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To Rouse Leviathan

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4.23  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Since the turn of the twenty-first century, Matt Cardin has distinguished himself by writing weird fiction with a distinctively cosmic and spiritual focus. Inspired by H. P. Lovecraft and Thomas Ligotti, Cardin explores the convergence of religion, horror, and art in a cosmos that may be actively hostile to our species. In this substantial volume, Cardin gathers the ...more
Kindle Edition, 315 pages
Published August 1st 2019 by Hippocampus Press
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Jon
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 1996, a remarkable omnibus was published by Caroll & Graf: The Nightmare Factory, by horror author Thomas Ligotti. It contained three volumes of Ligotti’s work to date plus an additional volume featuring revelatory, new stories that had never been collected. The book, long out of print, remains a gem of horror fiction that few others can rival.

Now, in the late Summer of 2019, at least one omnibus is worthy to sit on the shelf next to Ligotti’s tome: To Rouse Leviathan, by another
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David Peak
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely essential. Standout stories include "Teeth," "The God of Foulness," and "A Crushed Place at the Center of His Plans."
James
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It has been many a moon, over a lustrum in fact, since I have last read a collection of Matt Cardin fiction (the first one I read, DARK AWAKENINGS, was back in 2010, while in 2013 I read DIVINATIONS OF THE DEEP), so it was a pleasure to read this new omnibus and revisit many of those prior tales, though the final four that make up the "Apocryphon" portion of the present collection were all new to me. Before I say anything further I just want to say that, in a genre where one can easily think of ...more
Spencer
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is an outstanding collection of short stories based around the eternal nothingness that presses upon existence and the insignificance of our hollow lives... It sounds bleak because it is, so beautifully bleak.

Matt's writing is truly masterful; each word has a reason to be there and has had a wealth of thought put into it. The mix of spirituality and cosmic fiction works together perfectly, to the point that the book starts to feel like a secret truth behind the universe and that this is its
...more
Claire Carton
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Worth buying


Well, this author really really doesn’t like Ain Sof, that’s for sure!

At least that’s how it seems... at first. There are an awful lot of stories in this volume, of middling to nearly-great quality, and they seem to be arranged in a way that unfolds or reveals the author’s increasingly subtler understanding of the universe and our being within it, over the course of the stories. So while the first narrator seems unbearably naive, and the story told us similarly... unsophisticated?
...more
Joshua
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic collection of short fiction spanning more than a decade of Cardin's writing career. He manages to center most stories around an unsettling nexus of conventional religion, cosmic horror, and deep, troubling nihilism in the vein of Ligotti. There are enough variations on the theme that the collection stays fresh and profoundly on point throughout, frequently leaving the reader with a disorienting sense of mounting dread.

Really solid work and a strong balance of some weighty
...more
Carson
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Thomas Ligotti has become a titan of the genre due to his unique vision and stylistic adeptness. Much is made of his pessimism, but I believe that it's only one piece of the puzzle. Yes, The Conspiracy Against the Human Race lays out a wicked tract against life itself, but what is alluring to me is not what it says about the world, but what it says about its author. Since his inception into the horror mainstream, many have come around to his outlook—imbuing their works with corporate horror, ...more
Alex
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is a strong theological bend to this collection, often setting Christian dogma adjacent to Nyarlathotep and Shub Niggurath in cosmic indifference. “The New Pauline Corpus” is more than just a blasphemous treatise, but hints at a shattered world around the edges of our unreliable narrator. “The God of Foulness” is a gripping novella that explores and inhabits a nihilist cult. The craftsmanship here is deft as the author bringing us in as a curious outsider, but infects us and then tensely, ...more
Bill
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A tentative 2.5 stars; I'll need to come back to some of these stories later on. I had trouble with Cardin's prose style, but enjoyed some of his plots. I felt like I was missing something as I read, and I want to give this book a fair shake since I've heard so many good things about it. I unfairly rounded down on the stars because my gut instinct says the book is okay and I'm not so sure I liked it.
Jordi
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
”What has Jerusalem to do with R’lyeh?

Matt Cardin has some interesting ideas about it in this solid anthology from Hippocampus Press, collecting stories published here and there in the last 20 years. Horror at its most ontological.
Alex Khlopenko
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have no words at this moment. Give me a moment.
Aaron Lafond
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cosmic-horror
Fantastic. Religious horror of the finest degree. I'll be following Cardin very closely.
Christopher
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Wow.

I see a lot of descriptions referring to this as theological cosmic horror and in a certain sense that is true. But it seems to me even more in line with tantric horror. Not in the hippy-invented-western way, but in the true sense of meditating on the outre and transgressive in order to experience reality. Very much in the school of a Shaivite, Vajrayana, or gnostic monastic order who took Ligotti as their inspirational profit.

These stories come from across the author's timescale and have
...more
Sam Edwards
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One cannot help but think of Thomas Ligotti when reading this collection, but Cardin offers something unique himself. The majority of these stories concern a dark revelation within secret readings of Judeo-Christian text: the epiphany that there is something predating both God and Satan (who are real, though insignificant in the face of this vast, sentient emptiness). Much of the story is an analysis of these text, complete with philosophical discussions and analyses.

Truly outstanding stuff.
Craig Strete
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A bit of madness this.. how do you say weird in English. Top notch writing though!!
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Matt Cardin is a writer and editor living in North Texas. With a Ph.D. in leadership and a master's degree in religious studies, he writes frequently about the intersection of religion, horror, creativity, and the supernatural.

He is the author of the weird and cosmic horror fiction collections To Rouse Leviathan (2019), Dark Awakenings (2010), and Divinations of the Deep (2002), as well as the
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“You have created protagonists whose very search for salvation produces a backfire effect that damns them to a worse hell than they had ever imagined.” 0 likes
“ITS ANNIHILATING HOLINESS: In the Hebrew Scriptures, in the desert, under the merciless sun, the Israelites witness repeated outbreaks of Yahweh, Who “is a consuming fire,” an untamable force, a burning pestilence, a plague of serpents. And so is He revealed not just as the Holy Other but as Wholly Other, possessed of a cosmically singular sui generis nature that cannot and will not abide contradiction. In the words of Luther himself, if you sin “then He will devour thee up, for God is a fire that consumeth, devoureth, rageth; verily He is your undoing, as fire consumeth a house and maketh it dust and ashes.” As Otto wrote with such frightening clarity of apprehension, there is something baffling in the way His wrath is kindled and manifested, for it is “like a hidden force of nature, like stored-up electricity, discharging itself upon anyone who comes too near. It is incalculable and arbitrary.” To see His luminance shining from the face of Moses is a horror. To see His face is to die.” 0 likes
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