Daily Archives: January 24, 2010

Lovin’ Lovecraft

24 January 2010

I just wanted to share that H.P. Lovecraft has has been rocking my socks lately.  If you’re not familiar, he was a horror writer in the early 1900’s, probably best known for writing the influential and mythos-spawning The Call Of Cthulhu, as well as inventing — yes, inventing — the Necronomicon.  He had a big impact on Stephen King and his work, but apparently that influence extended well beyond books,  showing itself in everything from Metallica songs to well, virtually everything Guillermo Del Toro has done.  There’s even a little steampunk crossover in there.

I only picked up this short story collection because I had that Seattle trip coming up and needed something to read.  Normally, I latch on to authors that I’ve had good experiences with, but there wasn’t anything jumping out at me from my usuals like King, Palahniuk, and Silva.  I have heard Lovecraft’s name many times over the years and vaguely knew something about Cthulhu, but I never felt compelled to seek him out.  But I am so glad I did!  His short stories are genuinely creepy.  I was so sure that anything written that long ago in that genre would be way too tame for me, but not so!  He really focuses on concepts that  personally find the most shuddersome… ancient or dilapidated places… and vast, unnameable evils.  He is every bit as good as King, and in some ways even better.  I’m only half way through one small collection of his short stories, and I have yet to be disappointed.  I’ll keep reading this and other collections of his until I am.

As a bonus, Lovecraft is known for his antiquarian language, using archaic spelling and terms that were old even in his time.  As a result, and “wordophile” that I am, I’ve kept a list of 100+ words that I’ve needed to look up or that I just like so much that I want to remember them.  Can you believe it?  Over 100 noteworthy words, and I’m not even halfway through the book yet!  Clearly, this is the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship with a great new/old author.