Review: The Great God Pan

The Great God Pan
The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I heard about this novel some time ago, but for some reason it slipped my mind and it wasn’t until recently that I stumbled upon it.

As far as horror stories go, it is aged, there can be no denying it, but if you are to read it and cast yourself into not just the world of the story, but the thinking at the time, ir is a creepy story, and a tale as good as anything written today.

There was a surge of PAN related stories written around the turn of the nineteenth century, but this one in particular was good enough to inspire the great HP Lovecraft, and having read it, I can understand why.

There is something dark and sinister in the tale, every word, every decadent description of the lavishes of life hold behind them a sense of ominous foreboding.

The story plays on the mind, it builds suspense, and goes to show that you do not need blood and gore to scare people. In fact, it goes so far as to say that no real monster is needed, not until then end, but rather a mere glance at the victims is enough to set the mind racing with fear.

One thing that struck me most, and which I love about the older writings, is the rich flow and quality to the sentences. Some of which would scroll on for lines and lines of text, proving that with correct punctuation, real language can be allowed to ramble, and express itself in any form seen fit.

I will certainly be re-visiting this little tale, and feel myself oddly inspired to write some form of homage to it. Let us see how that pans out (pun fully intended. 😛 )

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3 thoughts on “Review: The Great God Pan

  1. I had reviewed The Great God Pan some time ago (click on book reviews on my page) and found the writing style to be elegant at times and overbearing at other times. However, I do like the older style of writing. I prefer wordsmiths to the modern, common and (to me) blasé novel writing of today. Most of what I read is from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I have also reviewed White People (and other stories) from Machen. There was definitely an undercurrent of fear about overt female sexuality in ‘Pan’. It was written delicately but probably caused a stir in its time.

    1. I have not read as much from that time as I would like. I agre the Great God Pan was definiately making a statement about sexually assertive women. Thanks for commenting, it is most appreciated.

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