The King in Yellow

Paperback, 242 pages

English language

Published July 19, 2016

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3 stars (9 reviews)

The King in Yellow is a book of short stories by the American writer Robert W. Chambers, first published by F. Tennyson Neely in 1895. The book is named after a play with the same title which recurs as a motif through some of the stories. The first half of the book features highly esteemed horror stories, and the book has been described by critics such as E. F. Bleiler, S. T. Joshi and T. E. D. Klein as a classic in the field of the supernatural. There are ten stories, the first four of which ("The Repairer of Reputations", "The Mask", "In the Court of the Dragon", and "The Yellow Sign") mention The King in Yellow, a forbidden play which induces despair or madness in those who read it. "The Yellow Sign" inspired a film of the same name released in 2001. The British first edition was published by …

12 editions

This book changed my life, possibly not for the better.

No rating

In the autumn of 1998, I found myself walking the oak-lined streets of an old city, on a sultry subtropical night. I looked up through the narrow alley between the branches, and saw the rubicund light of Aldebaran gleaming at me. I was at a dead-end in my studies, and knew it, and had no better plans. At the moment the star's light fell on me, I felt a change; my frustration with my life slipped away, replaced by a bittersweet longing for another life I had known only in my dreams. It was soon after that I came into possession of a small press's library-bound edition of The King In Yellow. I had heard it mentioned, of course, in Lovecraft's "Supernatural Horror in Literature", but in those days, the book was not widely reprinted, nor well-known outside of the small weird fiction community.

Oh, the poisonous beauty of …

A really random collection of stories

3 stars

This is a really random collection of stories. I read this on the Serial Reader app, so I didn't really know much about it when I went into it. As I progressed, I had this idea that it was going to be a collection of stories that in some way all had The King in Yellow in them, but that wasn't the case. The stories also aren't all the same genre.

My two favorite stories out of the bunch are the one about the guy in the church who sees the same guy twice and the story about the guy who gets lost in the moors, Phillip. The final story wasn't too bad either, except it ended without any sort of resolution regarding Hastings. It could have been a good story but it just wasn't finished.

Review of 'The King in Yellow' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

Shockingly little on the King in Yellow; I was expecting much more in the vein of HP Lovecraft, but it was a bargain bin version of Henry James instead. The first story was fine, the rest were the sort of pretentious male fantasies you'd expect "Frasier"'s Niles Crane to write in his personal diary. Skip everything after part 2.

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