Denise's Reviews > The King in Yellow and Other Horror Stories

The King in Yellow and Other Horror Stories by Robert W. Chambers
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's review
Jan 08, 08

bookshelves: horror, reread, project-gutenberg
Recommended for: lovers of psychological horror; students of the genre
Read in January, 2008

(Read via Project Gutenberg, not this edition.)

Chambers, along with Lovecraft, is one of the grandpappies of the contemporary horror genre, and these are his masterwork: a series of connected short stories and novellas about a mysterious play (also called The King In Yellow) that drives a reader mad. The play itself is never more than vaguely described; the stories are about the effects it has on the minds of those who read it, and their subsequent actions.

This is precisely the type of horror I love -- there's no lovingly-described Big Scary Monster, and the horror comes from the slowly-dawning realization that one's own mind and perceptions can't be trusted anymore. Though the language takes a bit of time to truly immerse oneself into, it's still fabulous, both on the readerly level and on the meta-level of observing and analyzing just how Chambers managed to pull it off.
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message 1: by Steve (new)

Steve "The Yellow Sign" is the only story I've ever read from this collection, and it was seriously creepy in the way you describe in your review. I'm going to have read the rest of this collection at some point. Great write up!

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