Another H. P. Lovecraft masterpiece. We have all heard of alien abductions, but what if the alien forces only exchange the mind of the abductee with a mind to occupy that of the abductee's body while the mind travels in the body of an alien to be mined for information concerning the abductee's world? The mind then travels to a place in the earth where it mingles with not only with the aliens, but minds from other planets and other ages on this Earth. Prof. Nathaniel Wingate Peasley's mind goes on such an adventure, being abducted in the middle of an economics class Prof. Peasley is instructing. The sanitizing of Prof. Peasley's mind was apparently incomplete as he has fantastic dreams that become more and more real and maddening. Travel along as Lovecraft takes us to the deserts of Australia where the great underground city of the Yithians is discovered by Prof. Peasley and his party. Now will the Yithians remain dormant? Let's hope so!
Public Domain (P)2013 Audio Books by Mike Vendetti
While H.P. Lovecraft is primarily know as a horror, or weird fiction, author, I would place "The Shadow Out of Time" squarely in the realm of science fiction. If you enjoy Lovecraft's work, as I do, then this will be right up your alley. For those unfamiliar with the author, this is not the ideal starting point for discovering his large body of work. I would suggest starting with "The Call of Cthulhu" and then moving on to some stories with a more traditional setup, perhaps "The Dunwich Horror" or " The Shadow Over Innsmouth."
In believe "The Shadow Out of Time," "The Colour Out of Space," and "At the Mountains of Madness" to be Lovecraft's masterpieces. Thus, I would save them for later, both to ensure that you get a proper basis in the Mythos before reading them and to save the best for last.
I adore Lovecraft, and this story is no disappointment. However, the narrator's mispronunciation of simple words like "familiarly," "masonry," and "excavate," among others, is disgustingly distracting.
I've always considered The Shadow Out of Time one of Lovecraft's better tales. It's as much a science fiction story as a horror story, although the mind-bending experiences of it's protagonist would be enough to push anyone's mind to the brink of madness.
This story probably isn't the best starting point for a Lovecraft reader (try The Dunwich Horror, The Shadow Over Innsmouth or The Call of Cthulhu if you're just getting to know HPL) but it's one of his most carefully constructed tales and it gradually builds to a ripping climax.
Mike Vendetti's reading of the story doesn't ruin it by any means but it ranges from good to lifeless to distracting. At times, he does a fine job but he repeatedly struggles to pronounce words correctly. Some of them are Lovecraftian creations but he has as many problems with good ol' English as he does with words like "Necronomicon" (how can anyone be allowed to read Lovecraft for an audiobook if he can't pronounce the name of that infamous tome correctly?).
Anyway, I don't mean to be too hard on the man but this isn't the sort of reading that truly enriches that material like, say, the readings of Wayne June, which I highly recommend.
This story marks the premier of the Yith, Lovecraft's race of alien, psychic, mind-swapping time travelers. It's shockingly original, while still retaining Lovecraft's old tropes of dark, ancient ruins and looming insanity from our old Arkham staff. Real compelling stuff.
Unfortunately, Mike Vendetti's narration isn't very good. He stays completely monotone and it really kills the suspense, especially when he's supposed to be going insane from fear. Also, Vendetti twice mispronounces the word, "Necromonicon," who isn't that big a deal but will annoy fans. This isn't unbearable, but I'd strongly recommend reading this as opposed to listening to it.
If your new to HP Lovecraft don't start here. Work up to it. It will be worth the wait.
Mike, I love ya, but for the love of Pete, why can't you pronounce 'necronomicon'?
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