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The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers

Robert-W.-Chambers-The-King-in-YellowCollection of «The King in Yellow» consists of ten stories, but only the first four are connected with the king mentioned in the title. “The King in Yellow” – a fictional piece, which says that anyone who gets to the second act, is crazy. Actually, in the first story we just meet with the characters, somehow coming into contact with that damn play. These stories I liked – something in the spirit of horror stories about the coffin on wheels, paranoia and madness, that whisper in the dark telling the audience breathless. When reading I often recollected Ambrose Bierce, and, as it turned out, not without reason. Referred to a fictional place “Karkosa” and a few mysterious names Chambers borrowed from him. (And Chambers of something then borrowed Lovecraft.)

The fifth story is already directly connected with not mind which reduces the play. This rather gloomy romantic story. However, the mysterious names are repeated, and if the characters are out of time and space.

Sixth story – very strange set of micro-stories (literally a few lines), I, to be honest, is not fully understood, but there is a feeling that if you read it a few times in a row, you can fall into a trance.

The remaining three of the story – do not mysticism, but a very real things. One – the siege of Paris in 1870, and two more – touching romantic stories from the life of the Art Students living in the Latin Quarter. Reading the seventh story, I wondered, where is the king of yellow or even some unsold gravedigger chasing heroes in nightmares, but the story was pretty scary and dark, so I did not insist on the presence of more and madmen. But when reading the last two stories my bewilderment grew and grew, and suddenly when the book is over, I somehow do not even believe that this is the end.

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