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Samstag, 28. Januar 2012
Nights Dawning Peal
This weeks book is „Nights Dawning Peal“ selected by August Derleth.
Blurb: “Tales of Horror and Terror which offer New Fillips to Jaded Appetites”.
I had to go look up “fillips”.
Fillip: “An embellishment that excites or stimulates”
“To stimulate or arouse.“
See, you learn something new everyday.
The edition that I own is an old beat up copy of the “Consul Books” edition put out in the UK back in 1965. It was originally published by Arkham House back in 1952.
This is another strong and enjoyable collection, as is the case with most of the August Derleth edited anthologies.
Check out these contents!
2. "Mr. George" by Stephen Grendon
3. "The Loved Dead" by C. M. Eddy, Jr.
4. "The Sign" by Lord Dunsany
5. "The La Prello Paper" by Carl Jacobi
6. "The Gorge of the Churels" by H. Russell Wakefield
7. "Dhoh" by Manly Wade Wellman
8. "The Churchyard Yew" by J. Sheridan LeFanu
9. "Technical Slip" by John Beynon Harris
10. "The Man Who Collected Poe" by Robert Bloch
11. "Hector" by Michael West
12. "Roman Remains" by Algernon Blackwood
13. "A Damsel With a Dulcimer" by Malcolm Ferguson
14. "The Suppressed Edition" by Richard Curle
15. "The Lonesome Place" by August Derleth
16. "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" by H. P. Lovecraft
Sadly, H. P. Lovecraft’s „The Case of Charles Dexter Ward“ is not included in the paperback edition. This would have doubled the size of the paperback edition and it is anyways easily found elsewhere. It still would have been nice though to have it include here.
Derleth appears to have not been to shy about a little bit of self promotion. “Stephen Grendon” is a pen name that August Derleth used on occasion. So we end up with two Derleth penned stories here. “Mr. George” is a minor but still entertaining reprint from edited relied heavily on reprints from “Weird Tales”. And this is just fine with me since I love these kinds of stories! On the other hand, “The Lonesome place” is not only one of the best stories that Derleth ever wrote, it is, in my opinion, one of the all time great horror stories that deals with childhood fears. This would explain why it appeared in so many anthologies.
“The Lonesome Place” explores how frightening it can be for a child to walk home down a long dark street at night. We all know how the completely familiar becomes totaly transformed by night’s darkness. I grew up in a “middle sized2 small town in Ohio. Our side streets were very dark. Back then Rugg Avenue, where I grew up, was completely lined with large old maple trees, two in front of each house between the sidewalk and the curb. Many of the houses also had hedges between the sidewalk and their front yards. There was only one Street Lamp at each intersection and these were fairly far apart. So in effect, you had long black tunnels broken at intervals by tiny islands of light. Now Newark Ohio back in the late 60s and early 70s was a very safe and sane place to live. But that didn’t make walking these streets at night as a kid any less scary. In my opinion winter nights were the scariest though.
“The Lonesome place” describes this fear perfectly and is a story that, even though I first read it as a child, I’ve never forgotten and is still as effective today as it was 40 years ago when I first read it.
“The Loved Dead” by C. M. Eddy was controversial ever printed in “Weird Tales”. Some issues even got pulled from the news stands back then because of this story. It’s basically a simple love story. You know, boy meets corpse, boy looses corpse and boy gets corpse. Yep, it’s a necrophilia story from 1924. A young and rising Necrophiliac gets a job at a funeral home and hilarity ensues!
All in all this is a great anthology. Sadly if you ever want to read any of these particular stories or any stories of this sort you’ll have to check out the library, ebay or abebooks since all of the books I present here are long out of print and I have no knowledge of any new anthologies reprinting older works. And that’s a damned shame if you ask me. Not that anyone has though.
And lastly, check out this cool cover cover from "Consul". Look very closely at it. Isn’t that one of the nastiest peieces of work you’ve ever seen? I love it. It is a “perfect” cover which probably helped sell tons of paperbacks. The Signet american paperback cover looks like something from Tim Burton's "Beeetlejuice"