Guide Songs of a Dead Dreamer (3rd Revised Edition)

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Songs of a Dead Dreamer by Thomas Ligotti, First Edition

Visit Our Stores. They really just don't design books the way they used to Staff Pick It takes something special to truly unsettle me, but Thomas Ligotti does it effortlessly, again and again. He lulls you into a false sense of security with his languid pacing and eloquent prose.

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But there is no security to be found within these pages — only nightmares and an overwhelming sense of dread. These stories nest inside of you, so be prepared to be a host to madness.

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Recommended By Heather A. The release of this collection of Thomas Ligotti's first two story collections which have been chronically out of print for many years is an event not only for fans of Ligotti, but of weird fiction as a whole. Heralded as the premier voice of the Weird since H. Lovecraft, Ligotti writes nightmarish, off-kilter tales which are run-through with rich humor.

These tales are great to read again and again, because like any real nightmare, a profound disquiet remains even if the specifics ebb away. Thomas Ligotti, a reclusive author who rose to prominence and garnered a cult following in the s and 90s with these two short story collections, published together here by Penguin Classics.

Ligotti is noted for his portrayals of characters who are outsiders to ordinary life, depictions of otherworldly dimensions, and uniquely dark visions of human life.

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His work is often praised by critics for their richly inventive imagination and evocative prose. Ligotti's fiction, temporarily unhooked from the weird, is best understood as a continuing interrogation of the legitimacy of our modern lives.

The works of Edgar Allan Poe and H. Lovecraft, to name the most prominent influential authors.

Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe

Songs and Grimscribe , as mentioned above, features mostly outcasts, miscreants, misers, and hermits—i. VanderMeer notes similarities between Ligotti's fiction and the cinematic works of David Lynch, so just about anyone that director has ever cast would probably fit right in and, by the way, Lynch would probably have to direct any Ligotti adaptation.

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Allow me a full paragraph, if you will. But despite their gross palpability, there remained something spectral at the heart of our new dreams. It moved in shadow, a presence that was in the world of solid forms but not of it. Nor did it belong to any other world that could be named, unless it was to that realm which is suggested to us by an autumn night when fields lay ragged in moonlight and some wild spirit has entered into things, a great aberration sprouting forth from a chasm of moist and fertile shadows, a hollow-eyed howling malignity rising to present itself to the cold emptiness of space and the pale gaze of the moon.


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To call the fiction collected here "heady" is a gross understatement and a disservice to the psychological weight of Ligotti's narratives. VanderMeer notes similarities between Ligotti's fiction and the cinematic works of David Lynch, so just about anyone that director has ever cast would probably fit right in and, by the way, Lynch would probably have to direct any Ligotti adaptation. Allow me a full paragraph, if you will.

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But despite their gross palpability, there remained something spectral at the heart of our new dreams. It moved in shadow, a presence that was in the world of solid forms but not of it.

Nor did it belong to any other world that could be named, unless it was to that realm which is suggested to us by an autumn night when fields lay ragged in moonlight and some wild spirit has entered into things, a great aberration sprouting forth from a chasm of moist and fertile shadows, a hollow-eyed howling malignity rising to present itself to the cold emptiness of space and the pale gaze of the moon. To call the fiction collected here "heady" is a gross understatement and a disservice to the psychological weight of Ligotti's narratives.


  1. Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe by Thomas Ligotti | Penguin Random House Canada!
  2. The Horror of the Unknown: Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe by Thomas Ligotti!
  3. Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe.
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  5. Reading these tales, one easily assumes Ligotti is a mere transcriptionist for his nightmares, and even if truly so, he masters the art of crafting dreams into compelling fiction. But I think it more likely the man is an expert at mining the subconscious well during the waking hours, able to craft narratives that feel identical to the haunting nocturnal meanderings of our minds.

    Absent here are the histrionics of your typical horror tale, as Ligotti eschews jump scares and graphic violence for terror that creeps, slithers, seeps and roils, allowing him to touch upon broader topics of paranoia and madness in the process. Look elsewhere for breakneck plots and action over introspection— Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe: His Lives and Works are decidedly internal collections, concerned primarily with permanently unnerving its readers by methodically and organically unveiling senses of dread and supernatural obliqueness.

    Both are groundbreaking works and are must-reads for fans of cosmic horror. And yet, it is not only horror audiences myself included who can appreciate Thomas Ligotti, for he also displays magnificent literary sensibilities, his prose being of the sort that often demands numerous re-reads to fully savor its structural elegance and evocative, even sensuous delights.

    He is every bit as deserving of the critical praise lavished upon the likes of Joyce Carol Oates, William Gay, and even non-genre authors Jonathan Lethem and Haruki Murakami.