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M. P. Shiel (1865–1947)

Autor(a) de The Purple Cloud

61+ Works 1,228 Membros 28 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Obras de M. P. Shiel

The Purple Cloud (1901) 670 cópias
Xelucha and Others (1975) 77 cópias
Prince Zaleski (1895) 76 cópias
The Lord of the Sea (1901) 58 cópias
Shapes in the Fire (1896) 32 cópias
How the Old Woman Got Home (1928) 17 cópias
Huguenin's Wife (2000) 15 cópias
The Isle of Lies (1964) 11 cópias
Cold Steel (1929) 11 cópias
The Lost Viol (1905) 10 cópias
The World, the Flesh and the Devil [1959 film] (2011) — Autor — 10 cópias
Dr. Krasinski's Secret (1929) 10 cópias
The Dragon 8 cópias
The Last Miracle (2013) 8 cópias
Xélucha (1975) 7 cópias
Children of the wind (2014) 6 cópias
The Rajah's Sapphire (1981) 5 cópias
The Black Box (1930) 5 cópias
The Invisible Voices (1935) 4 cópias
The Young Men are Coming! (1979) 3 cópias
The Yellow Wave 3 cópias
THE EVIL THAT MEN DO (2018) 3 cópias
THIS ABOVE ALL (1933) 3 cópias
The Weird O'IT 3 cópias
THE MAN-STEALERS (2018) 3 cópias
The Bride 2 cópias
Many a Tear 2 cópias
Vaila (2008) 2 cópias
The Pale Ape 2 cópias
Above All Else 2 cópias
Orazio Calvo 1 exemplar(es)
Phorfor 1 exemplar(es)
Dark Lot Of One Saul 1 exemplar(es)
THE NEW KING 1 exemplar(es)
CHINA IN ARMS 1 exemplar(es)

Associated Works

Great Irish Tales of Horror: A Treasury of Fear (1995) — Contribuinte — 321 cópias
Late Victorian Gothic Tales (2005) — Contribuinte — 187 cópias
Science Fiction Stories (1991) — Contribuinte — 180 cópias
The Phantom of the Opera and Other Gothic Tales (2018) — Contribuinte — 172 cópias
Victorian Tales of Mystery and Detection: An Oxford Anthology (1991) — Contribuinte — 171 cópias
Great Tales of Science Fiction (1985) — Contribuinte — 159 cópias
Shadows of Carcosa: Tales of Cosmic Horror (2014) — Contribuinte — 125 cópias
H.P. Lovecraft's Favorite Weird Tales (2005) — Contribuinte — 83 cópias
The Century's Best Horror Fiction Volume 1 (2011) — Contribuinte — 51 cópias
The Arbor House Treasury of Science Fiction Masterpieces (1983) — Contribuinte — 43 cópias
The Screaming Skull and Other Classic Horror Stories (2010) — Contribuinte — 37 cópias
Endless Apocalypse Short Stories (Gothic Fantasy) (2018) — Contribuinte — 36 cópias
Dark Mind, Dark Heart (1962) — Contribuinte — 32 cópias
Heavy Weather: Tempestuous Tales of Stranger Climes (2021) — Contribuinte — 29 cópias
In the Shadow of Sherlock Holmes (2011) — Contribuinte — 25 cópias
Spectral Sounds: Unquiet Tales of Acoustic Weird (2022) — Contribuinte — 23 cópias
The Third Book of Unknown Tales of Horror (1979) — Contribuinte — 17 cópias
Victorian Tales of Terror (1974) — Contribuinte — 15 cópias
Paha vieras (1996) 15 cópias
A wave of fear: A classic horror anthology (1973) — Contribuinte — 11 cópias
The Zinzolin Book of Occult Fiction (2022) — Contribuinte — 10 cópias
Thrills, Crimes and Mysteries (1935) — Contribuinte — 9 cópias
The Black Magic Omnibus Volume 1 (1976) — Contribuinte — 6 cópias
150 anni in Giallo (1989) — Contribuinte — 2 cópias
Explorers of the Infinite (1963) — Contribuinte — 1 exemplar(es)


Conhecimento Comum

Nome de batismo
Shiell, Matthew Phipps
Outros nomes
King Felipe I
Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Local de nascimento
Montserrat, British West Indies
Local de falecimento
Chichester, UK
Locais de residência
Harrison College, Barbados
Kings College, London
Tracy, Louis (collaborator)



This is a post apocalyptic novel published in 1900 but feels quite modern in a lot of aspects. Adam Jeffson is the sole survivor of an early expedition to the North Pole. As he returns from the polar extremities he encounters large numbers of dead fish and animals, followed by shiploads of dead mariners, and a smell of peaches and almonds. He gradually realises that almost every living animal is dead, both on sea, in (or from the) air, and on land ("I could have come to land a long time before I did: but I would not: I was so afraid. For I was used to the silence of the ice: and I was used to the silence of the sea: but, God knows it, I was afraid of the silence of the land"). When he reaches London and is able to check newspapers, he realises that all living things have been wiped out by a purple cloud arising east of New Zealand and then proceeding at a pace of about 100 miles a day westwards. Panic ensued as people stampeded westwards to try to escape.

This is a horrific and chilling explanation, but after this the novel somewhat lost its way for me. Basically for months and then years he wanders around the world looking for survivors and there are endless descriptions of piles of bodies in streets, buildings, down mines (to try to escape the poison cloud) and so on - "the arrangement of One planet, One inhabitant, already seems to me, not merely a natural and proper, but the only natural and proper, condition; so much so, that any other arrangement has now, to my mind, a certain improbable, wild, and far-fetched unreality, like the Utopian schemes of dreamers and faddists....It seems to me not less than a million million aeons since other beings, more or less resembling me, walked impudently in the open sunlight on this planet, which is rightly mine". These thoughts are symptoms of a growing dislocation and megalomania. He starts to use his engineering skills to, highly implausibly, burn and destroy whole cities, and build himself an opulent palace in Greece. Eventually he finds one other survivor, but cannot decide on his attitude towards her and treats her horribly, though in time this changes. It is implied at the end that they are basically a new Adam and Eve.

This novel had many strengths as an early post-apocalyptic story, but the wanderings around the world were just too long and drawn out and affected the pace of the narrative, and the final encounter with the other survivor does not come across as realistic.
… (mais)
john257hopper | outras 15 resenhas | Feb 20, 2024 |
Adam Jeffson es el primer hombre en llegar al Polo Norte. Para conseguirlo ha mentido, ha sido cómplice de un envenenamiento y ha matado a sangre fría. Pero, sobre todo, ha desobedecido un mandato divino: el Polo Norte es un páramo vedado a la especie humana. Cuando, exultante, inicia el camino de retorno, descubre que su ruta está marcada por un macabro rastro de cadáveres. Una muerte fulminante y silenciosa parece haber sorprendido a la humanidad bajo la forma de una nube púrpura. Adam se convierte así en el último hombre vivo, y quizá en el amo del mundo.… (mais)
Natt90 | outras 15 resenhas | Feb 9, 2023 |
This is a preliminary review. I've only read three of the stories in this collection. Have had the book for years -- long enough to not be able to remember why (outside of it being an Arkham House product, and I was way into H. P. Lovecraft as a teen) I bought it.

If you have ever wondered what the phrase "purple prose" was trying to describe, read Shiel. August Derleth apparently really liked Shiel's style, and they were friends ... but hoo! boy. The style, knotted, convoluted, over-emotive and crushingly multisyllabic, often (for this reader, anyway) obscures exactly what it is Shiel is trying to convey ... and on the evidence of the first three stories in this volume, what he's trying to convey -- in terms of plot at least -- is not really ... all that. So is the style a compensation of sorts for the not-quite-stunning-originality of the plots? I don't know yet.

UPDATE: thought about adding a star, since the story "The Dark Lot of One Saul" has some sentences in it that are ... well, quite beyond belief. So that's good. And there are other moments (see "The Bell of St. Sepulcre," where the weird woman first appears, and bits of "Huguenin's Wife") of real power that make one wish that Shiel had been more in control of, and less at the mercy of, his stylistic choices. Without fail, however, these moments of power are balanced by moments like the one in "The Tale of Henry and Rowena" when, to further the plot, the titular characters encounter a damned PANTHER in Rome, and Henry is compelled to CUT OFF HIS OWN ARM AND FEED IT TO THE PANTHER so they can escape ... and without this patently ludicrous moment, the story would not ... be.

Perhaps the saddest instance of the obscuring curtain of style (I did note that Shiel often indulges in swathes of alliteration and assonance, which makes me wonder if he was a fan of Anglo-Saxon poetry!) is the story "The House of Sounds." This, according to H. P. Lovecraft, was doubtless Shiel's masterpiece -- and I tell you what, I can make little of it. The best I can manage is that it is some wack *inversion* of Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher," and it is not saying much to say that it suffers badly in the comparison. I am not sure what HPL saw in this story -- but then I guess he can't really be trusted as a critic of style, since his own was often ... pretty dire.

And there you have it. I had to check the brute 'monetary value' of the book -- since it's an Arkham House volume I was wondering whether it had any collectible value -- but it doesn't, really, so it will probably exit my collection since I don't feel much impulse to read these stories again. Alas.
… (mais)
tungsten_peerts | Oct 26, 2022 |

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louchobi | outras 15 resenhas | May 12, 2022 |



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