• The Great God Pan

  • Esoteric Classics: Occult Fiction
  • By: Arthur Machen
  • Narrated by: Shea Taylor
  • Length: 2 hrs and 20 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (160 ratings)

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The Great God Pan  By  cover art

The Great God Pan

By: Arthur Machen
Narrated by: Shea Taylor
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Publisher's summary

Machen's novella The Great God Pan is often cited as one of Lovecraft's most notable influences. In it, Dr. Raymond's ultimate goal is to devise a way to open the mind of man so that he may experience all the world has to offer. He calls this "seeing the great god Pan". After much study of the human mind, he devises an experiment that involves minor brain surgery. He performs this experiment on a young woman named Mary, but when she awakens she is terrified and mentally crippled. Years later another woman, the beautiful but sinister-looking Helen Vaughan, is reported to have caused a series of mysterious happenings in a small, nameless town....

Public Domain (P)2016 Lamp of Trismegistus

What listeners say about The Great God Pan

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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classic horror

this story reminds me of a much HP Lovecraft story except you don't need a dictionary to read it haha. I love the horror genre and this is one of the classic motivational stories of some the great authors of our time. definitely a must listen even if it is for that sake only.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Dramatic Reading of Machen's Classic Story.

As the little boy says in John Carpenter's THE FOG "Mr. Machen told ghost stories."

If we amend that to "supernatural" or "paranormal" we would strike closer to the Mark. Mr. Machen told some downright CREEPY stories in his time and this one takes top marks.

And Mr. Shea Taylor's outstanding reading, his flawless transition from character to character and regional accent to regional accent makes the story a delughtful (if shivery) listening experience.

I cannot recommend it enough!

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A good but antiquated horror story

After listening to The Exorcist I wanted to pick up some more horror stories, and I had a gap in between Audible's monthly tokens. So seeing as how this was less than 5 dollars I figured it would be a good filler in-between larger books.

I'd heard of The Great God Pan before because it's often referenced as an influence for both Lovecraft and Stephen King. However, I didn't know anything else about it besides that going into it.

It's short and honestly there's not much of a story here. Despite it being a staple of horror writing I didn't really find it all that frightening with a couple exceptions. The opening scene of the story definitely gives off a very creepy vibe, and there's a couple other moments in the story that give off an unsettling feeling.

I know that at the time this was written it was considered grotesque, but by modern standards it's incredibly tame. Most of the time the horror aspects don't come from descriptions of unsettling scenes, but rather from describing the feelings and sensations that the characters experience. Also, I find it funny that so much of the writing from this time leads me to believe that every important decision ever made in England is just a bunch of snooty gentlemen sitting in a club smoking, and everyone needs alcohol to restore themselves after a fainting spell.

Overall though, it drags on in the middle, but maybe I'm just judging it from my media-addled ADHD modern sensibilities. The beginning of the story is very cool and creepy and the story wraps up at the end in a satisfying way.

Another thing about this recording though, is that I just don't like Shea Taylor as a narrator. He fits certain characters very well, but he has a very feminine voice and I didn't find it suited to a horror story at all. It really ruined much of the book for me.

This is one story, that although I feel like I got my money's worth, I might have enjoyed it more reading it on paper rather than listening to the audio.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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The Root of Lovecraft

Highly recommended for anyone who loves the mythos of HP Lovecraft and would like to see where it all began. The narration was also a virtuoso performance and easily the best I've ever heard.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Good stuff

Thoroughly enjoyed this tale. Can see how it inspired Stephen King to write Revival.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Lovecraft's tales = slightly altered fanfic of Ma

... -chen and MR James.

I am grateful that I have read Lovecraft, only in that it made me curious about Machen. Thank you for the fawning over Cthulhu and Company, Mr. Lovecraft. But Pan is the real hoofed deal.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A wild ride

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this novella. The narrator was phenomenal as well. I'd been meaning to read this classic ages ago but never found the time so I jumped on it when I saw an audio version.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderfully fantastic and chilling

This story really brings to life the universal fear of the unknown and how dangerous it can be to toy with things you don't fully understand.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome novella!!!!

I'm so glad I listened to the reviews and listened to this book!!! Very creepy, very entertaining, and VERY hard to believe it was written over 100 years ago!!! Do yourself a favor and don't skip this one!!!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Stephen King's favorite story

When trying to find stories to get ready for fall and Halloween, I read this is King's favorite story. I wanted to hear it immediately. The narrator was perfect and I agree with the King, this a great weird story.

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