Brian's Reviews > Teatro Grottesco

Teatro Grottesco by Thomas Ligotti
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's review
Feb 02, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-2009
Recommended to Brian by: Ben
Read in November, 2009

If you're one that has nightmares (or daymares) this book will seem familiar. If you're one that usually dreams of fluffy bunnies and flowers that may change if you read this book. What is a nightmare but a familiar place or action that is intensified, put under a magnifying glass until it's presence is overwhelming? I enjoy my nightmares when I can get them because there's always the surety of waking up even if that option isn't evident during the action. Reading Ligotti is like having a waking nightmare... you can always close the book, but would you?

Thomas Ligotti creates people and places that appear just off the edge of what we might consider reality. Pegged as a horror writer, he doesn't build suspense and surprise you with sudden attacks from hideous beasts. He doesn't charge at you with ax brandishing crazy people. Forget the ghosts, spirits and vampires that lurk in other horror tomes. Ligotti's prose slowly wraps around you and pulls you down into places that appear believable, places that seem familiar, and peopled by characters that you may have met (most are of the artistic character). Before you know it, he has brought you into a town you'd rather not visit and introduced you to people you'd rather not know. The horror of Ligotti lies in the familiar that is just slightly skewed.

Outside the walls of the Crimson Cabaret was a world of rain and darkness. At intervals, whenever someone entered or exited through the front door of the club, one could actually see the steady rain and was allowed a brief glimpse of the darkness. Inside it was all amber light, tobacco smoke, and the sound of the raindrops hitting the windows, which were all painted black. On such nights, as I sat at one of the tables in that drab little place, I was always filled with an infernal merriment, as if I were waiting out the apocalypse and could not care less about it. I also like to imagine that I was in the cabin of an old ship during a really vicious storm at sea or in the club car of a luxury passenger train that was being rocked on its rails by ferocious winds and hammered by a demonic rain. Sometimes, I thought of myself as occupying a waiting room for the abyss (which of course was exactly what I was doing) and between sips from my glass of wine or cup of coffee I smiled sadly and touched the front pocket of my coat where I kept my imaginary ticket to oblivion.
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Reading Progress

10/25/2009 page 21
7.5% "Seems like an appropriate October read."
10/29/2009 page 99
35.36% "I've known some of these people. I've seen some of these places."
11/01/2009 page 147
52.5% "ok... it's getting really creepy. these short stories within short stories are just, just, uncomfortable. i like it."

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message 1: by Ben (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ben Loory (which of course was exactly what I was doing)


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