Tuesday 11 December 2018

THE GREAT GOD PAN by Arthur Machen

The Great God Pan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the third classic I've read in a row, and I'm glad I did because I'm enjoying these old time horror stories. It's a novella I've had on my Paperwhite for months. Also, one that comes highly recommended by Stephen King himself. So of course I had to read it.

When a doctor decides to perform a bizarre experiment he claims will allow a young girl to see beyond the veil, something truly awful happens. Something so horrifying the effects ripple long after the poor girl is dead...

Okay, so that doesn't even begin to cover what happens in this novella. It's the tip of the iceberg. A tiny percentage of what really happens. Except, most of the awful and terrifying stuff happens off the page because the narration of this book jumps from one person to another. Tumbles from one person's retelling of an account they witnessed, or a strange tale someone else told them. Features memoir snippets and letters, a variety of ways to patch together a dark mystery.

This really is a story within a story, inside a bunch of other stories, tying back to the original one Mr. Clarke introduced about Dr. Raymond and Mary. It's nightmarish and takes root inside your brain. It's surreal and teases with enough imagery for the reader to imagine what isn't shown.

And that might be my only real problem with this story. I REALLY enjoyed it, was hooked instantly and the writing style put everything together well. But sometimes it also dragged a bit and I wanted more actual showing. I needed to know more--so much more--about Helen. Wanted to see things through her POV, because what she was/did turned out to be pretty effed up.

So yeah, this is a great horror novella that does a great job at keeping the dark mystery alive, and keeps the suspense the whole way through. I just felt it was missing something, which is why I didn't give it 5 stars.

I didn't find it scary, but it was definitely freaky, and worth checking out.

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