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The Green Face

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  277 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
A stranger enters a magician's shop. Inside, among several strange customers, he sees an old man, who makes him sick with horror. The rest of the novel chronicles his quest for the elusive and horrible old man.
Paperback, 246 pages
Published November 1st 2004 by Dedalus (first published 1916)
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Eddie Watkins
Oct 16, 2014 Eddie Watkins rated it liked it
Shelves: austrian-fiction
The Green Face is a book about disgust with the world. It was written during WWI, yet is set just after its end, and the populace instead of feeling relief is wandering lost, on edge, searching. It is set in Amsterdam, largely in its more disreputable sections, and what Meyrink does best is create poisoned atmospheres of dark mystery peopled by grotesques. He translated Dickens into German and there is a darkly Dickensian quality to his characters and his urban landscapes, but Meyrink is for the ...more
Patrick Kelly
Sep 21, 2010 Patrick Kelly rated it really liked it
Meyrink is an author I'm guilty of obsessing over. He represents a time in my life when I explored the "esoteric" or "mystical" in literary and religious texts, genres overflowing with old Judaic and Qabbalic symbolism. He's most famous for writing The Golem, which was adapted into a very famous silent film in the '20s. This if his second novel and was a critical and commercial success at the time of its publication in the late 1910s. It takes place in Amsterdam - the city itself is one of Meyri ...more
Bill Wallace
Sep 04, 2015 Bill Wallace rated it really liked it
There's really nothing quite comparable to Meyrink's novels....This one begins with a hilarious description of a "magic shop" in Amsterdam -- a gathering place for the shattered flotsam of Europe -- and ends with a physical and spiritual apocalypse that must have seemed prophetic in 1916. I find it very difficult to imagine how such a novel was perceived in the middle of the Great War, since it seems to be a parable of the destruction (and possible rebirth ) of Europe and of the individual soul ...more
Aug 19, 2007 Phinehas rated it really liked it
An apocalyptic, cabbalistic novel set in a decadent Amsterdam. At the center of this book is the legend of the Wandering Jew, who here is also the prophet Elijah and the Green Face of the title. Well written and effectively strange in tone, the novel is marred by the unfortunate ethnic stereotypes of the milieu in which it was written, (Austria, 1916).
J. Mark
Dec 23, 2007 J. Mark rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of horror, metaphysical suspense, alchemy, Judaica, fantasy
My first Meyrink and it still reverberates. A man is haunted by a green-faced apparition (Khidr? The messenger of revelation in ancient Judaic/Islamic lore). His obsession chases him into the spiral of his own death? destiny? self-revelation? A lot is left to interpret, but it's a thick, phantasmic and suspenseful journey.
Arkadiy Volkov
Jun 28, 2011 Arkadiy Volkov rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Опять его герои сталкиваются с гремящим "знаю твои дела; ты ни холоден, ни горяч; о, если бы ты был холоден, или горяч! Но, как ты тепл, а не горяч и не холоден, то извергну тебя из уст Моих", и опять раз за разом предпочитают становиться холодными. И это, конечно, печально.
While not as archetypical as his masterpiece 'The Golem', and often a bit too schematic in its esotericism, Gustav Meyrink's second novel 'The Green Face' still makes for a gripping, mind-expanding read.

Read my full review:
Leo Ovidiu
Sep 29, 2014 Leo Ovidiu rated it it was amazing
A very interesting journey to the heart of the world of one of the best fantastic story writers in all times. Very easily red, the book captivates from the first few pages. A must read for Meyrink fans.
Jan 16, 2016 Laurent rated it it was ok
O. Francisco Olivares
Es un libro espectacular, sin lugar a dudas.
Tiene muchos niveles de interpretación.

Me encantó.
Muy recomendado a todos los de la vía interna.
Jun 06, 2009 Tom rated it it was amazing
Another re-read. I never get tired of Meyrinck. I've actually re-read all of his books that I own over the last couple of months.
May 04, 2013 Michael rated it liked it
Whilst not as good as "The Golem", still a damned good read.
Apr 15, 2010 Amit marked it as to-read
just started .. looks good in a crazy sort of way.
Sep 09, 2011 Anna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written but not my cup of coffee.
Sep 19, 2011 Darin rated it liked it
i really want to read this
A bit archaic in style, not one of is better ones IMO.
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The illegitimate child of a baron and an actress, Meyrinck spent his childhood in Germany, then moving to today's Czech Republic where he lived for 20 years. The city of Prague is present in most of his work along with various religious, occult and fantastic themes. Meyrinck practiced yoga all his life.

Curious facts:

He unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide at the age of 24. His son committed su
More about Gustav Meyrink...

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“Las causas no podemos reconocerlas nunca, todo lo que percibimos son los efectos. Lo que identificamos como causa en realidad no es más que un… presagio. Si suelto este lápiz, se caerá al suelo. Que el hecho de soltarlo constituya la causa de la caída puede creerlo un estudiante, pero yo no. Soltarlo es sencillamente el presagio infalible de la caída.” 4 likes
“...the face before him was like nothing he had ever seen before. It was smooth, with a black strip of cloth tied over its forehead, and yet it was deeply furrowed, like the sea, that can have tall waves but not a wrinkle on the surface. The eyes were like dark chasms and yet they were the eyes of a human being and not empty sockets. The skin was a greenish olive colour and looked as if it were made of bronze...” 0 likes
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