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The Nightmare Factory [Paperback]

Thomas Ligotti
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 15 1996
A selection of writings from one of horror's darkest writers. Thomas Ligotti is the author of "Noctuary", "Grimscribe" and "Songs of a Dead Dreamer".

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Thomas Ligotti, in his own words, writes of "a world that both surpasses and menaces this one." He is the contemporary master of the "weird tale," and yet his style is so intellectually intriguing, he has as much in common with Borges and Kafka as with Lovecraft and Machen. If you haven't discovered Ligotti yet, this edition is a great opportunity to do so: it collects all 39 stories from previous collections, plus 6 new ones--also, a forward by Poppy Z. Brite, and an introduction by Ligotti on "What are the consolations of horror?"

For more on Ligotti, see reviews of Songs of a Dead Dreamer, Grimscribe: His Life and Works, and Noctuary. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In this stout volume, Ligotti offers American readers selections from three previous collections not readily available in the U.S. and, in a concluding section, some entirely new pieces. Very little seems to be known about Ligotti, but to judge from his stories, he is well traveled, has a superb command of setting and tone as well as of the English language, and is strongly biased toward the darker end of the fantasy spectrum. He also exhibits admirable economy of words, for more than 50 of his stories fit between the covers of this book. If there is very little here that will slake the lover of vast, sprawling horror novels, connoisseurs of literary skill who are willing to be frightened will find the book a feast, albeit one best consumed in small helpings. Roland Green --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gnostic Nihilism April 21 2004
A celebration of utter bleakness that becomes beautiful in the courage of its purity...imagine John Doe of the film, Seven, but with the hatred replaced by wonder. Ligotti is the best American horror writer since H.P. Lovecraft, and perhaps the best American prose poet since Poe.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff from Ligotti May 15 1997
By A Customer
This is a fine collection -- a sort of "greatest hits," if you will, from the man who I would consider the best author of short horror ever. Ligotti taps into a fertile territory of the subconscious with an intellecual vigor that is frightening in its intellegence. His stories are densely packed with narrative information, often cryptic, and sometimes difficult to read, but they are always rewarding. As with any visionary author, his stories cannot be lumped in with any concrete genre, although horror comes closest to describing Ligotti's style; still, though, there are many cases where he spills over the boundaries into a more philosophical, surreal form that I'd not even be sure how to categorize. While there are the definite imprints of Lovecraft, James, and Campbell on these stories, there are also hints of Pynchon (although some might disagree with me on that) and Kafka. This is a collection of stories taken from his three released collections ("Songs of a Dead Dreamer," "Noctuary," and "Grimscribe"), as well as a group of new stories that are very good as well. My only small complaint is that some stories, I suppose by necessity, had to be left out; but I do miss the inclusion of such Ligotti greats as "Notes on the Writing of Horror: A Story" and "Professor Nobody's Little Lectures." Also missing from this collection are the brilliant short-short stories that form the last pages of Noctuary. Still, these are small quibbles, and as an introduction to the work of this luminary of modern storytelling, one can hardly do better than to buy this book
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4.0 out of 5 stars Waking up in a nightmare Feb. 21 2004
Ligotti pens the dark blues, purples, greys and ash of twilit towns, where the occupants grow to pale mushrooms. Or, more often then not make their appearances as clowns, marrionettes... the faceless walkers of festivals. We are just puppets, dear readers. So get on with it and read. That is your job, isn't it?
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5.0 out of 5 stars authentic horror, not for the timid King fan Jan. 26 2004
truly disturbing. its images will bore into your mind and haunt you long after the book is read. Best literary horror in ages.
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5.0 out of 5 stars By far the best book I've read in a LONG time June 14 2003
By Link
Shortly before I purchased this book, I was in the mood for a good, twisted, even disturbing, novel. You know, one that messes with your head, perhaps even changes your perception of life and reality. Well, in searching for that genre, if you will, I read H. P. Lovecraft's 'The Road to Madness'. Now, I think Lovecraft is a good writer; however, few of his stories really sparked the edginess that I sought. To tell you the truth, the only one I can think of at this time was "Arthur Jermyn". Anyways, the point I'm trying to make is this: it took me Lovecraft's entire book to realize that he is an ok 'disturbing' writer; it took me Ligotti's first story ('The Frolic') to realize he is one of the most intrigueing and 'twisted' writers of all time. I wasn't able to put the book down for a good two hours, and that was before I even left the bookstore. Ligotti has a dark and eloquent style that perplexes and intrigues, while not smothering the plot or destroying character depth. He is simply by far the most intelligent and enchanting writer I have encountered.
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This is a collection of three books from Thomas Ligotti: "Songs of a Dead Dreamer", "Grimscribe", & "Nocuary. It also contains some unpublished material to form Part 4. This is absolutely the most authenticly frightening and ingenius collection I have ever read. Ligotti is without a doubt the best weird fiction author alive today! I won't go into the details because I'm sure others have already done it (better than I can); but I will say this: if you are considering buying a Ligotti book, buy this one! It contains a good portion of his work and it's super-cheap! You will not be disappointed! Be sure to pick up "My Work Is Not Yet Done" after you've finished this one...
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Some here have written more detailed reviews, so I will simply say that I have not been this excited about a horror/macabre writer since I discovered Lovecraft when I was a teenager. Ligotti is brilliant, there is no comparison of this book to the dreck that floods the horror genre. Like Lovecraft, his writing is dense (yet not as bombastic) and filled with detail, but not belabored. If you are a fan of the horrors that live on the edges of perception like those found in Lovecraft, than you must read this book. If you prefer your horror in White Castle bites of easy swallowing, stay with King.
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1.0 out of 5 stars This dude is a Space Cadet! May 3 2002
O.K. Maybe some of his other books are alright, but this one is the "Bermuda Triangle" of description. He comes out of nowhere and leads you around for awhile giving ALOT of useless information on the way things look, feel, act, smell, etc. etc. Most of the stories have maybe an inkling of horror to them....but that's about it. The rest are just frolics in la la land and a trip around in a void. Yes, description is important to give the reader an insight into who, what, where, when, and why. But come on! I don't enjoy reading for forty minutes about a door in some dark alcove with light just dusting the outer edges
giving a faint impression of the promise of a voyage into an abyssmal beyond. Just get me through the darn door and let's go from there! Jeez!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Carrying the traditional weird tale into the next century
The work of Thomas Ligotti is the revival horror literature was in dire need of since the swamping of the genre by writers with below-average imagination and a writing rate of... Read more
Published on March 18 2002 by Nevzat Evrim Onal
Thomas Ligotti and Gore Vidal are America's greatest living writers. It is unfortunate that Mr. Ligotti has been so egregiously pigeon-holed as a mere "horror" writer,... Read more
Published on March 8 2002 by patricia a pryce
5.0 out of 5 stars Philosophical horror at its most chilling and disturbing
Ligotti blows Barker, King, and all of those other lightweights clear out of the water. His work is what I would call 'horror literature' as opposed to King's work, which he... Read more
Published on Oct. 29 2001 by J from NY
I don't know where to start. Ligotti is the best living writer of horror. As I understand it, he doesn't write to make money.
It shows. Read more
Published on Dec 17 2000 by Waffles
5.0 out of 5 stars The Stuff of Our Best Nightmares
Mr. Ligotti is the true Master of contemporary horror. He understands how to communicate the breakdown of rationality. Read more
Published on Dec 9 2000 by Edward Scott Haas
4.0 out of 5 stars Well crafted horror
The Nightmare Factory is an impressive collection of short story horror fiction by Thomas Ligotti. The stories are frightening and horrific yet they are executed in a subtle... Read more
Published on Nov. 26 2000 by Sarah E. Golding
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