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Grimscribe: His Lives and Works [Hardcover]

Thomas Ligotti
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 2011
Seeking deadly justice when she and her invalid father receive next to nothing in a lawsuit settlement, nurse Hester Jones targets the defense attorney's daughter, hematologist Liz Broward. By the author of Blood Work.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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From Publishers Weekly

The eponymous first-person narrator of this chilling collection assumes many different guises in spinning his eerie tales, but the voice in each of the 12 stories remains the same, a voice "always speaking of terrible secrets." Witness, participant, victim, Grimscribe is, above all, our guide through a landscape at once relentlessly dark and luminously revealing, where a "brood of dark forms" push "through the fog" and "dark bricks that bulge like tumors" appear "on the facades of houses." Prisoners of this bleak but fascinating world include a mild-mannered village schoolteacher sent in "Flowers of the Abyss" to discover the awful truth behind a house in which an entire family perished horribly; in "The Cocoons" we encounter a man trapped in a unique doctor/patient relationship who finds the treatment infinitely more agonizing than the disease; instead of the three Rs, the young boy in "Miss Plarr" receives from his tutor a few lessons in "the sound of something that stings the air." Stylishly wrought in the best tradition of the American gothic and wonderfully reminiscent of Poe and Hawthorne, these scary stories transcend their genre. and command respect. Ligotti wrote Songs of a Dead Dreamer.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

High-style horror stories in a classic literary mode, in expressiveness not far from the American masters, Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. Ligotti (Songs of a Dead Dreamer, 1990) writes out of what seems an all-embracing depression, making him willing to go into wipeout areas time and again and ask a lot both of himself and his readers. His narrators seldom effect any change; they simply observe a superbly described inner state, then leave, hungover. In ``The Last Feast of Harlequin,'' a professor obsessed with clowns locates a clown festival in the midwestern town of Mirocaw. He goes to observe and join the townsfolk in their festival, perhaps wearing his clown suit. But the festival is not meant for him. In fact, it is two festivals, one within the other, the inner one being a cruel festival of freaks who are detested and beaten by members of the larger clown festival. He joins the freaks and follows them out of town and down a hole in the earth wherein they have borne their frigid Winter Queen. In a cavernous earthen hall, the freaks begin turning into huge worms, and he flees up the black wormhole by which he entered. In ``The Glamour,'' the narrator enters a weird boarded-up movie house to find himself in a sparse audience surrounded by purple lights and seated amid hairy threads that bind all to their seats as they watch a cobweb screen on which is shown grisly purple organs being operated on. He leaves before he can be imprisoned by the floating and crawling hairs. In ``The Night School,'' he enters a dark, weird schoolground where strange figures stand around misshapen metal drums in firelight; then he goes into the hideously rotting school for a bizarre class in ``measurement of cloacal forces. Time as a flow of sewage. The excrement of space, scatology of creation...'' He leaves, finding the moon ``coated with a luminous mold, floating...in the great sewers of the night.'' Thirteen tales out of a maggoty delirium. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ligotti is undoubtedly the only living master of terror.
The truth is that Thomas Ligotti has come out of seemingly nowhere in just the last ten years and
has, in that time, set a new standard in literature of the supernatural. I picked up _Songs_ in 1992,
initially for the Washington Post's declaration, "Put this on the bookshelf between Edgar Allan Poe
and H.P. Lovecraft where it belongs." My hopes were more than realized. Ligotti is not only as
good as the nineteenth and twentieth century masters of the macabre. For the select few who have
read his material, he is simply one of the finest authors of the terrifying and disturbing short story
and novella ever to grace the English language. Do I exaggerate? Read this compilation of
masterworks and ask yourself afterwards whether Ligotti will be considered the groundbreaking
Poe or Lovecraft of the late twentieth century. When the likes of King and Straub are mostly
forgotten in a century, it is my firm opinion that Thomas Ligotti's stories, such as the terrifying "Dr.
Locrian's Asylum", will still be read by those students of the genre who will still appreciate the
authors subtlety, flowing eloquence, and his chilling originality and detail of plot and character.

Does _Grimscribe_ live up to his first compilation of short
stories? Read his insidious "Nethescurial" and the chilling
"The Shadow at the Bottom of the World," and the answer will
become all too clear. No one has Ligotti's skill and deftness with the English language in my experience. Moreover,
I have found all of his work to be consistently above
average even at his worst.
Was this review helpful to you?
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ligotti is undoubtedly the only living master of terror.
The truth is that Thomas Ligotti has come out of seemingly nowhere in just the last ten years and
has, in that time, set a new standard in literature of the supernatural. I picked up _Songs_ in 1992,
initially for the Washington Post's declaration, "Put this on the bookshelf between Edgar Allan Poe
and H.P. Lovecraft where it belongs." My hopes were more than realized. Ligotti is not only as
good as the nineteenth and twentieth century masters of the macabre. For the select few who have
read his material, he is simply one of the finest authors of the terrifying and disturbing short story
and novella ever to grace the English language. Do I exaggerate? Read this compilation of
masterworks and ask yourself afterwards whether Ligotti will be considered the groundbreaking
Poe or Lovecraft of the late twentieth century. When the likes of King and Straub are mostly
forgotten in a century, it is my firm opinion that Thomas Ligotti's stories, such as the terrifying "Dr.
Locrian's Asylum", will still be read by those students of the genre who will still appreciate the
authors subtlety, flowing eloquence, and his chilling originality and detail of plot and character.

Does _Grimscribe_ live up to his first compilation of short
stories? Read his insidious "Nethescurial" and the chilling
"The Shadow at the Bottom of the World," and the answer will
become all too clear. No one has Ligotti's skill and deft-
ness with the English language in my experience. Moreover,
I have found all of his work to be consistently above
average even at his worst.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Eerie... July 31 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Told in a first person narative, a fictional diary of sorts, GRIMSCRIBE (His Lives and Works) is one eerie read. I quote the inner sleeve "Grimscribe is the faceless scientist of nightmare: an addict of the paranormal who relates his awesome adventures with the denizens of a shadow world that is at once half-mad and inescapably ours." This book delivers us into the heart of horror, unrelenting and bleak in aura, Lovecraftian style. Although there are many similarities between old H.P. and Ligotti, I oblige myself in mentioning that Ligotti does have an infectious prose that sinks just as deep as the Cthulu Mythos. Ligotti laces his pages with such an intense dose of "unsettlingness" that the stories stick to your gut long after you've read them. Nightmare inducing, intellectually disturbing, a carnival for the absurd. This one is a must for anyone who enjoys getting a severe case of the creeps.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Taste of True Evil April 20 2004
Format:Hardcover
In the begining of Arthur Machen's wonderful story, The White People, a reclusive mystic descibes the nature of true evil, and he describes it well. Thomas Ligotti doesn't describe it...his work illustrates it. This is the finest book by the greatest American horror writer since Lovecraft. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lovecraft + Poe = Ligotti Oct. 27 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
That basically sums up this book. It is well written yet i did not find the stories quite as terrifying as they were suggested to be. Not quite as good as Lovecraft, maybe not even as good as Derleth but definately worth a look all the same
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