The Great God Pan

Cover image for


Author: Arthur Machen
Published: 1894
Language: English
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 78.8
LoC Category: PR
Downloads: 10,469 4650

d. You may look in Browne Faber's book, if you like, and you will find that to the present day men of science are unable to account for the presence, or to specify the functions of a certain group of nerve-cells in the brain. That group is, as it were, land to let, a mere waste place for fanciful theories. I am not in the position of Browne Faber and the specialists, I am perfectly instructed as to the possible functions of those nerve-centers in the scheme of things. With a touch I can bring them into play, with a touch, I say, I can set free the current, with a touch I can complete the communication between this world of sense and--we shall be able to finish the sentence later on. Yes, the knife is necessary; but think what that knife will effect. It will level utterly the solid wall of sense, and probably, for the first time since man was made, a spirit will gaze on a spirit-world. Clarke, Mary will see the god Pan!"

"But you remember what you wrote to me? I thought it would be requisite that she--"


Average Rating of 4.1 from 7 reviews: *****

Underlying the day to day reality which we perceive is a hidden deeper reality that is horrible and evil. A doctor performs an experiment on a volunteer subject that permits some of this evil to penetrate normal day to day existence.

Not bad, but hints and suggestions about the nature of this hidden evil only go so far. Some details - not too many, just a few - might have worked better. If you like the works of H.P. Lovecraft, you'll probably enjoy this.


I've read it several times over many years, and each time I find it to be simply a confusing mystery with very little horror. I can't believe that King heaped such high praise upon this story, with one of the lamest endings I've ever encountered.


Excellent horror story! Perfect example of how NOT revealing most of the information can make a story all the more terrifying. Short enough to read in one sitting. I will be reading all of his other work now.


An enjoyable horror story!!! The mystery is well kept and the gaps that are left to the imagination only make it more interesting... a must read for horror fans!


A pleasant read which may be too subtle for many of our desensitised generation, but is very spooky nonetheless. Reminds me very much of Dion Fortune's style of writing and themes, I wonder if anyone knows whether they came into contact, given that they moved in similar circles.

Casey Green

The greatest horror ever written in the English language. Those who like their literature flowery and baroque; this is not for them. It is straightforward prose and for this reason, many simply cannot bear it out. The reader will find a knowledge of history and true-crime nearly indispensable for a full grasp of the themes and suggestions. To pull-off this monstrosity, Machen had to leave the seams visible, and detractors are all too quick to point out the faults of the story. Lovecraft's favourite horror, King's favourite horror; does any more need to be said? The astute reader is left wondering how much of the tale is actually true, with Machen making vague reference to some of the 19th Century's more horrific crimes.

C. Alan Loewen

H. P. Lovecraft praised this novella of gothic cosmic horror and Machen's story lives up to the praise of the Gentleman of Providence. Anybody who is a fan of Lovecraft's literary body of alienation and horror will enjjoy this tale of an experiment gone wrong and its aftermath.

The Great God Pan met sharp criticism in its day for its sexual overtones and was condemned for its perceived misygonism, but by today's standards with its violence and sexuality taking place well off-stage, the horror is actually increased because of its sublety and because it leaves so much to the imagination.

My only criticism is that Machen leaves so much unsaid, the story can be rather confusing on its first reading, but if read as a sequel to The White People (even though the latter was written a decade later), the aborted horror that overtook the woman-child in that tale comes to full fruition in The Great God Pan.

(Promote your book here)

Featured Books

Cover image for The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen - Free eBook

Rise of The Iron Eagle

The Iron Eagle Series Book 1
Roy A. Teel Jr.

Is The Iron Eagle a psychotic serial killer?Read more

Cover image for The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen - Free eBook


True Alpha 1
Alisa Woods

Shifters in Seattle – Desired (True Alpha 1) Ne... Read more

Cover image for The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen - Free eBook

Open Minds

Mindjack Saga Book 1
Susan Kaye Quinn

When everyone reads minds, a secret is a danger... Read more

Cover image for The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen - Free eBook

XGeneration 1

You Don't Know Me (XGeneration Series)
Brad Magnarella

In the fall of 1984, Cold War tensions between... Read more

Cover image for The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen - Free eBook

Drive, Ride, Repeat

The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure
Al Macy

Author Al Macy is a character and a tightwad wi... Read more

Cover image for The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen - Free eBook

I Bring the Fire

Part I: Wolves (A Loki Story)
C. Gockel

In the middle of America, Amy Lewis is on her way... Read more

login | register

User ID


reset password

Help ManyBooks by sharing this page!

See it as donating a moment of your social media time, every little thing helps us improve and stay online.

Popular in This Genre

The list of books below is based on the weekly downloads by our users regardless of eReader device or file format.

by Théophile Gautier
The Prince
by Nicolo Machiavelli
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Awakening
by Leo Nikoleyevich Tolstoy
by Selma Lagerlof
Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
The New Jerusalem
by G. K. Chesterton

See more popular titles from this genre.