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The Abominations of Yondo

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  142 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Cosmic Horror...Daemonic Strangeness...Weird-Heroic Fantasy...The Macabre And Terrible Visions of Clark Ashton Smith...

Here are 17 bizarre stories by master fantasist Clark Ashton Smith, who was described by H.P. Lovecraft as 'unexcelled by any other writer, dead or living'. They will take you into unearthly realms of fantasy and horror beyond your wildest nightmares...

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Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 1st 1974 by Panther Books (first published 1960)
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Pam Baddeley
A collection of short stories by a fantasist who was a friend of H. P. Lovecraft but on the whole a better writer. Smith is known for his rather baroque style which occasionally requires recourse to a dictionary, but the stories are on the whole effective. Most of his work is set in invented civilisations of the distant past, but the collection starts off with a story that evokes Edgar Allen Poe and the Cthulhu Mythos by Lovecraft, dealing as it does with the inadvertant visit of an American on ...more
Tyrran
Dec 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book contains 17 short stories...my review is based just on the short story "The Abominations of Yondo" (also named after the novel)

I'm a fan of horror films and stories and I've been exposed to tons of that material in my life, I can honestly say that this short story is the best writing of horror/fantasy that I personally have ever encountered.

It's not necessarily because of Smith's writing style or because of his narrative, it's just because the story is actually damn eerie and bizarre.
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Steve
A mixed bag. A couple of underdeveloped stories, and a couple of long failures. But I like this guy, and even his so-so stuff is interesting, because you will always find great mood evoking passages of Smith's very purple and sinister prose (which is a perfect fit given the genre). And there are some outstanding (as in 5 star) stories in the mix, my favorite being Dweller in the Gulf. H.P Lovecraft may have been the idea man, but for writing ability, and when he was on his game, Smith was the su ...more
Nakedfartbarfer
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Like Lovecraft, the greatest strength of many of these short stories are often in the atmosphere, rather than the story-line. The weird horror is sustained by prose, to borrow from Clark Ashton Smith, as purple as equatorial midnight. In any other genre, it might verge on comic magniloquence. Here, it makes for a fun read.

"...Yondo, where live the hoary genii of stars abolished and decrepit demons left homeless by the destruction of antiquated hells."

At this point, ninety years after these stori
...more
A
The value of these tales comes in Smith's apparent effortless "characterization of everything", it seems he just loved to write and so used his fantasizations with occult and mythology as an outlet to do so. His selection and fluid arrangement of words, which although undoubtedly dated, is artful. There are some minor repetitions he tended towards, and as a general warning to today's readers an occasional adverse noun or adjective, but his style is still much easier to follow than older antiquat ...more
Facundo Melillo
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
La review es solamente por el cuento que da nombre al libro.
Descripción macabra de un desierto plagado de horrores de todo tipo, con un final totalmente genial y macabro. ¡Quiero leer más de Ashton Smith!
Nomadman
Jun 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
I'm not the world's biggest CAS fan, but this collects most of his better stuff, including the title story and the beautifully melancholic The Voyage of King Euvoran (one of the best things CAS ever wrote). There's also a smattering of more contemporary horror pieces like The Nameless Offspring and The Devotee of Evil, some pseudo-S&S, and some prose poems. ...more
Jason Darrell
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A superb short story that throws the reader straight into the Cthulhu Mythos and leaves them there to go deaf by their own screams, those audible and those created within the mind.

Descriptive, imaginative and fast-paced, this super-short tale (which I read on EldritchDark.com) is a real treat for fans of the Weird and Cosmic Horror.

The (unnamed) protagonist finds himself on the raw end of punitive measures from a sect of cosmic priests, the Priests of Ong, near the edge of a desert close to the
...more
Lynsey Walker
Jun 15, 2020 rated it liked it
I have run out of books to read so we are back to the cosmic horror audio books, which after the last 3 piles of crap I have tried to read can only be a good thing. Hello darkness my old friend.

Now this, this is total cosmic horror. The plot, the setting, the language and the ending, all were ticking the cosmic horror boxes.

This is a story that I think would deffo benefit from being longer, I want to know the background of the poor lad in the desert and I want to know why Yondo is so abominable.
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Matthew Tansek
Mar 24, 2021 added it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in weird fiction or imaginative fantastical prose poetry
This short story by CAS was one of the first things I ever read by this author. The fantastic use of language, the incredible imaginative landscape, and the imagery of the things that the main character comes across as he ventures into the desert really hit home for me. While I would not recommend this sort of thing to just anyone, those already steeped in the pulp fiction world will absolutely enjoy unpacking the parts of this little piece and savor the language.

I would consider it almost pros
...more
Kenneth
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A collection of Clark Ashton Smith's fantasy and horror stories. One of the better writers of pulp fiction in the mid-20th century and a friend of H.P. Lovecraft. Some like "The Dweller in the Gulf", set on Mars, are truly horrifying; others are tales of lost or imaginary worlds. ...more
David Meditationseed
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In the most perfect writing style of HP Lovecraft, this Clark Ashton Smith tale has the elegance of writing where the beauty of prose poetic form meets mystery and horror. Of the right size, where every word seems to have its precise place, the reading experience is wonderful.
Edmundo Trejo
Nov 27, 2018 rated it liked it
No me agrado, muy simple.
Brian Schoff
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rating is just for the short story Abominations of Yondo.
Christopher Riley
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
A really enjoyable collection. Some great stories in here that will stand up to re-reading due to the quality of the prose. The White Sybil is achingly beautiful whereas The Dweller In The Gulf (presented here in its original form as Smith intended) is one of the most terrifyingly vivid tales I've ever read. Surprised to discover it was the last such tale he wrote because it's excellent. ...more
Chris Lynch
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb mould-breaking imaginative fiction from fantasy's pre-cambrian era. ...more
Philip Athans
Jul 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended only for serious students of the genre.
Don Iskanderoff
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Эпигон Лавкрафта с довольно не плохими идеями. Не ходи дети в Йондо вы гулять)
Edgar
Dec 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Again, a bit of everything, from Lovecraftian cliches to fantasy and wizardry, more descriptive than narrative, always lovable.
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Clark Ashton Smith was a poet, sculptor, painter and author of fantasy, horror and science fiction short stories. It is for these stories, and his literary friendship with H. P. Lovecraft from 1922 until Lovecraft's death in 1937, that he is mainly remembered today. With Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, also a friend and correspondent, Smith remains one of the most famous contributors to the pulp m ...more

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