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  • Published: 1 December 2015
  • ISBN: 9780143107767
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 464
  • RRP: $37.00

Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe



In these collections, Ligotti bends reality until it cracks, opening fissures through which he invites us to gaze on the unsettling darkness below – an ordeal from which one may perhaps return, but never to be the same. 

Two terrifying classics by “the best kept secret in contemporary horror fiction” (TheWashington Post)

Thomas Ligotti’s debut collection, Songs of a Dead Dreamer, and his second, Grimscribe, permanently inscribed a new name in the pantheon of horror fiction.  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.

For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

  • Published: 1 December 2015
  • ISBN: 9780143107767
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 464
  • RRP: $37.00

About the author

Thomas Ligotti

Thomas Ligotti was born in Detroit in 1953 and grew up in the nearby suburb of Grosse Pointe Woods. He graduated from Wayne State University in 1978. From 1979 to 2001, Ligotti worked for a reference book publisher in the Detroit area, serving as an editor on such titles as Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism and Contemporary Authors. His first collection of stories, Songs of a Dead Dreamer, was published in 1986, with an expanded version issued three years later. Other collections include Grimscribe (1991), Noctuary (1994), and My Work Is Not Yet Done (2002).

Ligotti is the recipient of several awards, including the Horror Writers Association Bram Stoker award for his omnibus collection The Nightmare Factory (1996) and short novel My Work Is Not Yet Done. He has also written a nonfiction book, The Conspiracy Against the Human Race: A Short Life of Horror, which comprises an excursion through the darker byways of literature, philosophy, and psychology. A short film of Ligotti's story "The Frolic" was completed in 2006 and is scheduled to appear as a DVD. In addition, through an agreement with Fox Studios' subsidiary Fox Atomic, a graphic novel based his works was released in 2007. For more information visit: http://www.ligotti.net

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