Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Book Review: Golgotha: a phantasm by Charles D. Gardette, Illustrated by Virgil Finlay, 12 pages, Gerry De La Ree, 1973.

Here is an obscure book, a little discussed and neglected chapbook that is both lyrical and beautiful; that is both haunting and addictive.

In 1859 Charles Desmarais Gardette penned ‘The Fire Fiend’ on his way to perpetrating the Edgar Allan Poe Hoax. A competent poet, ‘Golgotha’ is another masterpiece drawn in the style and manner of the immortal master.

A clone of the ‘The Raven’, ‘Golgotha’ uses a skull at its center rather than a nefarious bird. Each stanza builds the tension with paranoid horror. It is gripping, it is atmospheric and it is certainly a classic. And keep in mind it was composed and first published in 1866.

But the added bonus of this slimmest of volumes are seven black and white sketches from immortal Virgil Finlay. Drawn between 1931 and 1937 these seemingly random visions of horror are brilliantly matched making this book a necessity for your library.

While only 450 were printed this book is still out there for purchase at reasonable prices.

Search those used book shelves and online but BUY this book.


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