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Book Title: The Man Whom the Trees Loved|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 6.78 MB
The author of the book: Algernon Blackwood
Edition: Start Classics
Date of issue: January 1st 2014
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
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Loaded: 1674 times
Reader ratings: 7.4
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Algernon Blackwood, according to wiki, was "one of the most prolific writers of ghost stories in the history of the genre." I don't usually read ghost stories, my imagination is too vivid and I end up more spooked than the spooks. But the title of this book intrigued me.
We first read about Sanderson the painter, but a painter whose special talent is understanding and capturing on canvas the personalities of trees. At first I thought Sanderson would be The Man, but he was not. He is the catalyst for what happens to Mr. Bittacy, who is The Man. He was an Englishman who had been in India for years, working as a forest ranger. "He, also, understood trees, felt a subtle sense of communion with them, born perhaps of those years he had lived in caring for them, guarding, protecting, nursing, years of solitude among their great shadowy presences."
Mr. Bittacy has Sanderson paint a portrait of the Lebanon cedar that stands in front of the Bittacy home, which is near the edge of the New Forest. Mr. B had chosen this house specifically for its location near the famous forest. Mrs. Bittacy allowed him this choice, since she did understand to a degree about the connection he had with the trees. But only to a degree. She knew he was happier around the forest, but she felt that it took him away from her in ways she did not understand and which scared her on many levels. She did not have the same vision about Nature, and what happens in the story affects them both in ways neither expected.
This was not necessarily a scary story, at least not the kind that jumps out at you screaming BOO. But it was suspenseful and intense, with plenty of interesting topics being mulled over between the three characters, and a suitably other-worldly ending. I kept thinking what a great Twilight Zone episode it would have made!
I would like to read more of Blackwood, but I will be very careful about which titles I choose. He
created a wonderfully creepy atmosphere in this story just with the wind and the forest as his 'spooks'. If I am not careful with future titles he will scare me spitless!
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Read information about the authorBlackwood was born in Shooter's Hill (today part of south-east London, but then part of northwest Kent) and educated at Wellington College. His father was a Post Office administrator who, according to Peter Penzoldt, "though not devoid of genuine good-heartedness, had appallingly narrow religious ideas." Blackwood had a varied career, farming in Canada, operating a hotel, as a newspaper reporter in New York City, and, throughout his adult life, an occasional essayist for various periodicals. In his late thirties, he moved back to England and started to write stories of the supernatural. He was very successful, writing at least ten original collections of short stories and eventually appearing on both radio and television to tell them. He also wrote fourteen novels, several children's books, and a number of plays, most of which were produced but not published. He was an avid lover of nature and the outdoors, and many of his stories reflect this.
English writer of ghost stories and supernatural fiction, of whom Lovecraft wrote: "He is the one absolute and unquestioned master of weird atmosphere." His powerful story "The Willows," which effectively describes another dimension impinging upon our own, was reckoned by Lovecraft to be not only "foremost of all" Blackwood's tales but the best "weird tale" of all time. (Unfortunately, Blackwood, who was familiar with Lovecraft's work, failed to return the compliment. As he told Peter Penzoldt, he found "spiritual terror" missing in his young admirer's writing, something he considered all-important in his own.)
Among his thirty-odd books, Blackwood wrote a series of stories and short novels published as John Silence, Physician Extraordinary (1908), which featured a "psychic detective" who combined the skills of a Sherlock Holmes and a psychic medium. Blackwood also wrote light fantasy and juvenile books.
The son of a preacher, Blackwood had a life-long interest in the supernatural, the occult, and spiritualism, and firmly believed that humans possess latent psychic powers. The autobiography Episodes Before Thirty (1923) tells of his lean years as a journalist in New York. In the late 1940s, Blackwood had a television program on the BBC on which he read . . . ghost stories!
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