Monday, February 21, 2005

Thoughts on Lovecraft so in H.P.

Many of my friends are well read, and in my particular circle there are a few who are very familiar with horror writing. I am a little behind in my reading of the horror genre. I was an avid and faithful Stephen King fan for many years...until he became weird, even for my taste. I am still a big fan of his older work, but I think I may have "grown" out of him. Maybe because I started reading Stephen King at the tender age of seven.

I look at my seven year old daughter, and I know that I would never let her read that stuff, not if I could help it. Of course, she couldn't read it really...she hasn't progressed very far in the reading department, which is another subject entirely.

At any rate, I had always listened to people speaking about H.P. Lovecrafts work, the Call of Cthulu and etc. Nod and smile because I have no idea what they are talking about--not really.

So, finally I picked up a used copy of Lovecrafts best work. I have to say that I am not particularly riveted.

I know that this book review is coming a little late, I mean, the guy is I am sure that he doesn't actually CARE what I think. But to put it plainly, I find his work rather dry and uninspiring. I am sure that in his day, his ideas were way out there, and quite disturbing. Which is brilliant in of itself. But for me, a modern reader...his work isn't as scary as I had hoped it would be. I mean, Stephen King even named him as the best horror fiction writer of the 20th Century. That has to say something right?
Ah well...I was hoping to be scared out of my wits by a genius horror fiction writer, and unfortunately I am not.

I think that this is because I read him AFTER reading works from authors who were inspired by his ideas. Dean Koontz and Clive Barker both have written novels that have hints of Lovecraft in them. Not plagiarism by any means, just influence. I think that perhaps Stephen King's earlier work was also influenced by Lovecraft. Though this is just speculation...I don't know if these people actually read Lovecraft before they became published...who knows? Only they do.

I am enjoying their work over Lovecrafts though because they have expounded and made the initial idea [Lovecraft] a much more horrific story[Koontz, King, Barker]. I do however enjoy his format of short stories and novelettes. I dont' have time these days to invest in a full novel[unfortunately]..because I LoVe to read. So I have been taking mini breaks from Accounting, Math and Business Writing, to read Lovecraft.

I am not done with this book though, I may have more to write after I have completed it. To be fair, this is a mid book review.


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