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Dark Gods

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  844 ratings  ·  38 reviews

1 · Children of the Kingdom · na Dark Forces, ed. Kirby McCauley, Viking, 1980
73 · Petey · na Shadows #2, ed. Charles L. Grant, Doubleday, 1979
129 · Black Man with a Horn · nv New Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, Arkham, 1980
175 · Nadelman’s God · na *
Paperback, 261 pages
Published June 1st 1986 by Bantam (first published July 23rd 1985)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
Dark Gods is a collection of novellas that bring to mind something that I could imagine HP Lovecraft writing if he was a baby boomer. Or maybe that isn't quite right. Because I think T.E.D. Klein has a subtle, grounded approach that distances him from Lovecraft's style in a crucial way for this reader. Klein seems to eschew melodrama, and Lovecraft embodies it in his writing. The similiarities to Lovecraft lie more in his overall fatalistic viewpoint and his character choices. I had to say I was ...more
May 18, 2007 Tom rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of intelligent horror writing
The lack of T.E.D. Klein material out there is one of the grave sadnesses of the publishing world. He's not a particularly prolific author, I'll grant that - a handful of stories and a single (great) novel over 30 years is not exactly a Dickensian output. But it should really all be in print, starting with this. Four novellas that surpass the normal expectations of "horror fiction" by being smart, original and genuinely unsettling. It contains "Children of the Kingdom," set during New York's apo ...more
One of the very best collections of horror short stories I've ever read. I think short stories are where Klein really shines, which makes sense, since there are many who say that horror works best in the short form. Unfortunately, this is pretty much it for Klein. I wish he would of written more.
Orrin Grey
This is more like it! While Reassuring Tales was something of a let-down, Dark Gods was exactly what I was looking for. It was reading "Black Man with a Horn" for what I thought was the second time but was actually the first that drove me to pick this up. I was pretty sure I'd read it before, but I turned out to be dead wrong. Everything in it was new to me (except "Black Man," which I'd just read in The Book of Cthulhu), and everything in it was pretty much superb.

Now if someone would just pack
This is a remarkable book, offering four long stories showcasing the talents of an author who is not as well known as he deserves. The linking theme is, I think, the idea of a hidden world existing in parallel with our own - each hidden world may be different, but all are dangerously near. This is of course a rather Lovecraftian notion, but instead of piling on the horror Klein instead offers us good-natured, rather urbane and witty characters who only gradually realise that something has gone a ...more
Jul 09, 2009 Jail added it
I was excited to read this book because Klein is so highly reccomended by many authors I like (thomas Ligotti, Ramsey Campbell, etc.) but I was a little underwhelemed by these stories as works of terror. They are all intelligently written but forgettable and not particuluarly scary. The scariest story "Petey" comes accompanied with such a hamfisted attempt at satire that it is also the most difficult to get through.
Klein has a social conscience that belies his stated intention to merely entertai
I give this collection of four novellas seven stars. I have read and reread them over the years, and they remain masterpieces of deep yet understated horror. The combination of Lovecraftian scope with minute contemporary detail and character-driven narrative is breath-taking. I especially admire Klein's settings -- I could live in the house described in "Petey," for example, and I feel that dreadful Florida humidity on my skin in "Black Man with a Horn."

Truly, Klein's work is an inspiration.
Aric Cushing
Fantastic short stories. T.E.D. Klein said,"I will do anything to NOT write." Unfortunately, he created his own fate, and we are only left with 1 novel and this collection of unbelievable short stories.
If you are a fan of intelligent horror literature, your bookshelf should include this collection and Klein's novel "The Ceremonies." Klein's writing is subtle terror defined, his fictional universe offering brief glimpses into monstrous, inexplicable reality. Klein focuses on extended characterization (which is ever a good thing)and building mundane atmospheres which are shattered by quick views of weird evil, hints of unspeakable truths. Klein's philosophy is certainly fatalistic, but he crafts ...more
Fantastic collection of 4 terrifying novellas. I first encountered TED Klein's fiction in the "Cthulhu 2000" anthology back in the 90s and of all the stories in that collection it stuck with me the longest- long enough that I eventually picked this collection up and I'm glad I did.

Klein does not write short stories and he really doesn't write stories where very much happens, at least at first. At various points these pieces teeter between boring and terrifying. Instead, every sentence is drenche
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Nancy Carr
Sep 20, 2007 Nancy Carr rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Literate horror fans
Shelves: recently-read
This collection of four novellas, by the former editor of "The Twilight Zone" magazine, relies on subtlety and psychology rather than gore for its unnerving effects. Some elements seem dated now (these were written about 30 years ago), but not in a bad way. I give this 4 rather than 5 stars because of Klein's overreliance on Africa and Asia as the source of horror: he's got plenty of company in this regard, and his white narrators don't come off unscathed either, but it's still rather off-puttin ...more
This book is composed of four excellent novellas: The Children of the Kingdom, Petey, Black Man with a Horn, and Nadelman's God. Just reread it a week or so ago and it's still one of my faves. Each tale is smoothly written, scary, intelligent, thought-provoking and totally involving. The fact that T.E.D. Klein has written little else since this book and his sole novel, The Ceremonies, were published back in the late 80s is a crying shame. I recommend both to anyone who likes really good weird/ho ...more
Jose Solis
Buena colección de cuatro novelas cortas de horror.
Sobresalen Petey, sobre un matrimonio que celebra con amigos su mudanza a una casa de campo, sin conocer bien lo que ahí ocultaba el anterior propietario, y Nadelman's God, en la que un escritor frustrado ve con inquietud cómo una de sus antiguas creaciones parece cobrar vida...
Randolph Carter
Four beautiful literate longer horror stories, each one a modern classic. If all horror writers were like this the genre would become accepted as true literature.
Probably in the top five greatest living horror writers in the world
This is a wonderful, creepy collection. I enjoyed it a lot!
Very good. I really wish Klein had written more.
Stuart Young
Four novellas of subtle yet chilling horror.
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
What an amazing book. Why did the writer only wrote one book and two novellas? For what I know they were well received by the critics. Maybe he is lazy, like Wikipedia says he is.

Now you've got four stories in this anthology. Each one with, around 60/70 pages. Believe me when I say each story has a Lovecraftian theme or characteristic.

The first story is Children of the Kingdom. New York City blackout of 1977 is the setting. The sewers and ghettos of Manhattan conceal a race of faceless mutants c
On aika hankala naulata seinälle sitä tiettyä ominaisuutta mikä tekee Kleinista niin hienon kauhukirjailijan. Tyylillisesti ei omalaatuisin tekijä jonka tekstejä on tullut tavattua, mutta sanat on yksinkertaisesti paremman näkemyksen mukaisessa järjestyksessä moneen kollegaan verrattuna. Nämä Pimentolan Jumalat liiikkuvat varsin hyväksi havaittujen aihepiirien seassa. Antropologian ihmeiden ja okkultismin alle mahtuu ainakin Children of the Kingdom, Petey ja Black Man With a Horn, Nadelman’s God ...more
What a fantastic collection of novellas in the Lovecraftian tradition! Klein explores cosmic terror against the backdrop of a modern world, with the majority of these stories set in NYC and the surrounding countryside. Modern (1970s) culture clashes with the long-forgotten gods of old worlds, magic, voodoo, and occult rituals performed in the suburbs. I really did not want this book to end. It was wonderful and I can easily name Klein among my all-time favorite horror authors.
An absolute MUST-read in the field of contemporary horror. Klein deserves to be ranked with the absolute masters of cosmic fear: H. P. Lovecraft and Laird Barron! I can't recommend this book enough.

Recently re-read. This book is like fine wine for lovers of horror in the Lovecraft tradition. Klein's characters are poignant and realistic. Though references to certain things date the writing, the characters feel very contemporary. "Black Man With a Horn" is perhaps the most anthologized story from
Gothic Readers Book Club

Klein should be a household name in horror. His writing style is dark and dystopic. He crafts subtle tales of dread and fear. His characters are dark, bordering on the sinister, and live without hope for any future. The atmosphere builds in each novella through the skilled use of elegant prose. Klein's narrative is based around the shadows of the mundane world. Secrets, hidden spaces gradually unfold as he draws the reader into the underbelly corridors of
Joe Canas
2 1/2 stars. S...l...o...w... going.
Karl Øen
If you are lucky enough to come across this book, get your hands on it at once. Dark Gods contains some of the most chilling stories you'll ever read. Klein's prose is low-key, he never opts for what Stephen King called "gross-out", but slowly slips you bits and pieces, building from unease to sheer fright. For the strength of his writing prose, Klein has more in common with classic authors of the genre, like M.R. James. The two best stories of this collection, "Nadelman's God" and "Black Man wi ...more
I enjoyed all 4 novellas; "Children of the Kingdom" probably being my favorite. I certainly did not allow the lack of political correctness to interfere with my enjoyment of the fact these days I am so sick of political correctness that I kind of enjoy the inappropriateness of it.

Now why is it that Stephen King is still churning out his novels that I no longer read and Klein suffers from writers block? Ass-backwardness and Murphy's Law, I suppose. The injustice of it all.....
Riju Ganguly
One of the most underrated book, containing some of the creepiest stories. I was very-very fortunate to come across this paperback amidst all the garbage laid out by a street-vendor near Gariahat, Kolkata. The stories are amazing, and even if you don't give a damn for mythos or such stuff, they would cause that slow-creeping chill to cover your spine, starting from the bottom, and coming up towards your neck. Highly recommended.
According to the preface of a later collection, Klein will do anything to avoid writing. I find that to be an odd quirk for a writer, but it explains why he hardly wrote anything at all apart from his truly excellent novel The Ceremonies. This collection of four stories may as well be his only other work worth reading. If you enjoyed his best work, DG is worthwhile, but be aware that it doesn't come close.
Creepy yet subtle stories that scare more by showing less. I think Klein must know what it is to be haunted, and not necessarily by the supernatural. There is much here that shows the all too real and common terror of a deep self-loathing and doubt. Wish he had written more. I'll have to try his novel, "The Ceremonies".
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Literary Horror: This topic has been closed to new comments. Dark Gods Discussion (November 2013 Monthly Read) 35 28 Dec 03, 2013 03:00AM  
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