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Shelves: horror , audiobook , horror-classic , gothic , , weird-and-new-weird I am a big fan of Horror, including the classics, but I feel like massive POSER having just now experienced for the first time Algernon Blackwoods inspiring novella of otherworldly dread. This is simply such a superbly crafted tale that it is not hard to see why H. Lovecraft whose work I love called this the best supernatural tale in the English language. As HPL himself put it: Here art and restraint in narrative reach their very highest development, and an impression of lasting poignancy is produced without a single strained passage or a single false note. Um, uh
Plot summary[ edit ] Two friends are midway on a canoe trip down the River Danube. Throughout the story, Blackwood personifies the surrounding environment —river, sun, wind— with powerful and ultimately threatening characteristics. Most ominous are the masses of dense, desultory, menacing willows , which "moved of their own will as though alive, and they touched, by some incalculable method, my own keen sense of the horrible. Blackwood also specifically characterizes the silvery, windblown willows as sinister: And, apart quite from the elements, the willows connected themselves subtly with my malaise, attacking the mind insidiously somehow by reason of their vast numbers, and contriving in some way or other to represent to the imagination a new and mighty power, a power, moreover, not altogether friendly to us. At one point, the two men see a traveler in his "flat-bottomed boat".
The Willows (story)
His father was a Post Office administrator who, according to Peter Penzoldt, "though not devoid of genuine good-heartedness, had appallingly narrow religious ideas. In his late thirties, he moved back to England and started to write stories of the supernatural. He was very successful, writing at least ten original collections of short stories and eventually appearing on both radio and television to tell them. He was an avid lover of nature and the outdoors, and many of his stories reflect this. English writer of ghost stories and supernatural fiction, of whom Lovecraft wrote: "He is the one absolute and unquestioned master of weird atmosphere. Among his thirty-odd books, Blackwood wrote a series of stories and short novels published as John Silence, Physician Extraordinary , which featured a "psychic detective" who combined the skills of a Sherlock Holmes and a psychic medium. Blackwood also wrote light fantasy and juvenile books.