For millennia men have strutted their pride over the fragile surface of the Earth, arrogantly proclaiming themselves masters of creation. But now their feeble investigations have disturbed the planet's original rulers far beneath the globe's crust.
©1974 Brian Lumley (P)2016 David N. Wilson
"To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” -- Somerset Maugham
First of all, Simon Vance! I could listen to that guy read the phone book. So good.
Now, Brian Lumley. He has amazingly cool ideas in the vein of modern, weird horror, and this book is no exception. In execution, he sometimes relies to much on telling rather than showing - robbing the reader of the chilling experience in favor of a kind of intellectual recap. Sadly, this book is no different. I enjoyed the book though. And to be fair, it is no more lacking in direct-experience than Lovecraft himself!
I don't want to share any plot details for fear of spoiling too much. But the basics are that you have an occult investigator/secret agent in your protagonist, Titus Crow, who uncovers a plot 'hatched' (you'll get that pun later) by Chtonians, an ancient and evil subterranean race.
Moments after starting it, I began to feel the gravitas of the story. Even more than a "names have been changed to protect the innocent" it felt to be a true conveyance of a hidden event.
Simon Vance brings a reality to it all with his narration. What a brilliant sustained performance, one that will set the standards of what quality work both Lumley and Vance have achieved together.
Thank you gentlemen!
I am a huge H.P. Lovecraft fan. As a good fan I thought I would give Brian Lumley's work a try. Over all it was very week story. I got the feeling that I was listening to a massive explanation and review of the Lovecraft mythology rather than a story. There is very little character development between the two key characters in the book. Over all I was very disappointed with the story.
If you are looking for a good review of the Lovecraft mythology then this is the book for you. If you are looking for a serious story that builds on the mythology of Lovecraft while being a stand alone story, this may not be the book for you.
The adventure is Pulpish, weird, and incredibly entertaining.
I was a big fan of the Call of Cthulhu RPG by Chaosium, which this very much feels like an extended campaign thereof.
This is my first. I very much enjoyed it and the narration is top notch.
Simon Vance does an amazing job here by bringing to life Titus Crow, his companion Henri, and the various other characters involved in one of the greatest non-HPL Cthulhu Mythos stories. The Cthonians are one of the most terrifying monsters created for the world and are richly detailed by Lumley throughout.
Fans of H.P. Lovecraft will get the most out of this story but it functions entirely on its own for newcomers. It also lacks the more troubling aspects of Lovecraft's writings, providing a rich experience which all people can enjoy. This is a great audiobook and every listener who loves horror and adventure stories should give it a try.
I am a wee bit over the half a century mark in years. I enjoy audiobooks,cats,rats and most days my family,not necessarily in that order!lo
I don't know why,but this book was not as good as it could have been.I liked the Letter reading ,to a point.We are supposed to be terrified of the Burrowers,but they don't seem that scarey.I liked it.Great narrator.
"Lumley has mastered Cthulhu literature "
Simon Vance's naration is eminently appropriate to the material. Gripping listen, finished as quick as I could and will get the others in the series.
I have always enjoyed HP Lovecraft and Brian Lumley carries on his tradition admirably.
"An oldie but a goodie"
I first read this book back in the 90s and was very happy to see it on Audible and read by Simon Vance who I really enjoy listening to.
"PLENTY TO CROWE ABOUT!"
This is by far the best book I have read in the entire Cthulhu Mythos canon - by Lovecraft or anyone else, and the superb narration by Simon Vance makes it all the more enthralling. The fact this is being typed as I listen for the third time bears testament to that, and the more I hear the more I want to read on.
Written very much in the Lovecraft vein, but thankfully with far less archaic purple prose or swooning male heroes, this thrilling cosmic horror novel was right up my street. Being the first in the Titus Crowe series, it is written in epistolary fashion, leading off with a series of exchanges between Titus and others, before continuing into Henri de-Marigny's notebooks. Marigny is very much the Watson to Crowe's Holmes (not surprisingly, Vance has also narrated several Sherlock Holmes books) and I found the story equally captivating.
The story regards the mysterious disappearance of a noted professor and his "weird writer"nephew following strange tremors which began after said professor unearths mysterious buried globes and brings them home. The globes are actually eggs, belonging to monstrous Cthonian monsters who, not surprisingly, are a bit upset and burrow their way to the surface doing nasty things to any humans they meet - such as removing a living brain and implanting it into a globulous "thing" which then visits Crowe and Henri before dissolving into yuk. Simon Vance deserves his fifth star for this scene alone, a masterly yet poignant performance.
As the first in a series, this book introduced people and organisations which will become regulars in future stories, and I'm already looking forward to book 2. One big query - the monsters are seemingly allergic to water, which doesn't explain why one of the most exciting passages (the attempted sinking of Henri's river boat by a Cthonian) almost succeeds, the monster blithely striking out for the open sea having menacingly attacked them with all tentacles seemingly oblivious to corrosion. Maybe this repulsion doesn't apply to "big poppa"Shudde M'Ell, the leader and the largest of the Burrowers who I'm assuming this was? I'll have to read again, as I'm pretty sure Lumley wouldn't have overlooked this in light of how tightly the rest of the book is written.
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