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Preview — The Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood. The Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood. Algernon Blackwood's classic tale, The Wendigo. An influential novella by one of the most best-known writers of fantasy and horror, set in a place and time Blackwood knew well. Get A Copy. Paperback , 48 pages. Published November 3rd by Hard Press first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Wendigo , please sign up.
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Blackwood clearly loves the natural world. My feet of fire! My burning feet of fire! Oh, oh! This height and fiery speed! View all 17 comments. Nov 27, Lyn rated it really liked it. Dark and thrilling. This demonstrates the narrative power of a short story.
Blackwood is able to hold a tingling sense of unease and supernatural awe throughout this tight prose and tell a riveting ghost story at the same time. His language is evocative and murky, making the forest come alive and the stillness of the far north broods like a monster.
Reminiscent of Jack London and Joseph Conrad at their best. Mar 25, Peter rated it it was ok Shelves: horror. A hunting company, an old folk lore and a member of the hunting company that seems to have changed I wasn't scared or frightened when toiling through this story. Okay, plotting and prose were immaculate but the story itself was extremely tedious. In my opinion there are many more uncannier, more hair raising tales about this old folk lore. I was a bit disappointed.
This was not my cup of tea. Only for Blackw A hunting company, an old folk lore and a member of the hunting company that seems to have changed Only for Blackwood fans! View all 4 comments. Algernon Blackwood had an interesting life - before he began to write weird stories he taught the violin, was a bartender, reported for the New York Times, operated a hotel and worked as a farmer in Canada; only in his late thirties did he return to England and started to write stories, using his many personal experiences for inspiration and combining them with his vivid imagination.
First published in The Wendigo is one of Blackwood's early stories, and also one of his most famous. In the Algernon Blackwood had an interesting life - before he began to write weird stories he taught the violin, was a bartender, reported for the New York Times, operated a hotel and worked as a farmer in Canada; only in his late thirties did he return to England and started to write stories, using his many personal experiences for inspiration and combining them with his vivid imagination.
In the length of a short novella, Blackwood managed to craft a story which not only is eerie atmospheric to this day, but continues to influence contemporary writers of horror and weird fiction. A Wendigo is mostly associated with the vast and cold spaces of the North, where it hunted down those unlucky to stumble on its path. Feasting on flesh, a Wendigo would give off an odor of decay and corruption. The tribes believed that humans could be possessed by the spirit of a Wendigo while dreaming, and become obsessed with eating human flesh, or be turned into Wendigos when they resorted to cannibalism on their own, even when they were forced to do so to survive a particularly harsh winter or a famine.
Blackwood employs the legend of the Wendigo to create a mother of all horror stories which feature a group of people lost in the woods. He sets his story in the Canadian Far North, and its vast unexplored wilderness where enormous, thick forests stretch seemingly without end.
Two Scotsmen - a Dr. Cathcart and Mr. Blackwood really excells at setting the mood and atmosphere in the few pages of this novella: the reader feels as if he were right there in the cold, unfamiliar country, where the vastness of empty and uninhabited space silently stretches out across the horizon.
The setting and its utter indifference to human life is a major part in building up fear, where the festival of strange noises and scents and the oppressive feeling of endless lonely forests and their unrelenting cold can drive one mad. In this story, the land itself is a force acting upon those who tread it; and it's neither kind nor unkind, merely indifferent, which is perhaps the most horrifying thing of all.
This is a classic and influential story which can be easily read in one sitting, and since it's in public domain it's also available as a legal, free download from many sources. View all 20 comments. Algernon Blackwood was completely unknown to me until now. The author can create a good, which in this case means uncomfortable, atmosphere with fairly simple means.
Blackwood apparently knows how to expose his protagonists to varying degrees of concrete fear and diffuse anxiety that somehow transfer to the reader, in my case even overcome the language barrier that normally protects me from such things.
Thanks, Wendigo! View all 9 comments. Even better this time. A hunting party of five men are on their way to find the elusive moose. They leave their cook Puck to guard their main camp while the rest split into two groups to cover more ground.
The way nature is depicted only confirms that I could never be a scou Even better this time. The way nature is depicted only confirms that I could never be a scout.
While it is breathtakingly beautiful, it is more than scary. Add a supernatural element of a creature that can take a shape of your companion and you get a terrifying combination. Don't expect to 'see' the Wendigo in its actual form.
Its presence, or a hint of it, is used to terrify the men because the Wendigo is the unknown. View 2 comments. Aug 22, J. This 'horror classic' was such a strange mixture of psychological terror and late-night campfire yarn that it never really came together.
He starts setting the mood in classic Blackwood fashion--slow, deliberate, and philosophical: "The silence of the vast listening forest stole forward and enveloped them. The same line gets repeated several times over, which is what reminded me of a campfire tale--that there is a sort of repetitive motif that ties the thing together.
Yet it really seemed to be in conflict with the general tone of the piece. Other than that, and as usual for Blackwood, there were some quite disturbing and effective images, and some unpleasant implications. It really is a thoughtful and well-constructed story, I only wish he had found a voice for the victim's terror that wasn't so oddly specific in observing and reporting on the details of his predicament. View all 3 comments. I have to admit, that I had never heard anything from the author before our group reading.
Odors and sounds play an important role in this little story. The author's language is full of sensory impressions that you get in a dark forest. Dark forests have al I have to admit, that I had never heard anything from the author before our group reading. Dark forests have always awakened primeval fears in humans and have become a subject in legends, fairy tales and nowadays in horror novels.
The plot itself is rather unspectacular for our time.
Into the Woods: “The Wendigo” by Algernon Blackwood
A considerable number of hunting parties were out that year without finding so much as a fresh trail; for the moose were uncommonly shy, and the various Nimrods returned to the bosoms of their respective families with the best excuses the facts of their imaginations could suggest. Cathcart, among others, came back without a trophy; but he brought instead the memory of an experience which he declares was worth all the bull moose that had ever been shot. But then Cathcart, of Aberdeen, was interested in other things besides moose—amongst them the vagaries of the human mind. This particular story, however, found no mention in his book on Collective Hallucination for the simple reason so he confided once to a fellow colleague that he himself played too intimate a part in it to form a competent judgment of the affair as a whole He was deeply susceptible, moreover, to that singular spell which the wilderness lays upon certain lonely natures, and he loved the wild solitudes with a kind of romantic passion that amounted almost to an obsession. The life of the backwoods fascinated him—whence, doubtless, his surpassing efficiency in dealing with their mysteries. On this particular expedition he was Hank's choice.
While their Indian cook, Punk, stays to tend the main camp, the others split up into two hunting-parties; Dr. Simpson finally manages to make his way back to the main camp, where he is reunited with the others. The poor guide dies soon after, and the three men are left in a state of bafflement and uncertainty about what has occurred. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The Wendigo. Reprinted in Jason Colavito , ed. All he did was coin a Lovecraftian name for Blackwood's Wendigo, and of course the Wendigo is not Blackwood's invention either.