First edition, first printing published by H J Drane, London

Condition: Vg, 247pp + publisher's catalogue bound in at the rear. Original brown cloth with stamped black titles and borders to the upper board and spine. Corners bumped and pushing to spine tips, cloth is very clean on the whole, some very faint marks, and a small splash of paint to lower spine. Pages are tightly bound and clean, without any inscriptions. A very descent copy, Drane's books were notriously poor quality. Not listed in Bleiler, Barron, Locke or Ashley. 

 

*Weird novel which is a bizarre fusion of supernatural fantasy and horror. We are intoduced to the Madman of the story by his psychiatrist Dr Crispen, the novel then takes the form of a series of diary entries told in the first person by the Madman, who relates a succession of mind-bending, out of body entries. In one psychedelic chapter he experiences invisible voices calling him, and 'creeping, crawling atoms' as the reader is pulled into Blake-esque, elemental and molecular visions, experiencing all physical things disintegrating into vibrating atoms and light and colour forms. In other chapters he is visited by six inch high India-rubber men who can morph through any solid object, he too experiences life with this ability travelling through a vast fire cavern where he is prevented from plunging into it by an opulescant cloud of wonderful colour and shape. 

There is a sublime chapter where he is visited by fairies, who synchronise dances after desolving themselves into light particles explaining that they are 'The Souls of Flowers' led by Queen Ether. In one chapter he awakens to find his bed surrounded by a lost Etheopian race wearing 'hooded skin cloaks', adorned with sapphires and moonstones  as they perform an occult ceremony. 

Then comes the horror..... The madman becomes obsessed with killing one of the institution staff to satisfy an animalistic bloodlust which has taken him over. The following scenes are not like anything I've ever read before. The Chapter 'He Enjoys Himself' is narrated with a Poe-esque inner monologue through a sadistic and fetishistic murder scene which I won't forget in a hurry mainly due to the first person narration from the point of view of the madman, and his ecstatic ravings. He is revisted by the corpse of the murdered man in a horrifying scene which takes them quite literally through hell and back as the protagonist eventually re-gains his sanity. It is an insane trip of a book which appears to have been entirely missed by supernatural afficionados, this is quite a find. 

The Diary of a Madman by Edwin Lucas

£475.00Price