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Publisher's Summary

Originally published in 1895, Robert W. Chambers' The King in Yellow is a marvel of supernatural fiction that has influenced a number of writers in the genre, most notably H. P. Lovecraft. Its powerful combination of horror and lyrical prose has made it a classic, a masterpiece of weird fiction that endures to this day.

There is a book that is shrouded in mystery. Some even say it's a myth. Within its pages is a play - one that brings madness and despair to all who read it. It is the play of the King in Yellow, and it will haunt you for the rest of your days.

The King in Yellow is a collection of stories interwoven loosely by the elements of the play, including the central figure himself.

Public Domain (P)2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The King in Yellow

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Not what I'd thought it'd be

It's a little overhyped. Starts with a spooky idea then abandons it half way through for romance stories.

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  • David S. Mathew
  • 2016-11-23

Great Introduction to Robert Chambers

Robert W. Chambers is primarily famous for his supernatural horror stories, collectively known as the Carcossa mythos or Yellow mythos. These incredibly creepy stories were favorites of later horror authors like H. P. Lovecraft, who actually incorporated them directly into his own Cthulhu mythos. Also, Chamber's most famous horror creation, the titular King in Yellow, has recently been resurrected in True Detective.

First of all, this is a recording of the original 1895 edition of the King in Yellow. That edition didn't contain the complete Carcossa mythos since Chambers hadn't written it yet. And as many have already noted, only around the first half of this edition contains Chambers' horror stories. Around the last three hours, the stories shift from supernatural horror to love stories set in Paris. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but just know what you're buying.

Also, while I really enjoyed Stefan Rudnicki's very deep, baritone voice it may turn some off. Best listen to the sample first. With all that said, I'd ultimately recommend this as worth a credit. Enjoy!

30 people found this helpful

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  • Vincent C. Daniels
  • 2019-09-21

Cosmic Horror . . . Romance?

The first two stories were very engaging. I quite enjoyed them. They kept to the cosmic horror theme so prevalent in H.P. Lovecraft stories. However, the last few stories were more akin to grocery store romance novels. It kind of ruined the mood and overall feel of the book as a whole.

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  • Susan Lewellyn
  • 2016-05-28

So bizarre

Would you listen to The King in Yellow again? Why?

I've listened twice and probably will again. Each story is so bizarre and sometimes confusing that I love trying to figure it out each time.

What other book might you compare The King in Yellow to and why?

I have no idea.

What does Stefan Rudnicki and Gabrielle de Cuir bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Stefan Rudnicki's voice is absolutely wonderful to listen to. In an almost punny way, his voice brings a great depth to the stories.

Who was the most memorable character of The King in Yellow and why?

I think I most enjoyed the character, who's name I unfortunately have forgotten, who gets lost in the moor and is saved by the young girl with the bird.

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  • Angelica chavez
  • 2020-04-28

Great, different but great.

The series of short stories is great but has an odd mix of genres. From the dark to romantic.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-07-09

One of the Most Memorable books ive read

excellent Book . I am fond of the short story style that this book follows. The tone of the Narrator fits this book perfectly. I find myself thinking of this book in depth and for a lack of better words obssesing over this book, and i find that funny considering that "The King In Yellow" is a play/story that sort of corrupts the mind of the reader.Overall Book 20/10. If i find myself unoccupied with another book maybe i shall come back for a second reading.

1 person found this helpful

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  • TCH
  • 2019-08-19

great story

great narration and the story is engaging. lovecraft is difficult to follow in general. I like the audio version.

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  • jkeramidas
  • 2014-10-02

A tale of two books

What disappointed you about The King in Yellow?

The complete shift of story type in the second half. The first half of the book is a series of macabre short stories in the vein of Poe, but then the second half turns into a series of pointless romantic blathering about American artists in Paris' Latin Quarter at the close of the 19th century. I kept waiting for the stories to take a turn but they just continued to prattle on about pots of pansies and the inane interactions between the artists and their various crushes.

Would you be willing to try another one of Stefan Rudnicki and Gabrielle de Cuir ’s performances?

Rudnicki's monotone performance with little distinction between characters means I am unlikely to listen to something by him again. Gabrielle de Cuir only performed the occasional snippet of poetry at the beginning of a story. Basically a non-entity.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment. The actual stories around the fictional play of the King in Yellow were intriguing, but the rest was a waste of time

13 people found this helpful

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  • Jay
  • 2022-01-08

Echoes of Echoes

This, as a psychological horror, one with an untrustworthy narrator, has inspired some more modern horror pieces. There are times throughout the story, segmented as it is, that made me think of House of Leaves. To suggest this book as a precursor of easier reading to that which can be difficult for the disinterested, would suit the purpose well. Coupled with feelings of Poe and set in a contemporary span of time similar to the way Kurt Vonnegut tells a story, I can’t help wondering if this is horror as the most banal, or influential?

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  • Dean Wendell
  • 2021-10-14

Great narration by the audiobook performer.

The narration of this book was excellent the performer was spot on with his characterizations language change ups and has a compelling interesting voice to listen to.

However the story itself, clearly is a very mild, slightly disturbing story that really never goes anywhere.

In 1895 it might have offended some sensibilities and shocked people with its descriptions, but to a modern set of sensibilities it is pretty banal.

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  • Jasmine
  • 2021-05-06

A Terrifying, Yet Essential Read

The King in Yellow is truly terrifying. This is how you write cosmic horror. This collection of short stories is extremely pervasive and will permeate every fabric of your mind. “Carcossa” and “The King in Yellow” will replay in your brain like a parasitic thought. This is absolutely essential for any horror fan, or an admirer of the first season of True Detective.