Ds that stings after being taught by a woman who comes as a temporary caretaker of their house a woman of unusual demeanor who suddenly vanishes as if into that strange city leaving the boy disturbed and somehow connected to a forsaken worldThe last one to hit the spot is the last story The Shadow at the Bottom of the World Very much like Mulenburg where the twilight won t leave a town is infested by something deep rooted at the bottommost depths of earth engulfing in a seemingly everlasting autumn Disturbances start to appear and haunts the inhabitants to the point of helpless surrenderIn sleep we were consumed by the feverish life of the earth cast among a ripe fairly rotting world of strange growth and transformationThat was a long jibber jabber Pardon me for that My reviews will get a bit tidy and hopefully detailed after I read all the stories again sometime in the future I think it s me not Ligotti Well maybe it s him too I m not a great fan of endless narrative without dialogues cosmic horror although I ve uite read and loved Lovecraft in my time But Lovecraft is Lovecraft and Ligotti is Ligotti but for some reason he wants to be Lovecraft I mean yes his prose is haunting but his style isn t his own and I usually prefer to read the original if possible At all times it felt like reading Lovecraft and that turned me off If I wanted to read Lovecraft I d read LovecraftI may have used the word Lovecraft too many times thereWhat s even worse the stories seemed to me a bit half baked At the end of each of them I felt something like OK And Like I was missing the point thus being led to wonder if there even was one to begin with It s a shame though because his prose is brilliant His words are like a thick black liuid into which the reader can t help but sink only to find it rather shallow in the end After bathing in the dark imagination of American contemporary horror fiction writer Tomas Ligotti s first collection Songs of a Dead Dreamer I was een to read his second book of thirteen macabre yarns entitled Grimscribe My experience did not disappoint in the tradition of Poe and Lovecraft absolutely first rate well crafted bizarre and ghoulish narratives told by first person narrators to make your hair stand on end and eep you up at night As by way of example I will focus on two eerie bone chillers the novella The Last Feast of Harleuin and a unforgettable short story The Spectacles in the DrawerTHE LAST FEAST OF HARLEUINOur narrator an anthropologist and college instructor explains that the phenomenon of clowns goes well beyond traditional notions of a red nose in a circus how clowns have performed many functions and roles in various cultures around the world Thus to not only further his own academic research but experience great self satisfaction he cherishes participating in festivals as a clown himself which he does at least once a year When he learns of a little publicized festival with clowns in the Midwestern town of Mirocaw his interest is piuedIn late summer the opportunity presents itself to "Make A Side Trip To Mirocaw And He Takes It "a side trip to Mirocaw and he takes it from the start things seem to be peculiarly out of sync the various parts of the town do not appear to fit together the steep roofs of the houses behind the town s main street due to the hilly terrain strike him as floating in air at odd angles Indeed he compares the entire town to
an album of snapshots where the camera has been continually jostled album of snapshots where the camera has been continually jostled results in page after page of crooked photos Rolling down his car window to ask directions to the town hall from a shabbily dressed old man who looks vaguely familiar he is greeted by a distance imbecilic gaze And after finally arriving at the building and making inuiries about the festival he is handed a cheap copy of a flyer and learns the festival is December 19 21 and there are clowns of a sort If all this sounds creepy even sinister that s exactly what the narrator feels however he continues to explore this most unusual town and on finally taking his leave vows to return with his clown costume for the December festival At this point the narrator tells us how his former anthropology teacher one Dr Raymond Thoss wrote a paper entitled The Last Feast of Harleuin with references to Syrian Gnosticis who called themselves Saturnians He also tells us that he now nows why that shabby man on the street looked familiar he was none other than Raymond Thoss The thick plottensOnce back in Mirocaw things turn very weird very uickly He discovers among other disturbing facts this festival features two sets of clowns traditional clowns chosen from the townspeople that are to his astonishment picked on and pushed around as they walk the streets and a second group of clowns shabbily dressed gaunt with faces painted white and mouths wide in terror bringing to mind the famous painting by Edvard Munch Upon reflection he now understands he is witnessing two festivals a festival within a festival Returning to his hotel he makes the decision to dress up as one of those shabby gaunt wide mouthed clowns Events then take even weirder and much frightening twists Not a reading experience for the faintheartedTHE SPECTACLES IN THE DRAWERThe narrator receives uninvited visits to his run down residence from his disciple a man he considers a bit of a pest a man named Plomb a man who is fascinated with all his odd curiosities archaic objects and forbidden texts things Plomb regards as treasures of the
occult But what the narrator really wants is Plomb out of his life We read The plan was But what the narrator really wants is Plomb out of his life We read The plan was to feed Plomb s hunger for mysterious sensations to the point of nausea and beyond The only thing to survive would be a gutful of shame and regret for a defunct passion To this end he takes clear glass wire rimmed spectacles out of a white case and places them on Plomb s face and tells him how among other extraordinary powers these fantastic lenses will make you one with the objects you see unimaginable di. E of the dreamer The night School The glamour The voice of our name The library of Byzantium Miss Plarr The voice of our name the shadow at the bottom of the wor. Ction of short tales is a considerable advance on his first I won t deny that Songs for a Dead Dreamer contains a number of effective stories but the collection as a whole is uneven and many of its most powerful effects occur in stories that are not in themselves successful This is due primarily to an immaturity of style Ligotti was not yet capable of fashioning a world that could contain his most characteristic phantasms and many of his personal horrors appear to be outcasts within his own creations just as likely to shatter a story s unity as to complete itBy the time of Grimscribe however Ligotti has perfected his style He combines evocative detail with disturbing abstraction odd lacunae with abrupt transition making us doubt the narrator at the very moment his voice thoroughly enmeshes us in Ligotti s worldOne of the rewarding aspects of these stories is that although they are clear tributes to the acknowledged masters of the horror genre they Till now Teatro was my favorite collection and that still stands well ind ofI m feeling obliged to give it a 5 star rating I m not sure why on earth I rated Teatro a 4 Probably I ve gone madWhen I first started this book my senses as a reader werer telling me that it s somewhat inferior to the previous collection Songs of a Dead Dreamer The first piece The Last Feast of Harleuin was very good but the immediate next stories in that section didn t make much impression on me They seemed hightly philosophical and sometimes unnecessarily complex it may also be that I m a crappy reader in a nutshell the overall feel and their shadows seemed less intimidatingBut from The Dreaming in Nortown I was put on a journey that became hauntingly nostalgic and reminiscent of Teatro yes all the following stories were that good for me their aesthetics and atmosphere and narration were closer to my heart and mind than any other story in this collection including some stories from SOADDThe first story is pretty much deviated from the usual Ligottian tone and touch rather feels and reads like a tribute to Lovecraft and Poe specially Lovecraft I m only mentioning Poe because of the Conueror Worm reference The ending though very disturbing and grim was palpable But it s a very good story and an experimental one from Ligotti to re discover the Lovecraftian genre in his own way And the cover art from where it was published is so creepy taking a hint from the story itself in the shell of the famous painting The Scream The Spectacles in the Drawer felt for some reason claustrophobic to me seeing for the first time so much madness through something so trivial in a dark room in the presence of someone who collects hermetical prodigies The collector with the intention of making his regularly irritating guest with a childlike amusement for the mysterious go away he gives him a pair of glasses But instead of getting overwhelmed and scared things turn wayward I was reminded of the spectacles of Masuerade of a Dead Sword from SOADDIf I could face the madness of things I thought then I would have nothing to fear I could live in the universe without feeling I was coming apart from Flowers of the Abyss Something from another dimension or dream region has been brought forth by someone "AND OBVIOUSLY IT S NOT SOMETHING "obviously it s not something want in your reality Nethescurial is in its execution techniue Lovecraftian a guy finds a manuscript written by someone who is apparently seeking out pieces of a sculpture of an evil deity of some ind The founder of the manuscript with great enthusiasm and excitement starts narrating events of him finding it and its contents Soon it seems that according to the manuscript the bits and pieces of that sculpture have been collected by the worshipers the very evil that it represents which seem to have devoured the whole existence this reality and its dwellers It is not amid the rooms of our houses and beyond their walls beneath dark waters and across moonlit skies below earth mound and above mountain peak in northern leaf and southern flower inside each star and the voids between them within blood and bone throughout all souls and spirits upon the watchful winds of this and the several worlds behind the faces of the living and the deadThe ending of The Dreaming in Nortown was unclear to me even so I read it from start to finish with eual voyeurism of me even so I read it from start to finish with eual voyeurism of narrator I m just going to post a uote here that summarizes the story nicely There are those who reuire witnesses to their doom Not content with a solitary perdition they seek and audience worth of the spectacle a mind to remember the stages of their downfall or perhaps only a mirror to multiply their abject gloryI can t really say much about the next story except for the fact that I loved the atmosphere and the twilight of doom that resulted in the alternation of the perceived realityAbsolutely loved In the Shadow of Another World reminded of Lovecraft s The Color Out of Space and Poe s The Fall of the House of Usher A house tenanted by a researcher opens windows to colorful madness and cosmic nightmares the ultimate theory and result of that theoretician indicating the fact that we live in the shadow of another world The Cocoons is downright creepy and gory But look we have a happy ending Do weOne of my favorites The Night School It read like a dream bordering just at the edge of a nightmare from which you don t want to wake up A teacher a teacher who has seen it all is rud to have returned to teach again after his
*long break due *break due a sickness But he s not the same person now you ll find out why and how The Glamour is another tale of atmospheric gore and possession of madness The Library of Byzantium is another favorite of mine It all started with a strange book brought by a priest and showed to a boy The boy gets strangely connected to the priest and is able to see him from far away Miss Plarr was a strange story of dream like atmosphere and happenings A boy sees a strange city and hears soun. Er flowers of the abyss Nethescurial The voice of the demon The dreaming in Nortown The mystics of Muelenburg In the shadow of another world The cocoons The voic.
Summary Ò PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ☆ Thomas LigottiSeldom in this life do I meet anything that I feel an immediate connection with Perhaps its that the suggestion to read this author came from one of my closest friends and one of the few people who get me in that profound way that few people do Perhaps it s the fact that I feel Ligotti is the first true heir to the throne left empty on the Ides of March 1937 The writing of Thomas Ligotti fits perfectly into my skewed view of this futile existence The stories collected in this book strike me as brief windows into another persons psyche One that reflects my own back to though filtered and blurred by the glass Like the films of David Lynch or the music of Neurosis or Wrest this writing seems to illuminate thoughts that would otherwise be The Exchange kept inside of me I doubt that makes much sense to you This collection is really my first full exposure to Ligotti I certainly have read a story or two but never a full collection I think to this point I have never read a modern horror author that does what Ligotti does with his stories particularly in the use of his prose style The only modern author that leaves me feeling a bit tainted like Ligotti is Laird Barron Barron s stories just stick with you often because of the monstrous things he does to his characters Ligotti on the other hand while his characters often meet dark nihilistic fates is able to evoke such incredibly bleak settings and atmospheres in his stories with many of his settings focusing on an urban decay much like in The Cocoons And it is not just the settings and atmosphere that infects the mind but it is the words and phrases that Ligotti wields that penetrate the consciousness so deeply Further Ligotti is masterful in utilizing these decayed urban settings to draw upon the outer darkness and cosmic forces that pull his characters into the abyss and further draw the reader into that same void These stories are harrowing not in a cheap thrillsind of way but in the way they ask the reader to immerse himself in the existential horror and stare into the darkness looking for answers Frankly each time I enter into Ligotti s worlds I m not so sure I want to even ask the uestion All of these stories worked for me but there were a few that really stood outLast Feast of Harleuin This may be one of his most famous but it is so good particularly in drawing upon the pursuit of a forbidden nowledge or hidden cult The setting is of course bleak and the protagonist is harrowed by his own depression The Cocoons This one has really stuck with me I just recently finished up Richard Gavin s DARKLY SPLENDID REALM and his short story Bitter Taste of Dread Moths had such a Ligottian feel I realized that The Cocoon may have been an inspiration for Dread Moths Anyways this one focuses on the cynical experimentation of a patient by his trusted doctor with the intent of bringing creatures from the outer darkness into our reality The Night School So what happens when students seek out practitioners of the darkly cosmic What happens when you find what you are looking for I loved the ending on this one heavy on the existential philosophy as is is many of Ligotti s storiesI can t recommend this collection enough Ligotti is not for the faint of heart nor for those looking for cheap splatter punk thrills If you are looking for existential philosophy infused in your horror you won t find a disturbed instructor than Ligotti The Last Feast of HarleuinAn academic s discovery of a subterranean worm cult gives Ligotti a chance to showcase
his anti natalist views The Spectacles in the DrawerLigotti s antianti natalist views The Spectacles in the DrawerLigotti s anti views are on full display as a pair of glasses prove all mysteries are meaninglessFlowers of the AbyssDon t go into the darkness beyond the darkness or you might become an anti natalistNethescurial Existence is the nightmare
Of A Demonic Demiurge Thus An Antia demonic demiurge thus an anti philosophy is advisableThe GlamourTheatre goers are ensnared by a mad hag leading to anti natalismEtc etc For me the standouts in this collection were The Last Feast of Harleuin and The Night School but I didn t find myself disappointed by any of the tales My understanding is that this is a reprint of a long out of print book Ligotti wrote these stories many years ago And yet the horror field has yet to catch up with him Brilliant stuff Highly recommended This book was brilliant from start to finish I "never get scared while reading horror but this got me scared shitless So the atmosphere was thereWhen I "get scared while reading horror but this got me scared shitless So the atmosphere was thereWhen I up a horror book I have two criteria for the atmosphere to be dreadful so that I can actually feel frightened and I ve decided to re review this almost a year after reading it because I ve decided that Ligotti might just be one of the best authors of short stories that most people have never heard aboutThis isn t something that I say very often best In order to explain myself assuming that you haven t already started ignoring me I m going to need to compare Ligotti to some other writers We ll start with what Ligotti is not Stephen King Now most people now who Steven King is If you ve never read one of his books or seen one of the movies based off his books you re probably taking a break from reading this review to whip the butler who incorrectly sorted your ascot collection He King not the butler along with people like Peter Straub Dean Koontz and others produce endless reams of horror pulp for their audiences Most of the time this plays off something scary and involves a bunch of people somewhere on the east coast getting illed by and then illing some monster of some sort Maybe it s a clown maybe it s a rabid dog maybe its aliens who cares The main thing for my point is that mass market paperback horror of this sort is viewed as a genre of pulp that has little or no value other than a distraction on winter nightsNext we ll move on to those that Ligotti is similar to There exist in pulp genres people who do something spectacular They write Ligotti s second colle. Grimscribe His Lives and Works is Thomas Ligotti's second collection of short tales The voice of the damned The last feast of Harleuin The spectacles in the draw.