The Willows

The Willows

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(6 Reviews)
The Willows by Algernon Blackwood

Published:

1907

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The Willows

By

4.3333333333333
(6 Reviews)

Book Excerpt

on of their vast numbers, and contriving in some way or other to represent to the imagination a new and mighty power, a power, moreover, not altogether friendly to us.

Great revelations of nature, of course, never fail to impress in one way or another, and I was no stranger to moods of the kind. Mountains overawe and oceans terrify, while the mystery of great forests exercises a spell peculiarly its own. But all these, at one point or another, somewhere link on intimately with human life and human experience. They stir comprehensible, even if alarming, emotions. They tend on the whole to exalt.

With this multitude of willows, however, it was something far different, I felt. Some essence emanated from them that besieged the heart. A sense of awe awakened, true, but of awe touched somewhere by a vague terror. Their serried ranks, growing everywhere darker about me as the shadows deepened, moving furiously yet softly in the wind, woke in me the curious and unwelcome suggestion that we had trespasse

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I was tucked into bed last night, and happened to read, in a old collection of Horror and Mystery stories, "Secret Worship", and having already read "The Willows", I am now a hopeless Blackwood fan. The mood he slowly creates, engaging the reader, so much so that, one cannot put the book down - I was up late, and told our cat Jake, "this story would scare even YOU, my buddy!"
A bit of a disappointment for a real fan of Blackwood's "The Wendigo." This is a fine horror story, but it tends to drag a bit and has a number of loose strings that should have been tightened. There are also some absurdities, but . . . it's fiction.
Not your typical horror masterpiece. Algernon Blackwood warps the very foundation of metaphysical horror. Not satisfied with quaint little forces like ghosts and evil spirits, Blackwood draws you into the subtle terrors that lie in the very nature of things: in trees, in water and sky. Inexplicably beautiful and horrific at once. Simply wonderful. No one but Blackwood can do this.
5
Subtle horror while canooing on the Danube river, well told by one of the masters. Does not feel as old as it is.