Thursday, October 13, 2011

old horrors

For all of my reading of speculative fiction, I had never read anything by H. P. Lovecraft before two weeks ago when I bought a big E-book collection of his stories for something like $3. I've read quite a few by stories by now, including the famous "Call of Cthulu" and "The Dunwich Horror", and I have yet to get even a faint shiver of fear or loathing, not to mention any nightmares.

I guess I have to put it down to movies. I think I've become so jaded by Hollywood monsters that poor Mr. Lovecraft doesn't have much hope of impressing me. In fact, I find his drawn-out description of disturbing and unnatural landscapes, buildings, and artefacts to be a bit tedious, with a faint odor of desperation in mood-setting.

But I don't think movies explain my impatience with his frequent horrors that drive men insane just by seeing them, or just by hearing about them. I find the very notion a bit silly.

The stories are good, but they could all be improved by cutting out half of the mood-setting.

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