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Old 09-19-2023, 09:14 PM   #1
GrannyGrump
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Robbins, Tod: For Art’s Sake. v1. 20 Sep 2033

“… those two deadly little volumes which formerly crouched between the kindlier books in my library like crime-besmirched dwarfs — have they vanished entirely from the memory of man? Vivid, poisonous growths of mental fungi, those tales sprang to life only to die before the sun. Quite perfect they were, and quite malign. Handbooks of assassins …”

The brilliant and sinister Burgess Martin writes a novel from the perspective of a murderer — and then arises a wave of murders, as the border between art and reality fades, and some readers are infected with the impulse to kill. The influence of Robert W. Chambers’ “The King in Yellow” seems apparent in this macabre tale.

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Clarence Aaron Robbins (25 June 1888 – May 10, 1949), billed as C. A. Robbins and better known as Tod Robbins, was an American author of horror and mystery fiction, particularly novels and short story collections. Writing for mainstream pulp magazines, he specialized in horror fiction dealing with themes of madness and cruelty. His work often contains bizarre and frightening plots, sometimes influenced by writers like Oscar Wilde and Robert W. Chambers. His novel The Unholy Three (1917), about side-show performers on a crime spree, was twice adapted for the screen, starring Lon Chaney both times. His short story “Spurs” was the basis for the 1932 cult film Freaks.

“…good pulp fiction, with a note of whimsy and sophistication that is unusual in the form.” —E. F. Bleiler

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A revised and expanded version of Mysterious Martin (1912), this novella was first published in 1920. This ebook is in the public domain where copyright is “Life+70” or less, and in the USA.
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