The SFFaudio Podcast #563 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: The Lurking Fear by H.P. Lovecraft

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #563 The Lurking Fear by H.P. Lovecraft; read by Mike Vendetti. This is an unabridged reading of the story (56 minutes) followed by a discussion of it. Participants in the discussion include Jesse, Paul Weimer, Mr Jim Moon, Evan Lampe and Terence Blake

Talked about on today’s show:
Written in November 1922 – serialized January to April 1922, Home Brew, a semi-prozine, copyright dates, an obscure periodical, the PDF of the first serial, illustrated by Clark Ashton Smith, notice all the penises?, Leslie S. Klinger, coloured?, the chimney, the valley and the peak, shower for thinking, explicitly not mentioned, a similar theory from Mr Jim Moon, is Lovecraft hiding something from us that he will go on to use in another story, Pickman’s Model, Rats In The Walls, heterochromia, when not physical or genetic damage its inbreeding, related to the Martenses, three encounters, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, he’s going to dynamite the place, the fish eyes and the gilly look, save it for the podcast, how weird it is, stunningly beautiful passages,

‘in the throes of a nitemare wen unseen powers whirl 1 oer the roofs of strange ded cities toward the grinning chasm of Nis, it is a relief & even a delight 2 shriek wildly & throw 1self voluntarily along with the hideous vortex of dream-doom in2 watever bottomless gulf may yawn’

he’s a dreamer, red viscous madness, kaleidoscope mutations, unnamable juices, what’s the difference between CHUDS and ghouls, degredation of humans, modded humans, mutations, The Beast In The Cave, a lot of crawling around in tunnels, a recognition ones’ self in the thing that he saw, connections to other stories, The Dreamquest Of Unknown Kadath, Richard Upton Pickman, The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward, backwoods triracial isolates, The Graveyard Rats by Henry Kuttner, feasters, so explicitly stated in all the movies, Dark Heritage (1989), pretty good except for its terrible, 1994 Dan O’Bannon, the femme fatale is tied up, Leffert’s Corners, Tremors, Jeffrey Coombs, Dr Haggis, this whole delicious cannabilist joking, The Hound, The Dark Adventure Radio Theatre adaptation, talks like a goddamned Edgar Allan Poe, Dunsany mode, Poe mode, drawing heavily from The Fall Of The House Of Usher, the house has definitely fallen, laid on with a trowel, [incest euphemism], specters and devils and ghosts, I’m gonna get these muscular men, homoeroticism, he’s subconsciously bringing them a sacrifice (aka dinner), back to inbreeding, this is what Lovecraft is, he writer about race and degeneration, this is Lovecraft’s voice, blue and brown eyes, the numerous menial classes about the estate, the mongrel population, race mongrelism, racial degeneration, race and class as the same thing, Robert E. Howard, S.T. Joshi, Terence sees class, what makes you a high class person is your race, he wasn’t of the low type, interbound, Facts Concerning The Late Arthur Jermyn And His Family, if you have this idea in your head, paranoid about degeneration because there’s a belief in racial degeneration, they deigned to breed with the family help, keep that inbreeding going, Bleeders (1997), raised in Paris on a trust fund, emptying the graveyard, Leffert’s Island, I’m with these people now, degenerate elves, he eats a pickled baby and follows it with a sex scene with his wife, hermaphroditic, twin sister, making explicit what Lovecraft eludes to, changing the order of the story, a distancing effect, how insane the narrator clearly is, a birthmark, The Festival, actual cultists, welcoming, Kingsport, the draw of the family and deep tradition, he bought into this witchcraft stuff, The Witch-Cult In Western Europe by Margaret Murray, suppress working class traditions and alternatives, the violence of isolation The Dunwich Horror, The Call Of Cthulhu, just bomb it, The Horror At Red Hook, we need a wall, At The Mountains Of Madness, shoggoths are the working class, forget the past, eradicate the memory of the past, Curwen’s crimes, interesting threads of history that seem to challenge civilization, solution: destroy it, on the side of the barbarians, each chapter title, the fear within the narrator, I can’t think about that, focus on the external, The Shadow On The Chimney, two comic adaptations, the fireplace is decorated with scenes from The Prodigal Son, the meaning of the story of The Prodigal Son, Jan Martense goes off to the French and Indian War, how he died, a shout out to that story on the mantle, and to the narrator himself, a different ending, a Derleth “collaboration”, he destroys the family, a betrayal, come on let’s go to the beach!, concentration camps, they forgive him, there’ll be a penance (but it’ll be a small one), come again, good eating, A Passer In The Storm, Arthur Monroe, being watched, another thunderstorm, his face has been gnawed away, is this a joke, he passed away when a passerby ate his face, What The Red Glare Meant, redness would be anger?, hellish, demonic, a goblin-like creature lurking in the shadows, riffing on the “And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there”, pre-Revolution, The Horror In The Eyes, double meaning, he’s got the Martense eyes, he sees his family, he sees himself, the terrible and thunder crazed house of Martense, solved, efface, oblivion, blot it, Dagon, inability to sleep, run out of money for opium, his brain thunders, radiating lines from the house, lay lines, tentacles, tunnels, The Old Straight Track by Alfred Watkins, The Red One by Jack London, ancient astronauts, a stretch, tentacles, what does all the lightning mean, a genetic story, is this god?, Wieland by Charles Brockton Brown, weird cult (of one), supernatural phenomenon, Frankenstein, lighting the family tree, who knows what juices they suck, overnourished, strange nourishment, Undine aka @horriblesanity, Too Much Fertilizer, The Colour Out Of Space, enjoying the wrong things, blowing up the trees, trees with testicles and tentacles, the land responding to the twisted nature of the family, plagued with storms, the taint is in the land itself, it’s just a monkey man, who is the shadow?, anything urban New England, seeing himself in the shadow, The Outsider, his grandma, Tempest Mountain, trying to attack the ground, the fulgurites, from the police’s point of view, the family name is Money, it’s spelled Money, eugenicists at the time, Ishi, backwoods Virginia, the Jukes, started the cancer, indentured servants and slaves ran away, rediscovered in the 20th century, in the consciousness today, race is NOT incidental to Lovecraft’s work, How The Irish Became White by Noel Ignatiev, the Italians and the Greeks, reading over and over, getting mixed ideas, crawling around under the earth, two demoniac reflections, two reflections, effulgence, nebulous memories, of the thing that bore them, a claw, but what a claw!, the voice of Zoidberg, the wild thunder of the mountain, those eyes, with vacuous viciousness, thank god I didn’t know what it was, gashes of disturbed earth, with cyclopean rage, what is going on?, he’s interpreting, you’re getting inside his psychology, externalizing and internalizing, in what sense would you have died?, in the chaos of sliding shifting earth, a rebirth, Joseph Campbell, my brain was as great a chaos as the earth, more horror, an orgy of fear, a nameless thing, done a deed, fired in frenzy, doing that deed, many rather than one, the ghost of a particular person, its the founder and the family name giver, the narrator’s name, hiding it or saving it for another story, with the full knowledge of his canon, Re-Animator -> Hypnos, The Lurking Fear -> The Shadow Over Innsmouth, “Lovecraft couldn’t have written Lovecraft stories without being obsessed with race in a way that Poe is not and Dunsany is not”, Celephaïs, F. Scott Fitzgerald style parties is the sadness, The Temple, the falling of a great house is the greatest tragedy for Lovecraft, for Poe it is the death of a beautiful woman, raised to be a gentleman, against modernity, 18th century English gentleman, Howard’s letters, primordial ancient migration and motion, that can’t be it, Rome was strong because it was racially pure?, nope, you’re completely wrong young man, strength in mobility, New Englander and a Texan, one is for the static, the other sees a liquidity in world history, a liquid mobility of ideas, a very American connection, both [H.P. LOVECRAFT and ROBERT E. HOWARD] died because the American health care system was so shitty, begging the editor of Weird Tales for back-pay, really terrible, highbrow historical forces and trends, `what connected them in their deaths was shitty healthcare, that’s not in their letters, Virgin Islanders, Henry S. Whitehead, plebeian danes, left handed fathers or grandfathers, a physical totem, the sinister end of the coat of arms, zombie stories, Jumbee, missionary, a creepy tale, Barlow was going to publish a volume of Whitehead’s letters, anecdotal stories, my friend in China, how we get out information, marshaling arguments, Hippocampus Press, A Means To Freedom, The Thing On The Roof, Lovecraft light, Lovecraft’s letters are black holes, history of anthropology, a second meaning, he liked his barbarians, the Italians are stabby, hilarious, imagining Julius Caesar saying “stabby”, way back when, no where near his best stuff, so many great lines, Poe poetic, his Poe period, a Poe-potpourri, sitting here all Poe face.

Clark Ashton Smith illustration of THE LURKING FEAR: The Shadow On The Chimney by H.P. Lovecraft

The Lurking Fear - The Martense Mansion illustration by Clark Ashton Smith

The Lurking Fear - Giant Bat Winged Gryphons illustration by Clark Ashton Smith

The Lurking Fear - Tempest Mountain illustration by Clark Ashton Smith

The Lurking Fear - I Playfully Shook His Shoulder - Illustration by Clark Ashton Smith

The Lurking Fear - Nearest Of All Was The Graveyard - Illustration by Clark Ashton Smith

The Lurking Fear - The Eyes And The Claw - Illustration by Clark Ashton Smith

The Lurking Fear - The Lines Radiated - illustration by Clark Ashton Smith

The Lurking Fear - Spreading Like A Septic Contagion - Illustration by Clark Ashton Smith

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #517 – READALONG: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #517 – Jesse, Julie Davis, and Maissa Bessada talk about The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Talked about on today’s show:
2008, a children’s book, hardcover, a book for kids, better than most adult books, Neverwhere, Coraline, who hates Neil Gaiman?, Sandman, pictures slow it down, he didn’t feel competent, a genuine classic, character and sentences, crafting language, the wisdom of his prose, insights into basic human beings, you know its true, his evil characters, thinking about The Jungle Book, he started with chapter 4, MouseCircus.com,

“We were young, and very poor. The rooms I was renting above a shop were in a building tall and spindly and old. The kitchen and lounge were on one floor, a bedroom and my office and a bathroom on the next, and, at the top of the house, there was a big attic bedroom, and a low, long room in which an adult could barely stand up straight and in which there was a crib and a playpen. My son, Michael, who was two years old, loved his tricycle more than anything, but there was nowhere to ride it in the house, not without him tumbling down the stairs, so I would carry him and his tricycle across the narrow lane to the grounds of the local church, and he would pedal around to his heart’s content, and I would sit and read a book in the sunshine, and watch him, and look at the grey gravestones, names half-erased by time, and marvel at how comfortable a child looks in a graveyard. That was where it started. I’ll call it The Graveyard Book, I thought. Like Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.”

listening to it, ghoulheim, there it is!, the monkey scene with Mowgli, Silas is Bagheera and Ms. Lupescu is Baloo, the tribute to Lovecraft, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, the rubberfaced night gaunts, something Lovecraft dreamt as child, they became his friends, they tickle you, creepy and wonderful, chew off any meat left on the bones, tip-up the lead-lined coffin and all the juices, when the angles were wrong, a city built to be abandoned, just as odd, to find the equivalent, King Louis, the Emperor Of China, the 33rd President of the United States, Harry S. Truman is a ghoul, the full cast version, recorded in a Minnesota radio station, so fantastic a narrator, no better author narrator, Gaiman’s reading of Coraline, Scott Danielson, a boy story and a girl story, The New Mother by Lucy Clifford, Heather Ordover, the CraftLit podcast, very insightful, The Count Of Monte Cristo, a man and woman in a box, glass eyes and a wooden tail, the cycle repeats three times, never naughty enough, live on berries, worse than the Other Mother, children in Hell, where Coraline came from, no redemption, no mercy, fairy-tale-like, very Neverwhere-ish, has he ever written a book that isn’t about gods, regular Neil Gaiman stuff, the Endless, is there a god in this book?, who is the grey lady on the grey mare?, she’s Death, the sickle and the hood, The Old Gray Mare, she ain’t what she used to be, the Hounds of God, Romanian soup, boiled cabbage is kinda a good, eating Twinkies, Mr Lupescu by Anthony Boucher, Mr Jim Moon’s Hypnogoria (Hypnobobs) podcast, Neil Gaiman’s breadth of reading, Mr Jesse, macabre (macabray), imaginary friends, Thus I Refute Beelzy by John Collier, Scarlet has an imaginary friend, Scarlet’s story is a mini-version of this story, a kid romance, the angry teenager, play houses, meany, totally girl, so cute, very brave, going into the dark, five years old, before Julie was 3, barely remember yesterday, summer used to last several years, the perception of time, how you could get bored really easily, the world is so boring, tapped into the youth, the Sandman series, the conference of the Jacks, serial killer convention, where is Silas going?, he’s like Gandalf, standard mean horrible character, time-traveling hit-men, Connie Willis, the characters that work, there’s the deepness, Jack Frost is Shere Khan, fresh, very fresh, quite refreshing, the comic book adaptation, some of the art in here, Jill Thompson, P. Craig Russell, Galen Showman, the scale is bigger, the horizon is bigger, the ghouls, comic gross humans, monkey creepy horrible awful, the sleer, Gaiman gives you the outline and then you fill it in, the Indigo Man, the broach, the graveyard, the antique shop, super complementary, look how Silas dominates the room, there’s never a haircut scene, so intriguing, why does he hang out in this graveyard, knowledge of the prophecy?, the whole plot is way less important, why is the Danse Macabre in this?, Death is so beautiful, living forever, the living with the dead, each to each, names aren’t really important, find his name, one day everybody does, how come death’s so cool?, really smart, what’s true and what do we need to remember, the dead should have charity, Elizabeth Hempstock, Toomai of the Elephants, referential, winter flowers, we’ve crossed worlds, within generations enough, the other book that was homework, A Fine And Private Place by Peter S. Beagle, Beagle’s narration, ended up perfect, brought to life, ride that raven, they are both stories about a human living in a graveyard and they are fantasies, very gentle and slow, it could have been a little bit shorter, he made his case for all the relationships, overcoming fears, only 19 when he wrote it, mature, living a fantasy world life, a raven, taking some inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, Ezekiel in the desert, a loose connection, the raven is what kept him there, psychopomp, a real personality, a ride in a back of a truck with a squirrel, set somewhere in England, so rich, find some weird house, adventures in her back yard, fully realized, how stiking is it that 10 year old kids and adults can enjoy it and not be lost, Coraline is not as amazing as this book, aimed at the children’s market, 188 pages for $10 US, images conjured by the book, no description of the lines on his face, the relationship has to Bod (she’s not going to eat him), it takes a (graveyard) village, out of time, his parents are almost the least interesting characters in the book, the poet who punished all his enemies by refusing to write his poems for the public, from my cold dead hand, kinda like Scrooge, some Lord Of The Rings stuff, the broach the knife and the cup, the Sleer is awesome, Elidor by Alan Garner, a family of jerks, William Shakespeare’s King Lear, a sword, a spear, a bowl, and an anvil, escaping into a fantasy world while you’re a kid, The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, weaving in true history, he liked the roads, Celtic mythology, the ring connection, the barrow wights from The Fellowship Of The Ring, Jesse’s Roof Bear calendar, there has to be rules behind stuff to make it interesting, Roof Bear can’t leave the roof, Ghost Horse is waiting for his master to return, lifting from the Sleer?, children’s adventures, Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, fun stuff for kids (and for Jesse), remembering the sort of fun you had as a kid, we don’t get to play house anymore, the pretend has a lot of value, mud pies, hanging out in childhood, beautiful, children and grandchildren, so Christmas becomes magic again, that acknowledgement, Bod’s getting too old, talking to Mother Slaughter, you’re always you and that don’t change, truth, I’m still me, that double memory, one of those profound things, LEGO robotics on Apple II computers (LEGO Logo), you really do loose something, its impossible, something you loose and yet retain the memory of it, Locke & Key: Welcome To Lovecraft by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodríguez, the head key, take out memories, the gender key, you forget, exploring a big old house, a menace, it works in the same way, brilliant and well worth reading, The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin, This Perfect Day by Ira Levin, 1984 by George Orwell, “Christ, Marx, Wood, and Wei”, very 1984, The Giver by Lois Lowry, a remake, the witch chapter, time in libraries, what forms your imagination, what tempts Bod is an apple, wish I’d left…, the groundskeeper’s pile of grass, she’s just a girl (who was murdered), “then I did my death curse”, when Bod falls out of his crib, a pile of plush toys, a nice doubling, do this kind thing, sends him out into danger, all the influences, nothing is forced, the mechanisms of writing, a six sentence story, all unconscious, it feels very natural, I want the magic, it takes him years and years, Tolkien: there were all these Catholic things in there, a good book, a good movie, what Neil Gaiman can do, just crafting your work, a lot of it is unconscious, an apple orchard, seeing things evolving, re-reading is not Jesse’s thing, when you run out you have to go back, re-watching, all these little things, Julie’s project, have they earned my shelf space?, deep in our cultural unconscious, 43 Bollywood movies last year, legal/police/moral situations, western culture branched-off, vengeance is looked at very differently, cultural thinking, shocked and taken-aback, northern Europe is full of apple trees, a ghost outside, Good book, what’s Ace barking at?, thought-yells, a Man Jack in the yard, a fun read.

The Graveyard Book - comics adaptation

The Graveyard Book - comics adaptation

The Graveyard Book - comics adaptation

The Graveyard Book - comics adaptation

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - with illustrations by Dave McKean

The Graveyard Book illustration by P. Craig Russell

Posted by Jesse Willis

The SFFaudio Podcast #416 – AUDIOBOOK/READALONG: Far Below by Robert Barbour Johnson

Podcast

The SFFaudio PodcastThe SFFaudio Podcast #416 -Jesse, Paul Weimer, Mr Jim Moon, and Bryan Alexander discuss Far Below by Robert Barbour Johnson.

Talked about on today’s show:
Weird Tales, June-July 1939, The Midnight Meat Train, the audio drama from Suspense (Blue Hours), Los Angeles, a truly underground story, how far the infection has spread, like Russian nesting dolls, Pickman’s Model, Pickman’s painting entitled “Subway Accident”, Death Line (1972) (aka Raw Meat), The Terror Of Blue John Gap by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a rabbit warren, movie adaptations, C.H.U.D. (1984), Escape From New York (1981), they’re everywhere, very 80s, atrocious dialogue and logic, an old dodge, John Carpenter, the 59th street bridge, the society of CHUDs, female inmate, a mini-romance, how most people interact with this story, I could barely get through it and I really liked it, weird pacing, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), the camera as observer, Christopher Lee and Donald, “There are monsters in the tunnel inspector!”, a film out of its time, the old boy’s network (is also from Far Below), a mean bully thief sexist, looting the place, two different movies, it somehow works, so garish, quite murky, incredible tunnels in the London Underground, ghost stations, Creep (2004), ghost stories/urban legends, the monsters are descendants of the survivors of a tunnel construction collapse, The Descent (2005), the man aka the cannibal, “mind the doors”, an exploitative horrible monster mess movie, she’s pregnant, keep the community going, a family crypt, a tragedy horror, is Creep (2004) a remake of Raw Meat (aka Death Line)?, where does folklore come from?, a secret medical experiment facility, he’s always preceded by rats, The Graveyard Rats by Henry Kuttner, The Gruesome Book, a race of subterranean beings, a dead body animated by rats, The Gripping Hand and The Mote In God’s Eye, the watchmaker moties, Gremlins (1984), the tendrils out of Lovecraft grow deep, Mimic (1997), Mimic by Donald A. Wollheim, a mad scientist with other responsibilities, giving your right arm, I’m not quite there yet, a reasonable depravity, the Duke Of New York is A#1, a little smoke break, calling forth the CHUDs, we follow Kurt Russell following that guy, Franka Potente looking for George Clooney, empathy for a rapist, it’s all connected, a theme of degeneration in the dark, she’s a bitch, a horrible manipulative person, a nice symmetry, social satire, black humour, this is horrible and great as well, Syria and Russia, this is why the Indians sold Manhattan so cheap, where is The Descent supposed to take place?, they’re albino cave dwellers, Monsters (1990) TV show adaptation of Far Below, The Midnight Meat Train, Clive Barker’s obsession with raw meat, Bradley Cooper, Limitless,
the wrong carriage, butchered bodies, the butcher, the true city fathers, who is the narrator talking to?, you’re going to eat my wife, a choice ending, a deep cut, a new recruit, they weren’t allowed to report on this, a student, a photographer, a vegan, ultra-horror, he’s grain fed!, starting with an image, holding on vs. hanging from, Mahogany, the mythological ferryman, their damnation until they can pass it on, The Books Of Blood by Clive Barker, Dagon (the fanzine), he hadn’t read any Lovecraft at that point, Bryan may have lived Far Below, The Warriors (1979), Death Wish (1974), the Washington, D.C. subway system, Fallout 3, Death Line (Raw Meat) 1972, Escape From New York (1981), C.H.U.D. (1984), sewers, Monsters (1990) TV show, Creep 2004, The Descent (2005), attested by every country in the world and every people, ghouls in the bible?, J.R.R. Tolkien has it, the barrow wights, Edgar Rice Burroughs, white furry monster, the Morlocks, H.G. Wells invented CHUDs (in The Time Machine), The Midnight Meat Train (2008), the vein, going deep, Journey To The Center Of The Earth by Jules Verne, monks are more heavenly, the Wizard Knight worlds, Gene Wolfe, angels, burrowing into mother earth, the long tradition of the earth as maternal, All Quiet On The Western Front, WWI, Château-Thierry, Verdun, bleed France white, “they shall not pass”, the Balrog, delving too deep, a battlefield map, battlefield commander, Vimy Ridge, 12 kilometers of tunnel, Passchendaele (2008), Thompson, the Maxim gun, domestic life, Carl Akeley, taxidermy, big game hunting, apes, killing a leopard with his bare hands, Indiana Jones, The American Museum Of Natural History’s Akeley Hall, Heart Of Darkness, Apocalypse Now, Friedrich Nietzsche on the abyss, ghouls like in Pickman’s Model, hinting, Pickman’s Model is the fictionalized version of Far Below, part simian part canine part mole, Nyarlathotep darkness, The Rats In The Walls, howling blindly, idiot flute players, the dark pharaoh, August Derleth, Cthulhu Water, The Facts In The Case Of Arthur Jermyn And His Family aka The White Ape, it’s not the family, Greek vs. Biblical, the acme of human progress tears itself to bits, national or familial genealogy, the family business, plump Captain Norris, the Morlock connection, staring into the abyss, the hidden race sub-genre, Richard Sharpe Shaver, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, they colonize us, The Mound by Zealia Bishop and H.P. Lovecraft, an inverted high-tech monstrous civilization, let’s see where it goes, less genetic and more philosophical, the description of the funding, NYC Mayor Jimmy Walker, Tammany Hall, childhood power fantasy, for our own safety, you’d understand, carte blanche, you can’t handle the truth, he’s the bad guy, in the warm light of day, taking precautions, the deepness rotting at the core of the Earth, involving the feds, the classic American cop story, NYC police corruption, Prince Of The City with Treat Williams, the War on Terror, At The Mountains Of Madness, Boston subway stations, Bram Stoker, high-tech, nascent technology, The Statement Of Randolph Carter, the telephone, it’s a tasty story, the thing was upon us, out of the darkness, Supernatural Horror In Literature, I learned a lot from Lovecraft, Quiet Please: The Thing On The Fourble Board, they dug too deep!, listen at night in the basement, things that are digging up, Jon Petwee era, Doctor Who: Inferno, Star Trek’s Mirror, Mirror, the Brigadier’s eyepatch and Spock’s beard, evil Captain Archer, green gas causing degeneration, environmentalism, The Green Death another minging story, The Silurians, Call Ghostbusters (1984)!, Edge Of Darkness (1985), Homer, Polyphemus he only sleeps in a cave, neanderthals, and the niter, it grows!

Far Below by Robert Barbour Johnson

Mister Mystery - The Subway Terror

Escape From New York's CRAZIES

Dead Of Night 3 April 1974

Tomb Of Darkness 9 July 1974

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Dream-quest of Unknown Kadath by H.P. Lovecraft

SFFaudio Review

Dream-quest of unknown kadathThe Dream-quest of Unknown Kadath
By H. P. Lovecraft; Performed by Jim Roberts
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
[UNABRIDGED] – 6 hours
Themes: / cats / ghouls / dark shapes that meep / a lost city / horror /
Publisher summary:
Three times Randolph Carter dreamed of the marvelous city, and three times was he snatched away while still he paused on the high terrace above it.” Randolph Carter embarks on an epic quest across a world beyond the wall of sleep in search of an opulent and mysterious sunset city. When he prays to the gods of dream to reveal the whereabouts of this magical city, they do not answer, and his dreams stop altogether. Undaunted, Carter resolves to go to Kadath, where the gods live, and beseech them in person. However, no one has ever been to Kadath, and no one even knows how to get there—but that won’t stop Randolph Carter from trying.
We all love the quest story. Without some sort of a quest, the story falls into introspective navel gazing, and becomes as interesting as reading about someone’s cup of tea growing cold near a rain-soaked window overlooking a drab landscape of bent grass fading in the waning light of gloaming. Quests are good, in literature, games, and life. H.P. Lovecraft gives us a quest, and I liked it, for the most part. Those of you familiar with Lovecraft will undoubtedly nod your chin when I suggest that this story is a little weighted with those wonderfully complex names of gods, of places, of rites practiced in secret darkness. If you can overlook the name thing and concentrate on the story, it’s nice enough. While I don’t believe this is Lovecraft at his best, I do feel it’s a must for those Lovecraft enthusiasts.The audiobook is roughly four and a half hours, and I’ll admit it, I increased the speed by a factor of three, sometimes four. Jim Roberts is the narrator, and I feel this is an example of mismanaged casting. Roberts is a competent narrator, and I have enjoyed some of his readings in the past. But his voice sounds like your grandfather’s brother, which is just fine if the narrative follows such a gentlemen. But it doesn’t work well when the protagonist is for all intensive purposes, a younger man full of vigor and drive. It’s a minor grouse, but I never managed to rid myself of this incongruity between reader and main character.

Posted by Casey Hampton.