Review of Three John Silence Stories by Algernon Blackwood

November 18, 2014

This time, we want to suggest a book written in the early 1900s. The book is titled Three John Silence Stories (buy here) and was written by Algernoon Blackwood, a real master of supernatural and horror literature. The book consists of three short stories that have an only one character: John Silence, a sort of psychical doctor, or rather, an investigator of the supernatural world. Strange stories with ghosts, whispers, witches and creepy presences are the daily bread of John Silence.

This character is also a sort of philanthropist because he doesn’t ask for money during his investigations, but chooses only the stories that he considers very interesting under the side of the supernatural and magic. Three John Silence Stories was written in 1923 and today is regarded as a rare book. The first stories about John Silence was printed in 1908. During his career, Algernon Blackwood wrote fourteen supernatural stories. The one we have read is, according to us, the most mysterious, dreamy and enigmatic story among those lived by the personage of John Silence.

The book has only 154 pages, we are speaking about the last edition of 2010 printed in the Us by HardPress Publishing. Few pages contain Three Stories: A psychical invasion, Ancient sorceries and The nemesis of fire. The style of writing is the same in all of the three stories, in the last one, it is also added a new character, the assistant of John Silence.

The presence of the assistant manages to empower the dark and murky supernatural atmosphere. It is useful to say that these stories have no linking with the real world and have to be read for having fun and relax or only if you like the horror and supernatural stories. We advise to read Three John Silence Stories because the style of writing and the whole plot are very high, as well as the ability of the author to use words to build an evanescent and muffled landscape, where smoke, fire and strange ghosts wander around silent woods, hills, little towns and ancient houses and manors.

John Silence likes to explore the endless and unexplainable borders of the mind and the still unknown forces hidden inside it. Algernoon Blackwood, in turn, the creator of John Silence, managed to turn the common emotions such as fear and distress, into horror stories. This is the main technique of writing used by the most of horror writers, but Blackwood was the real master.

Just think that this author was even reviewed by the great horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. About Blackwood, Lovecraft said: “He is the one absolute and unquestioned master of weird atmosphere”. Algernoon Blackwood is, with no shadow of grey, the real master of horror literature. Dark shadows are instead contained in Three John Silence Stories, where, thanks to well chosen sequence of adjectives and adverbs, writing becomes a real praise to style and narration.

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