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SONGS OF A DEAD DREAMER - FIRST HARD COVER. N.Y: Carroll & Graf, 1989. First Edition. 6 1/4 X 9 1/4. Hard Cover. Fine / Fine. ISBN: 0881845809. A reissue of Ligotti's first horror collection, which appeared in a limited edition in 1986, this volume includes several revised stories and others new to the book. Few of them are truly horrific; the emphasis is on language--sometimes poetic, achieving the quality of a woven tapestry, sometimes merely drab. Not one is strong on plot. "Notes on the Writing of Horror" and "Professor Nobody's Little Lectures on Supernatural Horror" straddle the line between nonfiction and fiction; they contain self-descriptive essays that are evocative of mood and setting. "The Chemyst" has a new drug he shares with London's lowlife. "The Lost Art of Twilight" concerns a man trying to live down his mother's association with vampires. The cleverly titled "Drink to Me Only with Labyrinthine Eyes" has an equally clever denouement. "Masquerade of a Dead Sword" is heroic fantasy with a twist. "The Music of the Moon" reminds one of Charles Williams's supernatural thriller. The other 13 stories suffer from combinations of murky prose, meaningless events and lack of focus. -- Publisher's Weekly. 275 pp.
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