I was seriously underwhelmed with this book. Honestly, the only reason it scores three stars is because there was a plot twist at the end when I was pI was seriously underwhelmed with this book. Honestly, the only reason it scores three stars is because there was a plot twist at the end when I was pretty sure the end was very predictable. Without that plot twist it would have only rated two stars. I'd seen a lot of people on tumblr reading it and loving it, and I only bought it because I found it cheap in a store. I thought the story wasn't that interesting, it didn't hold me well, and it was written very plainly. It's a book I wouldn't have read if I hadn't seen a lot about it on tumblr, and I'm no better or worse for having read it....more
I really wanted to love you Lovecraft, I really did. But I couldn't, so you get three stars.
The first negative part was the blatant racism, which bothI really wanted to love you Lovecraft, I really did. But I couldn't, so you get three stars.
The first negative part was the blatant racism, which bothered me more and more, but was only pronounced in the first third or so of the stories. When it got to the part where the narrator had named his pet cat N* Man, I was just like nope, done. I know that people have said that "he's a product of the times" and yea, I get that, but I don't have to agree with it or like it. He was blatantly, offensively racist, and that's a serious negative for me.
Next up, the stories were all very similar. Some of them are obviously related with the same places, creatures and names. The similarity of stories, as well as the fact that every first person narrator seemed to be the exact same person with the exact same thoughts and narration, meant that all the stories blended into each other and I frequently lost track of what was happening and who was who in each story. The connections between the stories made this confusion more pronounced and I can barely recollect separate stories as opposed to one long story with all the weird things included. Of course there were stand outs among the stories, and only one that seemed to have a completely different ending to all the other ones (which I ended up liking a lot for that reason). Many of the stories centered on the same stories, legends, and creatures, which probably confused me more than it should have. If each story was a distinct piece of writing with a distinct narrator and differing modes of story telling with new and different horrors, I would have liked this collection a lot more.
Another annoying bit was the constant repetition of the horrors talked about in the stories as being "too awful for words" or other similar sentences. I know that that was probably the way horror was written back in the day, but sometimes it just struck me that Lovecraft had a limited imagination, and if he only wrote that things were too horrifying for words then maybe the readers would fill it in for themselves with their own imaginations and he wouldn't have to think up actual things to write down. But for me, a reader nearly a hundred years later, it was just a little annoying. Maybe we're desensitised these days, but when I read a horror novel, I want to be scared, or at least a little shocked. The lack of concrete descriptions of these implied horrors didn't really do much for my imagination. It might be unfair to say, but it just seemed like he wasn't trying hard enough to scare people, at least not people now.
I will probably read more Lovecraft in the future if I get my hands on it. I did like most of the stories even if I did get a little annoyed more than once. ...more
September 2011: I really don't know what to think of this book. It was good, alright, but in my opinion, not really worth the hype. It didn't seem toSeptember 2011: I really don't know what to think of this book. It was good, alright, but in my opinion, not really worth the hype. It didn't seem to be amazing, just really seemed to be a little odd. And I really see nothing anti-war about it.
I think I mostly enjoyed Vonnegut's style of writing though, enough to read other works of his.
May 2014: Thanks to John Green's crash course lit videos on youtube about this book, I gave it another shot and understood it more. I picked up on the things that Green talked about, and saw more of how it is an anti-war book in its own way. I liked it a little better, and adjusted my review up to four stars from three. I still didn't absolutely love it, but I can see where the hype of being a cult classic comes from. I also understood why it's such a disjointed novel in regards to the timing and sequence of events. ...more
I couldn't decide between two stars or three. I found it a little boring right up until the end. I like Jodi Picoult because she writes about the bigI couldn't decide between two stars or three. I found it a little boring right up until the end. I like Jodi Picoult because she writes about the big and dramatic sort of issues, and this story line was, in my opinion, a little boring for her. ...more