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Green Face

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  439 ratings  ·  26 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, 100 pages
Published February 25th 2015 by Dedalus (first published 1917)
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  439 ratings  ·  26 reviews


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Nancy Oakes
This is one trippy book, and that's putting it mildly. It is certainly classic Meyrink, though, and anyone who's read his The Golem would have to agree that the two books were definitely the work of the same person. Once again turning to legend as a basis for his book, this time Meyrink uses the story of the Wandering Jew, and as in The Golem, he also incorporates several different types of esoteric and occult elements within the text.

In this novel, Kabbalah, Buddhism, mysticism, and other esote
...more
Eddie Watkins
Oct 13, 2010 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
Andy
Dec 02, 2017 rated it liked it
For lovers of the surreal and decadent, there's a lot to like here. We have a protagonist who wanders through disreputible alleys full of pleasure-seekers and desperate people who seem fractured by the shock of World War I. The whole place feels like something out of a German Expressionist film. The writing can also be quite witty at times with some worthy observations.

There's some memorable images and scenes, and some colorful characters too, the apocalyptic ending is like something out of "The
...more
Patrick Kelly
Sep 21, 2010 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
Aug 31, 2015 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
Purnacandra Sivarupa
Like Gustav Meyrink's more famous novel The Golem, The Green Face is more a narrative exploration of certain esoteric principles and practices than a straight-up novel. Period-specific issues of race aside—and really these are no worse than what we find in the likes of Lovecraft or Howard, who retain their popularity because of their style, imagery, ideas, and archetypal characters—Meyrink's insight into human psychology, socio-political and religious movements, and the exigencies of spiritual l ...more
Jonathan
The Green Face (Das grüne Gesicht) was written by Austrian author Gustav Meyrink and first published in 1916. Curiously, the events in the book take place in Amsterdam following World War One.

The book opens with Fortunas Hauberrisser entering a shop to escape the crowds. The sign on the shop says 'Chidher Green's Hall of Riddles'. The shop sells a mixture of practical jokes, occult material and pornographic material. Hauberrisser is followed into the shop by a Zulu carrying a spear and who is k
...more
Mark
Dec 23, 2007 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.
Razvan Ursuleanu
Romanul lui Gustav Meyrink poate fi redus la un singur rând. “Acțiunea contrarie a ceea ce face mulțimea este în principiu corectă”. Și Gustav Meyrink consideră că tot ceea ce i-a trecut lui prin cap să îndese în “Fața verde” reprezintă o astfel de acțiune contrarie.

Era tare omul ăsta. Genul de scriitor – pasăre rară căruia puțin îi pasă dacă îi citește cineva cartea. Mare parte din dialoguri par a se purta mereu într-o altă cameră decât cea în care se află cititorul, genul de conversații partic
...more
Phinehas
Aug 19, 2007 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).
Leo Ovidiu
Sep 29, 2014 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.
Uroboro
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chi non ha una minima dimestichezza con le scienze esoteriche, non potrà mai apprezzare le opere di Gustav Meyrink. Leggere un romanzo di Meyrink, equivale ad un vero e proprio viaggio iniziatico. Le sue storie si snodano lungo una serie di sogni, di visioni e di simboli che aiutano il lettore a scoprire l'esistenza di livelli di coscienza superiori. Leggete Meyrink e aprite le vostre menti!
Yvonne
Feb 17, 2018 rated it liked it
"Trippy" is a rather good description for this novel. :)
Willemclaeys
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75/5
Justin
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well written and enjoyable to read, but I think I missed most of its points
Arkadiy Volkov
Jun 28, 2011 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.
Anna
Sep 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written but not my cup of coffee.
Omar Olivares
May 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Es un libro espectacular, sin lugar a dudas.
Tiene muchos niveles de interpretación.

Me encantó.
Muy recomendado a todos los de la vía interna.
Michael
Mar 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Whilst not as good as "The Golem", still a damned good read.
Laurent
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
Urgh
Tom
Oct 22, 2008 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.
Michael
A bit archaic in style, not one of is better ones IMO.
Robert
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Nov 29, 2017
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Jun 28, 2016
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Jun 06, 2017
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Patrick Roney
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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
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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...” 2 likes
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