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[personal profile] joysilence
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [profile] pgmcc)



I was recently introduced to Stefan Grabinski and have just read his collection of dark stories, The Dark Domain.

He has been called the Polish Poe. On the face of it the only similarity with Poe is the era and the style. His stories are different, and follow a slightly different path from that tred by his North American counterpart.

The stories cover a range of topics and several of them deal with trains. His writing is very atmospheric and I thought some of his themes were like some Ligotti tales. In several stories the demon comes from within, but how he brings them out varies.

I am glad someone told me I should read his work.
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[personal profile] joysilence
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [profile] pgmcc)



I have been reading Edith Nesbit's The Power of Darkness; Tales of Terror for some time and finished it last night. (Long elapse time due to only reading it now and again.)

I really enjoyed it.

The stories are a mixture of supernatural, and psychological horror. There are also some tales of horror due to the actions of one human on another.

Some of the tales are a bit predictable, but most take you on a journey of the stricken mind, and the personal demons.

Edith Nesbit had a great way of putting things that is very quaint and of its time. She captures the essence of the social mores of the period in which her tales are set. I particularly liked the opening of The Head:

When your personal appearance is best described by the enumeration of your clothes, your character by the trade mark on the gilt waistband of your cigar, and your profession "just anything that comes along, don't you know", you are not exactly the right man in the right place, when you find yourself up to your knees in mud, your carriage with a wheel off lying prone in a ditch...

Another interest social commentary was in the second paragraph of The Pavilion.

Ernestine was a prettyish girl with the airs, so irresistible and misleading, of a beauty; most people said that she was beautiful, and she certainly managed, with extraordinary success, to produce the illusion of Beauty. Quite a number of plainish girls achieve that effect nowadays.

That last paragraph was so reminiscent of Wilde at his best.
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[personal profile] joysilence
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [profile] pgmcc)

I posted a review of The String of Pearls (the original Sweeney Todd novel in this community last year.

Having seen the Tim Burton movie yesterday I have the following to say.



I had the pleasure of seeing Tim Burton's movie, Sweeney Todd, yesterday. It answered a number of questions for me.

1. Is it any good?

2. Does it bear any resemblence to the original story?

3. (Strongly related to the first question) Does the fact that it's a musical take away from it?

BEWARE; Here be spoilers!

Answers )
joysilence: (Default)
[personal profile] joysilence
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [profile] pgmcc)

“The Doll Maker” by Sarban. (Ballentine Books) Paperback

A big thank you to [personal profile] joysilence for bringing this author to my attention. “The Doll Maker” is his second novel (the first being, “The Sound of his Horn”) and was written in 1953.

I want to note my feelings on the book but feel I can’t do so without giving clues about the story, hence I am putting the comments behind an lj-cut SPOILER WARNING.

”Spoiler )

Sarban’s books are difficult to get with a few available on ebay and a number recently re-published by Tartarus Press.


joysilence: (Default)
[personal profile] joysilence
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [profile] pgmcc)

The String of Pearls – The original tale of Sweeney Todd by Anon (Wordsworth Classics, 272pp, £2.99)

This is a story of Gothic horror without the supernatural. This is a story filled with evil that can only be described as man-made. The villains in this book had not need of the devil or other dark forces to chill readers’ hearts or fill them with revulsion.

The essence of the horror within these pages is that it could have happened; that it only needed greed and a total disregard for life, human or otherwise, to make it a reality.

I grew up knowing the story of Sweeney Todd and have been stunned recently by the number of people who have never heard of the Barber of Fleet Street, who killed his customers and disposed of their bodies in a rather creative fashion.

Not only is this book a tale of horror, but also a love story and a murder mystery/detective tale.

And do not be tempted to ignore the Introduction (probably best left until after reading the novel) as it explains the dastardly world of the Penny Dreadfuls where plagiarism was rampant and disregard for the law was every bit as common in real life as it was in the pages of the stories published to the public for illicit gain.

The Introduction explains how the world of the Penny Dreadful, with its theft of literary works and remoulding of stories to prolong financial gain, has caused knowledge of the true authorship of this unique story to be lost forever.

The String of Pearls: A Romance first appeared between 21st November, 1846 and 20th March, 1847 as a serialised story in a Penny Dreadful magazine called The People’s Periodical and Family Library. It was later expanded and re-issued in 1850.
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[personal profile] joysilence
LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [profile] pgmcc)

I recently finished reading the Wordsworth Classics’, “Collected Ghost Stories” by M.R. James. I enjoyed the read and have several thoughts, both on the stories and on M.R. James.

”thoughts” )

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