David's Reviews > Alhazred: Author of the Necronomicon

Alhazred by Donald Tyson
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's review
Dec 01, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: biography, fantasy, fiction, horror
Read from December 02 to 10, 2011

Having fallen in love with the Yemeni King Huban's daughter Alhazred gets her pregnant.

When this is discovered he is tortured, forced to eat the grilled body of the miscarried fetus (amongst other things), mutilated and set loose in the desert (the Empty Space) of Yemen to die. He does not do this. Rather, he becomes a cannibal to survive, then becomes a ghoul and finally sets out on a quest to restore his body (deconstructed by the torture and mutilation). The bulk of the book is concerned with this quest.

Though heavily Lovecraftian (lots of unnameable beasties and subterranean adventures...as wall as the ubiquitous 'Dark Wanderer' ~ Nyarlathotep...of course a servant of chaos...aren't they always though ) the narrative is a fairly typical quest narrative. And although the narrative is not insightful the style is non-disruptive and pleasant and the action makes up for a lack of character depth.

Alhazred is an amoral protagonist and so the shift away from a morality play, which is typical of such narratives, is refreshing. Alhazred isn't evil but he does behave so on occasion. He is predominantly self-interested, while at the same time, on occasion, capable of compassion.

The conclusion was predictable, but it did tie of the quest nicely.

Though typical, redundant, and over-written the book is a refreshing change of pace...especially since Alhazred is not punished for his wicked behavior though this is hinted at when he considers that he is damned for his services to the 'Old Ones'.

Not for the squeamish or those with a well-defined moral sensibility.
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12/02/2011 page 126
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