Paul helpfully saw the true meaning within my request to re-read the Baroque Cycle, so also brought over two H.P Lovecraft anthologies – namely that I hate myself, and require more pain and horror in my life. Fortunately the floor in my flat, unlike the roof, is structurally sound, so no additional reinforcement was necessary to support all three tomes of Neal Stepehenson’s work – their mass signature is starting to slightly distort nearby objects, however.

The first Lovecraft collection features a chronologically arranged assortment of short stories, and shows some clear development of technique and style. My favourite of the volume is ‘The Shadow Over Innsmouth’, since it achieves the best combination of horror and believability. Some of the stories have some ludicrous plot propositions, or endings that become apparent mid-way through reading, and there’s a general problem that standard of what is horrific has evolved in the last century, but overall I was pretty impressed. Also, the frequent parodying of some of the works lessens the horror further – I imagine Cthuluh would have been more terrible before the plushies went on sale (and I’m also struggling to remember where ‘the black goat with a thousand young’ has been parodied – Colour of Magic?)

I was forewarned about the free-ranging, at times superflous and long-winded Lovecraft writing style, with its gratuity of esoterically flamboyant adjectives and clauses, humble sentences sometimes warped and stretched out of all sane recognition, but in point of fact once entered into, the reader is drawn along by the verbiage without undue discomfort or inconvenience – although this might comprise a greater reflection upon the reader than the writer in my case. My Higher English teacher would probably shoot me for the preceding sentence. There have been periodic rumours of a Lovecraft MMO, but even if it’s extremely RP-heavy, I can’t reconcile the kind of narrative required with ‘LOLZ – Dag0n 4 TEH W1N’.

Posted Sunday, September 2nd, 2007 under books, geek.

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