The Incubus

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Author: Achmed Abdullah (Alexander Nicholayevitch Romanoff)
Published: 1920
Language: English
Wordcount: 4,026 / 12 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 70.3
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,619
Added to site: 2007.11.14 19029
Genres: Short Story, Pulp

The darkness that is Africa is brilliantly depicted in this weird story of a white man alone in the jungle.

Show Excerpt

Congo hinterland was God's own paradise, and just waiting to give them fifty percent on their investment, if they were willing to come through handsome. They were, and they did. They supplied a working capital big enough to make a Hebrew angel weep with envy. "Gaboon, Limited," they called the new company, with laconic pride, and for some reason--the usual, you know, social stuff, Mayfair and Belgravia flirting with Lombard and Threadneedle streets--they appointed some fool of a younger son as general manager, the sort of gink whose horizon is limited by Hyde Park Corner and Oxford Circus, and who knows all about the luxuries of life, which to him are synonymous with the necessities. Well, he went out to the coast, up the river, took a look at the scenery, and decided that the first thing to do would be to build a suitable residence for his festive self. He did so, and I guess the imaginative West Coast trader who was responsible for the whole thing must have helped him. Naturally--think of the commissions h


Average Rating of 3 from 2 reviews: ***
Paulo Respighi

The story starts out with derogatory names for the African natives, and pretty much continues that way to the end. The writing is okay, it has some lurid descriptions, but it's basically a one man story that doesn't accomplish much. It's mildly offensive blather, with a title that has no connection to the story.

C. Alan Loewen

Achmed Abdullah is the pseudonym of Alexander Nicholayevitch Romanoff (1881–1945), a writer of mystery, crime and adventure pulps. The Incubus first appeared in The Blue Book Magazine in 1920.

The Incubus tells the story of a man who becomes lost in Africa and is driven almost to the brink of insanity by the solitude and alien environment. It's deus ex machina ending leaves one a little dissatisfied as well as some of the racial comments about the native inhabitants he encounters, but such was the culture when this story first appeared.

This reviewer sees it as an interesting entry in the history of pulp adventure fiction, but struggles to understand what the title has to do with the story.

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