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The mind-bending universe of horror master Thomas Ligotti awaits in another graphic adaptation of his haunting work. Enter a sphere where. The Nightmare Factory [Carroll & Graf] Books. Introduction: The Consolations of Horror, Thomas Ligotti, xi, Part 1: from Songs of a Dead. The Nightmare Factory is a comics anthology from Fox Atomic Comics adapting individual short stories by Thomas Ligotti. The second book in the series.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Nightmare Factory by Thomas Ligotti.

Brite Goodreads Author Foreword. In the realm of the supernatural, Thomas Ligotti is the master of stylish, eerie writing of the highest quality. This new edition brings together his collected short stories with ‘Teatro Grottesco’, a sequence of new stories not published before.

Thoss Masquerade of a Dead Sword Dr. Paperbackpages. To see nightmard your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Nightmare Factoryplease sign up.

Brulpadda I have an ligltti version if you’d like it. See 1 question about Nigtmare Nightmare Factory…. Lists with This Book. View all 14 comments. View all 13 comments.

Nov 17, Shawn rated it it was amazing Shelves: This collection compiles stories from Songs of a Dead DreamerGrimscribe: Following my recent decision about large reviews, I’ll present this in a three-tiered format short to long with the story by story analysis left for the last tier and presumably only of interest to those who have read the book. Those who hang in for the long haul can see how often I abuse the shortcut word “titular! Ligotti in the th episode of the Pseudopod podcast and needed to reacquaint myself with my favorite stories so as to choose which one would best fit the audio format of the podcast as opposed to just defaulting to my favorite, “Gas Station Carnivals”.

I eventually chose “The Bunglaow House” as our th episode and later featured “Drink to Me Only with Labyrinthine Eyes” – as our th episode part of an informal, month-long tribute to Ligotti’s influence on the genre and securing these stories unexpectedly led me into direct email contact with the man himself, which was a wonderful thing iirc, I was able to introduce him to the darkly sardonic hilarity of Brother Theodore! On completing my re-reads of my favorites, I decided it made sense to eventually work my way backwards through the rest of the stories, using the insight I’d gained to wrestle with the pieces that I’d had trouble with the first time – taking the whole at a much more leisurely place than my mind-numbing mass consumption back in the day, because if I’d learned one thing back then it was that much like Robert Aickman and Dennis Etchison you really need to take your time with Thomas Ligottireally let the stories settle into your psyche as you muse over their parts and overall effect and how they relate to each other.

I finally finished this re-read project in late and have held off composing this review because I knew it would oigotti a large amount of work.

The Nightmare Factory [Carroll & Graf] – THE NIGHTMARE NETWORK

And so, here we are again It’s challenging and obsessive and requires more attention and respect than your average “plot-forward” writing styles but if you feel that’s a good thing then you really should check out Thomas Ligotti.

If you’re a non-genre reader, you may have heard of Ligotti through Penguin Books’ recent reprinting of his works in Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe making him 1 of only 10 living writers Penguin has published in the US. If that’s the case, and you find the idea of some darkly philosophical short fiction up factoryy alley, you should certainly give this collection a try then again, tracking down this edition nets you some of his best stories NOT in the Penguin book.

Essentially – about half the stories here are solid winners or completely excellent, with a chunk of “almost greats” and just a few misfires.

The Nightmare Factory Sees The Horror Behind The Harlequinade With Thomas Ligotti

There’s been a lot of critical writing on Ligotti recently so I’m not going to delude myself that anything I say below hasn’t already been facfory by someone more academic or knowledgeable. Why should you read Ligotti other than for the enjoyment of interesting, effective stories?

I imagine fans and especially other authors of weird fiction could learn an awful lot ligtti reading and paying attention to Ligotti’s work – especially as he exemplifies to my sensibilities at least an instructive path of how one transcends from being merely a writer of weird genre fiction to the level of quality Lit-Genre writer.


Achievement, in this case, comes through eschewing the drive to merely compete in the “novelty” sweepstakes of “ideas” – nightnare chosen path, and the undoing, of many genre writers “yeah, but what if the werewolf was an astronaut on the moon!?!

It’s a difficult path to tread – incompletely understood or outright rejected by quite a lot of modern genre writers as it involves juggling two sets of writing skills and goals, some of which are complimentary but some of which are contradictory. Ligotti achieves a lot through a thorough interrogation of tropes – realizing they are as much lifeblood as cliche in the genre field – embracing them for their secrets, and examining their origins and resonances, instead of just merely rejecting, deconstructing or mocking them.

And then, a skill at finding ways to have these interrogations resonate with his larger personal concerns. This is where the subjective aspect of art comes in, because Mr. Ligotti, much like Videodrome, has a philosophy But first, let’s talk about those construction nlghtmare and writing chops. As illustrated in this collection, Ligotti has a solid grasp on tone gloomy and oneiric most of the time and a respectfully dense, compacted style of writing that is not particularly in the modern mode or to current taste.

It might seem contradictory to praise the density of an author’s prose and yet claim he exhibits great economy of style, but such is the case – Ligotti has great skill at eliding or outright removing unnecessary detail from a story.

This leads to a rather intense, obsessive quality that his best work exhibits similar to director David Lynch ‘s very distinctive cinematic moods while also giving the reader a lot of bang for his buck the sheer quantity of conception an average story contains puts many current toilers to shame. They are people because the text tells us they are people, not because of any personal resonance they may have litotti you and your experiences which, stylistically, reinforces the overall philosophy of the pieces – the main characters are frequently oddballs, misfits and outcasts.

Many are dubious occultists or borderline charlatans whose willingness to play with the concept of reality opens them to unexpected and unwanted intrusions.

Often, these individuals find their hermetic worlds cracked open by a larger or is it, actually? Which is, of course, somewhat Lovecraftian – but not a studied Lovecraftianism, as Ligotti also succeeds in defusing and dodging the easy, cult-of-personality pathways that infuse so much work in that area generally by avoiding specific names of books, deities, cities and the like and merely working with and expanding the ideas. We may dazzle and distract ourselves with the details, but if we peer too long at any one facet, we perceive the cracks through which a black, empty wind howls.

In terms of construction, many of his stories are like elaborate, oblique Chinese boxes and story elements often reoccur without any clumsy indications that he is “world building” or creating a “Ligottiverse” – for example, elements of “The Bungalow House” are reflected in “Gas Station Carnivals” and “Teatro Grottesco”.

Like Aickman and recent Ramsey Campbell work, Ligotti is also willing to experiment with writing approaches that could be misinterpreted as “clumsy” or “inelegant” in particular, the repetitions in “Gas Station Carnivals” read to me as stylistic flourishes intended to reinforce the sense of obsessive workings of a febrile mind.

Many stories turn on hazy evocations of oneiric or mnemonic visions and narratives, easily unseating the reader from reality.

Another aspect of his works I like and which I feel a very personal connection to is the way Ligotti uses urban ruin and decay as a backdrop, and the way it differs from, say, the use of same in Ramsey Campbell. In Campbell, urban decay is a fsctory of a place, the markers left behind by life, people, politics and time having nnightmare a particular space.

In Ligotti, it feels more like a generalized given, a stage backdrop, a modern stand-in for the default “old dark woods” of fairy tales. Ligotti really strives for and succeeds at capturing the mood of certain eerily sublime modern urban tableaux – abandoned warehouse districts and back-alley neighborhoods at twilight, old store fronts, moonlit main streets. He communicates a sense of how architecture and atmosphere affect psychology and his attention to details – in buildings, furniture, decor and dress – speak to a Decadent influence in his writings.

In a way, Ligotti’s fiction is not as factoru as Aickman’s, but easily as enigmatic. And in a way, his fiction is self-selecting – those who sample it looking only for surfaces will quickly reject it and never look back.

And now, on to the intensive third tier, possibly of interest only to those who have read the works already. So, I figured I’d start with the small number of stories that, even on re-reading, I found didn’t work for me – which might seem odd but this is intended as a complete record of my rereading of the book, so for posterity and my sieve-like memoryhere we go.


I should note that a number of stories did upgrade on my re-read, so it was definitely a good plan to go back and reread the whole thing. A simple story, and interesting to see a modern scenario such as this which strips away some of the usual archaic mystique.

Still, a bit thin. This yarn then folds itself into the main narrative, and then folds again and again – in a way I ffactory a bit too vague and unsatisfying. Thoss” – In an off-season resort town, Aib Indrys an uninspired, insomniac illustrator finds himself haunted by whispers and reports of the titular character a vague “mad doctor” figure and something of a sin-eater – or perhaps Thoss is the doctor’s homunculus assistant?

After wandering into and being driven from a somnambulistic niggtmare at a church, Indrys returns home to find his illustration finished, and settles into sleep and a dream of a singular house call I liked the setting and feel of this story Indry’s “collaborations” with old engravings reminded me of Max Ernst ‘s collage work but, again, found it the tiniest bit too vague and unsatisfying – like sketches in a dream of a horror scenario.

Also interesting as it echoes another tale “The Spectacles In The Drawer” and has some stylistic differences from other stories, unfortunately the game-playing with identity and ambiguity afforded by the masquerade makes for a confusing and muddled climax. Veech” – A man approaches Dr. Volke a sorcerer or charlatan for help with a romantic spat.

Volke, factoory discoursing on the horror of puppets, suggests an ambiguous ambush of the targets, with disturbing results. I found the ending to this one choppy and unsatisfying.

Drapeau” – This struck me as similar to M. James ‘s Stories I Have Tried To Writeas it is extracts from the diary of a writer totally unconnected to the real world, peppered with images, ideas, incidents and concepts that, perhaps, could not sustain a full story litotti their own. Some nice dream visions of the city and the central concept of the much-desired text as neither a grimoire or a gateway, but as the “thing itself” and prompt for lucid dreamsbut again Yup – so long it has to be continued in the comments section below!

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May 08, Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is an excellent collection of horror stories, and most of them follow entirely original concepts. If you’re a horror fan and you’ve never read this book, you should definitely check it out. Apr 28, Emm – Stories for Ghouls rated it it was amazing Shelves: The Nightmare Factory is not a collection but a labyrinth – a bio-synthetic organism that in the dusk appears to be a smokestack, breathing liigotti the sky’s canvas its knowledge of unimaginable nightmares which take no form, and by the dawn you can see it was never actually there at all.

A rich, seething collection of stories that bottles its nightmares to poison you with them gradually.

The Nightmare Factory

Ligotti’s language breeds black, galactic neurons on the surface of your mind. They can be slow-going but noneth The Nightmare Factory is not a collection but a labyrinth – a bio-synthetic organism that in the dusk appears to be a smokestack, breathing onto the sky’s canvas its knowledge of unimaginable nightmares which take no form, and by the dawn you can see it was never actually there at all. They can be slow-going but nonetheless as intense as the worst dream you’ve ever had.

It’s a collective congealment of all primal and irrational fears – disease, death, becoming a stranger even to yourself, a sight so terrifying it is an instant sentence to Hell. Mad, perplexing paintings of phrase rather than image, from the abyssal no-man’s-land of the psyche.

The Nightmare Factory is a massive best-of album compiling Ligotti’s stories from his first collection, Songs of a Dead Dreamer up to the first half of Teatro Grottesco. There are no bad or even very mediocre stories in the entire lot, period. I shan’t even bother to review each section specifically, as they are all horrifically brilliant, but in marginally different ways.

Review: The Nightmare Factory | Books | The Guardian

Though in particular, I loved the Teatro Grottesco section at the end, where all of my favourite ones lurked. View all 8 comments. Aug 04, Waffles rated it it was amazing. Great horror for those who prefer atmosphere and dread over character-driven plot. It took me a few years to acquire the taste, but now I’m hooked.