Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Postscript.

Well Folks, there you go.  My impressions on the, if my arithmetic is correct, 470 entries to The Pantheon.  It has taken me almost exactly twelve months to read all thirty volumes and to pen my scribbles, and I would suggest it has been a year of my life well spent.
 
In the preamble I briefly mentioned the ratings system my teenaged self devised to grade the stories, and I thought it may be a bit of fun to repeat the process with (hopefully) a rather more subtle scheme, which would allow me to ascertain my favourite volume.
 
So to this end, I rated all the stories and poems on a scale of 0-5, with the occasional half mark thrown in for good measure.  This method would I knew, rather unfairly, have given David Case's 83 page epic The Hunter in Pan12 a similar weighting to the 8 pages of The Nursery Club in the same volume, as to both stories I allocated a 3.5.  So, with the aid of Excel, I multiplied each score by the number of pages occupied by that particular story, thus did The Hunter contribute 290.5 points and The Nursery Club 28 points to the total for Pan12.
 
Realising this method would favour those volumes with most pages, I then divided the total points of each volume by the total number of pages in that volume to produce what I call my Pantheon Quality Quotient, or PQQ.  Which resulted in the following league table:
 

 Volume
PQQ
 Pan15
3.51 
 Pan12
3.47 
 Pan7
3.46 
 Pan14 Pan2
3.39 
 Pan8  Pan27
3.35 
 Pan4
3.30 
 Pan17
3.26 
 Pan9
3.23 
 Pan3
3.22 
 Pan22
3.18 
 Pan6
3.16 
 Pan1  Pan18
3.13 
 Pan16
3.12 
 Pan5
3.09 
 Pan19
3.07
 Pan29  Pan23
3.05 
 Pan10  Pan13 
3.04 
 Pan30
2.98 
 Pan24
2.96 
 Pan25
2.95 
 Pan28
2.93 
 Pan21
2.92 
 Pan26
2.86
 Pan11
2.84 
 Pan20
2.82 

From which I have ascertained that Pan15 is the finest volume of the series and Pan20 the weakest. 

My system did sort of confirm the general view that quality deteriorated once the series entered the twenties, but I was surprised to note Pan11 down in the relegation zone.  And similarly Pan27 in a European slot.
I shall note bore you with the actual ratings I gave to each story, but will tell you I gave a 5.0 to only one entry (Ringing The Changes in Pan4), and a 0.5 solely to The Bath in Pan26.

But having said all of the above, were I to read the whole lot again I should probably end up with a totally different set of results!

3 comments:

  1. Fantastic dedication to get the lot, read the lot and write it about it all. I too used to devour the series in the early days but after a while other horror compendiums were more attractive. Thanks for making all this stuff available to jog our fading memories

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind words, Anthony - am considering giving the Fontana collections the treatment next. Regards

      Ian

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  2. I was for some reason thinking of those weirdly-macabre gallows-humour stories by M.S. Waddell today and decided to look on the internet and what do I find? Not only a blow-by-blow account of all of them but also of all the other stories in every compilation! A true labour of lover. I often think of some curious or more often downright horrible story I read when I was far too young and I've just revisited loads of them about 45 years later. All hail the internet and the dedication of people like yourself.

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