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Publisher's Summary

Now an HBO series from J. J. Abrams (executive producer of Westworld), Misha Green (creator of Underground), and Jordan Peele (director of Get Out and Us), this brilliant and imaginative novel by critically acclaimed author Matt Ruff makes visceral the terrors of Jim Crow America, melding historical fiction, pulp noir, and Lovecraftian horror.

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.

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.

©2021 Matt Ruff (P)2020 HarperAudio

What listeners say about Lovecraft Country

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Truly Wonderful

An absolute banger. My only complaint is the narrator's inflection is, from time to time, a little strange. Otherwise, it's an absolute must-listen.

19 people found this helpful

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love it

love it :)

it was an amazing book overall. 10/10. Would recommend to anyone looking for a good book.

12 people found this helpful

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Disappointingly not what I expected...

I came into this audiobook not really knowing much about it. I read the synopsis and thought is sounded pretty cool, and plus, some people had been recommending the tv series. Given the title, and even the cover, I thought it was going to be more "horror" with cool Lovecraft monsters and such. I thought it would be an engrossing tale into madness or something. More supernatural and "action."

This book is none of those things.

First off, I'm not a fan of anthologies. This book is an anthology of five or six different character pieces. I just don't like short little bites of bigger things. I like a long, in depth, arching story with character development. This book started off with an interesting setup, I was excited to see where that would go and develop with what I thought was the main character gaining arcane powers. Nope. That went no where. It then spun off into various characters getting little bite size stories that never really amounted to anything.

It's like they would each start some potentially entertaining story that started to wander off into fantasy, but then stopped. They came back to the boring real world. The characters never grew or developed. They never did anything interesting with this supernatural world that just sat on the edge of the book. It was quite disappointing.

2 people found this helpful

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Different

Alot different than the HBO Series, but still a good book. Creepy and unnerving concerning all the sorcery and demonic themes. Yet, interesting twists with the time travel and Jekyll/Hyde.

1 person found this helpful

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I loved the first three hours

I loved the first three hours of the book. The remaining nine hours were good but not stunning. The reading performance was a professional job.

1 person found this helpful

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Save your disappointment and watch the HBO series

First, the narrator.
I am forced to admit that many of the voices sound very similar, and there is almost no emotional inflection present, almost as though the narrator is just reading off the page with no effort to make it a performance. With that in mind, however, his voice does work for the subject matter.

Now, a slight disclaimer.
I saw the TV series before listening to the audiobook, so my reactions may have been colored somewhat by that.

Now, I did go into it with certain expectations. I already knew it was (more or less) a collection of interconnected short stories, so there are challenges to its contiguousness.

That being said, there is an interesting premise here. I like the idea of a black-led cast fighting racism on the backdrop of a Supernatural underworld in the 50s.

Based on the title, of course, I was expecting a LOT more Lovecraft/Cthulhu Mythos influence, but the reality is there is almost none. There are references, based almost entirely on major characters who are fans of Lovecraft, but that's really a far as the HPL references go.

The Sorcery, as it were, bears no resemblance to anything in HPL's work. There are no Lovecraftian creatures or gods, no Supernatural horror (even calling it dark fantasy is a bit of a stretch), and the extremely slight references to insanity are limited to one character and not presented in any way that remotely resembles anything believable.

Now, I'm not a Lovecraft purist who thinks that everything with any claim to being Lovecraftian or Mythos needs to be a carbon copy of what HPL did, but I do think that if you're going to put "Lovecraft" in the title of a book, that book should at least be inspired by something of that man's work.

This book is not. Not in any discernible way, at least.

However, moving past the unfortunate title, there are some fun things done here. I myself would have been happier with a story focusing a tad more of the Supernatural and a pinch less on the real-world racism, but I do understand that was the point of the book.

I don't want to put too bold a point on this, but I feel it should be mentioned that while I do find it odd that a white guy who grew up in the 70s wrote a book with this premise, I do find the portrayal of the cast and period more realistic and fleshed out than I would have expected.

Unfortunately, because of the episodic nature of this book (which I've gathered, based on information from his Wikipedia page, is an ongoing problem for this author) combined with its skipping around between several main characters, none of them are really as fleshed out as I would have liked, so I really didn't have the time to fully connect with any of them.

They each do have their own distinct drives and goals, the just don't ever rise far enough off the page (or speaker, as it were) to fully feel like real people.

And my final issue lies in the plot. It honestly just doesn't feel that well developed. The story is extremely straightforward with very few twists and no surprises.

In closing, this was a decent attempt at an interesting premise, but unless you're really set on reading the original source material I would strongly recommend ditching the book and just watching the HBO series. It's a much more satisfying and cohesive experience.

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A good read

Enjoyable story with lots of interesting twists, but got a bit confusing at times. The narrator is outstanding.

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Addictive Story

Exceptional storytelling, I highly recommend! It was a new genre for me, a thrilling listen

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Great story - poor production

Worth a listen, but you’ll need to slow it down because it is recorded way too fast. Plus my download kept stopping - it gave me trouble. Much different from show, but it’s a really good book. Much more magic oriented than fantasy/sci-fi.

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Excellent Book

This is an excellent book! it is so much better than the HBO series.