Carlos's Reviews > Move Under Ground

Move Under Ground by Nick Mamatas
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Jun 28, 2010

bookshelves: read-2010
Read from June 28 to July 02, 2010

Jack Kerouac is in Big Sur when R´lyeh rises from the deep. The Great Old Ones are coming back, so Kerouac thinking the planet may need whatever dharmic firepower he can spare, sets out to stop them. This quest will take him to San Francisco, Denver, New York, and many points in between, during which he'll join forces with Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and Neal Cassady. He's going to need the help, as the path to salvation is filled with those who have heard the call, beetlemen and mugwumps. (In an interesting inversion of Lovecraft, it's the average Joe's and workday stiffs who are most susceptible to Cthulhu's influence.)
The Beats vs. The Great Old Ones seems like the kind of literary mashup that shouldn't work or would at least lose its charm in anything longer than a short story, so it's a pleasant surprise to see how well it works. The crazy energy of Kerouac's writing feels right at home with the end of the world, while capturing both Kerouac's spiritual hunger and his growing world-weariness. Nick Mamatas pulls off a fun, pulpy story with quite a bit of soul.

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