Saturday 12 March 2011

The Man Who Collected Machen

Received my copy of  Mark Samuels' latest collection in the post this morning from The Book Depository. And a very handsome looking paperback it is. I've already read the first two stories, Losenef Express and the title story. The first is a bizarrely nightmarish tale about an American horror writer who bears so many uncanny resemblances to the late, lovely Karl Edward Wagner. I'm sure he would have been tickled by this story, even though the writer has some unpleasant traits and a far from pleasant fate!  The Man Who Collected Machen isn't a bit like I expected, having already read Robert Bloch's The Man Who Collected Poe and Kim Newman's The Man Who Collected Barker. This is totally different to either, clever, witty and betraying an astonishing knowledge of Machen's literary output, particularly his scarcer, far less well know material - not surprising considering that Mark is Secretary of the Friends of Arthur Machen! I place this tale alongside The White Hands as my two favourite Samuels stories so far.

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