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The Hill of Dreams by Arthur Machen

The Hill of Dreams (1907)

by Arthur Machen

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
263364,228 (3.9)21
  1. 00
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    Nialle: Young, emotionally complex, imaginative narrators in isolated situations - have something going on that the reader only glimpses before the big reveal
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    Michael.Rimmer: Both feature a protagonist immersed in an other-world superimposed upon the "real" world.
  4. 00
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» See also 21 mentions

Showing 3 of 3
Machen is generally considered a major figure in early horror/fantasy writing, but I did not care for this story about a struggling author and his visions, ultimately revealed to be the product of his drug addiction (a fairly common premise in this era). It was just too depressing for me. ( )
  antiquary | Dec 20, 2017 |
A weird and compelling book, and one of a very few literary novels I actually enjoyed. I initially expected this to be a supernatural weird tale, perhaps a novel fairy tale, and it took a long while to realise otherwise. Machen explores the life of an introverted dreamer and writer. It's full of rich description, both of landscapes and of states of mind, and these are thematically linked. Mental peculiarities are depicted in unflinching but convincing detail, but despite some grimness, they don't make this a miserable read. On the downside, the sheer amount of purple prose is sometimes overwhelming, especially the long reminiscences of the final chapter. ( )
1 vote Shimmin | Feb 20, 2015 |
I've never read anything quite like this. After The Great God Pan and The White People (which I obviously read in a slightly patronising, exoteric way) it comes as a depth-charge, and speaks to the inner life and the mental structures and furnishings of which one is mostly barely conscious, in a way I've never found before. Even the structural use of repetition seemed original. Plus it is scary, not in a haunted-house way but in its absolutely veracious account of the sensitive soul's encounter with, on the one hand, the surges of intense exultation and intuition of beauty first experienced in all their power and purity in childhood, and on the other, the crassness and brutalities of the outer life. Trust me, I know. Lucian's painful and painstaking attempt to make sense of existence by welding the two together in creative writing is a failure. Thus ineluctably leading to insanity and death. But there is, also, the ever-present haunted house: the dusty mouldering empty rooms we glimpse in nightmares. And that's not all: the feminine principle, the unattainable warmth and tenderness of home and family, are woven into the story too. Plus he even throws in a hint on how to read his book, in the section on Milton's Lycidas. Unique, and for 1907 quite astonishing. Now I guess I need to return to his other works with somewhat more attentiveness and humility. ( )
2 vote sagitprop | Sep 27, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Arthur Machenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dunsany, LordIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sime, SidneyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valentine, MarkIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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There was a glow in the sky as if great furnace doors were opened.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486249948, Paperback)

About a mile from the rectory he had diverged from the main road by an opening that promised mystery and adventure. It was an old neglected lane, little more than a ditch, worn ten feet deep by its winter waters, and shadowed by great untrimmed hedges, densely woven together.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:21 -0400)

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A title about a young man's quest for beauty through literature, love, drugs and dreams.

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