Review of The Dark Worlds Of H.P. Lovecraft, Volume 4 by H.P. Lovecraft

Horror Audiobooks - The Dark Worlds Of H.P. Lovecraft Volume 4 - The Rats In The Walls, The Shunned House, The Music Of Eric ZahnThe Dark Worlds Of H.P. Lovecraft Volume 4: The Rats In The Walls, The Shunned House, The Music Of Eric Zann
By H.P. Lovecraft; Read by Wayne June
3 CDs – 2 Hours 41 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audio Realms
Published: 2006
ISBN: 1897304242
Themes: / Fantasy / Horror / Music / Atavistic Guilt / Cannibalism / Mushrooms /

Curse you, Thornton, I’ll teach you to faint at what my family do! … ‘Sblood, thou stinkard, I’ll learn ye how to gust … wolde ye swynke me thilke wys?… Magna Mater! Magna Mater!… Atys… Dia ad aghaidh’s ad aodaun… agus bas dunarch ort! Dhonas ‘s dholas ort, agus leat-sa!… Ungl unl… rrlh … chchch…

This collection from Audio Realms is the fourth in a series, and the second to be reviewed. There are three CDs and three complete and unabridged stories here, first published between 1922 and 1937. The tales are archaically constructed. If you sat down and try to read one of the paragraph-long sentences that Lovecraft wrote you’d probably begin to wonder why it actually works. Then if you considered that this is the guy who makes curious genealogists or amateur historians the center of his horror stories it becomes almost baffling how he manages to keep our attention at all. There is no doubt though: Lovecraft has our attention. I think I am on safe ground in calling him, at the very least, one of the true giants of Horror fiction. Here are three stories that will prove it…

The Rats In The Walls
The Delapore family, late of Massachusetts, has returned to its ancestral family estate in rural England. Their genealogical and historical research reveals that their ancestors have maintained a strange atavistic responsibility to the land and the ruin upon which their keep was built. Woe be to the friendly neighbors of the long-away Delapores, for the Delapore blood runs thick in their veins and loudly thrums with ancestral duty, as loudly perhaps as the “venimous slithering of ravenous rats in the walls.”

The Shunned House
The house of this story is reported to have been based on a couple of real houses that Lovecraft actually visited. One in particular in Providence, RI at #135 Benefit Street, as in the story, is supposed to be the main inspiration. This story also uses local Providence folklore and history for added depth, but I suspect that if even one fifth of the rest of this story were true we’d have to nuke Rhode Island from orbit, just to be sure. I think some people consider this to be one of Lovecraft’s lesser tales but this one really got me. I am probably a bit more mycophobic than your average person, though. If you don’t like mushrooms, or if you’re even a little afraid of them, listen to this one with the lights on.

The Music Of Eric Zann
One of the most frequently adapted of Lovecraftian tales. The narrator, a near-vagrant, recalls a fellow lodger of a mouldering lodging house in a mysterious French city. Erich Zann is being stalked by a nameless horror that comes to him at night. Only the eerie music he produced was not nearly as haunting as horror that chased him. First published in 1922, still powerful.

SFFaudio Essential narrator Wayne June is back! His grave rumbling voice and his letter perfect pacing makes each of these three tales a shuddersome experience. But I do have a one problem with this entry in the terrific Dark Worlds Of H.P. Lovecraft series. It isn’t the production; these CDs sound awesome. Wayne June’s reading of these three stories is absolutely definitive. His unaccompanied performance is utterly chilling – this series truly must be heard. It isn’t the packaging that is the problem, with original art by Allen K. The images on this series are reminiscent of the art found within the pages of the pulps in which these stories were first published. No, my problem isn’t with any of these things. My problem is with choice to censor a couple of lines of the text in The Rats In The Walls. It makes me want to cry. Maybe Lovecraft was indeed being a racist when he wrote the offending words (in naming Delacore’s cat “Nigger-man”), but I’m a purist. Instead of calling Delacore’s cat “Nigger-man” Audio Realms has changed it to “Blackman.” If the text is good enough to be republished year after year ought we not preserve it as it stands, racism and all? True horror is by its very nature transgressive, but I want all the horror in my life to be in fiction. A cannibalistic incestuous serial murderer of homeless children is scary in fiction but as long as its fiction I’m up for it. Keep all the racist crazy-talk in the fiction, I say, because that is where it all belongs.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Free H.P. Lovecraft Short Story, The Nameless City, in MP3 Format

Online Audio

Yog Radio PodcastThe right proper fellows at Yog-Radio have recorded their second creepy H.P. Lovecraft tale and released it as a FREE mp3. Nice of them to prov… hey, wait a second, why would these guys be releasing such good stuff for free? Is this some lure to make me join their unspeakable cult? Well, mayhaps it is, but I’m happy to join if only they keep releasing such eldritch richness for my aural delight…

The Nameless City by H.P. LovecraftThe Nameless City
By H.P. Lovecraft; Read by Michael Scott
1 MP3 file – 27 Minutes 46 Seconds [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Yog Radio
Podcast: May 7th 2006

That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange æons death may die.”
-From the Necronomicon

Hot on the heels of their blooper reel comes the…

Online Audio

Yog Radio PodcastHot on the heels of their blooper reel comes the actual story itself. Yep, the gents at the Yog Radio podcast have sat down and recorded their very first H.P. Lovecraft tale and released it as an mp3. Hopefully this will be the first of many more unabridged readings.

I should mention the best part, it is available for FREE…

The Music Of Erich ZannThe Music Of Erich Zann
By H.P. Lovecraft; Read by Finlay Patterson
1 MP3 file – 19 Minutes 54 Seconds [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Yog Radio
Podcast: February 28th 2006
One step from vagrancy, our anonymous narrator, recalls a fellow lodger Erich Zann. They shared a decrepit building on a mysterious French street, but Zann’s eerie music was not nearly as haunting as horror that chased him. First published in 1921, still powerful.

While you’re at it, check out HistoryPodcast #31…

Online Audio

History PodcastWhile you’re at it, check out HistoryPodcast #31 H.P. Lovecraft. It was released way back in November 2005 but it is still available for download. The sound quality isn’t the best and the pronunciation is really atrocious, but it is worth the listen.

HistoryPodcast #31 - H.P. LovecraftHistoryPodcast #31 – H.P. Lovecraft
Read by Jason Watts
1 MP3 (12.9 MB) – 13 Minutes 56 Seconds [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: HistoryPodcast
Podcast: Nov 9th 2005

You can directly download the MP3 file HERE.

posted by Jesse

We’ve been talking a lot about somebody named H….

Online Audio

Yog RadioWe’ve been talking a lot about somebody named H.P. Lovecraft lately but if you’re still scratching your noggin and wondering who the heck he is be sure to check out the latest Yog Radio Podcast! They’ve recorded to MP3 the entire H.P. Lovecraft entry on Wikipedia. Cool biographical details abound; for instance, I didn’t know old Howard Philips may have been asexual. Did you?

H.P. Lovecraft Wikipedia EntryLovecraft: A Wiki Biography
Wikipedia Entry; Read by Paul Maclean
1 MP3 (10.74 MB) – 31 Minutes 11 Seconds [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Yog Radio
Podcast: Feb 4th 2006

Download it directly HERE.

posted by Jesse