The King in Yellow

The King in Yellow

by Robert W. Chambers

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Overview

Ten twisted tales that have haunted generations of readers and writers from H. P. Lovecraft to the creators of the hit TV series True Detective

Nightmare imagery courses through these stories like blood through the veins. In “The Repairer of Reputations,” a Lethal Chamber stands at the edge of Washington Square Park, open to all who can no longer bear the sorrows of life. A Parisian sculptor discovers a liquid solution that can turn any living thing—a lily, a goldfish, a love-struck young woman—to stone in “The Mask.” The unnamed narrator of “In the Court of the Dragon” seeks respite in a church only to be driven mad by organ music that no one else can hear.

Nothing is stranger or more frightening, however, than The King in Yellow, the play that links these tales to one another and to a larger fictional universe containing the ghost stories of Ambrose Bierce, the cosmic horror of H. P. Lovecraft, and the first season of the critically acclaimed HBO series True Detective. Said to induce insanity and despair in those who read it, little is known for certain about the play beyond the ravings of those who have dared to open its pages. They speak of Carcosa, where black stars hang in the heavens. Of twin suns sinking into the Lake of Hali. Of the Yellow Sign and the Pallid Mask. And, in dread-filled whispers or lunatic shouts, of the King in Yellow himself, come to rule the world.

A masterpiece of weird fiction, Robert W. Chambers’s The King in Yellow holds the answer to countless mysteries—some of which might just be better left unsolved.

This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781497603714
Publisher: Open Road Media
Publication date: 03/18/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 204
Sales rank: 62,647
File size: 544 KB

About the Author

Robert W. Chambers (1865–1933) was an American author and painter best known for his short story collection The King in Yellow (1895). Born in Brooklyn, Chambers studied art in Paris and was a professional illustrator before he turned to writing. In addition to The King in Yellow, his supernatural tales include The Maker of Moons (1896) and The Mystery of Choice (1897). Later in his career, Chambers wrote bestselling romances and historical novels. 

Table of Contents

Contents

The Repairer of Reputations,
The Mask,
In the Court of the Dragon,
The Yellow Sign,
The Demoiselle D'ys,
The Prophets' Paradise,
The Street of the Four Winds,
The Street of the First Shell,
The Street of Our Lady of the Fields,
Rue Barrée,

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King in Yellow 2.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Overall I liked it. A collection of short stories, the first several of which have a common theme where the play The King in Yellow, which supposed has the power to drive it's readers mad, appears. The supernatural, science fiction and horror aspects I quite enjoyed. The last few didn't have that common theme. I liked the first stories better than the latter. Even though it was quite obvious where the stories were headed they were entertaining. I'm not sure if I've read some of them before or if those plots have been used in other stories/media. The last couple of stories revolved around late 19th century Paris and rather than any supernatural events they were more like romances. The Repairer of Reputations came out in 1895 but was set in 1920. The projections bothered me a little simply because I had to remind myself that it was written 25 years before it was set. Outside of the setting, the story is about a man recently released from a doctor's care who is under the impression he has a divine rite to rule America as King and seeks the assistance of a sick recluse who advertises he can influence reputations. 4 stars The Mask is the story of a sculptor who discovers the formula with the ability to turn living things into perfectly sculpted stone. This ends in tragedy for the sculptor and those around him. 5 stars In the Court of the Dragon involves the mental deterioration and hullucinations of a man in church in Paris. 3 stars The Yellow Sign surrounds an artist, the model he falls in love with and the creepy church yard guard. Of course it comes to a bad end. 4 stars The Demoiselle D'ys was my favorite of the stories involving a man who gets lost in the moors gets found by a pretty young woman out enjoying falconry. 5 stars The Prophets' Paradise was a series of little scenes that, quite frankly, didn't seem to have much of a narrative. It seemed more like just some random ramblings, stuff someone might write as an exercise to get started rather than something you would publish. 0 stars The Street of the Four Winds was a little short story of a man who befriends the cat of a neighbor, then follows it home. This was the last of the stories I actually liked. 4 stars. The Street of the First Shell took place in Paris during a siege by the Germans. I kept waiting for the supernatural twist but it never came. It was more of a romance than anything. The expectation may have influenced my enjoyment of this story somewhat. 2 Stars The Street of Our Lady of the Fields was a once again a romance, but done better than the previous story. Involving art students and the women they are involved with. 3 stars Rue Barree was another little romance story set in Paris involving some of the same characters of the previous story. I didn't enjoy this one as much as Our Lady of the Fields. 1 star The eBook was formatted well with no obvious errors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If Chambers had stuck with the horror genre all the way through instead of the tonal whiplash of switching to  war story and Bohemian romance schlock, this would have garnered at least three stars.  The Bohemian stories were such a slog to get through that I almost gave up on finishing, and I honestly can't remember the last time I  did that. If you MUST get this book, read the horror stories and ignore the rest.
hailrobonia More than 1 year ago
Lovecraft and the Call of Cthulhu corpus make many references to Chamber's "the King in Yellow", and this book is worth checking out. Not as overtly supernatural/pulp as Lovecraft's stories, this is still an interesting and creepy story of mysterious madness.
Steash More than 1 year ago
An excellent read if you like this genre. Not to be overlooked. Brilliantly creepy
devenish on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
You would be well advised to treat the short stories in this collection as two distinct sets,plus a one-off .The first set of six are excellent tales of horror and the supernatural,connected by a manuscript known as 'The King in Yellow'. All who read it are affected by it in terrible ways,often driven mad and suffering strange delusions. I would recommend these to anyone who favours the writings of Poe,Lovecraft or Bierce ,as you will find many similarities between them.The 'one-off' is a short piece called 'The Prophet's Paradise',and consists of eight fragments of prose,which frankly I could make little sense of. The most I can say is that they reminded me somewhat of the works of Oscar Wilde.The final three stories are very different from the rest,in that I suppose you would term them as historical romances. They seemed to take a long time to get nowhere and were personally of little interest to me.The book is well worth reading however for the six early stories,which although extremely strange,are nevertheless fine additions to the horror genre.
veilofisis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
`It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living god.¿The King in Yellow is a book containing nine short stories, four of which are interrelated (and the subject of this review); they are, `The Repairer of Reputations,¿ `The Mask,¿ `In the Court of the Dragon,¿ and `The Yellow Sign.¿ The remaining five stories are (somewhat bizarrely) romances of a Francophile sort that are stale and wooden and worth very little of one¿s time. The four stories mentioned above¿the King in Yellow cycle, proper¿are some of the most astoundingly original pieces of short fiction in all of American literature.A profound influence on the work of Lovecraft and other `mythos¿ writers of the early 20th Century, The King in Yellow begins with one of the most elemental of Gothic premises: a book that poisons. The King in Yellow, you see, is actually not a collection of stories at all; it is a play within a collection of stories¿a play entirely denounced by both pulpit and press: a play capable of opening the mind to truths of such wicked import that to look upon them once is to look upon the face of madness; and this play trickles through the skeleton of each narrative in the King in Yellow cycle: a constant and sweetly sinister miasma that corrupts body, mind, and the very ethers of soul and sanity.Through a quartet of stories, Robert W. Chambers¿a man of remarkable, if briefly employed, vision¿sustains a sense of dread only occasionally matched by the great talents he would inspire several decades later. Written in the fin de siècle period and gently touched by the influences of Bierce, Wilde, and Machen, Chambers¿ near-revolutionary breed of cosmic terror is so bleak, atmospheric, and saturated with the cloak of doom that to dip into The King in Yellow is almost to taste the madness described therein; it is one of the most relentlessly disturbing works of fiction I have ever encountered. The fevered descent that Chambers has titled `The Repairer of Reputations¿ is the most successful story in the cycle and opens it, establishing its necessary mythology and tone; in many ways it simultaneously foreshadows not only the horror work of Lovecraft and his ilk, but also the dystopian nightmares of Orwell and Huxley (and, in fact, the vision that reverberates throughout the entire King in Yellow cycle actually startles with its prophecy, as if the reader himself had fallen into the same insidious hypnosis that the play described therein is reputed to induce). The opening story is a brilliant piece of fiction in and of itself, with subtle hints throughout the tale suggesting its jarring and brutally ambiguous ending early on (but to describe any more would rob the story of its impact, so I¿ll digress).The remainder of the cycle picks up where `The Repairer of Reputations¿ leaves off, examining situations that occasionally make subtle reference to each other without ever explicitly crossing-over. `The Mask,¿ which is the most accessible of the quartet, echoes Wilde with more insistence; `In the Court of the Dragon¿ is terrifying and otherworldly stuff that waxes more sinister each time one returns to it. The closing story of the cycle, `The Yellow Sign,¿ is the most popular with anthologists and was the most influential on later authors; it is one of the grimmest, most thoroughly desolate pieces of fiction I have ever read. Chambers¿ prolific literary output has largely been forgotten (excepting this, his masterpiece): and perhaps this is rightly so, given most of his work¿s insipid, commercial triviality. The menace he nourishes to such `notable heights of cosmic fear¿ (to quote Lovecraft¿s Supernatural Horror in Literature) is largely missing from his other work (which can be sampled in several of the later, unrelated stories in The King in Yellow). But The King in Yellow is enough: there are so few works of such visionary ge
cmbohn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A couple of good stories. I especially liked the creepy first book, but the rest were just s-so. I understand this is a classic of the horror genre, but I didn't enjoy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every two pages or so you'll find a miss-scanned word. I found two non-words in the first story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Takes off well then falters and wobbles all over the plaxe.
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Google scanned copy of expired copyright classic. First few paages are scanned, then the text begins. Unfortunately their ocr leaves a lot to be desired and the text is barely readable. Low rating for the file, not the book.