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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some staggeringly beautiful and powerful writing.
This beautiful book is basically a 'best of' collection of the work of a writer who would otherwise be far too difficult to get hold of! Among all the more significant of the older macabre writers Machen is one of the hardest to trace. Compared to Lovecraft, for instance. He is also one of the most individual horror writers I have ever encountered, with his strange...
Published on 26 Aug. 2001 by Mr. D. J. Rix

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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Heard about this on the radio
.... but don't bother. I gave up. It's different, there's no denying that.
But just not very pleasurable, even slightly creepy, like being forced to endure someone else's
obsession.
Published 19 months ago by john ashton


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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some staggeringly beautiful and powerful writing., 26 Aug. 2001
By 
Mr. D. J. Rix "eibonvale" (Whitstable, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This beautiful book is basically a 'best of' collection of the work of a writer who would otherwise be far too difficult to get hold of! Among all the more significant of the older macabre writers Machen is one of the hardest to trace. Compared to Lovecraft, for instance. He is also one of the most individual horror writers I have ever encountered, with his strange stories persistently impossibly to classify with any ease. This book contains all his best shorter works, including The Great God Pan, that so-called "Incoherent nightmare of Sex", (which is probably the most famous of Machen's works to be included in this collection), The White People, The Shining Pyramid, The Novel of the Black Seal, The Bowmen, The Children of the Pool and more, as well as such larger scale works as The Great Return and The Terror.
I think that his 'The White People' is about one of my favourite pieces of writing ever - especially if you disregard the rather annoying prologue and epilogue, which in my opinion let it down badly. They add nothing whatever to the story. But that central section - the supposed diary narrative of a young girl involved with some very strange happenings - I just cannot get over it. It is just so - so perfect somehow and one of the few pieces I have read that can be said to have totally changed my attitudes towards fiction and imagination. Certainly it is no horror story as such - but it is filled full with that certain pagan frisson of magic that is central to a lot of British horror and dark fantasy even to the present day. I remember when I first read it - it just bowled me over. It is no exaggeration to say that I was so excited by it that I couldn't sleep that night!!
That, of course is a personal 'click' - and yet the pieces remarkable atmosphere is indisputable - probably the most concentrated and powerful example of Machen's tremendous power in the collection.
These stories are exquisitely quiet images of the supernatural and of strange presences and influences, both terrifying and beautiful. Not ghost stories as such and perhaps not even horror stories as such. Certainly he is deeply connected with the genera and there are few modern British writers of the macabre who do not owe him a debt of some sort. But Machen's place in, and connection with the Horror Genre always seemed to me to be a bit diffuse. His writing is so individual that it bears little comparison with any of the familiar horror names and it is to generalise far to much to describe him as a horror writer full stop. However, having said that, his stories are certainly are not without terror - far from it. Perhaps the quietness and even tranquillity of much of the prose only heightens the effect of the relatively few moments of real horror. The climax of The Shining Pyramid for instance and certain episodes from The Terror remain some of the most chilling passages I have read.
This is a Tartarus Press edition - and that means it is both a beautiful and very high quality book. The pale coloured luxury paper dust jackets of Tartarus books are fragile and delicate in some ways. They show up damage and stains like a sore thumb! Certainly they are books to be treasured and looked after, and Tales of Horror and the Supernatural makes a quiet but impressive presence on the bookshelf. If you have never read Machen then this collection represents by far the best way to get acquainted with his work and if you are like me, a devotee of the macabre then it is a chance to acquire some extremely powerful and important writings that are next to impossible to find otherwise.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Horror, 1 Aug. 2004
This is Volume Two of Panthers edition of Machens works. This volume includes:
The Novel of the Black Seal
The Novel of the white Powder
The Bowmen
The Happy Children
The Bright Boy
Out of the Earth
N
Children of the Pool
The Terror
Essential reading for anyone studying the works of HP Lovecraft or Clark Ashton Smith, and an extremely important collection of Wierd Fiction in it own right.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An acquired taste, 7 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Tales of Horror and the Supernatural (Kindle Edition)
and perhaps too subtle for modern sensibilities. But I am a big fan of Machen so was not disappointed, but "The white People" it aint.
Now that is one of his best!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Book 18, 21 Mar. 2013
By 
Miss N. J. Grundy "Pinky" (Blighty) - See all my reviews
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I had a raggedy, second-hand copy of Book 2, containing some of the stories, so thought this would be a good acquisition. Three negative points: the US publisher omitted "The Bright Boy", which, though not supernatural, was in the original collection. The text was obviously scanned into a DTP, but the typographer used straight instead of curly quotation marks. The Index page numbers did not match up to the actual Chapters. I suppose that's why the book was flooged-off-cheaper.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Horror, 1 Aug. 2004
By A Customer
This is Volume One of Panthers edition of Machens works. This volume includes:
The Great God Pan
The White People
The Inmost Light
The Shining Pyramid
The Great Return
Essential reading for anyone studying the works of HP Lovecraft or Clark Ashton Smith, and an extremely important collection of Wierd Fiction in it own right.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic horror, 10 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Tales of Horror and the Supernatural (Kindle Edition)
I came across Arthur Machen through reading Lovecraft & T.E.D Klein's superb, The Ceremonies. I'm glad I did as I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of tales, particularly The Great God Pan and The White People.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Arthur Machen - Tales of the Supernatural, 28 May 2012
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This review is from: Tales of Horror and the Supernatural (Kindle Edition)
If you like your tales with a slow build up then you're fine with Machen. Most of the tales share the same theme, most are set in Wales and most are long-winded, but all are worth the effort of reading. This is a book of classic tales no collector should be without.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Heard about this on the radio, 1 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Tales of Horror and the Supernatural (Kindle Edition)
.... but don't bother. I gave up. It's different, there's no denying that.
But just not very pleasurable, even slightly creepy, like being forced to endure someone else's
obsession.
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