Book Review – The King in Yellow

Okay, I started my Autumn TBR a little early since, technically, Autumn doesn’t begin until the 22nd. But, that’s okay because I just finished a 900 page book this week and really needed a quick one to reset my reading pace. The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers has been on my TBR shelf for a few months, so I’m glad I finally got a chance to read it. I’m a huge Lovecraftian fan and had been told by many fellow readers to check this one out. I was not disappointed! This one hit the weird vibes just right.

It’s a ruinous play that brings nothing but despair and misery to anyone who reads the second act. The King in Yellow flits along in the shadows, finding its unsuspecting victims, driving them to insanity as they read the pages within.

The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers is a small book which contains four tales within its cursed binding. Since it’s release in 1895, it has gathered a devout following and inspired such talented writers as HP Lovecraft. It is filled with the macabre, the weird, and the unsettling.

The four tales of the mysterious are:

The Repairer of Reputations – A man recently released from an insane asylum consults with the “repairer of reputations”. Both are obsessed with the play “The King in Yellow”, and both happen to be insane from reading it.

The Mask – A sculptor discovers a new way to turn organic things into stone-like statues. After discovering “The King in Yellow” though, things go wrong and the unthinkable and unbelievable occurs.

In the Court of the Dragon – A church attendee who has been reading “The King in Yellow” becomes suspicious of the church organist. He is sure that he’s after his soul and linked to the odd play.

The Yellow Sign – An artist and his model have strange dreams featuring a man who seems to be stalking them. After reading “The King in Yellow” both fall in to disaster and insanity with no happy outcome for either.

The King in Yellow was a great, weird read. I give it 4 out of 5 rating, only marked down because I wish there had been more (the stories seemed too short). I highly recommend if you are into Lovecraftian tales and will read these again.

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