CONTENTS:* Xelucha (1896)* The primate of the rose (1928)* Dark lot of one Saul (1933)* The house of sounds (1911)* The globe of gold-fish (1934)* Many a tear (1911)* The bride (1911)* The tale of Henry and Rowena (1928)* The bell of St. Sepulcre (1928)* Huguenin's wife (1911)* The pale ape (1911)* The case of Euphemia Raphash (1911)CONTENTS:* Xélucha (1896)* The primate of the rose (1928)* Dark lot of one Saul (1933)* The house of sounds (1911)* The globe of gold-fish (1934)* Many a tear (1911)* The bride (1911)* The tale of Henry and Rowena (1928)* The bell of St. Sépulcre (1928)* Huguenin's wife (1911)* The pale ape (1911)* The case of Euphemia Raphash (1911)...
|Title||:||Xélucha and Others|
|Number of Pages||:||243 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Xélucha and Others Reviews
Three of the stories in this collection were amazing - especially "The House of Sounds," which cast the haunted castle theme in a bizarre and fantastic setting that Shiel described with great, textured prose. About his writing: it is "purple" and overwrought, however Shiel keeps it under tight control with commas and hyphens that create a rhythmic flow. He establishes the feel and atmosphere of a story and draws you into the strange places that he describes. This lends a completeness to his stories that I don't find often in the short form, and after reading those pieces that became my favorites, I felt satisfied and heady.The rest of the collection contains ghost stories and dramas that are also bolstered by Shiel's sure craft. The plots weren't as intriguing, but still enjoyable. One story did shock me, and though I don't want to give too much away, I will impart this detail: self-administered amputation. It was one hell of a scene, and I still think about it from time to time.I am so glad that I was introduced to this writer, and will certainly seek out more of his work, and revisit this one.
With some minor reservations, this old Arkham House collection remains the single best collection of Shiel’s weird/macabre fiction out there. It serves both as a “best of” volume, and as a display of his versatility. Now, Shiel wrote a far bit. Nowadays, if he is at all remembered, that is either for his flawed masterpiece "The Purple Cloud" and a couple of oft reprinted stories, or as yet another bizzare character from those „yellow nineties“ - initiator of the legend of the „Kingdom of Redonda“ (kingdom in question consisting of one unappealing piece of rock, notable mainly as one-time source of gull guano), bragged about losing his virginity in his fifth year, and so on. He is more than that and, certainly, more than yet another Poe imitator.Not only is the selection of these stories commendable, but so is their ordering. Within the first three stories - „Xélucha,“ „The Primate of the Rose“ and „Dark Lot of one Saul“ - we have selections from various corners of his career, displaying vastly different styles and themes.„Xélucha“ is one of his best known early pieces, a grotesque exercise in decadent excess.„The Primate of the Rose“ couldn't be more different, a tale of „initiation“ and revenge told in this simple, almost clipped prose.„Dark Lot of one Saul“ is one of Shiel‘s late tales, and is surprisingly good. On its surface, its core idea is far from being unique or even rarely seen. But, beneath that, this novella is actually a spiritual allegory of sorts, drawing, outside of the instantly obvious Bible story, on the story of Job and on The Hymn of the Pearl. Its archaic prose is also of some interest, once again displaying Shiel’s versatility. Given its prose style, and its perpetually benighted setting filled with strange creatures and bizarre phenomena, one guesses that Shiel was familiar with Hodgson’s “The Night Land.“The Biblical motif will be present in a number of these stories, from the crushing fictional martyrology of „Many a Tear,“ to „The Bride“ wherein the story of Jacob and Rachel is twisted into a story of sisterly jealousy where woman's love is not a well of life, but a source of death.„The House of Sounds“ is probably the most attractive piece in this collection, being one of Lovecraft's favourites. Much – too much – was made out of its similarity to „The Fall of the House of Usher.“ I am with HPL here, in that they are „vaguely alike, yet infinitely unlike“ one another. Shiel was greatly influenced by Poe, and he was not above „borrowing“ from other writers. „The Place of Pain“ one of his better late stories not found in this collection, lifts quite liberally from „The Moon-stricken“ by Bernard Capes. „The House of Sounds“ doesn't hide its inspiration, but what is best and most memorable about it is all Shiel. This tale also presents one of most physically uncomfortable settings found in weird tales from this era – rambling ancient manse that is perpetually gloomy, damp and cold, fungi-ridden and rat-ridden, perpetually filled with a deafening, maddening din of raging waves, same waves causing constant nausea-inducing tremor. It is actually uncomfortable to picture, accurately, for the duration of the tale itself. And yet you will want to read it more than once, as it can be appreciated on multiple levels.„Huguenin's Wife“ is another excellent piece - again Shiel in his early decadent form, this time in a tale of a Greek island where once a god was born, an island that Sibylline prophecy warned against any birth or death on its soil. Death, and birth, will indeed take place, within a rambling manse, housing both a labyrinth and its monster, built by the titular lady. With her, „more lovely than ever mortal was before — or more hideous,“ the last remainder of pagan beauty will pass from the world.Of some note are, also, the closing two tales, „The Pale Ape“ and „The Case of Euphemia Raphash.“ Both are relatively simple yet enjoyable psychologically-charged pieces, dealing with this similar Jekyll & Hyde theme in very different ways. In the former, with a Poe-like setting, its titular criter is a manifestation of Id that will lead to the final ruin of one ancient bloodline, while the latter deals with the similar psychological motif in a more conventional murder mystery package.There is a couple of minor if readable late tales here but, other than that, if you can track it down it presents a better selection than a number of more recent volumes. If one craves more, Shiel's excellent early collection, "Shapes in the Fire", is nowadays readily available online.
Great short stories. Be prepared for absolutely NO happy endings. Characters typically lead a miserable existence and/or are hell-bent on revenge.
Couldn't get through. For me, the prose and the rest wasn't keeping my attention. It was boring.