A Season in Carcosa (The King in Yellow Anthology #4) ★★★★✬

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Title: A Season in Carcosa
Series: The King in Yellow Anthology #4
Editor: Joseph Pulver
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Cosmic Horror
Pages: 268
Words: 100K



Synopsis:

Table of Contents

This Yellow Madness (introduction) by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.

My Voice is Dead by Joel Lane

Beyond The Banks of the River Seine by Simon Strantzas

Movie Night at Phil’s by Don Webb

MS Found in a Chicago Hotel Room by Daniel Mills

it sees me when I’m not looking by Gary McMahon

Finale, Act Two by Ann K. Schwader

Yellow Bird Strings by Cate Gardner

The Theatre & Its Double by Edward Morris

The Hymn of the Hyades by Richard Gavin

Slick Black Bones and Soft Black Stars by Gemma Files

Not Enough Hope by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr

Whose Hearts are Pure Gold by Kristin Prevallet

April Dawn by Richard A. Lupoff

King Wolf by Anna Tambour

The White-Face At Dawn by Michael Kelly

Wishing Well by Cody Goodfellow

Sweetums by John Langan

The King Is Yellow by Pearce Hansen

D T by Laird Barron

Salvation In Yellow by Robin Spriggs

The Beat Hotel by Allyson Bird

My Thoughts:

My goodness, these anthologies are going up and down for me like a teetertotter! When they are good, they are REALLY GOOD and when it’s bad, it’s so bad I can’t finish them. Thankfully, this was on the upper part of the seesaw.

I went into this a bit worried since Pulver was the editor and I absolutely hated the previous book which was edited and written by him. Thankfully, he only contributed a small part of this. I did realize that I don’t like his writing, period though. There were 1 or 2 poems, which did nothing for me. But Pulver’s story was the only real let down. Not surprising but it’s what kept this from a full 5star.

But most of the other stories were flipping fantastic if you dig cosmic horror. From slides into madness and horror to the unveiling of horrific powers, these ran the gamut from shiver your backbone to a chill of deliciousness running down your spine to the completely inexplicably weird.

I really can’t say that any of these were “better” than the others, but the 2 I do remember are Yellow Bird Strings and Wishing Well. YBS was about a former puppeteer who by the end of the story has become the puppet himself. It was hard to tell if he was going mad or if it was all real. Exactly the right tone for a King in Yellow Story. WW on the other hand, had real IT (by Stephen King) vibes with 2 storylines about kids and them now as adults. A twisted tv show created by a cult of the KIY was the focus and the ending where the main character who appears to be a loser the whole time is revealed to be the son of the King in Yellow, or something like that. It was deliciously spine tingling.

Another absolute winner of a read and I’m pretty happy. These books are definitely not for everyone, in fact I’d say that the majority of readers wouldn’t go for The King in Yellow, but they fit me like a glove, so I’m going to revel in them while I can.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The King in Yellow Tales ★☆☆☆☆ DNF@50%

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: The King in Yellow Tales
Series: The King in Yellow Anthology #3
Editor: Joseph Pulver
Rating: 1 of 5 Stars
Genre: Cosmic Horror
Pages: 249 DNF/125
Words: 77.5K DNF/39K



Synopsis:

From the Publisher

Collected within this substantial volume of madness, murder, and spectral tragedy are tales of Carcosa, the characters that inhabit the KIY “Play”, and Chambers’ cosmic horror. Pulver’s tales adhere to Chambers’ core ideas and themes, and they retain all the mystery of Chambers originals. Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. has been acclaimed by many notable editors, writers, and reviewers, as the contemporary heir to Robert W. Chambers’ “King in Yellow”. Have you seen the Yellow Sign?

“‘The King In Yellow’ reigns over the labyrinthine crossroads between the grand indifference of the cosmic Outside, and the inner wasteland of the tormented mind, so it’s no surprise to find Joe Pulver’s saturnine face so frequently behind the Pallid Mask. Joe plies the fathomless depths of existential nightmare breathing music and poetry, and brings back strangely beautiful salvage. That he has so lovingly and deeply explored Chambers’ bizarre pocket universe without destroying the merest scintilla of its mystery is ample testament to his painfully sharp craftsmanship and terrible wisdom.

My Thoughts:

It turns out this was a collection of madness in the form of frenetic poetry and fragments of prose. I thought I could make it through, surviving on the prose but at the 50% mark I simply couldn’t take any more.

I was bored, confused and feeling like someone was grinding broken glass into my earlobes. Not the feeling I want when reading a book. Heck, not the feeling I want, ever.

After the previous book, this was doubly disappointing.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

In the Court of the Yellow King ★★★★✬

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Title: In the Court of the Yellow King
Series: The King in Yellow Anthology #2
Editor: Glynn Barrass
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Cosmic Horror
Pages: 289
Words: 99.5K



Synopsis:

Table of Contents

These Harpies of Carcosa — W. H. Pugmire

The Viking in Yellow — Christine Morgan

Who Killed the King of Rock and Roll? — Edward Morris

Masque of the Queen — Stephen Mark Rainey

Grand Theft Hovercar — Jeffrey Thomas

The Girl with the Star-Stained Soul — Lucy A. Snyder

The Penumbra of Exquisite Foulness — Tim Curran

Yield — C. J. Henderson

Homeopathy — Greg Stolze

Bedlam in Yellow — William Meikle

A Jaundiced Light at the End — Brian M. Sammons

The Yellow Film — Gary McMahon

Lights Fade — Laurel Halbany

Future Imperfect — Glynn Owen Barrass

The Mask of the Yellow Death — Robert M. Price

The Sepia Prints — Pete Rawlik

Nigredo — Cody Goodfellow

MonoChrome — T. E. Grau

My Thoughts:

In the fantasy Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, there is a power called Saidin and Saidir. One half can be used by males and the other half by females. The male half, Saidin, was tainted by the Dark One thousands of years before the series starts. The main character, Rand, can use Saidin but is affected by the taint. He describes the experience as wrestling with fire and ice that is covered with a putrid oil. He never feels more alive than when using Saidin but the taint makes him sick and drives him insane.

That is how these two Cosmic Horror Series (Cthulhu & King in Yellow) seem to be affecting me.

I couldn’t stop reading this. The stories dragged along relentlessly. I felt like I had jumped into a river and that it turned out to be way more powerful than anticipated. There were times I was in the center, speeding along, but then there were times when the stories pushed me into the banks or slammed me into hidden rocks beneath the surface. By the end of this I felt battered, emotionally and spiritually. Yet I had never felt so alive either.

It was an extremely disturbing dichotomic feeling. I had to stop and really ask myself if I was capable of reading more of this stuff. While I acknowledge that I have changed over the years, is the change engendered by reading stories like these the kind I want to voluntarily submit to? Whether I like to admit it or not, what we put into our minds does affect us.

Thankfully I don’t have to make that decision right away. I’ve got another month before I cycle back to this cosmic horror duology.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The King in Yellow and Other Horror Stories ★★★☆☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission


Title: The King in Yellow and Other Horror Stories
Series: ———-
Author: Richard Chambers
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Horror (kind of)
Pages: 177
Words: 72K



Synopsis:

Consisting of the following short stories:

The Repairer of Reputations

The Mask

In the Court of the Dragon

The Yellow Sign

The Demoiselle d’Ys

The Prophet’s Paradise

The Street of the Four Winds

The Street of the First Shell

The Street of Our Lady of the Fields

Rue Barrée

My Thoughts:

The author of this collection states outright in the introduction that only the first 6 stories are truly related to the subject of the King in Yellow and that the rest of the stories are just romances about young people in some frenchified town. I was extremely thankful for that warning. It helped me finish the book instead of DNF’ing it.

I must say that I really enjoyed the stories that dealt with the story of the King in Yellow, however tangentially. Madness and weirdness, insanity and the supernatural, all mixed together without quite being able to tell which was which. It really hit my literary tastebuds and was delicious. If any of you have any suggestions for more King in Yellow reading, please drop me a line in the comments.

The romances on the other hand, were what dragged this down to a 3star read. They weren’t terrible like a Georgette Heyer romance, but neither were they anything near an Austen romance. They were mediocre stories about young people being all hormone’y and young people’ish. If that’s your thing, then have at it and enjoy.

I wish there was a site called TheKinginYellow.com where it listed all the books or stories associated so I could simply go down a list. By the by, I checked and some scumbag is holding onto that domain, trying to sell it for over $3000. I hope he goes mad. Anyway, it doesn’t seem that TKIY has the same fanbase and mythology as say Lovecraft, which means fanfics won’t be as extensive. Oh well.

Rating: 3 out of 5.