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Old 12-11-2015   #1
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Review of the Penguin Classics Edition at Strange Horizons

Great review by Paul St. John Mackintosh. Lots of insights into the stories and Ligotti the writer.

Strange Horizons Reviews: Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe by Thomas Ligotti, reviewed by Paul StJohn Mackintosh

"What lay behind me was no longer any normal, familiar life, that everyday life out of which the impulse to pray raises us, with still at the back of our minds that whensoever we wish we can return. A void was behind me. And in front a wall, a wall of darkness." Georges Bernanos, The Diary of a Country Priest

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Old 12-11-2015   #2
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Re: Review of the Penguin Classics Edition at Strange Horizons

Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Staaz View Post
Great review by St. John Mackintosh. Lots of insights into the stories and Ligotti the writer.

Strange Horizons Reviews: Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe by Thomas Ligotti, reviewed by Paul StJohn Mackintosh
Yeah, this is really superb.

Quote
I hope this whole review, and all the quotes from the Grimscribe's mouth, can convince readers to keep on reading Ligotti's tales, no matter how bleak and horrible their conclusions—because, as literature, they succeed superbly well as entertainment. A creative imagination as rich as any funerary monument, prose as crisp as any inscribed epitaph, the drollest of graveyard wit—if you're going to be dead anyway, you might as well enjoy the artistic experience. "I couldn't possibly write something that would reflect the true depths of my aversion to everything that exists," Ligotti told Matt Cardin in 2006, but he's come close time and time again, with fantastic results—because the bitterer that pill gets, the sweeter the artistic coating it has to be wrapped in to be palatable.

If your worldview is fragile enough to be upset by Ligotti's pessimism, you probably shouldn't be reading horror stories in the first place. If it isn't, the experience of reading him is bracing and salutary, as well as a delight for any ear attuned to good prose. Ligotti may be indifferent-to-negative about such positive evaluations of his work, as well as his recent reemergence into the popular imagination; but they probably won't hurt him any worse than life already does.

"...the uncanny is to me the defining trait of this strange and terrible world and our strange and terrible minds." --Thomas Ligotti
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