Whoa, hard to believe it's been a year since the last thread.
This year like last year I'm reading a lot of work by late 19th/early 20th century authors. In what may be a stab at a holiday theme, a class I'm taking on "Literature and the Fantastic" is reading Dracula
as well as horror short stories by J.S. LeFanu, Wilkie Collins, M.R. James, and Charles Dickens, so I have those on my mind. (I'd be reading James anyway because his work is fab.)
I'm also reading H.P. Lovecraft's Favorite Weird Tales
; the title pretty much says it all. The most recent story I've read from it is Blackwood's "The Willows." It had a few effective moments but isn't a favorite of mine. On the other hand, Lovecraft thought it was probably the most effective weird tale he ever read, so I'm probably missing something.
Also from that volume I recently Robert W. Chambers's "The Yellow Sign," which was quite ominous and chilling, so much so that I sought out The King in Yellow
, the book in which it appeared, at the library. The first four stories in that collection are linked by the motif of a fictional book, also called The King in Yellow
, that brings despair into the lives of those who read it. None of the other three were as effective for me as "The Yellow Sign," though "The Repairer of Reputations" is fascinating in its oddness. I'm thinking of picking up a collection of Chambers' weird stories
, though I've heard it's all downhill from here.