Book Review: LOVECRAFT'S MONSTERS

PrintE-mail Written by Joel Harley

Lovecraft's Monsters Review

Review: Lovecraft’s Monsters / Author: Ellen Datlow / Publisher: Tachyon / Release Date: Out Now

Horror icon H.P. Lovecraft may have been a virtual unknown during his time as a jobbing writer in the early 20th century, but his influence has since grown to levels of true cultism. This is evidenced in works such as Lovecraft’s Monsters, an anthology which shows that his Old Ones aren’t going anywhere fast.

Where many Lovecraft-inspired short stories are content to merely imitate or pastiche the great man’s work, Lovecraft’s Monsters heads in a different direction. Editor Ellen Datlow has collected a series of genre-bending tales which do a little more than simply copy that which came before. With an all-star host of names such as Neil Gaiman, Joe R. Lansdale and Kim Newman bringing their considerable talent to the table, it’s a varied and eclectic collection, more than worthy of the mighty Cthulhu.

There are eighteen entries here, most of an impressively high standard. It opens, unsurprisingly, with Gaiman’s Only the End of the World Again, which also happens to be the least good story in the book. A grisly werewolf tale, it boasts typical Gaiman wordsmithery, but lacks his usual wit. A shame, since his Sherlock Holmes pastiche A Study in Emerald proves that he can write Cthulhu well. Still, the only way from there is up, and the rest of the stories just keep on getting better. Brian Hodge’s lengthy The Same Deep Waters as You is the best of the lot, although there’s serious competition throughout.

Kim Newman’s A Quarter to Three is short but sweet, while there’s poetry in Gemma Files’ Haruspicy and Jar of Salts. Howard Waldrop and Steven Utley provide the book its most memorable and ambitious story in Black as the Pit, From Pole to Pole. A Frankenstein sequel and Cthulhu crossover, it sees Victor’s creation wander (literally) into Lovecraft territory during his post-Frankenstein travels. Inventive, soulful and exciting, it would make a great full-length novel or movie. But since we can’t even get a Mountains of Madness adaptation off the ground, you’d be better off not holding your breath for that one.

There’s a lot to love in Lovecraft’s Monsters, an anthology which is both faithful and inventive at the same time. Unafraid to take risks and snazzily illustrated, this collection is proof that the Cthulhu cult remains as strong as ever.



Suggested Articles:
With impeccable timing comes this new biography of George Lucas, perhaps the most important geek ico
The Language of Dying tells the story of a woman taking care of her father, who is in the final stag
For Jim Sturges Jnr. life is tough. Distinctly average in every way, he is regularly bullied by the
BBC Books has republished the three novels which began the Doctor Who literary phenomenon back in th
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in Book Reviews

GEORGE LUCAS: A LIFE 08 December 2016

THE LANGUAGE OF DYING 08 December 2016

TROLLHUNTERS 08 December 2016

DOCTOR WHO BBC BOOK REISSUES 07 December 2016

IN CALABRIA 03 December 2016

PURGED 03 December 2016

AN A-Z OF CUMBRIA AND THE LAKE DISTRICT ON FILM 29 November 2016

THOUGHT X: FICTIONS AND HYPOTHETICALS 29 November 2016

BATMAN: A CELEBRATION OF THE CLASSIC TV SERIES 25 November 2016

FINK ANGEL: LEGACY 22 November 2016

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner

Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144