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The King in Yellow

Robert W. Chambers

Book Overview: 

A collection of short stories which have an eerie, other-worldly feel to it; but the stories in the second half are essentially love stories, strongly colored by the author’s life as an artist in France.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I want to experiment on something large," he replied.

"On me, for instance?"

"Ah! that came too close for jesting; but I do want to watch the action of that solution on a more highly organized living body; there is that big white rabbit," he said, following me into the studio.

Jack Scott, wearing a paint-stained jacket, came wandering in, appropriated all the Oriental sweetmeats he could lay his hands on, looted the cigarette case, and finally he and Boris disappeared together to visit the Luxembourg Gallery, where a new silver bronze by Rodin and a landscape of Monet's were claiming the exclusive attention of artistic France. I went back to the studio, and resumed my work. It was a Renaissance screen, which Boris wanted me to paint for Geneviève's boudoir. But the small boy who was unwillingly dawdling through a series of poses for it, to-day refused all bribes to be good. He never rested an instant in th. . . Read More

Community Reviews

- The Repairer of Reputations
A re-read.
This story is wonderfully weird - and disturbing on several levels.
Set in a future 1920, the world has made several steps toward peace and stability. (I'm not sure I like them, and I'm also not so sure the author does, either.) The introductory segment drags o

I finished reading The King In Yellow and I'm feeling pretty good about myself. I feel satisfied that I've finally read this horror classic and I feel somewhat enlightened about the HBO show True Detective.

The KiY consists of a total of 8 stories. 4 horror, 1 ghost, 1 war and two romance-y type tal

Re-read 10/23/20:

I'm not going to write a normal review for these stories, even as a re-read. Instead, I'll just mention how they've already put themselves in our lives.

Ideas have a life of their own. Little hints and vague mutterings can grow into huge monstrosities. From Ambrose Bierce, the autho

Outside of Poe and Lovecraft, "The Yellow Sign" may be the most influential horror story ever written. It is the bridge between Gothic, Decadent, and Modern in horror. Unfortunately Chambers killed a lot of other trees. One of the most popular authors of his time, he is almost forgotten except for t

This is a book collecting the short stories that inspired such big literary figures as H.P. Lovecraft. Yes, the stories are old(er) - the author lived from 1865 until 1933 - and thus present a different kind than most modern audiences are used to. That, however, doesn't mean they can't creep you out

Dangerous Reading

Alternating between fin de siècle New York and Paris, many (but not the majority) of these stories allude to another manuscript which is not present, the eponymous The King in Yellow. The experience is one of reading the second half of Cervantes’s Don Quixote but knowing the first h

The first four stories were flowing pieces of cosmic horror adrift in a futuristic 1920s. If not for the latter half of the book becoming more of a drama, I would have given this five stars.

I might write a short review for each of the stories I enjoyed the most. But time exists, unfortunately.


5 Stars for the wonderful opening story "The Repairer of Reputations".

although i wonder if 'wonderful' is the correct word. after all, this is a story that opens with a bizarre, sometimes dire alterna-history leading up to a 1920s America where on-lookers gather to contemplate terminally dispi

3.5 Stars

Back in 2014 when I was still in college, My friends and I sat down and decided to watch a brand new detective TV show airing on HBO. There were two detectives and ritual murders, two timelines and unknown mysteries. By the time I finished watching a few episodes, I knew I was witnessing on

This is a collection of short stories from an American writer who is not widely known these days. He is also credited with having influenced some horror writers including H.P. Lovecraft.

This collection mentions horror in its title; this is misleading as only first four stories can be qualified for

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