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Old 09-28-2016   #11
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Re: Picnic at Hanging Rock

Haven't seen the film but I did read the book for the first time earlier this year (our very own Justin Isis recommended it to me). Very enjoyable.

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Old 09-28-2016   #12
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Re: Picnic at Hanging Rock

Great film, but heed my my warning, don't investigate the missing chapter. Years ago, after my initial viewing of the movie, curiosity got the better of me and I came upon a description of what the author had intended to be the cause of the disappearance. Sucked a bit of the eerie factor out for me.
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Old 09-28-2016   #13
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Re: Picnic at Hanging Rock

Quote Originally Posted by JadedFool View Post
Great film, but heed my my warning, don't investigate the missing chapter. Years ago, after my initial viewing of the movie, curiosity got the better of me and I came upon a description of what the author had intended to be the cause of the disappearance. Sucked a bit of the eerie factor out for me.
I disagree completely; the published book (and by extension the film) are incoherent without the final chapter, which if anything only increases the eeriness of the work. Picnic at Hanging Rock the book was vastly ahead of its time and roundly defeats anything ever published by Shirley Jackson or really anything else it could be compared to (there's not much). But ONLY if the final chapter is present. The book was censored due to the extremity of the final chapter. 

I note that you said "came upon a description," which really tells you nothing. You have to find an actual PDF of the final chapter and then read it immediately following on from the book to get the effect.

I think on the evidence of the book + the final chapter, Joan Lindsay pulled off the equivalent of an Aickman novel (something Aickman himself didn't really manage). Criminal that there is at the moment no complete version of the book available - everything currently in print is censored.
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Old 09-28-2016   #14
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Re: Picnic at Hanging Rock

I have yet to read the book, so maybe it works better in that context. But I just remember being a little disappointed with the solution, however, it does still bring about more questions than answers.
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Old 09-28-2016   #15
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Re: Picnic at Hanging Rock

Quote Originally Posted by JadedFool View Post
I have yet to read the book, so maybe it works better in that context. But I just remember being a little disappointed with the solution, however, it does still bring about more questions than answers.
Should try it...I can send you a PDF of the last chapter if you want, and can just mail you a copy of the book too if you can't find it locally. The introductory essay by Yvonne Rousseau about what she thinks is actually happening in the final chapter is worth reading too. It bothers me that no one on the Internet seems to be rallying for a complete, uncensored edition. No one's going to argue that the film isn't perfect how it is, but I think the book needs to be taken on its own terms.

Worth checking Des Lewis's thoughts too, taking the final chapter into account:

Picnic at Hanging Rock s Gestalt Real-Time Reviews
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Old 09-28-2016   #16
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Re: Picnic at Hanging Rock

Thanks for the offer, but is the pdf The Secret of Hanging Rock? If so I've just found it via google. And it looks like abebooks has some cheaply priced paperbacks of the book. I'll have to give it a go.
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Old 09-28-2016   #17
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Re: Picnic at Hanging Rock


Your fall should be like the fall of mountains. But I was before mountains. I was in the beginning, and shall be forever. The first and the last. The world come full circle. I am not the wheel. I am the hand that turns the wheel. I am Time, the Destroyer. I was the wind and the stars before this. Before planets. Before heaven and hell. And when all is done, I will be wind again, to blow this world as dust back into endless space. To me the coming and going of Man is as nothing.
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Old 09-28-2016   #18
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Re: Picnic at Hanging Rock

I fell in love with the movie (a must-see for fans of Aickman, Machen, Blackwood or Val Lewton) before I read the book, and it was many years before I was able to read the final chapter. I have rather mixed feelings about the final chapter. It's certainly weird and is not guilty of "explaining everything" but I'm not sure if it actually improves the novel. Certainly the film is better without it. As for the remake, I wouldn't be surprised if they combine it with some mobile phone app which asks you to select your own ending:
1) Kidnapped by aborigines
2) Abducted by aliens
3) Transported to another dimension
4) Hitch-hiked to Sydney
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Old 09-28-2016   #19
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Re: Picnic at Hanging Rock

At the beginning of _Cold Hand in Mine_ by Robert Aickman is the quote: "In the end, it is the mystery that lasts, not the explanation."

It would be quite fitting to place that quote at the beginning of _Picnic At Hanging Rock_.


I read _Picnic At Hanging Rock_ in 2014. My positive opinion of the novel is qualified.
After the mysterious disappearances, the remaining narrative was somewhat tedious. As far as novels go, its not that big, and perhaps the tale should have been told in the short form.

Strange, 'Aickmanesque' fiction perhaps is best told in the short form.
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Old 09-29-2016   #20
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Re: Picnic at Hanging Rock

Thanks Miguel for the missing chapter! I hate to say it but I think excising it was certainly the right thing to do. It changed the atmosphere of the whole work.
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