WARNING: If you are easily offended by anything which throws less than a positive light on Heaven or the Church, do not under any circumstances pick uWARNING: If you are easily offended by anything which throws less than a positive light on Heaven or the Church, do not under any circumstances pick up this book. You'll really hate this one and label it as blasphemy.
Luckily, I don't have any trouble with this type of fiction, and I don't believe that this was meant to be anything but fiction. Looking over the Internet, however, I was surprised that there were people who totally believed in what was said between the covers. Ah well, to each his own, I guess.
I enjoyed it because it was a different approach on the origins of faith, religion and the Church, but I liked it mostly because it says something about questioning what we as humans are taught to believe.
plot summary: The book begins with its author finding an old manuscript written in five different languages. It was hidden in an old building on the last remaining property belonging to the author's family in Italy. He took it home to the US, and eventually translated it. He explains how the manuscript came into being, and the rest of the book, outside of the epilogue, is the translation.
First off, the manuscript reveals that God and the archangels have come from a different universe which is dying thanks to the natural law of entropy. To save themselves, they must find another place, so by manipulating their energies, they arrive in the void just before our universe has been created. Once the task of creation is complete, they realize that there is none of their original universe's energy to sustain them, so they seek another solution. Think flip-flop of everything you've ever learned in Sunday school, and you pretty much have the story.
You'll either like it or you'll hate it, and you'll probably decide as much by Chapter One. If you get past that, you're in for a great read. ...more
The Shadow at the Bottom of the World is a collection of short stories that absolutely reek of bleakness and sheer horror, but not horror in the sameThe Shadow at the Bottom of the World is a collection of short stories that absolutely reek of bleakness and sheer horror, but not horror in the same sense of the more mainstream type of horror novels. Ligotti connects all of his stories with an overaching theme of evil that "may show itself anywhere precisely because it is everywhere and is as stunningly set off by a foil of sunshine and flowers as it is by darkness and dead leaves." (145) This is probably one of the darkest collections of horror I've ever encountered, but the stories contained within this book are truly excellent. These aren't the kind of horror stories you're going to find on supermarket shelves, though, but more of a thinking person's horror. I think you have to read them to understand, because I think each reader is going to find something that resonates on an individual level. The other overall statement that I want to make about this book is that it is clear that while Ligotti is an excellent writer, there are shades of influence in her from writers like HP Lovecraft and others, that allow the darkness to take you in its grip right away. Very well done, and highly recommended, although mainstream horror readers may not like it because there are no gory parts or whatever it is that a lot of modern horror fiction readers are looking for.
In the list of what I would consider excellent stories: "the last feast of harlequin," "dr. locrian's asylum" "vastarien" "the spectacles in the drawer" "the shadow at the bottom of the world," "nethescurial" "the bungalow house"
The others are good, too, but these were my favorites.
Very highly recommended; if you read Lovecraft,you will appreciate this one very much....more
Actually, this is more of a book for people who are into the Delta Green RPGs, which I am not. I'm not a gamer at all, but I thought I'd try the bookActually, this is more of a book for people who are into the Delta Green RPGs, which I am not. I'm not a gamer at all, but I thought I'd try the book because it said it was based on the Cthulhu Mythos.
This book is kind of a cross between the X-files, a techno-thriller a la Tom Clancy and is filled with conspiracies behind conspiracies behind conspiracies. The meat of this story is that one of the Delta Green agents (an organization which supposedly started with the FBI raid on Innsmouth -- I'll know more after I pay exorbitant book prices to find out what I missed!) was with his cell investigating a strange phenomena in a small town in Tennessee and disappeared. The cells investigating his disappearance are called together and launch an operation to find him. Their quest leads them into some of the deepest of deep cover operations -- but there are certain "rules of engagement" that they have to follow if they want to continue to keep the world safe.
There are a lot of characters in this book and the author has thoughtfully provided a list of who's who in the front of the book as a guide. Trust me, you'll need it. The book also goes back and forth in time so it gets a little confusing, but it all makes sense if you take it slow. It's kind of gross at times, but not off-putting to the reader.
I actually liked this one and as noted earlier, plan to collect all of the Delta Green books. It is very different than anything else I've read, but it's not for everyone....more
It would be helpful to the reader if he/she has read the original "Call of Cthulhu" by HP Lovecraft prior to reading this book.
In this anthology of stIt would be helpful to the reader if he/she has read the original "Call of Cthulhu" by HP Lovecraft prior to reading this book.
In this anthology of stories, we once again meet up with Inspector Legrasse, who, in Lovecraft's story, had become involved with the investigation of a cult in the swamps of New Orleans that worshipped Cthulhu. That story is offered as the first in this book; from there on CJ Henderson has brought back Inspector Legrasse who progresses from a New Orleans police inspector to a man with a single focus and a mission: to try to stop evil from taking over the world as we know it. The stories are put in chronological order and you really must read them as such or you will miss Legrasse's story completely.
I love Henderson's Teddy London stories and his Anton Zarnak offerings (and I love the types of stories involving investigators of the paranormal/supernatural in general). I liked all of the stories in this book, with the exception of "To Cast out Fear," which others who reviewed the book seemed to like a lot. It just didn't seem to be in keeping with the tone of his other Zarnak/Legrasse tales. However, that's just my humble opinion, and as I said, others seemed to like it. The rest of the stories, however, were fun, action-filled and a pleasure to read. Very entertaining book -- it is a good addition to my collection....more
Mysteries of the Worm made me think back to a lot of the strange Egyptian stories I couldn't get enough of as a kid and absolutely loved -- mummies re Mysteries of the Worm made me think back to a lot of the strange Egyptian stories I couldn't get enough of as a kid and absolutely loved -- mummies returning for vengeance, strange curses that fell on people who opened tombs, etc. While not all of Bloch's writing in this volume consist of his Egyptian tales, the book as a whole left me with inner squeals of delight. Sure, there are some pieces that are not so hot, but overall, this is a great read.
Robert Bloch was not just the author of Psycho, the book most people would associate with him, but early on in his career, he joined the ranks of the "Lovecraft Circle," which as Lin Carter notes was a
"band of aspiring or season writers scattered across the country whose common links were their enthusiasm for macabre fiction in general and Weird Tales in particular, and their friendship with Lovecraft."
Judging by what I've just finished reading, and by books I've already read, there is no doubt that he made sufficient contributions to the "tales that define the mythos," as the cover blurb notes about this entire series of books. While perhaps they're not the most bone-chilling of stories as a whole, a) they're fun and b) it's really interesting to watch the development of Bloch's writing over time in this volume from being a producer of Lovecraftian pastiche to coming more into his own both in terms of story and style. A big thumbs up for this book. Once again, Chaosium has come through with an anthology of stories where the good tales far outweigh the not so great ones. Definitely a no-miss not only for weird-fiction readers, but also for anyone who enjoys Bloch's writing in general and wants to visit the work of his earlier days. What a great group of tales!
If you want to peruse the table of contents and read small (no spoiler) synopses of each, feel free to click to the weird-fiction page at my online reading journal. ...more