The Willows

The Willows Two friends are midway on a canoe trip down the Danube River Throughout the story Blackwood personifies the surrounding environment river sun wind and imbues them with a powerful and ultimately thre

Two friends are midway on a canoe trip down the Danube River Throughout the story Blackwood personifies the surrounding environment river, sun, wind and imbues them with a powerful and ultimately threatening character Most ominous are the masses of dense, desultory, menacing willows, which moved of their own will as though alive, and they touched, by some incalculable mTwo friends are midway on a canoe trip down the Danube River Throughout the story Blackwood personifies the surrounding environment river, sun, wind and imbues them with a powerful and ultimately threatening character Most ominous are the masses of dense, desultory, menacing willows, which moved of their own will as though alive, and they touched, by some incalculable method, my own keen sense of the horrible The Willows is one of Algernon Blackwood s best known short stories American horror author H.P Lovecraft considered it to be the finest supernatural tale in English literature The Willows is an example of early modern horror and is connected within the literary tradition of weird fiction.

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The Willows

  1. Blackwood was born in Shooter s Hill today part of south east London, but then part of northwest Kent and educated at Wellington College His father was a Post Office administrator who, according to Peter Penzoldt, though not devoid of genuine good heartedness, had appallingly narrow religious ideas Blackwood had a varied career, farming in Canada, operating a hotel, as a newspaper reporter in New York City, and, throughout his adult life, an occasional essayist for various periodicals In his late thirties, he moved back to England and started to write stories of the supernatural He was very successful, writing at least ten original collections of short stories and eventually appearing on both radio and television to tell them He also wrote fourteen novels, several children s books, and a number of plays, most of which were produced but not published He was an avid lover of nature and the outdoors, and many of his stories reflect this.English writer of ghost stories and supernatural fiction, of whom Lovecraft wrote He is the one absolute and unquestioned master of weird atmosphere His powerful story The Willows, which effectively describes another dimension impinging upon our own, was reckoned by Lovecraft to be not only foremost of all Blackwood s tales but the best weird tale of all time Unfortunately, Blackwood, who was familiar with Lovecraft s work, failed to return the compliment As he told Peter Penzoldt, he found spiritual terror missing in his young admirer s writing, something he considered all important in his own Among his thirty odd books, Blackwood wrote a series of stories and short novels published as John Silence, Physician Extraordinary 1908 , which featured a psychic detective who combined the skills of a Sherlock Holmes and a psychic medium Blackwood also wrote light fantasy and juvenile books The son of a preacher, Blackwood had a life long interest in the supernatural, the occult, and spiritualism, and firmly believed that humans possess latent psychic powers The autobiography Episodes Before Thirty 1923 tells of his lean years as a journalist in New York In the late 1940s, Blackwood had a television program on the BBC on which he read ghost stories

222 Reply to “The Willows”

  1. I am a big fan of Horror, including the classics, but I feel like massive POSER having just now experienced for the first time Algernon Blackwood s inspiring novella of otherworldly dread This is simply such a superbly crafted tale that it is not hard to see why H.P Lovecraft whose work I love called this the best supernatural tale in the English language As HPL himself put it Here art and restraint in narrative reach their very highest development, and an impression of lasting poignancy is prod [...]

  2. Published in the early 1900s as part of a collection of stories, H.P Lovecraft felt that Algernon Blackwood s The Willows was simply the greatest tale of the supernatural in English literature It is a novella, and has a bare minimum of dialog between the narrator and his good friend, the Swede It lacks the blood and gore and violence so endemic of horror today, and yet despite what some would consider handicaps, The Willows is one of the most atmospheric books in the genre you will ever read I h [...]

  3. mething so big and yet immaterial, out of reach and yet reaching for you two men on a canoe trip down the Danube what wonders what beauty what bliss find there are worlds and things beyond us, terrible and awe inspiring things, inexplicable things, things that rise from the willows, things that bore spiraled holes in sand and flesh Blackwood an author who embraces nature, its wonders and beauty, its terrible terrors Blackwood an author who searches for new dimensions, places beyond reach and yet [...]

  4. H P Lovecraft, called The Willows , by Algernon Blackwood, a great name by the way, the best weird tale of all time , you be the judge In the early part of the Twentieth Century, two experienced young adventurers, decided to take a canoe trip, down the famous Danube River, during the summer, how glorious Starting from its beginning, in the Black Forest, to the end, when the river reaches the Black Sea a distant 2,000 miles away The Swede , and the narrator, remain anonymous throughout the book T [...]

  5. This review and the rest of the crap I write can be seen my blogBark s Book Nonsense Stop by and say hey.Reading for HA s December Group Read Actually, I ll be listening The book was free and the audio add on only 2.99 Bargain I decided to read this on audio since it was cheap and I have too many Netgalley books that I should be reading If you follow my reviews, you probably know I have very little patience for slow starters and this is most definitely a slow starter Fortunately when it comes to [...]

  6. Blackwood was a master of setting and intimate characterization Using a minimalistic approach to casting and dialogue, he nonetheless was able to create a scene of almost photographic understanding and omniscience Like The Wendigo, The Willows personifies elements of nature to create a chilling, supernatural tale of gothic, psychological horror This story delved deeply into weird fiction and readers of H.P Lovecraft will recognize themes present This is a very good story by itself and an except [...]

  7. I began the long journey from my computer desk to my futon couch bed in order to partake in reading the next story from the devilish collection of unspeakable horrors that some have dared call The Weird, but which I will not even give name to in fear of invoking the ire of the those powers beyond the imagination of man I dreaded the walk The dirty clothes on the floor screamed out in soundless horror at me, and even though I knew it was just my Spazz t shirt and some dirty socks, and I told myse [...]

  8. The Willows is Algernon Blackwood s most famous story, and one which H.P Lovecraft listed as his personal favorite of all weird tales Two men the unnamed narrator and his friend, known only as The Swede travel on a canoe across the Danube The river begins somewhere in the German Black Forest and stretches across the continent, before finally emptying into the Black Sea The two adventurous men plan to traverse through its whole length, following the steps of the ancient Roman emperors, but their [...]

  9. Um This one is hard to decide on rating wise.Pros Loved the writing style it was beautiful, clever, haunting and heady stuff He writes so well I ll definitely check out of his work.Atmosphere So thick you could cut a knife with it Outstanding tension, creepy tone, I can hear the humming and picture the swaying willowsAtmosphere is the top redeeming quality for this story If you think of The Willows , this is what a reader will probably remember first.Characters I enjoyed the two friends who tra [...]

  10. Review Orfelinovog izdanja Vendigo 4 Pri a koja otvara zbirku vodi nas u divljine Kanade i slu i se motivom iz folklora severnoameri kih indijanaca pardon, starosedelaca Budu i da se Vendigo posebno povezuje s kanibalizmom, o ekivao sam da e pri a krenuti u tom pravcu i donekle sam se razo arao to se to nije desilo, ali Blekvud je takav majstor laganog gra enja atmosfere da sam ubrzo zaboravio na sopstvena o ekivanja i prepustio se mra noj magiji njegove proze Dodu e, kada je jedan od likova po [...]

  11. This most famous work of Blackwood s is one of those classic short stories of weird horror mentioned alongside pieces by Lovecraft, Howard, Machen, Bierce, and Chambers as worthy of even a discerning reader Like many such stories, it starts somewhat slowly, establishing first that picture of normal life from which we must soon, and by gradations, deviate beyond recall I grew to feel it may have been a bit too slow though it is always difficult to strike such a balance So much of the story was ca [...]

  12. Strange Dreamy Chilling Vivid imagination Creepy at times Kind of story that would make you keep looking over your shoulder from time to time to check if there was someone looking at you from distance or the sound that you heard just now was real or part of your imagination Excellent

  13. Algernon really knows how to write well and places you into a truly haunting atmosphere in this story Two men venture during their expeditions in territory that is not the norm which encompass huge daunting malevolent Willow trees I must read stories of his The psychology of places, for some imaginations at least, is very vivid for the wanderer, especially, camps have their note either of welcome or rejection At first it may not always be apparent, because the busy preparations of tent and cook [...]

  14. This is one that I make a point of reading every year In MHO, truly one of the best horror stories every written PERIOD Another Re read Still 5 stars, and I m still noticing little details that I don t remember from previous readings.

  15. One day, not so long ago, two stoners went camping and smoked one bowl too many They forgot that in the wilderness what seems idyllic during the daywill look differently at night.Every sound a dreadful otherworldly whisper, every bush a demon oh yes, they are tripping hard But manfully they attempt to ignore it by talking about other things Too bad one friend chooses this moment to confess his psychic ability to sense trans dimensional demons What the hell do you say to that Clearly late night f [...]

  16. I chose this short story for my annual Halloween read, hoping it would give me a few chills which it did And even though the ending wasn t all that I hoped it would be, I enjoyed the journey in getting there much than the characters in this story enjoyed theirs This story is told by an unnamed man who, along with his unnamed traveling companion, referred to only as the Swede, travels down the Danube River by canoe on what was supposed to be an exhilarating adventure The men had been racing down [...]

  17. Maybe it says something about me, but the older classic horror novels I am always shocked at how quaint they seem in comparison to works like It It gave me nightmares for weeks on end as a kid, this book, though scary in tone, is mental than anything, your brain can turn what the unnamed narrator is describing into something worse The main plot of The Willows is about two long time friends who are taking a canoe trip down the Danube River We have the narrator and his friend called The Swede Tho [...]

  18. Review from BadelyngeAs someone who has had a lifetime fascination with ghost stories and mythology I could hardly ignore the works of Algernon Blackwood If you have ever picked up one of the multitude of anthologies that profess to contain the best ghost stories it is a good bet that one, if not , of Blackwood s tales will be included The Willows was first published in 1907 and is not a ghost story It is, however, a horror story Blackwood was a great lover of the natural world and it shows in t [...]

  19. The Delaware river is right outside my front window and I ve experienced true terror many times in the past several years We lived here peacefully for 15 years before the monster arrived Some people don t believe in the monster, but all of us that live here know first hand that it is very real The monster turned what used to be a somewhat predictable 50 year flood cycle into a very real and unpredictable threat that always lurks in the background The monster s name is Climate Change We ve experi [...]

  20. Bio sam neobi no ali veoma jasno svjestan postojanja jednog druga ijeg svijeta na neki na in ne toliko udaljenog od na eg, ali ipak na elno potpuno razli itog gdje se udesne stvari neprestano de avaju, gdje beskrajna i jezovita bi a u urbano hode, obuzeta svojim neizmjernim ciljevima spram kojih su sve ovozemaljske stvari, usponi i padovi civilizacija, propasti carstava, sudbine armija i kontinenata, sve samo pra ina u pore enju.Divno a Blekvudovi likovi ne pri aju mnogo, a nemaju ni kada jer su [...]

  21. At this point in my reading career, I don t believe I ve read better building and rendering of fear than The Willows by Blackwood The writing word choice, dialogue everything around those moments of terror were so evocative, I felt them, all while lying safely beneath a roof, on the sofa The plot is simple two men rowing a boat along the Danube River They camp in an area overgrown with Willows From that point, the mix of terror in the imagination, and subtle hints in the environment, is simply, [...]

  22. The Willows is the most suspenseful 50 pages I have ever read This ghost story about two men canoeing down the Danube River really struck a nerve in me because it really hits upon the heart of man s fear It conveys the same sense of dread and distress that every person has experienced at some point in their lives Whether it is taking a wrong turn into a bad neighborhood, a noise in your house that wakes you in the middle of the night, or that strange shadow you see when you are alone in a parkin [...]

  23. At first I didn t know what to think of this story, but after reading it, I m really glad I decided to because it was incredible and creative, with unforgettable characters and a very original plot Definitely worth reading, this book is a fantastic and interesting story with a lot of unexpected events.

  24. I just finished reading The Willows by Algernon Blackwood It was originally published as part of his 1907 collection The Listener and Other Stories My problem with the story has nothing to do with it, it has to do with what it is It s been on one of my to read lists for some time and I always thought when I thought of it at all as a novel I assumed some day while wandering through a used book store I would come across this 300 or so page book and finally own a copy However, that never happened, [...]

  25. 5 Short Stars This is classic horror at it s finest It truly amazes me that this was written over 100 years ago Written by a man that lived in a very different time from us today Yet, amazingly, even if we take away all the advancements in science, strip away all of our technologies, and rid ourselves of all our modern conveniences, we will find that we have not changed much as a people This story is still relevant today It is easy for us to relate with the two men as they go through this dark e [...]

  26. After leaving Vienna, and long before you come to Budapest, the Danube enters a region of singular loneliness and desolation, where its waters spread away on all sides regardless of a main channel, and the country becomes a swamp for miles upon miles, covered by a vast sea of low willow bushes On the big maps this deserted area is painted in a fluffy blue, growing fainter in color as it leaves the banks, and across it may be seen in large straggling letters the word Sumpfe, meaning marches.In hi [...]

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