The King in Yellow

The King in Yellow

2.9 26
by Robert W. Chambers
     
 

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The King in Yellow is a book of short stories by American writer Robert W. Chambers, first published by F. Tennyson Neely in 1895. The book is named after a fictional play with the same title which recurs as a motif through some of the stories. The first half of the book features highly esteemed weird stories, and the book is described by S.T. Joshi as a classic in

Overview

The King in Yellow is a book of short stories by American writer Robert W. Chambers, first published by F. Tennyson Neely in 1895. The book is named after a fictional play with the same title which recurs as a motif through some of the stories. The first half of the book features highly esteemed weird stories, and the book is described by S.T. Joshi as a classic in the field of the supernatural. There are ten stories, the first four of which, "The Repairer of Reputations", "The Mask", "In the Court of the Dragon" and "The Yellow Sign", mention The King in Yellow, a forbidden play which induces despair or madness in those who read it. "The Yellow Sign" inspired a film of the same name released in 2001.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940149576135
Publisher:
Infinite Beacon Publishing
Publication date:
04/14/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
219 KB

Meet the Author

Robert was first educated at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, and then entered the Art Students' League at around the age of twenty, where the artist Charles Dana Gibson was his fellow student. Chambers studied at the École des Beaux-Arts, and at Académie Julian, in Paris from 1886 to 1893, and his work was displayed at the Salon as early as 1889. On his return to New York, he succeeded in selling his illustrations to Life, Truth, and Vogue magazines. Then, for reasons unclear, he devoted his time to writing, producing his first novel, In the Quarter (written in 1887 in Munich). His most famous, and perhaps most meritorious, effort is The King in Yellow, a collection of Art Nouveau short stories published in 1895. This included several famous weird short stories which are connected by the theme of a fictitious drama, The King in Yellow, which drives those who read it insane.[1] E. F. Bleiler described The King in Yellow as one of the most important works of American supernatural fiction.[2] It was also strongly admired by H.P. Lovecraft and his circle.

Chambers returned to the weird genre in his later short story collections The Maker of Moons, The Mystery of Choice and The Tree of Heaven, but none earned him as much success as The King in Yellow. Some of Chambers's work contains elements of science fiction, such as In Search of the Unknown and Police!!!, about a zoologist who encounters monsters.[3]

Chambers later turned to writing romantic fiction to earn a living. According to some estimates, Chambers had one of the most successful literary careers of his period, his later novels selling well and a handful achieving best-seller status. Many of his works were also serialized in magazines.

During World War I he wrote war adventure novels, and war stories, some of which showed a strong return to his old weird style, such as "Marooned" in Barbarians (1917). After 1924 he devoted himself solely to writing historical fiction.

Chambers for several years made Broadalbin, New York, his summer home. Some of his novels touch upon colonial life in Broadalbin and Johnstown.

On July 12, 1898, he married Elsa Vaughn Moller (1882–1939). They had a son, Robert Edward Stuart Chambers (who sometimes used the name Robert Husted Chambers).

Robert W. Chambers died on December 16, 1933, after having undergone intestinal surgery three days earlier.

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King in Yellow 2.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Overall I liked it. A collection of short stories, the first several of which have a common theme where the play The King in Yellow, which supposed has the power to drive it's readers mad, appears. The supernatural, science fiction and horror aspects I quite enjoyed. The last few didn't have that common theme. I liked the first stories better than the latter. Even though it was quite obvious where the stories were headed they were entertaining. I'm not sure if I've read some of them before or if those plots have been used in other stories/media. The last couple of stories revolved around late 19th century Paris and rather than any supernatural events they were more like romances. The Repairer of Reputations came out in 1895 but was set in 1920. The projections bothered me a little simply because I had to remind myself that it was written 25 years before it was set. Outside of the setting, the story is about a man recently released from a doctor's care who is under the impression he has a divine rite to rule America as King and seeks the assistance of a sick recluse who advertises he can influence reputations. 4 stars The Mask is the story of a sculptor who discovers the formula with the ability to turn living things into perfectly sculpted stone. This ends in tragedy for the sculptor and those around him. 5 stars In the Court of the Dragon involves the mental deterioration and hullucinations of a man in church in Paris. 3 stars The Yellow Sign surrounds an artist, the model he falls in love with and the creepy church yard guard. Of course it comes to a bad end. 4 stars The Demoiselle D'ys was my favorite of the stories involving a man who gets lost in the moors gets found by a pretty young woman out enjoying falconry. 5 stars The Prophets' Paradise was a series of little scenes that, quite frankly, didn't seem to have much of a narrative. It seemed more like just some random ramblings, stuff someone might write as an exercise to get started rather than something you would publish. 0 stars The Street of the Four Winds was a little short story of a man who befriends the cat of a neighbor, then follows it home. This was the last of the stories I actually liked. 4 stars. The Street of the First Shell took place in Paris during a siege by the Germans. I kept waiting for the supernatural twist but it never came. It was more of a romance than anything. The expectation may have influenced my enjoyment of this story somewhat. 2 Stars The Street of Our Lady of the Fields was a once again a romance, but done better than the previous story. Involving art students and the women they are involved with. 3 stars Rue Barree was another little romance story set in Paris involving some of the same characters of the previous story. I didn't enjoy this one as much as Our Lady of the Fields. 1 star The eBook was formatted well with no obvious errors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If Chambers had stuck with the horror genre all the way through instead of the tonal whiplash of switching to  war story and Bohemian romance schlock, this would have garnered at least three stars.  The Bohemian stories were such a slog to get through that I almost gave up on finishing, and I honestly can't remember the last time I  did that. If you MUST get this book, read the horror stories and ignore the rest.
hailrobonia More than 1 year ago
Lovecraft and the Call of Cthulhu corpus make many references to Chamber's "the King in Yellow", and this book is worth checking out. Not as overtly supernatural/pulp as Lovecraft's stories, this is still an interesting and creepy story of mysterious madness.
Steash More than 1 year ago
An excellent read if you like this genre. Not to be overlooked. Brilliantly creepy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Takes off well then falters and wobbles all over the plaxe.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Google scanned copy of expired copyright classic. First few paages are scanned, then the text begins. Unfortunately their ocr leaves a lot to be desired and the text is barely readable. Low rating for the file, not the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Missing pages.
Ryan Clouston More than 1 year ago
For whatever reason this copy would not download for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not a good version at all. Avoid.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not understand anything in this book! :-(