Monday, October 10, 2011

"The Yellow Sign" by Robert W. Chambers

Ooh, this story was interesting. Set in New York City at the turn of the 20th century, a young man and his art model learn a little something about the creepy night-watchman of the nearby church. I liked the supernatural elements, and the author's use of dreams to foreshadow and hint at what's to come. Shame these characters can't see their lives like I can. Muahaha omniscience!

So anyway, I thought this was a creative story. An artist realizes something is not quite right about a horrid looking gentleman, after his artwork basically spoils in response to his looking at the man. His model realizes that the man was a hearse-driver in one of her recently recurring dreams, in which a coffin containing the artist was traveling. Creepyy. The artist then has this same dream, in which he is in the coffin and notices the model from one of the windows the hearse passes by. Double creepy, they're sharing dreams. That usually means it's gonna happen.

I didn't like random discussion of the sale of the church, however. Thomas, the bellboy, is a necessary character because of his own experiences regarding the watchman, but the conversation regarding the sale of the church was just filler. Plus, Thomas speaks with a strong British accent, which is hard to understand in written form sometimes. Or spoken, but that's a different story. It was not a necessary part of the story, and I would have liked a little more information on the Yellow Sign, and the book The King in Yellow.

Yeah, so you would think that this book and the pin/yellow sign would seem like an integral part of this story, right? I don't understand why it was rushed over so haphazardly.. It seems almost as if Chambers was trying to make it mysterious and eerie, but he only succeeded in making it vague and confusing. Why was Tessie (the model) so distraught over its contents? Why did the artist try so hard to avoid it in the first place, anyway? Questions that will remain unanswered, it seems. Oh well, the story was pretty good regardless, I would have just liked a little more clarification on what appears to be significant parts of the story (my opinion, anyway).

Justin :)

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