This story, which uses language and imagery to become so much more than the sum of its plotted parts, defies synopsis, so let’s not even try. What I will say is that Thomas Ligotti’s imagination inhabits an extreme and terminal chamber of literary thought. When it comes to the human condition, he is not a capacious writer. You might even say he is one-note. But it is a true note sounded from the very edge of pessimism. In this story he uses language disruptively, defamiliarizing it. Through careful positioning, association, and repetition, the phrase ‘bungalow house’ becomes imbued with a dusty, entropic dread more cosmically threatening than Lovecraft’s roiling monsters. The glimmering dead vision that centres the story is sui generis, and I’ve been preoccupied with it for a long time.
A wonderful full reading of The Bungalow House is online here
In Theatro Grottesco, 2007, Mythos Books