This is only my fourth (I think) Stephen King book up to this point, and I wouldn't quite put him up there as an author that I need to rush out and reThis is only my fourth (I think) Stephen King book up to this point, and I wouldn't quite put him up there as an author that I need to rush out and read the moment he releases something, but when I hear that King is doing something Lovecraftian, I think I'll add it to my library hold list. The idea that it's Lovecraftian, however, is both spot on and a little misleading (at least in the modern era), and it's really more a really stark, nihilistic look at mortality that, if it were probably 100-150 pages shorter, might have an opportunity to be a real classic.
The tale is pretty much the life of one person, from his childhood where he met a charismatic-yet-mysterious pastor through middle and old age as the pastor keeps returning to his life in different ways. There's love and loss, drugs, failure, music, Maine, mystery, and a sort of roadshow/spiritual healer sensibility to it that runs throughout until the very end, where everything that has been happening up to that point finally comes together.
It's impossible to fully discuss whether this book fails or succeeds without giving away the ending, and, really, the whole book. While this is clearly a book that is a look at mortality from King's point of view, this is also definitely a Lovecraftian pastiche from start to finish, with the slow burn and seemingly meaningless plot points that come together. I can appreciate what King tried to do here by also noting that, well, it didn't completely work. A short story that spends 3/4 of its time on seemingly meaningless details is one thing, but a horror novel with 400 pages is a different story altogether. The ending pays off, but you have to want to bear with the investment first and I don't know if most readers would stick with it if another name was on the cover.
Overall, I liked the book more than I think the book was good. The whole thing really sticks with me in a few different ways, and if I'm being honest, it's closer to a 3.5 that I couldn't in good conscience recommend to anyone in particular. A lot of books do it better, this does it pretty well....more
A solid, if sometimes uneven, Lovecraftiangraphic noir from someone who really knows how to do it. It's largely what it says on the package, with a deA solid, if sometimes uneven, Lovecraftiangraphic noir from someone who really knows how to do it. It's largely what it says on the package, with a detective and a dame and even an old-style comic feel to go along with the tropes being explored.
Not a ton else to say except that it's an interesting start, with a somewhat complete arc, so I'm not sure where this goes next....more
If I'm nitpicking, this is closer to a 4.5. If I could give a bonus star for how much fun and how much I loved this story, though, I would.
So I know,If I'm nitpicking, this is closer to a 4.5. If I could give a bonus star for how much fun and how much I loved this story, though, I would.
So I know, growing up and living in Massachusetts, the story of Lizzie Borden quite well. Accused of murdering her parents with an axe, she was later acquitted but her legend ultimately remained. Maplecroft takes that story and essentially retells it as if HP Lovecraft were putting it together. Yes, all the necessary tropes are there, and done beautifully.
The story is incredibly fast-paced and readable, with plenty of fun little nods to the Cthulhu Mythos and a few nice little curveballs along the way. It's a book I'm sure hardcore Lovecraftians might find something to quibble with, but, truly, if you are just looking for a fun ride? This is probably the most fun I've had with a book in months, and that should say something right there.
Highly recommended. Definitely check this one out....more
First, let's all be honest. We're only all reading this because we're addicted to True Detective. The show is inspired, at least in part, by this bookFirst, let's all be honest. We're only all reading this because we're addicted to True Detective. The show is inspired, at least in part, by this book, so reading it became a priority.
If you're looking for insight into the show, nothing is obvious. The themes that are borrowed have been discussed at length. That leaves the short stories, half of which feel like they inspired Laird Barron directly, half of which are ultimately forgettable on a whole. Not all of Lovecraft's stories were winners, either, but nostalgia and Mythos/HBO drama links aren't enough to really sustain this. On the other hand, it's a freebie in the public domain, so...
I reserve the right, of course, to change my mind on this if the show ends up different. It may end up being a brilliant inspiration that works better as a companion. Worth it for hardcore weird fic types, but that's all....more
I do love any and all things Lovecraftian, so when I saw that there was a short book called The Secret History of the Necronomicon available, I knew II do love any and all things Lovecraftian, so when I saw that there was a short book called The Secret History of the Necronomicon available, I knew I had to check it out. The book is a perfect blend/blur of historical researching and Lovecraftian tomfoolery, and it's a fun bite-sized piece of literature that I got a lot more enjoyment out of than I had originally thought I might. With a travel through the history of the idea of The Necronomicon to some of the fictional information to go along with it, it's a cool addition to the overall genre and Cthulhu Mythos....more
This is apparently pretty well-received, but I'll be honest - it did nothing for me, felt like it went nowhere special, and felt more like an attemptThis is apparently pretty well-received, but I'll be honest - it did nothing for me, felt like it went nowhere special, and felt more like an attempt to jump in on the Lovecraftian renaissance we've been seeing over the last few years. I don't recommend....more
So I'm on board with anything Lovecrafty at this point, and the fact that a) a middle grade Lovecrafty novel exists that b) is pretty much exaSO TORN.
So I'm on board with anything Lovecrafty at this point, and the fact that a) a middle grade Lovecrafty novel exists that b) is pretty much exactly a book I had started to write a year ago? Well, I can stop being annoyed that my idea got preempted and start reading it.
It's pretty much exactly what you expect - two kids are now going to the newly-opened Lovecraft Middle School, and something's not quite right. There's weird things going on, and there's also Professor Goyle, who's the strangest of them all. We then fall into fun horror tropes, some extra-dimensional stuff, nods to the Great Old Ones, and even a little R'lyehian tossed in for good measure.
While it's pretty good, and a solid not-to-scary introduction to horror as a genre, I can't help but feel like something was missing, or that it might have been aping other stuff a little too much. I enjoyed it enough, but didn't feel strongly about it, either, and I'm not entirely sure why. A strange read, but a decent one.
The Slither Sisters is out in January. I'll be looking forward to trying that one out....more
As a fan of all things Lovecrafty, a new anthology of Mythos short fiction curated by ST Joshi, the leading Lovecraftian scholar was very exciting.
AsAs a fan of all things Lovecrafty, a new anthology of Mythos short fiction curated by ST Joshi, the leading Lovecraftian scholar was very exciting.
As someone who doesn't really love short fiction, and has found a lot of the mythos short story collections wanting, I was a little ambivalent about trying yet another one.
The good news, overall, is that Black Wings of Cthulhu is good. It's not superlative by any means, but it's not a disaster like many of the other compilations I've read. It's good, and that's a good thing.
The problem with the book in a nutshell might be the use of the more cosmic aspects as well as the unseen madness. This is partly because of my preferences: my favorite stories in the book included ones where we could actually experience the horror first hand with the protagonists of the story (like in the tales involving the woman who bought meat, or the man who picked up the tentacled coin). The stories I enjoyed the least were much more abstract. This didn't mean that those stories were necessarily failures, but more that they may not have been as interesting as perhaps they could have been. This isn't to say that any of them come close to the eye-rolling tendencies some Mythos stories I've read have had (such as the "Cthulhu is in my computer modem" story I read some time ago), but too many of the stories in this collection ended about as softly as they began, with little to stick with.
Overall, the book is what it is. It's definitely worth picking up if you're a hardcore Mythos fan, because there's enough good (along with the stories up top, Laird Barron's story is predictably superlative, and there are at least 3 or 4 others that are quite solid) to go along with the not-so-good, and the stories are almost all short enough where you won't be making a major investment of time or energy if you dislike a handful....more
It's been a fairly Lovecrafty month for me as this book I've wanted to read came in from the library and I immediately fell for it.
The graphic novel iIt's been a fairly Lovecrafty month for me as this book I've wanted to read came in from the library and I immediately fell for it.
The graphic novel itself is a series of short tales that eventually merge together into a broader plot, but we have a doctor of paranormal stuff who fights Lovecraftian demons and has to deal with the bureaucratic nightmare that goes along with it. It's sort of like Dresden in a more cosmic setting, which speaks to me in a few ways.
Not saying it's perfect, but it's tons of fun and definitely something I enjoyed. Might be worth your time if it sounds at all like something down your alley....more