At the heart of these stories, as with all the best of Lovecraft’s work, is the belief that the Earth was once inhabited by powerful and evil gods, just waiting for the chance to recolonise their planet. Cthulhu is one such god, lurking deep beneath the sea until called into being by cult followers who – like all humans – know not what they do. It is because of these dark, mythic tales with their terrified awareness of the limits of Man’s knowledge, that H.P. Lovecraft is one of the most influential American writers.
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Probably the largest problem I had with this pairing. He was so keen on providing emphasis and really trying to sell the academic sentiment that it felt like a public speaker reading rather than someone trying to convey a mood of eerie atmosphere I was hoping for in a horror story.
Maybe it's just me or maybe that's just how Lovecraft is, and, while I could understand the decision to choose such a narrator to highlight a classical pillar of horror fiction, it's exhausting to listen to and it's only 3 hours long. Eitherway, he ruined it for me. Sorry to the guy cause he didn't do a bad job, it was just a bad mix.
Thanks for the daily deals. I enjoy them immensely.
All I got to say is that as soon as I saw this as a daily Deal .... I came
This is clearly a classic of the horror / sci-fi genre but it did not age well to my ear. Not only is the story itself incredible knowing what we do today, but they way the story plays out to stereotypes and prejudice is disturbing. Characters who have physical or mental features different than the "normal" are mistrusted and treated with fear. In all cases that fear is well placed - as if simply being an albino or having large hairy hands makes you much more likely to murder your family.
That said, this is an author who broke fresh ground and inspired many well respected authors of the last several decades. In that context, it is worth reading (or listening to) for the foundation Lovecraft establishes.
The narrator is excellent for this book.
Lovecraft's antiquated views on race and class remain unpleasant to experience, but he's one of the leaders of weird fiction. It's hard to imagine what modern storytelling, especially horror, would be like without this man so afraid of the world that he could write of the terror of an alien hue.
Roberts does a great job of giving voice to the insensate fear of these characters, and manages the consonant-heavy mutterings of beings outside our time and space with aplomb.
Every October I get a new set of books for Halloween. This was the best. So glad I saved it for last.
I thought this would be different. I kept waiting for scary, spine tingling, just flat. I will try reading more about the author. It just didn't grab me. Blaspheme I know.
Only one of the four short stories was worth listening to, "The Horror of Dunnage (spelling?). The story was complex and alluring while the other three were drearily simple and pointless.
The other three stories lacked suspense and character development. The stories compare best to a B-rated horror movie or Sci-Fi Channel Original.
The diction is elaborate and non contemporary. I believe the stories are great for building or strengthening vocabulary. Otherwise, the wordiness is painful.
The narrator is painfully emphatic. The stories might be much better if I read them on paper. I do not believe they were meant for oral presentation--at least, not with the level of dramatization found here.
About the Reviewer:
Education: B.S. Chemistry
Sexual Orientation: Gay
I've read these stories in print form before but it was really lovely to have the stories read to me with this audiobook.
For new listeners, as usual a Lovecraft story usually comes with a side of racist overtones. Despite this Lovecraft is a painter with words and is very skilled creating creepy atmospheres. Good read if you are a horror fan!
William Roberts' reading of the last four chapters of "The Dunwich Horror" is better than Wayne June's. There, I've said it. I compare every narration of Lovecraft to June's and Roberts and Branson Pinchot have been the only readers to approach his level, at least to my ears. And now Roberts has surpassed June for one segment. His reading of "The Call of Cthuhu" and "Dagon" gives me new interpretations to enjoy. His reading of "The Hound" is the only one I've heard, and the break in his character's voice when he finally saw what was on his trail moved me. A splendid version, very well done.
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