The Ape, the Idiot and Other People, Lippincott (Philadelphia), 1897
One of the most amazing books ive ever read,this colects some tales which are weird even by their own terms-with a sheer,horrid perversity at the cruelness of fate.I think HPL missed his mark when downgrading this one.Read this all together-or else youll miss th effect.If you wanna know the experince,dont read too much of the summaries.
# The Resurrection of Little Wang Tai
The title story,a litle down,but stil kinda nice and I can see it was used in the title for its oddness.Anywhoo-A monky runs away form the circus and manages to free an imbecile from an asylum.They wander around,stuck a newly dug grave,the dug out child is stil alive, she is saved,but they,as a "reward" are sent to spend the rest of their days in captivity.
# The Hero of the Plague
Now the power in this one comes mainly from the title characters antics and experinces.Basicly,a man dragged down mentaly because of serving life in prison undr,let us say,debatable terms gets a job at a hotel and helps during a cholery plague,and dies of it.
# His Unconquerable Enemy
The most famous one,I guess-a Rajah has,as punishment,all the limnbs of his servant cut off and he has him placed in a cage,to be ther for his entertainment,awaiting future tortures.The man,a living stump by now,manages to get out and kill the Rajah in his fall.
# The Permanent Stiletto
A man has a stileto blade in his heart,he is reduced to a wreck, living in fear of the blade moving.Then,as he sees the woman who stabbed him again,he falls to his death-though the blade has been disolved by acid long ago.
# Over an Absinthe Bottle
A man on the verge of death by hunger visits a club,where he is treated by an old man,in drinking,you guessed it,grape juice.Anyway they gamble and.....well,its kinda impossible to relate.
# The Inmate of the Dungeon
A man is forced to live in a dungon,while in prison,as "punishment", and is beaten by a whip by the warden.The eventual kindness that the man shows him when he realises hes made a mistake,makes the fellon die,on the moment of being released.
# A Game of Honor
A man,because he cheeted in a game of cards,is forced by his comrades to ask for a boat with no privisions and only one paddle and let out,to die at sea,of hunger,sun stroke or being eaten by sharks.He gets semi-mad,talking to a shark he keeps fending of and plays "a game of honor" with him and then,as a boat comes to save him,he jumps into the water to get eaten because he lost at "the game".
# Treacherous Velasco
A servant wishes to rob his masters husband,she wishes for him to be sparred,but one of her servants,to avenge her,lets him tied up to a horse and run into a beehive (unintentional) and he dies horribly swollen,in the hands of the mistress.
# An Uncommon View of It
A man relates how he wants to punish his wife and his friend for having an afair-he relates ho whe wants to throw her into poverty, making her a drunk,loosing her beauty,becoming coarse, serving short term sentences,indirectly saying he wants her to become a filthy whore,and then die as an alcoholic maniac in insanity,straped and cursing on a bed at a hospital-but he comes round,kills himself and wishes them all happiness.This ones good because of the desacription-even if the protagonist realises that what h wanted to do was an act worthy of only the most dirty bastard and piece of trash,I stil hate him.
# A Story Told by the Sea
A story of cannibalism and sea wreck.
# The Monster-Maker
The most famous one-a man has his head chopped of by a surgeon, rendered to a mindless monster.
# An Original Revenge
Sup-bar.A murder framing story.
# Two Singular Men
Takes place at the freakshow,a romance,no cruelty.
# The Faithful Amulet
A man steals an amult,but ends up as chop meat.
Only two or so are weak,the rest is mostly concistent.The summaries dont give credit,though-you have to read it.
Now here's a collection that is crying out for reissue in the Wordsworth Mystery & The Supernatural series. It meets the 'author must be seventy years dead' rule (he died 1923 as far as I know?), it's rare and, from the stories that have been anthologised to date (I've never even come within sniffing distance of a copy of the book), a very weird and powerful collection of horror stories indeed. His Unconquerable Enemy has a very unpleasant feel to it, like Kowlongo Plaything's grandad. A Permanent Stiletto is one of those stories where you know what's going to happen and it's just a question of how the author drags out the suspense and The Monster Maker is a ghoulish delight. Even Ambrose Bierce thought Morrow was great, and Ambrose Bierce didn't like anyone.
Great post, lobo!
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.
you can easily read the entiere book on Gutenberg.And also,the 70 years rule doesnt aply,I believe,because this was originaly published in book form in 1897 I believe and the individual stories EVEN BEFORE THAT,so thats a long way of to 1923.
Also,horrormasters.com has 9 other Morrow tales that I didnt check out,yet,however.