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The Book of the Damned (Secret Books of Paradys, #1)
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The Book of the Damned (Secret Books of Paradys #1)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  491 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Comprises the fourth and final volume of the journal of the acclaimed (but now deceased) filmmaker, painter, and gay rights activist Derek Jarman. This journal contains diary entries, interviews, poems, notes on his film The Last of England, film stills, and b&w photographs of Derek, his family, an
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 1st 1997 by Overlook TP (first published 1988)
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Oh god.
I am not used to anything that even verges on horror. My poor nerves are shaken.

Stained With Crimson:
I found it confusing. And I'm still not sure what happened. I have some ideas, but they're all really weird. Though, the whole book is pretty weird, so that doesn't take away from their credibility.

Malice in Saffron:
SO GOOD. Halfway through I thought I might have to stop, because it was just that horrible. But I'm so glad I didn't. Woah.

Empires of Azure:
No. Just, no. Last night I had night
This is copy 30 of 250 signed numbered hardcover copies published by Unwin & Hyman in the UK.
Kelli Johnson
This was the first Tanith Lee book I read. Her writing is very dark, and there is no such thing as a happy ending. I found the book (as well as the second in the series "The Book of the beast") to be strangely erotic despite its macabre setting and tone.
Feb 06, 2009 Wealhtheow rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: goth fans of Kelly Link
This book is actually three novellas: that of a poet who may or may not tangle him or herself up with vampire(s), that of an abused peasant girl who runs away to Paradys and becomes nun by day, bullyboy by night, and a writer who investigates the strange deaths of two beauties in a single house. In all three tales, gender is fluid, sexualities are twisted, and inexplicable shadows loom.

I would rate the stories higher, but I found the writing almost impenetrable. I still don't know what the firs
Dharia Scarab
Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books...

1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future.

2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author.

3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by the author for under a dollar I'd pick it up.

4 sta
David Brasher
Dreadful books. Don't read them.

The books are very hard to understand or enjoy. The stories are difficult to follow because the vampire lore is so twisted and non-standard, the characters' motivations are hard to understand, because they are not very nice or normal people, and some of the characters change gender, age, and life state. This makes it hard to track them. (And with these changes, I am not talking about flashbacks. I believe that time is proceeding forward in a linear fashion as one
Jamie Grefe
Three novellas (or long, long short stories) that focus on people who end up damned. Sounds boring, right? Well, it's not. Well, it can be when Lee stretches a story on and on, perhaps past that point where you suppose it should end, but she makes up for it, at least to me, with her masterful command of English and the strength of her PROSE. What I mean is that sometimes her sentences and images flow like the River Styx, smooth as a demon's behind. Really gorgeous stuff.
It did take me quite a lot of time to read this book. It's really well written, with wonderful phrases and reflections, and good choice of words and difficult words.
Sometimes I didn't feel the need to read more than a couple of phrases before leaving it again. It was difficult to really enter the story, because the author pay so much attention in words and phrases that you couldn't go into the story.

This book is worth reading for one of the stories alone: Malice in Saffron. It is small masterpiece of dark fantasy and one of my favorite short stories of all time. The other two stories are average, but entertaining reads.
Tanith Lee is definitely a very talented writer. You really sucks you in and the books become very easy to visualize. But, this book for me left me feeling icky. Evil seemed to win with every story in this book of three short stories, none of them really linked except for the city the took place in. I really don't know why they made me feel that way, they just did.

Very strange stories. Definitely not the first Tanith Lee you should read. It's her style, of course, but personified and boiled down to make beautiful words but sometimes completely incomprehensible visions. I think I will take a break before beginning the next book.

The middle story, Malice in Saffron, was pretty horrifying.
Sep 26, 2008 Elizabeth rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who appreciates superior writing
Author Tanith Lee is amazing, and this is one of her best!
She usually writes sci-fi, but this is a book of horror/gothic short stories. H.P. Lovecraft invented this genre over 100 years ago, and these dark stories rank up there with both Lovecraft and Poe. Tense, atmospheric twists.
Ken Baker
I really struggled with this book, eventually giving up halfway through. Andre was not a character that I was able to find empathy for, nor could I understand the rationale behind many of his motives. The author writes beautifully, but I do not think this is the story for me.
I am currently re-reading this series of stories. I have to say, as I always do regarding Lee's writings, that I ultimately realised that this is a work of genius, especially the first story "Stained with Crimson."

I will update this review in the near future...
I couldn't even finish the first of the three novellas--I kept falling asleep. Do yourself a favor and pick up "The Silver Metal Lover" instead.
There are some... interesting... bits with gender, as well as the surprise!honkyshines in the last third (Empire of Azure). :|
Laura Anderson
Less successful for me than The Book of the Mad, but still great stuff. Will definitely invest in some more Lee fiction.
Seriously disturbing; as good gothic fiction should be. Wonderful religious overtones; delectably creepy.
Weird, dark, pagan, typical Tanith Lee. Paired with Book of the Beast.
Contains "Stained with Crimson", "Malice in Saffron", and "Empires of Azure".
The first story is okay, the second is good, and the third is bad.
The first story is my favorite among the three.
Dark beauty, with lots of twistiness!
Catherine Johnson
Catherine Johnson marked it as to-read
Apr 17, 2015
Kate marked it as to-read
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Dimytri Komanatov
Dimytri Komanatov marked it as to-read
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Tanith Lee is a British writer of science fiction, horror, and fantasy. She is the author of 77 novels, 14 collections, and almost 300 short stories. She has also written four radio plays broadcast by the BBC and two scripts for the UK, science fiction, cult television series "Blake's 7."
Before becoming a full time writer, Lee worked as a file clerk, an assistant librarian, a shop assistant, and a
More about Tanith Lee...

Other Books in the Series

Secret Books of Paradys (4 books)
  • The Book of the Beast (Secret Books of Paradys, #2)
  • The Book of the Dead (Secret Books of Paradys, #3)
  • The Book of the Mad (Secret Books of Paradys, #4)
Wolf Tower (Claidi Journals, #1) Wolf Star (Claidi Journals #2) Wolf Queen (Claidi Journals, #3) Black Unicorn (Unicorn, #1) White as Snow

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“I held out my book. It was precious to me, as were all the things I'd written; even where I despised their inadequacy there was not one I would disown. Each tore its way from my entrails. Each had shortened my life, killed me with its own special little death.” 11 likes
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