In this superb novel, originally published in 1977, Fritz Leiber explores the concept of "paramentals". Leiber makes his definitive statement on alienation within the urban environment and the capacity of concrete, steel, and glass to suck up miseries and spew forth monsters.
©1978 Estate of Fritz Leiber, Jr. (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
"For anyone who loves great literature, Fritz Leiber walked on water." (Harlan Ellison)
"A first-class supernatural horror story, written with all the relaxed ease of an old master." (David Pringle, Hugo-winning editor of Interzone)
My favorite novel by my favorite writer, "Our Lady of Darkness" by Fritz Leiber has held up for me with repeated readings, and I was delighted to finally hear this book performed on audio. Charles Busch did an outstanding job, reading the story with intelligence and verve, skillfully bringing the various characters to life with a solid array of voices. Bravo!
This novel was...odd. I liked some of the concepts in it, and appreciated the nods to M.R. James and H.P. Lovecraft. However, I found it a bit confusing and silly at times. I really enjoyed Conjure Wife and was looking forward to hearing Our Lady of Darkness. I must say I was a bit disappointed! There were very good scenes and imagery however, and the ending was right out of the M.R. James story "Oh Whistle and I'll Come to You, My Lad!". The narration by Charles Busch was great at times and downright awful at others. Meh.
I love audiobooks!
Just about everything.
No...this was an exceptionally bad book
Absolutely not. His flamboyant, pretentious, hystrionic reading distracted from the story and didn't enhance it at all.
Boredom and annoyance.
This was recommended on a prominent science fiction podcast. There's no accounting for taste.
Fritz was one of the great writers of the 20th Century, and I am delighted to see that his two classic novels Conjure Wife and Our Lady of Darkness are now on Audible.
Our Lady of Darkness (I feel) is Fritz's masterwork, the semi autobiographical thread of a man emerging from alcoholism and seeing the world perhaps a little too clearly is powerful and moving. The detail of the converted hotel, and San Francisco itself bring a real sense of wonder and menace to the book and all this is delivered in Leiber's wondrous prose.
The characters we meet and get to know are a real pleasure, they are interesting people and their conversations, which weave together the back story, are just fascinating.
Riding over all this is the supernatural element, Lovecraftian paramental entities which haunt Franz and San Francisco.
The finale when it arrives is brilliantly delivered and the book and leaves one very happy to have been part of the journey.
Listened to with Conjure Wife they present wonderful bookends to an amazing career (well 40 years of it), where his more well known fantasy work has perhaps over shadowed his brilliant urban horror stories (such as Smoke Ghost) which have rarely been matched.
Fritz of course carried on to many more stories after this, often with San Francisco at it's hub, culminating in the creepy and strange 'Horrible Imaginings'.
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