Archive for Tour de Lovecraft

Lovecraft 101

Tour de Lovecraft: The Tales by Kenneth Hite

Getting a little tired of reviewing comics all the time, so let’s change gears and look at a regular book for once.

A year or two back, a friend of mine noticed the stuffed Cthulhu toy I keep around the house and asked what it was, leading to a fairly lengthy explanation of H.P. Lovecraft, the Cthulhu Mythos, and cosmic horror in general. All went well until: “So if I wanted to read some of this Lovecraft stuff, where should I start?”

Well, that was a tough question. I’d read all of Lovecraft’s stories, and I think he’s a great writer — but he is an acquired taste for a lot of folks, with a tendency to write in a very archaic style that may not translate well for a lot of modern readers. I couldn’t very well tell my friend “Just go read all of them.” Some folks react better to HPL’s shorter stories, some like his longer stories, some groove on his more Poe-esque tales, some adore his more brain-blasting cosmic horror — and it’s hard to predict who is going to like what. How do you pick the right recommendations for the right person?

There’s finally an easy solution. Hand them this book, let ’em read it through over a couple of nights, and let ’em pick what they want to read after that.

“Tour de Lovecraft” is written by Kenneth Hite, a writer and RPG designer who dearly loves all things Lovecraftian. He has a scholar’s knowledge of Lovecraft and Lovecraft research, a geek’s enthusiasm for the subject, and a comedian’s ability to make it all fun to read. His essays on all of Lovecraft’s stories are short and easy to digest — he tackles everything from Lovecraft’s influences and history, his disciples, the scholars who’ve researched his work over the decades, all the way to frank discussions of Lovecraft’s racism and how it affects his stories.

This book makes great reading for Lovecraft fanatics, and it’s exactly the kind of thing that may help novices figure out what all the crawling chaos is all about.

If you’re a fan of H.P. Lovecraft, you owe it to yourself to make sure this is on your bookshelf. It’ll be fun for you to read, and it may help you create some more Lovecraft fans.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Nerds vs. Fred Phelps? NERDS WIN.
  • Alan Moore does have an occasional tendency to be an arrogant douche… but then again, if the major comics companies treated me this way, I think I’d cop a ‘tude, too.

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