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I Am Providence

3.20  ·  Rating details ·  881 ratings  ·  202 reviews
For fans of legendary pulp author H. P. Lovecraft, there is nothing bigger than the annual Providence-based convention the Summer Tentacular. Horror writer Colleen Danzig doesn’t know what to expect when she arrives, but is unsettled to find that among the hob-knobbing between scholars and literary critics are a group of real freaks: book collectors looking for volumes bou ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 9th 2016 by Night Shade
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Juliet Hotel You can read and enjoy this IF you've never read any Lovecraft. "Can" is rather subjective. This book has almost nothing to do with Lovecraft or the…moreYou can read and enjoy this IF you've never read any Lovecraft. "Can" is rather subjective. This book has almost nothing to do with Lovecraft or the Lovecraft mythos except that it is populated with homestuck nerds that make up their own Lovecraftian stories, and need to see the Sun more often.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  881 ratings  ·  202 reviews


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Dan Schwent
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-books, 2016
When a writer is murdered at the Summer Tentacular, the annual Providence-based HP Lovecraft convention, Colleen Danzig plumbs the depths of the assembled fandom to find his killer. Can she stay alive long enough to find the murderer?

I Am Providence is a murder mystery set at an HP Lovecraft convention. It shows the dark underbelly of fandom, putting the fans under the microscope.

Colleen Danzig, the plucky heroine, goes through quite a bit of hell over the course of the book, both in her sleuthi
...more
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Nov 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
This will teach me not to rush to read Lovecraftian-sounding books.

In short: I hated it.

The book cover is great, though. The premise is interesting, but the book gets worse as you go along. And the resolution is embarrassing at best.
The story features one of the worst female characters I've come across. Ever. God, I was sick of her self-righteous and dumb behaviour. She sees every single flaw in other people but misses her own. It got so bad, I wished someone would just kill her. She stumbles a
...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2016/08/02/...

Looks like 2016 is shaping up to be another pretty busy year for Lovecraftian horror or Lovecraft-inspired fiction, with even more titles set to hit shelves later this summer and in the fall. If you read only one this year though, I highly recommend making it I Am Providence by Nick Mamatas. I found this part murder mystery, part dark comedy, and part fandom commentary delightfully odd and cheeky! While it doesn’t exactly
...more
Gabrielle
My fondness for Lovecraft and Lovecraft-inspired fiction is not exactly a secret, but I am often amused and baffled by the level to which his work and the man himself, almost as a character, have become part of pop and geek culture. I often wonder what he would think, for instance, of the fact that a couple of (genius) weirdoes decided to Kickstart a recipe book called the “Necronomnomnom” (yes, I totally backed it), or that some hipsters worship his stories so much they decide to get his portra ...more
C.T. Phipps
May 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: cthulhu, horror
When I first became an internet reviewer on my website, THE UNITED FEDERATION OF CHARLES, I had one simple rule: don't review stuff you hate. It was something of a self-imposed rule because there was a temptation to exaggerate the negatives for publicity.

A negative review inherently got more interest than a positive review--it was just one of those rules. I didn't want to be unfair, though, or crush another author's dreams. Besides, if I hated something then wasn't contributing to its obscurity
...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I AM PROVIDENCE is a book that I feel would really appeal to Lovecraft fans. I can imagine that this book would be a bit confusing to people with not much knowledge about Lovecraft's books. You do get information about Lovecraft, the man, and his books in the story. Especially about the Elder God Cthulhu, who will bring the end to humanity when summoned. And, yes there are those in the book that wants that.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!
Trever
Apr 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
I'm not even sure where to start with this one. Normally I don't do scathing reviews, because being a writer is tough and I'm not into kicking puppies to make myself look smart, but still... This book got on my nerves more than anything I've read in years. A certain kind of reader is going to love it, but a lot of people will hate it, and the distinction lies somewhere along this reasoning fault line:

"Oh, I am SO tolerant of all races, gender preferences, beliefs, and cultures... I am just so 'w
...more
Ross Lockhart
Aug 04, 2016 rated it liked it
There's a scene near the middle of I Am Providence where supporting character R. G. Gonzalez (based on Canadian weird fiction author Silvia Moreno-Garcia) rescues demi-protagonist Colleen Danzig (based on Colorado weird fiction author Molly Tanzer) from the Providence, RI police station. With Gonzalez behind the handlebars of a motorcycle and Danzig in the sidecar, I Am Providence briefly feels like it might become something special and soaring, a Mad Max: Fury Road moment in which two formidabl ...more
Frank Errington
Aug 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Review copy

I can't say I read a lot of Nick Mamatas, but what I have read, I've certainly enjoyed.

Nick's most recent work is dissimilar from anything I've read before. Set at the fictional, annual Summer Tentacular, "Providence's premiere literary conference about pulp-writer, racist, and weirdo Howard Philips Lovecraft," the book is an inside look at the craziness such an event would give rise to.

The attendees at said conference seem to be based on a combination of real writers and an amalgama
...more
Doug
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary-lit
Nick Mamatas, who I know and once upon a time had actual face time with will be glad to tell you that the writer's life is not a glamorous one. And that's the underpinning theme of his novel I Am Providence, a title inspired by one of the least glamorous of writers of his time. Of course of our time the publishing world has realized that there are many nerds and geeks they can sell repackaged versions of the old horror geek H.P. Lovecraft's writing to, as well as pastiches of/homages to same by ...more
April Showers Bring Fungi From Yuggoth
Review: I AM PROVIDENCE by Nick Mamatas

Author H. P. Lovecraft' s headstone epitaph reads "I am Providence." Certainly he is that for his subset of fans. Come witness the antics, tragedies, and utter sneakiness and ego-posturing on display throughout the "Summer Tentacular," the annual fan convention held in Providence for writers, readers, fanzine publishers, and dealers in Lovecraft Mythos memorabilia. I learned much about Lovecraft' s fiction and life while following the convolutions of the mu
...more
Chris Roberts
Dec 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
In this novel, cliches are the order of the day and hackneyed prose rules the night. The protagonist is poorly composed and one is not sure whether to laugh or laugh harder at her.

The narrative is flat, without contrast, without authority and out of luck. This author is devoid of energy and that is why this work barely exists in the hands, blink once...gone.

Chris Roberts
David
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovecraft fans, Providence residents, writers, pet owners with racistly named cats
Nick Mamatas, if you've read his blog posts and other social media commentary, seems to have a love/hate relationship with Lovecraft and Lovecraft fandom (and fandom in general); an affectionate regard for the old WASPy racist's squamous prose and cyclopean imagination (yes, I know I'm misusing those words) while being fully, critically aware of his faults. And he takes the same attitude towards Lovecraft's fandom, though with perhaps not quite as much affection.

I Am Providence reminded me quite
...more
DeAnna Knippling
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Two Lovecraftian writers at a Lovecraftian conference become roommates. One of them is murdered and partially skinned. The other tries to solve the mystery of who murdered him. They both snark over the other attendees. One of them is dead and can't stop snarking over the other attendees.

This was a complex book to read, partially I think because the marketing was so weird. This isn't a horror novel, but a mystery--a dark cozy. There are a limited number of suspects, the gory violence (oddly) tend
...more
Red Heaven
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
Is it too much to ask for a good modern novel that incorporates Lovecraft and his mythos into it? Carter & Lovecraft wasn't it, and this certainly wasn't it.

The book began brightly and I had high hopes, but none of the characters are well rounded, particularly the protagonist, and after a few pages the constant standing around talking about their fiction and asking who murdered the dead guy, etc, got very old and tiresome. The novel moves at a snail's pace and nothing of particular note or e
...more
Barry Allen
Oct 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
I paid 16 dollars for this?

So I'll start with what's good about the book. It has a great premise. It has a great title. And the cover design is fantastic. All these added up to a book I was extremely excited to read.

Now the bad. The book didn't live up to any of it. The premise was undone by unlikeable and uninteresting characters. The title, which sounded so profound, promised an element of the epic or supernatural that is entirely absent from the story. And while the cover looked fantastic wit
...more
James Ranger
Jun 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
Not for me. The joke is on the reader. The result of a snarky author who thinks he is too smart for us all. Think again.
William M.
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
I was not sure what to expect with this book, as I had heard a lot of hype about it on various podcasts and internet circles prior to the book's release. Although I appreciated the insiders experience and humor of some of the ridiculousness that goes on at a genre convention, the constant poking fun of nearly everyone that was not 100% politically correct got old very quickly, and more than a little annoying.

The writing, technically, was solid and the scenes and chapters flowed nicely into the
...more
Benoit Lelièvre
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've had a blast reading this novel. Not only it is biting satire, but it confronts Lovecraftian culture and fandom cultures in general, really, to their own ideas. Nick Mamatas' message is clear: don't take yourself too seriously. You're allowed to take the work seriously, be passionate about the work for as long as you want, but when you start taking yourself too seriously, you become a problem for what you love. Not to mention there's a fun and engaging mystery aspect to it and sneaky Lovecra ...more
Jaclyn Hogan
I received a s digital ARC of this book from Edelweiss+.

Ugh. Great premise, extremely lackluster execution. Also a waste of an excellent title. Basically, a Lovecraftian murder mystery bogged down in how awful fandom is. Can't recommend.
Tammy
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it

The nitty-gritty: A hilarious romp through the weird world of a Lovecraft convention, narrated by a murder victim and full of strange characters.

It seems these days you can’t swing a dead cat in a bookstore without hitting a Lovecraft-inspired speculative fiction novel. I’m not sure why 2016 seems to be the “Year of Lovecraft,” or maybe I’m just hyper aware of all these tentacle-filled stories. But in any case, I’m curious enough to read as many of them as I can. Enter Nick Mamatas, whose take o

...more
Erika
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
Fans gather in Providence for a H.P. Lovecraft convention called the Summer Tentacular. When one of the authors attending the con ends up dead, his roommate tries to find out what really happened.

This book feels like someone who had heard of cozy mysteries and horror novels, but had never read any of either, decided to try and write a mash up of the two genres...and didn't do a particularly good job at either.

For positives, I liked the images of tentacles running throughout the book and I like
...more
Matthew
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Brilliant, scathing, and always entertaining, Mamatas has lifted the veil with this fascinating tale of murder and conventions.

Full review to come.
Joel Mitchell
May 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror-weird
A Lovecraftian, nihilistic worldview underlies much of the narration, in this book, but this is no Lovecraft pastiche. It is primarily a murder mystery set at a Comic Con style gathering of Lovecraftian writers and fans. The book as a whole lampoons fandom in general and Lovecraftians in particular. I recognized characters who were clearly S. T. Joshi and Robert M. Price and if I were more into this particular fandom I'm sure I would have gotten other in-jokes. While the satirical portrayal of r ...more
Shane Keene
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Full review here - http://www.thisishorror.co.uk/book-re...

When we think of weird Lovecraftian fiction, many things come to mind, things we’ve heard and read of so many times they’ve practically become embedded in our subconscious minds. Places and monsters like Innsmouth and Arkham, R’lyeh, Shuggoth, and Cthulhu all have been written about in repeatedly over the years, mostly in pretty creative ways. But by now, if one is being honest, the trope has gotten pretty tired. Until Nick Mamatas comes
...more
Todd Bristow
Jul 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I didn't find the central murder mystery in the book all that compelling but everything else in the book kept me joyously moving forward. I enjoyed the social satire of lovecraftian fandom. the book was speaking to me the most when it was disseminating the celebration and criticism of HP Lovecraft, the person and his works as well as the fandom that sometimes goes along with it. I wasn't always able to keep the characters firm in my mind. but, that didn't keep me from enjoying the journey.
Tamara
Mar 03, 2019 marked it as no
Shelves: z-toxic-behavior
gr-is-for-trolls
David Agranoff
If this seems like a negative review, it is only because I had very high hopes for this novel. It is less of a novel and more of a thinly veiled act of trolling that takes potshots at members of the Lovecraftian lit scene. This is my third time reading a Mamatas novel and I think my problem with it is it seems a little below those books. When I read Bullettime and Love is the Law I was impressed and felt like I was reading works of genius.
I enjoyed I Am Providence, but it seems like an idea hatc
...more
Matthew Davenport
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I went into this book pretty excited. The premise sounded like a lot of fun, and I liked Mamatas' The Damned Highway. Unfortunately, this was a 3 star book for various reasons that only managed to get its fourth star from me because I did find myself regularly compelled to continue turning the page just for the murder mystery plot.
Unlike other reviewers, I mostly enjoyed the protagonist, Colleen Danzig. The parts that bothered me revolved around the victim's point of view. Originally, those chap
...more
Natasha Pavlitsevits
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this dark comedy/ whodunnit mystery in the depths of the Lovecraft-loving community.
The writing felt incredibly unique and refreshing in how it expressed complicated ideas about social relations and death. Still the thing that really stood out for me was the way Mamatas wrote the female perspective of someone trying to create her own identity within a male-dominated, small community. It is spot on!
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Nick Mamatas is the author of the Lovecraftian Beat road novel Move Under Ground, which was nominated for both the Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild awards, the Civil War ghost story Northern Gothic, also a Stoker nominee, the suburban nighmare novel Under My Roof, and over thirty short stories and hundreds of articles (some of which were collected in 3000 Miles Per Hour in Every Directio ...more
“Most people who are inexplicably confident despite being talentless and more than a little stupid have warm, affectionate parents.” 0 likes
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