The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
I quite liked this story by Arthur Machen. I liked the air of mystery, but harrowing menace he created. Apparently the doctor's experiments in piercing the veil had some very bad effects. There was a subtle element of dark sexuality in this story, handled very elegantly. I like that much is left for the reader to discern in this story. Many of those people who see what should have been left hidden don't live long afterward, and I was encouraged to draw my own conclusions about that horror they were exposed to.
I think that Mr. Machen will make fans of weird fiction very happy with this story. There's enough description to get the mind going, but at the same time, it's done discreetly. He seems to tap into a bit of Greek mythology, yet takes the story in a novel direction. He hints at the dark, depraved, and sinister, but never sways from a cultured, refined tone. Unlike Lovecraft, Machen doesn't go for an overdramatic, hysterical tone. No, he stays discreet, but I still felt the hairs on the back of my arm raise and I wondered what those poor people had seen that drove them to the edge of madness and beyond. Even so, I still felt I had some questions about the nature of evil as revealed by this story. Not enough to see "The Great God Pan" for myself though!
The Great God Pan might not appeal to all tastes, but I found it a worthy read for fans of classic horror and weird fiction done in a very refined, dreamy manner.
Overall rating: 4.5/5.0 stars.
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