Thursday, November 27, 2014

Forgotten Book: The Spider by Hanns Heinz Ewers

Hanns Heinz Ewers (1871-1943 ) was a German actor, poet, philosopher, and writer of short stories and novels. His 1915 story, The Spider, begins explosively:

When the student of medicine, Richard Bracquemont, decided to move into room #7 of the small Hotel Stevens, Rue Alfred Stevens (Paris 6), three persons had already hanged themselves from the cross-bar of the window in that room on three successive Fridays.



After two deaths, the owner of the boarding house appeals to the police as the deaths are adversely affecting her business: People are moving out and regular clients have stopped coming. A police officer is designated to investigate the affair. The officer while making his report hints at finding a clue to the deaths but does not elaborate, asking for more time. However, the time never comes because on the first Friday since his living in that room, he too is found to have hanged himself.

Two weeks later, Richard Bracquemont, moves into the room, determined to solve the mystery and make a name for himself. The narrative then is carried forward by his diary entries as he waits for something to happen. On Wednesday, he catches a glimpse of a woman in a room across the street. She seems to be spinning. And from then on Bracquemont finds himself getting enmeshed in a web. He struggles to get out of it but the allure of the window is too strong.

Source: http://www.ligotti.net/showthread.php?t=671&page=2


This is a story that gave me the creeps. Perfect Halloween stuff. Now I want to read more of this author.

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First Line: When the student of medicine, Richard Bracquemont, decided to move into room #7 of the small Hotel Stevens, Rue Alfred Stevens (Paris 6), three persons had already hanged themselves from the cross-bar of the window in that room on three successive Fridays.

Title: The Spider
Original Title: ?
Original Language: German
Author: Hanns Heinz Ewers
Translator: Not mentioned
Publication Details: Not given
First Published: 1915
Pages: n.pag
Source: Project Gutenberg Australia
Other books read of the same author: None

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Entry for Friday's Forgotten Books, today @ Evan Lewis' blog.

8 comments:

  1. I'll have to look this one up, never heard of it until now - thanks Neeru!

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    1. Do read it Sergio. It's pretty good.

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  2. Neeru - This does sound deliciously creepy! I ought to try this author. Thanks for introducing him.

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    1. I really liked this story, Margot and hope to read more of him. I look forward to your reading of it.

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  3. Wow - this sounds like a perfect Halloween read - a nice chiller.

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    1. It is, esp as the web becomes stronger and he tries to get out of it.

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  4. Great cover. And the story sounds interesting and creepy. Creepy isn't my favorite thing but I may try it someday.

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    1. The cover is what took me to this story, Tracy. I wish you'd read it. It is good not gross.

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