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Response Essay on The Most Disturbing Book I Have Ever Read

Horror stories seem to be very popular nowadays; however, the majority of both film directors and writers don’t seem to grasp the idea that the quality described by a vague word “disturbing” is much more important for stories of this kind than graphical depiction of blood and gore.

One of the most disturbing books I have ever read is a short story by a not very well-known Welsh writer Arthur Machen, The White People. While containing not a single scene of violence and without actually telling anything menacing at all, it manages to create such a feeling of fear and suspense as none of others known to me works of these genre, and I know quite a number of them.

Several people are speaking about the true nature of evil and one of them states that the true evil is considerably different from our mundane, everyday perception of it. As an example he shows a cryptic Green Book, a diary of a little girl written in naive and unsophisticated manner, but narrating about something extremely weird. At first, everything seems as if the girl was simply playing; but as the time goes and the narration grows more and more queer, the reader understands that the girl describes something real and what is considered by her to be usual and natural; but not by the reader. Suspense grows, but, the moment when final revelation should have happened, the narration suddenly stops abruptly.

This short story was considered by many to be one of the best pieces of supernatural fiction in century; and I completely agree with it. There is something modern authors don’t even come close to.

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