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Reading it made men go completely insane. One man demanded that he be made emperor of America, committed a vicious murder, and died in an asylum for the criminally insane. One went to his church in search of absolution but found a temple built to madness in its place. One woman teasingly read it against the wishes of her lover and died hours later; he was beaten by a man who had been dead for months and died before he could receive last rites. “The King in Yellow” – a play invented by Robert W. Chambers – drove men mad with its eldritch lore of black stars and cyclopean towers decades before Lovecraft’s “Necronomicon,” and Chambers’ allure continues today: he has influenced Stephen King and Neil Gaiman, been adapted by Derleth and the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game, and made appearances in HBO’s “True Detective” series.
Chambers’ supernatural fiction was not limited to “The King in Yellow,” however, and here you will find mystical stories of dying men’s fantasies, parallel dimensions, murder mysteries, love affairs with the dead, an amphibious gill man (who inspired Lovecraft’s “Innsmouth” folk and the Creature from the Black Lagoon), the skeletal ghost of a satanic priest, drowned corpses roaming New York parks, the resurrection of an ancient Egyptian dancer, and hooded ferrymen who lure you onto the river during blizzards. His universe is one of depravity, madness, and oblivion. It is the kingdom of the King in Yellow.
TALES INCLUDED in this ANNOTATED EDITION:
The Repairer of Reputations | The Mask | In the Court of the Dragon | The Yellow Sign
The Prophets' Paradise | The Maker of Moons | The Harbor-Master | The Key to Grief
The Messenger | The Tomb of Samaris | The Purple Emperor | A Pleasant Evening
The Bridal Pair | Passeur | Demoiselle D'Ys