TJ is a writer living in Portland, OR.

Lovecraft (would you like him?)

Lovecraft (would you like him?)

Name: H.P. Lovecraft
What's their deal?: 20th century American author who wrote 'cosmic horror' fiction. He came up with Cthulhu, which I heard about before I heard about Lovecraft.
What did you read?: Tales of H.P. Lovecraft (selected edition by Joyce Carol Oats), a selection of short stories.
Standouts?: The Mountains of Madness, The Call of
Cthulhu, The Dunwich Horror, The Shadow Out of Time.

Let me start by telling you that Lovecraft is racist, there are a lot of disparaging remarks made about people who aren't white, and not just non-whites, non-English-whites. Unsurprisingly most his stories (at least in this collection) all seem to be about intellectual well-to-do white men. 

Sometimes we like things are problematic. Don't worry, Lovecraft is dead and it's not like you can support him financially.

Also, his prose is a little dense, so there's that too.

So if you can get past all that, and you're interested in horror/sci-fi, then I think you would like Lovecraft. He builds mystery and intrigue in all his stories quickly and as his (intellectual white male) protagonist delves deeper into the mystery it is quickly replaced with horror, very unsettling horror. The universe of Lovecraft is indifferent to humans, filled with powerful entities beyond human imagination, entities which could destroy humanity if they wished (or possibly just by accident). But there is intrigue in this horror, it consumes the protagonists (and the reader) and we must know what is unknowable, what will drive us mad.

Lovecraft has a mythology that he uses over and over in his stories and reading this collection it feels like all these stories take place in the same world, which is also unsettling. 

In answer to the question I posed: You might enjoy Lovecraft but you aren't really going to be great friends. He's smart but a little wordy, interesting to listen to if not a little depressing, but every so often he'll say 'negro' and you'll cringe.

 This is Cthulhu as Lovecraft imagined it. But it's like the size of Godzilla. Mostly Cthulhu just sleeps but apparently some people think it's a good idea to wake it up a walking skyscraper with a squid-face and and a distaste for humanity.

This is Cthulhu as Lovecraft imagined it. But it's like the size of Godzilla. Mostly Cthulhu just sleeps but apparently some people think it's a good idea to wake it up a walking skyscraper with a squid-face and and a distaste for humanity.

The Parable of the Tapeworm

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