Protecting Project Pulp: The Rats In The Walls by H.P. Lovecraft

June 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Online Audio 

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H.P. Lovecraft’s claimed that his celebrated novelette, The Rats In The Walls, was “too horrible for the tender sensibilities of a delicately nurtured publick.”

The Weird Tales editor, who accepted it, described it as the best his magazine had ever received.

Its publication inspired Robert E. Howard to write to the magazine and that letter was passed on to Lovecraft.

Kingsley Amis described The Rats In The Walls as having “a memorable nastiness.”

And Lovecraft scholar, S.T. Joshi, described it this way: The Rats In The Walls is “a nearly flawless example of the short story in its condensation, its narrative pacing, its thunderous climax, and its mingling of horror and poignancy.”

I call it awesome. How can you not love words like “Obscure rodent manifestations” all strung together? Or this sentence:

“Sir William, standing with his searchlight in the Roman ruin, translated aloud the most shocking ritual I have ever known; and told of the diet of the antediluvian cult which the priests of Cybele found and mingled with their own.”

Protecting Project PulpProtecting Project Pulp No. 47 – The Rats In The Walls
By H.P. Lovecraft; Read by James Silverstein
1 |MP3| – Approx. 1 Hour 1 Minute [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Protecting Project Pulp
Podcast: June 3, 2013
Delapore, a Virginian, recounts the events which occurred after takes up residence in his ancestor’s feudal English seat. First published in Weird Tales, March 1924.

The Rats In The Walls - illustration by William F. Heitman

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: Polaris by H.P. Lovecraft

December 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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Polaris by H.P. Lovecraft

Polaris offers many of the features you’ll find in other H.P. Lovecraft short stories. There’s the repeated language – something that turns up at the beginning of the story will echo at the end, like in The Statement Of Randolph Carter. There’s the atavism, and atavistic guilt you see in stories like The Rats In The Walls. There’s the background of racism, as in The Temple or Cool Air. But what sets this story apart is Lovecraft’s love of astronomy. Many stellar bodies get distinctive shout outs in Polaris. And the fact that the main character spends all his free time staring out at the night sky is reflective, or perhaps refractive, of Lovecraft’s own desire to become an astronomer.

And also like many of his other stories, Polaris had its origins in a dream. Here’s a snippet from the Wikipedia entry for Polaris, quoting a Lovecraft letter:

“Several nights ago I had a strange dream of a strange city–a city of many palaces and gilded domes, lying in a hollow betwixt ranges of grey, horrible hills…. I was, as I said, aware of this city visually. I was in it and around it. But certainly I had no corporeal existence.”

By H.P. Lovecraft; Read by jpontoli
1 |MP3| – Approx. 10 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: October 19, 2008
First published in The Philosopher, December 1920.

By H.P. Lovecraft; Read by Clay Beauchamp
1 |MP3| – Approx. 10.5 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: May 6, 2012
First published in The Philosopher, December 1920.

And here’s a |PDF| made from the publication in Weird Tales.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Continuity by H.P. Lovecraft and A Memory by H.P. Lovecraft

November 7, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: News 

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Two H.P. Lovecraft poems from Weird Tales, March 1947. Illustration by Boris Dolgov.

Continuity and A Memory by H.P. Lovecraft - illustration by Boris Dolgov

Posted by Jesse Willis

LibriVox: The Call Of The Wild by Jack London

October 18, 2010 by · 2 Comments
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LibriVoxMy friend Brian Murphy, a too infrequent guest on The SFFaudio Podcast, posted a terrific review of The Call Of The Wild on his blog, The Silver Key back in 2009:

“If you are a [Robert E.] Howard fan frustrated by fruitless searches for like-minded literature, I recommend you turn your gaze backwards, to Howard’s influences, and London in particular. Don’t be turned off by the lack of traditional fantasy trappings in London; while you (unfortunately) won’t find swords, man-eating apes, and giant snakes in The Call of the Wild, there’s plenty here to satisfy lovers of pulp action and adventure, including epic dog duels, murdering Indians, and high-stakes wagers placed on improbable feats of strength. More to the point, there’s more of Howard—the dark philosophy that makes Howard uniquely and greatly Howard—to be found in The Call of the Wild than in most other sword-and-sorcery tales published since Howard’s death. London’s work certainly puts most of the pastiches to shame in this regard.”

You can check out that entire post HERE. I bring it to your attention because there’s now a brand new, ably read, single narrator, public domain audiobook available courtesy of LibirVox!

LIBRIVOX - The Call Of The Wild by Jack LondonThe Call Of The Wild
By Jack London; Read by Mark F. Smith
7 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 3 Hours 24 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: October 17, 2010
Buck is living a happy life in California until he is sold to pay a gambling debt. Taken to the Klondike to become a sled dog, Buck must toughen up and learn the harsher rules of survival in the North. One of the first of these is how to deal with being harnessed in the same team as a dog that wants to kill him. Large, strong and smart, Buck toughens to his new life. But even the toughest dog can be worn down by constant work, and after 3,000 miles of pulling sleds, Buck nears the end of his rope. Cast away as no longer useful, Buck is acquired by greenhorns whose inexperience nearly kills him, but after being saved by John Thornton, he at last finds a man he can love. Then on a remote gold-hunting expedition, Buck hears a call emanating from the woods and speaking to the wild heart of his distant ancestors. The lure of it almost balances the great love he bears for Thornton, but events take him away from his old life… and into legend.

Podcast feed:

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[Thanks also to Betty M. and David Lawrence]

Posted by Jesse Willis