Saturday, December 10, 2016
The Willows by Algernon Blackwood Book Thoughts
"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 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."
I read this book as a group read for a group I am in on Goodreads, a horror group called "Horror Aficionados". And I am glad that I did.
It's a short book and an atmospheric creepy story. It takes place in some sort of forest area. The Danube River runs through it, islands that change and whispering Willows. Blackwood does a great job at being descriptive and really it's the atmosphere that holds the pull in the story. Two men are canoeing down the river and end up in that place when things take a turn for the worse and things get creepy. It was slow to start for me but quickly picked up the pace and pulled me in.
I really did enjoy the characters, my favorite though being the one that tells the story. Personally I found him relate-able in how stuff was making him feel and his thought process. I found both the men believable.
The writing, in addition to being atmospheric, also held a few nice quotes in it.
This story did make me think a little bit but mostly it was an entertaining and creepy story. I found it easy to read as well.
I would recommend this book to anyone that likes creepy atmospheric books or wants to read an older horror classic, or just wants a quick read and likes a haunting story.
I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars