I think I'm going to have to give up on this book. I really dislike saying such things but I am very underwhelmed by The Call of Cthulhu and other weird stories by H.P. Lovecraft. It could be due to desensitization or the amount of hype and praise that various friends gave H.P. Lovecraft. I am a proud child of the 70’s and 80’s so some of the first media I was ever exposed to was the slasher horror flick. Jason, Michael Myers (Halloween 3 sucked so much I begged my mother to let me watch it and was so mad because it was nothing like 1 or 2, and was really poorly written and made no sense) Freddy Kurger, Chucky, Damien, and Regan Burstyn were all the odd protagonist of my day. Some of my favorite television in my childhood was the twilight zone, the outer limits, tales from the darkside, tales from the crypt, monsters, and one of the ones that really love was Friday the 13th the series.
When I allotted time to be properly horrified by the man countless critics called, the father and master of American horror I was very disappointed. His writing style is beautiful he is one of the few writers that transform the written word into experience. There is a point that you do not notice where you stop reading and you are merely following the events of the unfolding epic. The unfortunate part is the epic that unfolds is the archetype of anticlimactic. I wanted to like these stories, and they were good, but from what I had heard, I expected a great deal more.
Dagon: seemed to be nothing more than a spooky dream that had not reached full nightmare status at worse, an initial outline for The Call of Cthulhu at best
The Statement of Randolph Carter: Was an attempt at suspense but the constant reminder of the horrors that we can not see, and would drive a weaker man insane only made the second hand recount of the terrors more interesting and I was hoping at one point he would jump down the well and just help his friend. To me as the reader I thought that was the logical next step but it wasn’t and the ending, Ill be honest, was campy.
Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family: This was just silly and a tad bit racists. He protagonist sets himself on fire because he finds out that he is probably the last descendent of a race of white gorillas that happen to breed with people.
Celphais: Is really a story about a guy that had a good acid dream and spends the rest of his life trying to get back to it and dies when he does.
Nyarlathotep: I believe this was probably what inspired the first two mummy movies. If you have seen them then you have the jist of this short here.
And the great
The Call of Cthulhu: This was such a disappointment. Cthulhu is an ageless squid, octopus dragon god with wings that has been dormant but conscience for ages beyond count or measure. It gives artists and poets nightmares and causes its worshipers to go frantic with frenzy. Anyone that speaks of Cthulhu to anyone that does not know of Cthulhu, dies. One day a sailor stumbles upon Dagon’s island… I mean Cthulhu’s island and sees Dagon’s monolith… I mean Cthulhu’s monolith and the rest of ancient city that housed the old one. “and what an age-old cult had failed to do by design, a band of innocent sailors had done by accident. After vigintillions of years great Cthulhu was loose again, and ravening for delight." I mean that line alone just one of the things that angers me. I mean if you have been around trillions of years before the first organisms on earth began to form and shaped the very thoughts of early man in ape form, you could not get one of your worshipers to come jail break you? And how weak are you that a boat can ram you and cause your head to explode. COME ON
I read a few other stories but I wont review them because I don’t like to continue in negative. If you like Horror and are a great fan of Poe, stay away from H.P. Lovecraft, save for style and technique alone. The contents of these stories, however beautifully written, are for me a classic case of the dangers of hype.