Critically acclaimed cult novelist Matt Ruff makes visceral the terrors of life in Jim Crow America and its lingering effects in this brilliant and wondrous work of the imagination that melds historical fiction, pulp noir, and Lovecraftian horror and fantasy.
Chicago, 1954. When his father, Montrose, goes missing, 22-year-old army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his uncle George - publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide - and his childhood friend, Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite - heir to the estate that owned one of Atticus' ancestors - they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours.
At the manor, Atticus discovers his father in chains, held prisoner by a secret cabal named the Order of the Ancient Dawn - led by Samuel Braithwhite and his son, Caleb - which has gathered to orchestrate a ritual that shockingly centers on Atticus. And his one hope of salvation may be the seed of his clan's destruction.
A chimerical blend of magic, power, hope, and freedom that stretches across time, touching diverse members of two black families, Lovecraft Country is a devastating kaleidoscopic portrait of racism - the terrifying specter that continues to haunt us today.
©2016 Matt Ruff (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Lovecraft Country has as much to do with the horrors of Jim Crow-era racism as it does with eldritch terrors or the cosmic dread of Lovecraft. The connections to Lovecraft's work are present but author Matt Ruff is up to something different. Nevertheless, like some of HPL's work, this book deals not only with cosmic and supernatural mysteries but with questions of heredity and identity. The novel is essentially an interconnected series of stories that revolve around a black family. It can seem a little disjointed at times but the characters are well-realized and distinct. They're the strength of this book and even when the plot wavers a bit, they remain strong. Both Ruff's writing and Kenerly's narration make this a worthy listen.
I gave the book 4 stars. I'd be more inclined to give it 3.5 if that were an option. Either way, I enjoyed it and I recommend it.
The concept is quite unique and very well executed. A great collection of stories that show us that sometimes the real horrors are the ones we do to each other.
Amazing story that takes Lovecraft's mythos and bolsters its literary worth by illuminating -- and demolishing -- the canon creator's personal prejudices. solidly written and superbly performed.
likeable characters with believable strengths and foibles, loved the vignette construction leading to a most satisfying conclusion, capped off by a fantastic performance by kenerly whose distinct voices fit personalities and moods skillfully
An extended family of African Americans, living during the time of Jim Crow, are swept up into a series Lovecraftian plots. I was intrigued by the cover, and the stories inside live up to the artwork. The story is told in several episodes, each one with a different lead character, and these characters are AWESOME. Their collective interests in books, astronomy, comics, etc. are all an homage to the golden age of SciFi and should leave most readers with a smile on their face. The narrator brought the characters to life without being distracting. Picture sitting on the front porch, listening to your grandpa spin a tall tale, that's what this was like. I really liked this book.
A series of connected short stories which pits Afro-American protagonists against supernatural and racist threats. The stories are compelling and entertaining while reminding us of the real horrors that were inflicted on black people in the country in the 1950s. A worthy addition to the expanding range of Lovecraft's influence with a historical twist. Highly recommended!
If you have a live for history and social issues mixed with H.P Lovecraft this is well recommended. unusually well developed characters for speculative fiction. it's been a long time since encountering truly decent and good characters in a bad world.
Very rarely do we get to hear the stories as told from the perspectives of marginalized people. It was a joy to listen to the different storylines and see how they were all connected. It also gave me a better understanding into what life what like under the true horror of Jim Crow and the events that occurred in Tulsa. We need more works in horror/SciFi from this point of view. Well done.
C O Ehren
It's not that often that a book comes along that gives such a frank, straightforward view through someone else's eyes. I would like to thank this author and his editors for their courage and clarity. I love horror fiction, golden age sci fi and the pulps, even when they make me wince. Thanks for so eloquently articulating so much difficult love. Please write more, I can't wait to read it.
Top 10! 1920's America is full of monsters... an most of 'em R white! A harrowing adventure of a handful of young black heroes traveling though the remote & dangerous American Country Side infested with monsters; White, bigoted, southern, red-necked monsters! Monsters armed with knifes & guns & often a Lawman's badge. Monsters with a keen intent on the bloody extermination of our heroes just because they're black - in the wrong place at the wrong time
Turner, the Handsome Black Hero, "the Magic Negro", of course! I wanted to hang out with this cool dude…. but we'd have to go to some joint where they wouldn't mind serving a Black Person and a White Person eating together!
H.P. Lovecraft wrote his weird Literature back in the 1920's. Nearly 100 years ago. A very different America existed then. It was rough living in the 1920's, and it was even rougher if you were Black. 1920's America was roiling like a shaggoth with fanged maws of bigotry and tentacles of racial hate. No black President. No black Rock-stars. No Black role models… on the stage, radio, anywhere. No black heroes at all. It was greatly refreshing to have them here in this very American Cthulhu Mythos tale.
Kevin did a great job here. He sounded like a Handsome Black Hero when you needed him to - which is VERY important in this book!
A fear filled quest to save someone's father who's held captive by an ancient family who's long history has tentacles intwined with our heroes own past. Unnamed powers, echoing up from foul primordial epochs many ages ago. Vast evil beings & creatures who all have agendas of their own, none of which care a hoot for our heroes day to day struggle, or even the fate of the human race at all!
In the 1920's Huge mansions in nice neighborhoods would not be rented to Black people… that is unless there was something very wrong with that huge, sprawling, mansion with it's strange pagan stature of Hectare the goddess of the moon, the Queen of Witches. Doors slam. That creepy feeling that eyes were on you in every room. A feeling that the original owner was still playing cards with you in the pallor… or maybe a nice game of chess....
I think H.P. Lovecraft was the perfect weird fiction writer. The BEST.
Finally, however, I understand what was missing from Howard's astounding work; "black people"!
See, I grew up in a very mixed cultural surroundings. Thus, I feel ill at ease in homogeneous neighborhoods of "all white" folks and feel comfortable in colorful areas like Venice Beach, & the Big Island of Hawaii, even though I'm Irish/Polish-milk-white. Just how I was raised, & how I feel, I like having dark people around. My first real friend was the kid next door. Ben. He was Black. My dad was never around, so my Judo teacher was a surrogate father-figure. He was a black man named Mr. Montgomery. I remember my first big job was in a silicon valley like part of California, a long drive from my Venice Beach digs. At my first "Lunch Hour" I recall wondering where all the "People" were looking around at the nearly totally white suburban land scape. It felt like a scene from "The Stepford Wives". Many years later, I'm now happily in a long term interracial relationship.
So, with all that, you can understand my deep pleasure at the one thing I always felt Lovecraft was missing; Heroes and main characters who are non-white. Lovecraft NEEDED Black folks in his stories! Now, finally, ... the Chuthulo Mythos is "Blacker"…and even Better!
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