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on April 20, 2004
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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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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on July 31, 1999
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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on January 9, 1996
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.
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on January 9, 1996
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.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
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