Monday, February 21, 2011

Books 6 and 7

I've finished; "The Innswich Horror; by Edward Lee and I really got a kick out of it. It is grim and quite disgusting, not for those of refined sensibility, but quirky and endearing in an odd way.

The plot is pretty straightforward; a fan of H.P. Lovecraft's goes on a bus tour of coastal Massachusetts to look at and experience the places his Idol wandered and found inspiration in. On his trip he stumbles upon a happy, prosperous little town that he slowly concludes must have been the inspiration for the fictional town of Innmouth. Then lots of creepy things start happening. It's gross and adorable and disturbing. I loved it.

I also finished; "City of Dreams and Nightmare;" by Ian Whates. I enjoyed this one too, I must be a record breaking roll picking out so many good books in a row. There are really two interwoven tales here, or one tale with two heroes who's stories lightly intersect. There is Tom, the street nick, and Tylus, the Kite Guard, and they are each enmeshed in a story of backstabbing and intrigue that comes to include the highest citizens to the lowest. Well written, believable, likable characters and a compelling location make it well worth reading. The city is multi-layered in structure, built in tiers sometime in the distant past. The lowest levels house the poorest of the population and the higher one travels; the richer and more important are the residents. I really don't want to spoil the plot and I have to keep stopping myself from saying too much, so I'm going to stop here and say; this is a wonderful story and I believe it is Ian Whate's first.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Road to Madness (5)

H.P. Lovecraft's work is brilliant. I greatly enjoyed this collection of stories and some of the painfully short ones were every bit as enjoyable as the longer pieces which afford such an excellent opportunity to sink into a bleaker, darker but more wonder-filled world than our own.

This book is titled; "The Road to Madness" but the cover also reads; "The Transition of H.P. Lovecraft" and "Twenty-nine tales of terror by the legendary master of the macabre." These tales range in length from a mere page to 92 pages. The longest story; "At the Mountains of Madness" I sometimes found a bit tiresome in its attention to detail, what I would call 'pacing' in a movie. The fault may lie with me as I tended to find time to read after settling down in bed and was usually quite tired by that point. I found "Cool Air" to be awfully charming and perhaps my favorite Lovecraft tale thus far. Likewise, "The Unnamable" drew me in and had it's way with me with no effort whatsoever. This collection is, overall, horrible in the most wonderful way possible.

This is an excellent book to savor over a snowed-in weekend here in New England which serves as the setting for many of Mr. Lovecraft's tales.