Our Lady Of Darkness

Our Lady Of Darkness Middle aged San Francisco horror writer Franz Westen is rediscovering ordinary life following a long alcoholic binge Then one day peering at his apartment window from atop a nearby hill he sees a pa

  • Title: Our Lady Of Darkness
  • Author: Fritz Leiber
  • ISBN: 9780441644179
  • Page: 462
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Middle aged San Francisco horror writer Franz Westen is rediscovering ordinary life following a long alcoholic binge Then one day, peering at his apartment window from atop a nearby hill, he sees a pale brown thing lean out his window and wave.This encounter sends Westen on a quest through ancient books and modern streets, for the dark forces and paramental entities thatMiddle aged San Francisco horror writer Franz Westen is rediscovering ordinary life following a long alcoholic binge Then one day, peering at his apartment window from atop a nearby hill, he sees a pale brown thing lean out his window and wave.This encounter sends Westen on a quest through ancient books and modern streets, for the dark forces and paramental entities that thrive amidst the towering skyscrapers of modern urban life and meanwhile, the entities are also looking for him.A pioneering work of modern urban fantasy, Our Lady of Darkness is perhaps Fritz Leiber s greatest novel.

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    One Reply to “Our Lady Of Darkness”

    1. Although I love Conjure Wife more, I think this just might be Leiber's best novel of terror. It displays many intriguing elements: a candid self-portrait for its protagonist (aging widower and novelist of the supernatural “Franz Westen,” a recovering alcoholic afraid of commitment), an evocative mid-70's San Francisco setting so detailed and precise that walking tours have been based on it, affectionate homages to both the traditional English ghost story and Weird Tales (a specter which evok [...]

    2. Our Lady of Darkness is a horror novel for intellectuals. While Fritz Leiber started out as a pulp writer of Lovecraftian tales and sword-and-sorcery fantasy, his later writings delved in philosophical searching often of an intimate nature. This novel may be his best horror novel although most readers could argue that the best is really his early urban fantasy work, Conjure Wife Yet Our Lady of Darkness works on many levels. The basis premise is that pulp writer Franz Westen, a thinly disguised [...]

    3. Fritz Leiber, despite being more widely known today for his award-winning science fiction and the sword and sorcery tales starring Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, was also one of the most original and most important horror authors in the history of the genre. His short stories from the 40's, such as "Smoke Ghost," "The Dreams of Albert Moreland," and "The Girl with the Hungry Eyes" -- along with his classic 1943 novel, Conjure Wife -- were groundbreaking, and cemented his status as the most influent [...]

    4. OUR LADY OF DARKNESS isn't an exciting read. It's a slow burner, a mass of details, all seeming inconsequential at first, that build and grow into something that is ultimately rich and strange and terrifying.There's a lot going on here, in the range and depth of characters that remind me of some of Raymond Chandler's or Ross MacDonald's lost people in California, in the details of the occult nature of city building, and in the secret pasts of famous genre writers such as Jack London and Clark As [...]

    5. First published as Pale Brown Thing a 2 part serial in Fantasy & Science Fiction (issues 1,2/77). Our Lady of Darkness was Leiber's last novel.

    6. In this story, Leiber demonstrates an incredible knowledge base about dark and supernatural fiction, going back into the 19th and early 20th century. He writes this story in the style of Lovecraft, or should I say Machen, since he wrote The Great God Pan long before Lovecraft, in which the unknown menace is slowly being revealed to the protagonist. This is a knowledge too terrible to behold. Many have been damaged and have succumbed to it in the past.I liked the nod and the reference to all thos [...]

    7. Whereas I liked Conjure Wife, I found this book all but impossible to get into. There was a time when I made myself complete books I'd started, but I finally came to a point where I decided that there are only so many hours in a life that can be given to reading. So I put this one down. I'm sorry in that I've really liked Leiber's work in the past.To bad really. Try for yourself obviously some do like it, but not me. This is a more complex book than Conjure Wife founded on a "fantasy magical sci [...]

    8. I want to make it perfectly clear that this is all. Neil. Gaiman's. fault.Awhile ago, I came across a list of Gaiman's favorite books and this was on it. What the hey, I said. I'll take a stab at that! Well, stab taken, and it's a good thing that I wasn't planing on sleeping any time soon. Wow, wow, wow - it's been awhile since a book creeped me out this badly!Recovering alcoholic, horror writer Franz Westen has a particularly soft spot in his heart for San Fransisco's quirky history - especiall [...]

    9. Disclaimer: this is very much a YMMV review. Unless you are a fan of H.P. Lovecraft or Clark Ashton Smith, or interested in that circle of writers, this elegant dark fantasy might only come in at 4 stars for you. It is not "Mythos," but it does involve the life of Clark Ashton Smith (in possibly fictional detail) & refers more than once to Lovecraft & his works. Our Lady of Darkness is an atmospheric, tightly written tale of curses, haunting, occult texts, & mystery. Although set in [...]

    10. Review: OUR LADY OF DARKNESS by Fritz LeiberA classic horror novel, as well it should be, OUR LADY OF DARKNESS is one of the few stories I consider perfect. My recommendation to aficionados of subtle horror, is to cast yourself into this novel; then, while it traverses your brain pathways and central nervous system, follow it up with Caitlin R. Kiernan' s neo-Lovecraftian masterpiece, "Pickman' s Other Model," pondering its perception of the Dark Lady.First published in short story form in 1971, [...]

    11. I'm so glad that I finally read this. I feel a strong connection with Leiber and his writing and I would like to collect all of this man's work. This book is a sort of modern, urban ghost story, like a really cool crossbreed of m. R. james, H. P. Lovecraft and existential pain. It's about the energy that builds up inside the conduits, tunnels, skyscrapers and buzzing antennae of huge cities and how that energy can be harnessed. Clark Ashton Smith is almost a character in this book, by way of a d [...]

    12. This is one of the horror novels that'll get under your skin. It's got no serial killers in it (at least no living ones; the jury's still out on a non-living one), no gruesome deaths, no blood and gore, almost none of the stuff you might think of when you think of a horror novel. But it's one of the better ones I've read, and that's saying something.The tone is highly realistic. Franz, the main character, sits in his buddy's apartment two floors down, late into the evening, discussing the legali [...]

    13. This was one of the most disappointing reads I've ever endured. I love Leiber, he's one of my favorite authors and I spent six years trolling the bins at used bookstores for his material, which is why I thought it a great coup when for the first time ever I spotted this book and mistook it for a lost gem. It tried for a Salem's Lot style horror-in-a-prosaic setting, this time modern (mid 70's) San Francisco and it tosses in a Lovecraftian element with a book of forbidden knowledge that opens up [...]

    14. I'm giving up on this at 15%. I've been trying to read it since October and it's February. I want to call it pretentious and annoying, but I'll just settle for "It was not my cup of tea"

    15. No voy a empezar la reseña alabando al señor Leiber porque sinceramente, después de leer esta “novela”, considero que no tengo la más mínima obligación de elogiar sus trabajos y mucho menos sus logros. Intento no sentir nada y analizarlo todo objetivamente pero no puedo. Este señor ha traspasado la línea y me ha ofendido. Y no hay punto de retorno en esta mierda.¿Qué es Nuestra señora de las Tinieblas? Pues no lo sé, sinceramente no hay una historia, hay un montón de reflexiones [...]

    16. Fritz Leiber dips into the lore and literature of the weird tale and Megapolisomancy, the pseudoscience of haunted cities, using an array of texts and lore from Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and other weird pulp writers, in addition to dark occult societies to produce a novel that, if not particularly scary, is absorbing. Leiber's style in delivering this novel is more Ramsey Campbell, then HP Lovecraft or CA Smith.A former alcoholic pulp writer, Franz Westen, living in San Francisco, finds a se [...]

    17. I recently revisited 100 Must-Read Fantasy Novels. In one of his lists, Nick Rennison recommends Our Lady of Darkness as a 'Dark Fantasy'. It turns out it also won the World Fantasy Award, among others, in 1978. I enjoyed Leiber's Lankhmar books so I was pleasantly surprised and intrigued. I had thought that his other books were horror but perhaps I was wrong?Well, as it turns out, no. 'Science-Fiction and Fantasy' often get lumped together by publishers and by large segments of the public. The [...]

    18. The book edition for some reason is not shown here on GR but is the 1978 version with a very distinctive cover. This cover I will admit is what first caught my attention as at the time I didn't really know much about Fritz Leiber - just that he was cited as being one of the grand masters of science fiction and that he had contributed so much to the genre.How wrong I was - not for the contribution but to how great it was. He wrote for many genres often crossing the boundaries (if there were reall [...]

    19. I just reread Our Lady of Darkness for -- what? Like the 20th time?I like this book a lot. It's kind of like a bibliological waystation. When I reread it, I remember a little bit about my life from the last time I reread it. Otherwise, I'd hardly remember anything about my life at all.Leiber’s central conceit is a Big Bad called megapolisomancy, which uses the geometries and features of large cities to summon malevolent creatures called paramentals. San Francisco’s various landmarks are the [...]

    20. This popped up on someone's list and I thought I should give it a long-overdue review.It's a great horror story but it's also a window onto the late 70s, showing us, reminding us of that half-forgotten era. "Lady" is worth a read just for that.It's also genuinely scary in several places. The best horror is the horror most tightly rooted in the real, the believable. And I know the locations are real because I visited them! Check out this article I wrote a few years back, relating my investigation [...]

    21. I could have given this book five stars for all the references to authors, books, short stories, even illustrators. Fun reading for me as always.There were some parts I didn't care for, although some of them played into the resolution, surely not all of them though. I also thought the ending was a bit weak, but I might not have been totally into all the phases because at that point I was reading very fast, probably too fast to assimilate the various aspects; it was quite a breathless race to the [...]

    22. I'm bummed that I'm just now finding out about Fritz Leiber. I could have easily finished this in one day but made myself stop. A few creepy parts that actually gave me goosebumps.

    23. A cerebral piece of dark fantasy from a real master. I've read this something like 3x over the past 10 years and always get something new out of it. Really captures late 70's San Francisco while delivering much food for thought along with some wonderful creep-out moments.

    24. Una gran novela con referencias pulperas de terror y un comienzo aceptable. Luego decae en la búsqueda de si es real el diario que este muchacho compró, pues por lo visto es de Clark Ashton.

    25. From ISawLightningFallI'll admit it: Sometimes I'm a bad book reviewer. In Picked Up Pieces, literary icon John Updike urged critics to not let their personal ideologies or prior opinions color their comments on a title. I try to do this, I really do. But occasionally I catch myself importing prejudices before I've even finished a novel. Consider what happened when I picked up Fritz Lieber's supernatural thriller Our Lady of Darkness. Lieber has a reputation as a godfather of speculative fiction [...]

    26. Έχω όλα τα βιβλία του Λάιμπερ που έχουν μεταφραστεί στα ελληνικά (δεν είναι και πολλά, δυστυχώς, μόλις έξι συν σκόρπιες ιστορίες εδώ και κει), αλλά αυτό είναι μόλις το πρώτο που διαβάζω. Συνδυάζει στοιχεία urban fantasy και τρόμου και αυτός ο συνδυασμός μου άρεσε πολύ. Σίγουρα το βι [...]

    27. Mater Tenebrarum ha fagocitato la mia precedente recensione, forse ritenendola irrispettosa perché in essa Lei non era nominataOra che ho rimediato, mi limito a consigliare caldamente la lettura di questo romanzo. È un horror originale, cupo e dall'atmosfera straniante. Su tutto domina la scienza oscura di Thibaut de Castries, quella Megalopolisomanzia dal nome tanto improbabile, con i suoi sapienti calcoli metafisici, che osa svelare la reale natura delle megalopoli e il pericolo costituito d [...]

    28. Written originally in 1978 after fighting depression and alcoholism after the death of his wife this book takes a very dark view of magic. Whereas The Conjure Wife could take place in any college town, Our Lady of Darkness is set specifically in San Francisco.The novel supposes that modern magic, specifically black magic is tied to the building of large cities. San Francisco with its hills, history of earthquakes and of course the Transamerica pyramid is a 20th century necropolis.Take then a ske [...]

    29. Tras una relectura subo de 4 a 5 la puntuación porque es maravillosa. Lieber se pasó un lustro borracho por la muerte de su esposa y acabó convirtiendo el paisaje urbano que veía por la ventana de su apartamento en la base de una de las novelas de terror más originales y avanzadas jamás escrita. Enriquecida por la presencia de secundarios como Jack London, Ambrose Bierce, Dashiel Hammett o Clark Ashton SMith entre mucho otros a los que se cita o menciona. No diré que es la precursora de e [...]

    30. Horrific atmosphere in a gentle nightmare world. When I got to the end, I was pretty sure it was symbolic not literal. Like a dreamAs much is taken here from De Quincey's Three Sisters concept ("Our Ladies of Sorrow") as in Dario Argento's three movies (of declining quality). Yet this book was published in 1977, and the film Suspiria is also from 1977. So zeitgeist or coincidence? I love that the main character writes novelizations for a TV show called "Weird Underground."

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