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Grimscribe: His Lives and Works

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  603 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Seeking deadly justice when she and her invalid father receive next to nothing in a lawsuit settlement, nurse Hester Jones targets the defense attorney's daughter, hematologist Liz Broward. By the author of Blood Work.

The voice of the damned : The last feast of Harlequin --
The spectacles in the drawer --
flowers of the abyss --
Nethescurial --
The voice of the demon : The dr
...more
Paperback, 230 pages
Published October 1st 1994 by Jove (first published 1991)
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Teatro Grottesco by Thomas LigottiSongs of a Dead Dreamer by Thomas LigottiThe Nightmare Factory by Thomas LigottiMy Work is Not Yet Done by Thomas LigottiGrimscribe by Thomas Ligotti
The Best of Thomas Ligotti
5th out of 23 books — 24 voters
The Shining by Stephen KingThe Stand by Stephen KingIt by Stephen KingDracula by Bram StokerSalem's Lot by Stephen King
The Definitive Horror Book List
311th out of 804 books — 1,136 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,323)
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Bill  Kerwin

Ligotti's second collection 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
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Conor
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 about.

This 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 know who Steven King is. If you’ve never rea
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Benjamin Uminsky
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 h
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Allen
Seldom 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 m ...more
M
After being vaguely disappointed by the selection in The Shadow at the Bottom of the World, I was afraid that reading Ligotti's earlier stories in the wake of Teatro Grottesco (which I am convinced is his masterpiece), would make it all seem lacking in comparison. Luckily this fear failed to actualize. Where Teatro Grottesco was almost fatalistic in it's approach, and really just relied on the uncanny and the abject to create tension, Grimscribe is far more abstract. Abstract literary horror is ...more
Ignacio Senao f
La última fiesta de Arlequín (5/5): Que curioso que un pueblo se celebre una fiesta en la que todos se visten de payasos. Pero aún más que en esos 3 días sea cuando más muerte por suicidio haya. Un claro homenaje a Lovecraft e “IT”.

Los anteojos de la caja (4/5): ¡Ay! Tanta obsesión con lo oculto… No hay que ponerse las gafas que uno te muestra como algo raro.

Las flores del abismo (4/5): El infierno en un mar de flores.
Nethescurial (4/5): Chutulu no es el único ser extraterrestre. Hay otro que ha
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Kay
Oct 15, 2009 Kay rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
This is a superb collection of short stories - very spooky and creepy. Its not gory, just very atmospheric and lingers - particularly the story about 'The Scream'. Reviewrs often talk about his wok being like Poe and Lovecraft, and they would be right, just with a more modern setting. His language is excellent and complex and its a superb book to get your teeth into ;)
Nicole Cushing
For me, the standouts in this collection were "The Last Feast of Harlequin" 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.
Clint
This guy just came onto the weird fiction scene and beat everyone's asses. Completely eerie, the kind of book that makes me lament the loss of the word "queer," because that's the best word for it. In the old sense of the word. In the new sense of the word it's perfect for Anne Rice.
Paul Roberts
Standouts:

"The Last Feast of Harlequin"
"The Spectacles in the Drawer"
"The Dreaming in Nortown"
"The Shadow at the Bottom of the World"
Andy
This is intimidating, how do I even begin? Late last year I was completely blown away by "Teatro Grottesco," in fact I thought it was the best collection of short stories I read all year. This book is almost as good, which means to say it's pretty damn incredible. I really can't think of a single disappointment in this collection, some are better than others, but none are bad.

The Last Feast of Harlequin - This was a great tale, as I'd heard everywhere. Great setting, mood and it's quite creepy a
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D.M. Dutcher
These have to be the least scary horror stories I have ever read. Way too much repetition and writing that reduces the impact of the horror than prolongs it.

Most of the stories have the same formula. A first person protagonist who always sounds exactly the same, encounters either a person or an object who threatens damnation. Literally, they sound exactly the same even if they are a child-both the Library of Byzantium and Miss Plarr concern child protagonists in first person style who sound like
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K. Axel
Before picking up this book, I had never heard of Thomas Ligotti, in fact, before picking up this book, I didn't really like horror that much. All my horror encounters really comes down to a few Koontz and Clive Barker books (and also a single Lovecraft book, if I remember correctly). However, the short introduction (on the cover) just sounded too good and I had to at least read a few of these stories, to see if they were as good as I hoped.

This, then, is a review-in-progress.

The Last Feast of H
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Tony_Bat
Probably my favourite and first introduction to Thomas Ligotti in written form. My very first were through Current 93, "Where the long shadow falls" and "I have a special plan for this world". Now I'm going back and tracking down copies of Ligotti's works that I can find and are affordable. I've found Scribd to be a good source when all else fails.
Moonglum
There are some very cool horror stories here-- beautifully written, and creepy in that way that H.P. Lovecraft was to me when I first read him. My body starts to go numb and I become feverish and distraught as, on a very fundamental level, I have been exposed to annihilation.

Che' Gilson
Ok, I'm re-reading this in preperation for a YA horror novel I am plotting. The early works of Thomas Ligotti are the direct inheritance of H.P. Lovecraft. His more recent hort fiction... meh.
L
While these short stories are clearly Lovecraftian in delivery (1st person narrator, high vocab), Ligotti's stories stand on their own. I'd re-read most on a stormy autumn.
Jeff Mcleod
The Last Feast Of Harlequin is one of the greats. Excellent revised edition.
Adam
The modern heir to Lovecraft. These stories are dark, weird, and excellent.
Nick Wallace
One of the least known and most underappreciated authors in recent history.
Kathryn Tucker
Fantastic short stories. Like Lovecraft, but more modern, less dry.
Ronald
I got this book on library loan--an ebook version is not available and used copies sell at Amazon for over $50.

This book is a collection of short, well written weird fiction, showing the influence of Lovecraft and, I submit, the influence of Machen and even Borges.

A good number of these stories have an occult theme. In the story "In the Shadow of Another World" the narrator is shown a house which has windows which are portals to weirdly fantastic realms. The narrator witnesses the owner of the
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Remy
Dec 10, 2012 Remy rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who watch Ghost Hunters
I have to say I found this book painful. I'm going to go off on a tangent here, and explain how that's not something I like to say. I usually try to give authors the benefit of the doubt, especially in their own, niche, domains. After all, I'm certainly no author. Also, one should always try to account for matters of personal taste when attempting to be objective. For instance, I don't really like pure ghost stories, where there isn't anything at least a little tangible to actually fear. That ma ...more
Thaydra
I didn't finish this book. One part of that was because it was on inter-library loan through the library, and I had only a very short period of time with it, the other part was that I just wasn't jiving with it. The stories were a bit too short for me. As soon as I would start to groove with a character, and get the feel for what was going on, the story would be over and I would have to start over with the next one. That said, the stories in-and-of themselves were interesting. It would be a grea ...more
Sean Kilburn
Truly, years ago when my spiritual brother Kirk recommended this tome, I somehow knew I was in for it. And I was correct. Ligotti takes up where Grandpa HPL left off, turning page after aweful page FOR you, for you have no choice. The prose is royal purple at times, and thank The Outer Gods for that. I wish I had another copy; the one Kirk loaned me quite literally had a bite out of it before it disappeared...
Nick Urciuoli
Ligotti ambitiously attempts to pinpoint with much precision the subtle focal point of his narrator's fear. So, rather than dwelling on the physical features of a monster or other tangible being, he focuses on the unsettled feeling that emerges when reality tilts a few degrees on its axis (e.g., when a day lasts longer than it should or a tree's leaves take on an abnormal hue). He is sometimes unsuccessful in conveying his point to the reader. Some stories in this volume - like Flowers of the Ab ...more
Michael
Oh yes, Ligotti is the master, he definitely is. What a nicely balanced tale of revenge and the seeking of justice.Nurse Hester Jones is so well characterised too - her obsessions and her anxieties, her desire for vengeance. Excellent novel from a frequently overlooked modern master
Sue Roth
Ligotti is described as a new Lovecraft, and his work is a very sincere attempt at imitation of that master. Alas, however, there was only one Lovecraft, and those who attempt to write in his style had best develop a voice of their own. This was a disappointment.
Staggerlee
Simple, or not so maybe. Like horror that is more in your head rather than spelled out for you. (Inevitably) Lovecraftian many would say, but it is more than that. Some of it creepsville, some of it just a plain good read.
Kimberley
Definitely Lovecraftian in tone, but overall lacking in the sort of faintastic sanity-blasting finales that defined the earlier author.

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  • Occultation and Other Stories
  • The Grimscribe's Puppets
  • The Man Who Collected Machen and Other Weird Tales
  • Beneath the Surface (Revised & Expanded)
  • The Wide, Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies
  • A Rendezvous in Averoigne
  • Dark Gods
  • The Throne of Bones
  • Alone With the Horrors: The Great Short Fiction, 1961-1991
  • The Dark Domain
  • The White People and Other Weird Stories
  • Black Wings: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror
  • The Horror in the Museum & Other Revisions
  • Fugue State
  • The Wine-Dark Sea
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Thomas Ligotti (born July 9, 1953) is a contemporary American horror author and reclusive literary cult figure. His writings, while unique in style, have been noted as major continuations of several literary genres – most prominently Lovecraftian horror – and have overall been described as works of "philosophical horror", often written as philosophical novels with a "darker" undertone which is sim ...more
More about Thomas Ligotti...
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“You see how I live: shadows and silence, leaving things as I find them because I have no reason to disturb them. But there are things that I have known, even though I never wished to know them and cannot give them a name.” 2 likes
“I felt the kind of acute anticipation that a child might experience at a carnival, where each lurid attraction incites fantastic speculations, while unexpected desires arise for something which has no specific qualities in the imagination yet seems to be only a few steps away.” 0 likes
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