The book is named after a fictional play with the same title which recurs as a motif through some of the stories. The first half of the book features highly esteemed weird stories, and the book is described by S.T. Joshi as a classic in the field of the supernatural. There are 10 stories, the first four of which, "e;The Repairer of Reputations"e;, "e;The Mask"e;, "e;In the Court of the Dragon"e; and "e;The Yellow Sign"e;, mention The King in Yellow, a forbidden play which induces despair or madness in those who read it. "e;The Yellow Sign"e; inspired a film of the same name released in 2001.