Never thought I'd praise a book about zombies as being one of the most brilliant, human, and moving books I've read in a long time, but there ya go. SNever thought I'd praise a book about zombies as being one of the most brilliant, human, and moving books I've read in a long time, but there ya go. Simply amazing. ...more
This is an enjoyable take on the Cthulu mythos. I particularly appreciated it the correlation between outer gods, great old ones, and corporate AmericThis is an enjoyable take on the Cthulu mythos. I particularly appreciated it the correlation between outer gods, great old ones, and corporate America. It's a funny and entertaining book as long as you don't think too hard about it. Once you really think about it it is pretty dark. None the less, its a lot of fun. Recommended to jaded and crazy people everywhere. ...more
Baltimore is the tale of a world on which the light has all but gone out from Humanity. The encroaching darkness has been caused by the twin horrors oBaltimore is the tale of a world on which the light has all but gone out from Humanity. The encroaching darkness has been caused by the twin horrors of war and a mysterious plague. In the midst of that plague one man knows the cause and the book is the story of how he is forged into the sword that humanity strikes back with.
The story is told through a series of flashbacks. Three of Lord Baltimore's friends have gathered in answer to a mysterious summons to a gray and terrible in in an unnamed city. These men share their tales of how they met Baltimore and why they believed his outlandish stories of vampires and monsters. Each has a tale to tell.
The book is a very traditional type of horror story. Three quarters of it is simply the three men telling stories of the supernatural that they encountered in their youths and how that made them willing to believe. Their willingness to believe is what makes them assets to Baltimore and is also why he has asked them to this place.
It is a wonderfully written book that really hearkens back to gothic horror like Dracula or H.P. Lovecraft in the same way that Mignola's Hellboy does. The heroes in the story stand fast against evil but the sense that they are only seeing a small part of a ubiquitous evil is omnipresent. Much like Lovecraft there is a pervading sense that if the veil was drawn back we would be overwhelmed by the horrors waiting all around us.
What most differentiates Mignola and Golden's story is from Lovecraft and others along those lines is that rather than simply go insane and run away white haired and screaming from the Mountains of Madness their characters have a tendency to sigh resignedly and then punch evil in the jaw.
The book can also be read as an allegory for war. It's not heavy handed in this aspect and is mostly successful. It works better as a simply horror story.
The interweaving of Hans Christian Anderson's 'Steadfast Tin Soldier' and Lord Baltimore's character is also successful but somewhat extraneous. It's apparent what they are doing with it and why but in the end I felt it just didn't add that much to the story or the creation of the character. It certainly doesn't hurt, but its a relatively small portion of what the book is about which makes the subtitle a little odd.
The book itself is a work of art. It is an illustrated novel with hundreds of Mignola illustrations through out. It's rare to find a book this well written and this attractive from the cover down to the chapter illuminations.
This is a must read for fans of Gothic horror, fans of Non-frilly-collar Vampires, and a must own for fans of Mignola's art. Highly recomended. ...more