Machen's novella The Great God Pan is often cited as one of Lovecraft's most notable influences. In it, Dr. Raymond's ultimate goal is to devise a way to open the mind of man so that he may experience all the world has to offer. He calls this "seeing the great god Pan". After much study of the human mind, he devises an experiment that involves minor brain surgery. He performs this experiment on a young woman named Mary, but when she awakens she is terrified and mentally crippled. Years later another woman, the beautiful but sinister-looking Helen Vaughan, is reported to have caused a series of mysterious happenings in a small, nameless town....
Public Domain (P)2016 Lamp of Trismegistus
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this story reminds me of a much HP Lovecraft story except you don't need a dictionary to read it haha. I love the horror genre and this is one of the classic motivational stories of some the great authors of our time. definitely a must listen even if it is for that sake only.
"The Root of Lovecraft"
Highly recommended for anyone who loves the mythos of HP Lovecraft and would like to see where it all began. The narration was also a virtuoso performance and easily the best I've ever heard.
"A good but antiquated horror story"
After listening to The Exorcist I wanted to pick up some more horror stories, and I had a gap in between Audible's monthly tokens. So seeing as how this was less than 5 dollars I figured it would be a good filler in-between larger books.
I'd heard of The Great God Pan before because it's often referenced as an influence for both Lovecraft and Stephen King. However, I didn't know anything else about it besides that going into it.
It's short and honestly there's not much of a story here. Despite it being a staple of horror writing I didn't really find it all that frightening with a couple exceptions. The opening scene of the story definitely gives off a very creepy vibe, and there's a couple other moments in the story that give off an unsettling feeling.
I know that at the time this was written it was considered grotesque, but by modern standards it's incredibly tame. Most of the time the horror aspects don't come from descriptions of unsettling scenes, but rather from describing the feelings and sensations that the characters experience. Also, I find it funny that so much of the writing from this time leads me to believe that every important decision ever made in England is just a bunch of snooty gentlemen sitting in a club smoking, and everyone needs alcohol to restore themselves after a fainting spell.
Overall though, it drags on in the middle, but maybe I'm just judging it from my media-addled ADHD modern sensibilities. The beginning of the story is very cool and creepy and the story wraps up at the end in a satisfying way.
Another thing about this recording though, is that I just don't like Shea Taylor as a narrator. He fits certain characters very well, but he has a very feminine voice and I didn't find it suited to a horror story at all. It really ruined much of the book for me.
This is one story, that although I feel like I got my money's worth, I might have enjoyed it more reading it on paper rather than listening to the audio.
"Surprisingly Good Narration on a Classic Story!"
I'm a big fan of this story, and purchased this audiobook during one of the many Audible sales. When I first started listening to it, I thought that the narrator was going to be awful! I am very glad I persevered because boy was he awesome! He does excellent voices for the characters, and overall Shea Taylor blew me away with his performance. Don't hesitate to pick this one up!
"Ahead of its time"
Decent though occasionally off-putting performance...the reader really shouldn't attempt a British accent. Great story, with tension building throughout. A source of inspiration to horror writers over a century after its publication.
"Lovecraft's tales = slightly altered fanfic of Ma"
... -chen and MR James.
I am grateful that I have read Lovecraft, only in that it made me curious about Machen. Thank you for the fawning over Cthulhu and Company, Mr. Lovecraft. But Pan is the real hoofed deal.
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