Mike (the Paladin)'s Reviews > King in Yellow

King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers
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Mar 19, 10

bookshelves: fantasy, horror
Read from March 05 to 19, 2010

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 "apparently" attacks the sanity of any reader. This story is told from the point of view of an "unreliable narrator" who has been in a "hospital" (an asylum) for the insane.

The stories continue in various forms moving from psychological terror to almost pure romance and back again. I suppose the best description of this book would be "esoteric" (maybe pronounce it with a "long E" in front so it sounds more exotic). I found it by turns interesting, absorbing, or boring. If you're a Lovecraft fan he liked this book and (apparently) included it's influence in his own writing.

I'd say try it, like the work of Lovecraft, Chambers will appeal to some and not to others. I liked some stories and not others so it seems it's also possible to fall somewhere in between the extremes also. So, not a bad read, enjoy.

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