes, and his stories often move through several quick twists in succession, being closer to surrealism or nightmare than traditional horror.
In the best story in the volume, "The Glance", Grabinski refines the fear of the unknown into its purest form, as the protagonist tries to banish all doors, corners and mirrors from his life so as never to be surprised by anything unpleasant, then ends up being just as fearful of the terrible solipsism a totally predictable life engenders. The bizarre "Szamota's Mistress" is more sexually (and psychologically) explicit than anything that could have been published in England at the time; but it is the ideas behind Grabinski's stories that I really like - the debate on how we perceive time in "Saturnin Sektor", and the many ideas sparked off by trains: the train as symbol of freedom from the self-constraints and fears of everyday life in "The Compartment", the train as embodiment of abstract, pure motion in "The Motion Demon", the train as unrestrained madness in "The Wandering Train".
Grabinski is an original, taking an intelligent approach to the psychologically charged weirdness that comes from his own inner dark domain, and showing insight rare in the genre considering the age in which he wrote.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great names of european fantasy & the absurd, 29 July 2002
For everyone interested in fantasy in its purest state this is a gemm. This anthology mixes the many themes that cross the polish author's short stories. The pure horror, the ghost story, the surrealist (before its time), really erotic images, all of this with just enough hints of a certain modernism or post-modern that rends the stories an extra quality.
It's a must and will certainly fill a gap on fantasy literature.
The train stories are just amazing - This guy wrote one collection of stories just around trains he worked with the modern concept of speed as a moto for the future society which would be obliterated by it... I wonder if he didn't just get it right...
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff, 5 Mar 2010
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Ulf Claesson "Ulf Claesson" (Sweden) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dark Domain (Dedalus European Classics) (Paperback)
Great book. Stories remind me of Thomas Ligotti, and from me that'a a compliment, as Ligotti is one of the true original voices in genre writing today
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Dark Domain (Dedalus European Classics)
Dark Domain (Dedalus European Classics) by Stefan Grabinski (Paperback - 26 July 2005)
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