Ligotti, Thomas, Songs of a Dead Dreamer/Grimscribe
The recent smash success of HBO’s True Detective has sparked new interest in cult horror favorite Thomas Ligotti, who was cited by the show’s creator, Nic Pizzolatto, as a prime influence. Ligotti’s debut story collection,Songs of a Dead Dreamer, and its follow-up, Grimscribe, marked a major evolution in supernatural horror. Influenced by the strange terrors of Lovecraft and Poe and by the brutal absurdity of Kafka, Ligotti eschews cheap, gory thrills for his own brand of horror, which shocks at the deepest, existential, levels. Ligotti’s stories take on decaying cities and lurid dreamscapes in a style ranging from rich, ornamental prose to cold, clinical detachment. His raw and experimental work lays bare the unimportance of our world and the sickening madness of the human condition. Like the greatest writers of cosmic horror, Ligotti bends reality until it cracks, opening fissures through which he invites us to gaze on the unsettling darkness of the abyss below.