Book Review: The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen

great god pan

THE GREAT GOD PAN BY ARTHUR MACHEN

PROJECT GUTENBERG (E-BOOK), 2008, FIRST PUBLISHED IN 1894

57 PAGES 

THIS WAS A FREE E-BOOK FROM HTTP://WWW.GUTENBERG.ORG/EBOOKS/389  

BLURB FROM THE COVER

A terrifying tale about the god of wild places.

The Great God Pan is a novella written by Arthur Machen. On publication it was widely denounced by the press as degenerate and horrific because of its decadent style and sexual content, although it has since garnered a reputation as a classic of horror. Machen’s story was only one of many at the time to focus on Pan as a useful symbol for the power of nature and paganism.

EXTRACT 

1: THE EXPERIMENT

‘I am glad you came, Clarke, very glad indeed. I was not sure you could spare the time’.

‘I was able to make arrangements for a few days; things are not very lively just now. But have you no misgivings, Raymond? Is it absolutely safe?’

The two men were slowly pacing the terrace in front of Dr. Raymond’s house. The sun still hung above the western mountain-line, but it shone with a dull grey glow that cast no shadows, and all the air was quiet; a sweet breath came from the great wood on the hillside above, and with it, at intervals, the soft murmuring call of the wild doves. Below, in the long lovely valley, the river wound in and out between the lonely hills, and, as the sun hovered and vanished into the west, a faint west, pure white, began to rise from the hills. Dr. Raymond turned sharply to his friend.

REVIEW

I really enjoyed The Great God Pan. Given the fact this created quite a scandal when it was originally published, Machen’s novella is a bit tamer than I expected. I found The Great God Pan quite chilling in places and disturbing. The Great God Pan opens with a bang with a mad man experimenting on an innocent woman by cutting into her brain to open a channel to the ‘other side’. The opening section, The Experiment ends in such a way you need to read on. I didn’t really find The Great God Pan explicit or sexual. Maybe I blinked and missed that part. The Great God Pan is well written, chilling and disturbing and revelation after revelation caused my jaw to hit off the floor. The Great God Pan is a great read but not for the faint hearted.

RATING

4 STAR RATING

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