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The King in Yellow

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  8,012 ratings  ·  806 reviews
The central cycle of macabre stories, set in a then-future 1920's Paris and America, center on a fictitious play "The King in Yellow" the reading of which drives one mad. The color yellow was an evocative element of the decadent movement-typified by the notorious literary journal The Yellow Book and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper." Chambers wo ...more
Paperback, 250 pages
Published January 15th 2010 by Rebel Satori Press (first published 1895)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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mark monday
I am compelled to honor the great HBO show True Detective by floating this review. King in Yellow! King in Yellow!

ƸӁƷ

5 Stars for the wonderful opening story "The Repairer of Reputations".

although i wonder if 'wonderful' is the correct word. after all, this is a story that opens with a bizarre, sometimes dire alterna-history leading up to a 1920s America where on-lookers gather to contemplate terminally dispirited disportment within suicide-abetting "Lethal Chambers." and after this bit of surpr
...more
Evgeny
May 21, 2015 Evgeny rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Evgeny by: Althea Ann
Shelves: horror
This is a collection of short stories from an American writer who is not widely known these days. He is also credited with having influenced some horror writers including H.P. Lovecraft.
The King in Yellow
This collection mentions horror in its title; this is misleading as only first four stories can be qualified for this genre. Some blurbs mention the stores have common theme of fictional book The King in Yellow present in them (think about it as a small and much less harmful version of Lovecraft's Necronomicon);
...more
Charlene
I finished reading The King In Yellow and I'm feeling pretty good about myself. I feel satisfied that I've finally read this horror classic and I feel somewhat enlightened about the HBO show True Detective.

The KiY consists of a total of 8 stories. 4 horror, 1 ghost, 1 war and two romance-y type tales. The horror tales were my favorites of the collection, most especially "The Repairer of Reputations". These shorts were loosely connected by a play in book form titled The King in Yellow. Anyone who
...more
Jadranka

Čejmbersova zbirka priča "Kralj u žutom" doživela je drugu mladost zbog emitovanja popularne HBO serije "True Detective". Seriju sam pratila, ali ne mogu da kažem da li je bolja serija ili knjiga, pre svega jer je reč o potpuno različitim proizvodima, a drugo jer se ne može reći da je serija ekranizacija Čejmbersovih priča i ideja, već pre da je poslužila možda kao inspiracija scenaristi serije koji je od Čejmbersa "pozajmio" par motiva.
Zbirku "Kralj u žutom" čini 10 priča, i kao i na većinu dru
...more
Althea Ann
- The Repairer of Reputations
A re-read.
This story is wonderfully weird - and disturbing on several levels.
Set in a future 1920, the world has made several steps toward peace and stability. (I'm not sure I like them, and I'm also not so sure the author does, either.) The introductory segment drags on a bit, reminding me a bit in style of Edward Bellamy's 'Looking Backward' (1888). Then, the story really starts...
Our narrator lets us know that after a fall from a horse, he was unjustly confined t
...more
Jean-marcel
Can art drive a person insane? Could there be a book, or a film, or a piece of music that vibrates against the cortext in a certain way, or opens great gulfs of revelation so profound and so shattering that you could never be exposed to it without being changed forever? If the truth of such a piece got out, wouldn't anyone and everyone want to be exposed to it, scoffing and thinking that they, above all else, would be well equipped to handle any dangers, and yet feeling inescapably drawn to find ...more
Ademption
Just read Ambrose Bierce's "An Inhabitant of Carcosa" instead. Really. Read it. It is brief, timeless, and creepy; three things Robert Chambers tries too hard for in The King in Yellow. The King is Yellow is gimmicky copycat weirdness.

The King in Yellow is a sub-collection of the first five stories of this book. The five short stories have a mythology and structure taken from Bierce's short story. Chambers' stories also share slight interconnections beyond the concepts of Carcosa, Hali, and the
...more
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
This is a hard book to give a rating.

There are more things that made me wanna stop the book than to continue. But I stand firm and continue my path unfortunally the last two stories were too much for me. I read and skipped several paragraphs at time because it was too damn boring without any purpose or interest. But there are some cool stories.

First of all, if you would like to try reading Robert W Chambers start with the first four short stories/novellas. These are the beginning of Weird Fictio
...more
Mark McLaughlin
The stories in THE KING IN YELLOW are beautiful and wicked, and are required reading for true horror enthusiasts. THE KING IN YELLOW is also the title of a book within this book: in these stories, anyone who reads the fictional book of the same name goes mad. This concept is what inspired H.P. Lovecraft to come up with the concept of the NECRONOMICON -- a book that drives the reader insane.

The stories are in this collection are told in a somewhat leisurely fashion, but stick with them. They're
...more
Alex
Camilla: You, sir, should unmask.
Stranger: Indeed?
Cassilda: Indeed it's time. We have all laid aside disguise but you.
Stranger: I wear no mask.
Camilla: (Terrified, aside to Cassilda.) No mask? No mask!
- The King In Yellow


I came to this by way of the HBO show True Detective, which is pretty cool although not anywhere near as clever as it thinks it is, and which features references to the Yellow King and to a ruined city called Carcosa. Robert Chambers was the first guy to write about the Yellow K
...more
Oscar
‘El Rey de Amarillo. Relatos macabros y terroríficos’ es una recopilación que recoge cuentos de tres libros de Robert W. Chambers (The King in Yellow, The Maker of Moons y The Mystery of Choice), siendo los pertenecientes a ‘El Rey de Amarillo’ los mejores. Estos fueron precursores del llamado horror cósmico y los Mitos de Cthulhu, e influyeron en parte en la obra de H.P. Lovecraft. Si los personajes de Lovecraft enloquecen al leer el Necronomicón, los de Chambers lo hacen al adentrarse en las p ...more
أحمد
بحثت عن هذه المجموعة القصصية بعدما شاهدت المسلسل الرائع "ترو ديتيكتيف" الذي تكررت الإشارات فيه من بعيد إلى هذا الكتاب. الكتاب يتضمن مجموعة من القصص لا رابط بينها سوى تكرار ذكر كتاب مشئوم يدفع بقرائه إلى الجنون أو ما هو أسوأ! يظهر الكتاب ويختفي ولا نعرف عنه إلا أقل القليل. هذا القليل الذي دفع أسماء كبيرة بعد ذلك، على رأسهم لافكرافت نفسه، إلى تبني الملك، هاستور، وعلامته الصفراء الرهيبة، وأطلال كاركوسا القديمة، في أعمالهم. يقول لافكرافت عن هذا الكتاب: لقد بلغ المؤلف فيه آفاقا غير مسبوقة في الرعب ال ...more
Rick Soper
I read this book because I saw an article that mentioned it as a source material for the HBO series True Detective. And yes there are parts that might have been pulled from this book, but they aren't the only source for the show. I found this book pretty interesting from a historical perspective because it was very influential to many horror authors who came afterwards, very specifically HP Lovecraft. Now I've always loved HP Lovecraft and i could see where he might have found inspiration in The ...more
Đorđe Bajić
Kralj u žutom (1895), prave poslastice za sve one koji vole prozu natopljenu stravom; prve knjige u izdanju smederevskog Gavrana. Zahvaljujući ovoj zbirci (ili, preciznije, njenoj prvoj polovini), Čejmbers može, pa makar i delimično, da parira klasicima žanra poput Poa, Hofmana i Lavkrafta. Ovaj izuzetno plodan pisac je napisao na desetine dela, uglavnom petparačkih ljubavnih romana, ali njegovo najpoznatije i umetnički najvrednije delo je upravo Kralj u žutom, zbirka koja je nastala gotovo na s ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I read this short volume of "interrelated" stories some time ago, but wanted to go over it again before I rated or reviewed it. The "book" is built around the existence of a fictional play, "The King in Yellow". In the opening story, The Repairer of Reputations" (which can be seen not only as horror but also as a sort of alternate history, though in it's own time of writing it was placed 25 years in the future), we are told that the book is universally reviled, condemned, and censored. It "appar ...more
El
In 1986 Robert Chambers killed a young woman in Central Park in New York. The media called Chambers the Preppie Killer.

This Robert W. Chambers is not the same guy. Robert W. Chambers died in 1933 and, as far as I know, didn't kill anyone. Just so we're clear on that.

The first four stories or so in this collection are loosely related, in that there's this connecting theme of a fictional drama called The King in Yellow. Those who get their paws on it and read it wind up going crazy. These stories
...more
Printable Tire
This is one of many books I've purchased because the cover is cool and I've never heard of it or the author before. I read it concurrently with The Sketchbook of Washington Irving, which turned out to be a very appropriate pairing. From the Introduction (which I would recommend reading afterwards, as the stuffy though astute editor might turn you off from the ensuing book) I gleam that Chambers was one of a million forgettable, forgotten writers of copious crap in an olden age nobody really know ...more
Joseph
There's something ... disquieting about reading a science fiction story written in the late 1890s and set in the fabulous future of 1920.

This was a bit of an odd one -- a short story collection, but the stories themselves were two disparate halves kind of welded together. The stories in the first section (for which the book is best known) were fabulous (in the literal sense of the word), to one degree or another, including the aforementioned SF story ("The Repairer of Reputations"), "The Yellow
...more
Hugo Emanuel
A maioria dos leitores, após lerem consecutivamente uma ou várias obras de literatura intelectualmente exigentes e exaustivas, tendem a procurar literatura mais ligeira para recuperar da "ressaca intelectual" que tais obras deixam por vezes no leitor. Os géneros literários a que recorrem nestas ocasiões são habitualmente os policiais e livros de romance ligeiros. Embora também recorra ao ocasional policial para o efeito, os meus livros de "descompressão intelectual" são habitualmente obras de te ...more
Ctgt
This was an odd collection. My version contained 10 stories of which only 5 had some correlation to The King in Yellow. I could find no relevance to this theme in the remaining five stories. I went into the book figuring all the stories would have some tie to the main concept but I suppose that was my own fault for presuming. The interesting part about this idea of The King in Yellow is that those who read the book become madmen but you, the reader, never find out exactly what this book/play con ...more
R.
Non-text note: This particular Ace paperback edition of The King in Yellow contains an ancestor of the online pop-up ad: the cardstock paper cigarette advert embedded into the binding approx. midway, for True and Newport cigarettes. True: slashes tar in half and a taste worth smoking! (illustrated with a Sesame Street-ish big white No. 5 sitting proudly atop the phrase "mgs. of tar") ... Newport: Alive with Pleasure! (the concept of "pleasure" illustrated as a mustachio'd Bo Duke looking dude tr ...more
The_Bookchemist
(I'm guessing this is the same collection I've read)

The Restorer of Reputations (or whatever) is a great and fascinating horror story with a nice twist and a good amount of atmosphere to it, but the rest of it is far from horror. That said it's all fairly amazing, except for a severe lack of good and snappy endings, but it doesn't reach the levels of other masters of the genre (HP above all of course). The best stories are actually the love ones, with the very last one being particuarly touching
...more
Kirstin
The Repairer of Reputations 5 stars- Excellent story!
The Mask 4 stars-Brought to mind a Twilight Zone episode
In the Court of the Dragon. 3 stars- Didn't really make an impression on me
The Yellow Sign 5 stars- Loved this one!
The Demoiselle d'Ys 4 stars- Enjoyable read
The Prophets' Paradise 1 star- Can't say I liked these short snippets of conversations
The Street of the Four Winds 4 stars- Really liked this one!
I didn't finish the other 3
Randolph Carter
Outside of Poe and Lovecraft, "The Yellow Sign" may be the most influential horror story ever written. It is the bridge between Gothic, Decadent, and Modern in horror. Unfortunately Chambers killed a lot of other trees. One of the most popular authors of his time, he is almost forgotten except for the slim little volume known as "The King In Yellow." He wrote mainly unreadable sappy romances and unadventurous adventures. Lovecraft agonized over Chamber's wastage of his talent.

The Yellow Sign is
...more
Joe
The King In Yellow by Robert W. Chambers is a Classic collection of ten short stories with a creepy supernatural feel and a book within a book.

The first five stories all have one recurring item linking them together; a old and twisted book that seems to have incredibly disturbing and damaging effects on all who read it. This book's title is of course ‘The King In Yellow’. All these five stories worked really well, both on their own and together. Having this weird and inhuman book affecting all d
...more
Mike
Jul 26, 2013 Mike rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone

The King in Yellow and Other Horror Stories is a collection drawn from four books of short stories: The King in Yellow (1895), The Maker of Moons (1896), The Mystery of Choice (1897), and In Search of the Unknown (1904). These twelve stories are certainly dated and might not be counted among the best short fiction ever written, but they all have their moments. There is an excellent Introduction which tells the reader about Robert Chambers and each of the tales.

While there may be flaws in the sto
...more
Jason Pettus
FTC DISCLOSURE: I am the publisher of this book.

Are you a fan of the hit HBO show "True Detective?" I sure am! And after finally checking out the real 1895 horror collection that this show's Satanic mythos is based around, Robert W. Chambers' 1895 "The King in Yellow," and especially after being disappointed at all the crappy, sloppily done editions currently for sale at Amazon, I decided that my arts center could do better; and thus volume one of our new "CCLaP Victoriana" series, in which we p
...more
Христо Блажев
Преклонете се пред окултната мощ на Краля в жълто: http://knigolandia.info/book-review/k...

Навярно вече сте прочели тук и там, че с тези си разкази Робърт У. Чеймбърс е вдъхновител на изключителния Х. Ф. Лъвкрафт и органическа връзка между Едгар Алън По и Стивън Кинг, но за мен по-важното е, че той създава една фаталистична митология, която обсебва – с малко думи успява да предаде психологическата дълбочина на своите ранени герои, че предава тяхната обречена борба да опазят себе си и разсъдъка с
...more
d.
žuti znak, majstor za reputacije i u zmajevom sokaku, su priče koje su zaslužne za izvojevani komentar od strane istaknutog proučavaoca horor proze e.f.blajera koji tvrdi da je zbirka kralj u žutom "jedna od najznačajnijih knjiga u književnosti natprirodne strave", a ide čak i tako daleko da kaže "kralj u žutom bi se mogao izdvojiti kao najznačajnija knjiga američke natprirodne proze između poa i modernih pisaca".

četiri priče koje povezuje fantomska knjiga kralj u žutom efektno se bave procesima
...more
Kyell Gold
I've heard about this book for twenty-some years now, ever since reading James Blish's short story "More Light" (in the out of print collection "Alchemy and Academe"). Finally I got my hands on it and had a chance to read through the origin of the "King in Yellow" mythos.

The introduction to this volume, by E.F. Bleiler, is worth reading, as it sets the expectations well for what you're about to read. Bleiler is no fan of most of Chambers' work and makes no secret of it (I was surprised to learn
...more
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  • The Three Impostors and Other Stories
  • The Complete John Silence Stories (Dover Horror Classics)
  • The Imago Sequence and Other Stories
  • The Wine-Dark Sea
  • A Rendezvous in Averoigne
  • A Season in Carcosa
  • The House on the Borderland
  • The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard
  • Mysteries of the Worm: Twenty Cthulhu Mythos Tales by Robert Bloch (Call of Cthulhu Fiction)
  • Dagon and Other Macabre Tales
  • The Hastur Cycle
  • The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana: A Guide to Lovecraftian Horror (Call of Cthulhu)
  • Songs of a Dead Dreamer
  • Cold Print
  • More Ghost Stories of an Antiquary
  • Black Wings: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror
57739
Robert William Chambers was an American artist and writer.

Robert was first educated at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute,and then entered the Art Students' League at around the age of twenty, where the artist Charles Dana Gibson was his fellow student. Chambers studied at the École des Beaux-Arts, and at Académie Julian, in Paris from 1886 to 1893, and his work was displayed at the Salon as early
...more
More about Robert W. Chambers...
The Yellow Sign & Other Stories The King in Yellow The Maker of Moons and Other Stories The Green Mouse In Search of the Unknown

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“Ah," she said, "to come is easy and takes hours; to go is different—and may take centuries.” 14 likes
“This is the thing that troubles me, for I cannot forget Carcosa where black stars hang in the heavens; where the shadows of men's thoughts lengthen in the afternoon, when the twin suns sink into the lake of Hali; and my mind will bear for ever the memory of the Pallid Mask. I pray God will curse the writer, as the writer has cursed the world with its beautiful stupendous creation, terrible in its simplicity, irresistible in its truth--a world which now trembles before the King In Yellow.” 13 likes
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