Friday, April 25, 2014

Review Me Twice: Call of Cthulu by H P Lovecraft

A short story has never felt so long. And I've read books of Stephen King's short stories (the ones he can keep short are good, but sometimes it seems he forgets that he's not writing a novel).

If you have a large vocabulary, incredible patience, and don't expect great horrors from this story, you'll be fine. I have the first, but I thought that what was supposed to be one of the greatest horror stories of all time would have better pacing and, you know, actual scary stuff.

Really, it all boils down to the fact that I don't like the framing device for this story. I went in expecting something more like a history of the old gods or a direct recollection of someone's interaction with this incarnation of hell itself... instead, I get many, many pages of a guy digging through his dead relative's paperwork and looking at a carving. I get the boring side of an Indiana Jones adventure, really.

It doesn't help that the copy I used has those awful ragged-edge pages that make it impossible to turn to the correct page on the first try (especially when it seems nobody else has ever checked the book out from the library so the pages haven't separated) so I lost patience with it more quickly than I might have before. But it was only 31 pages, so I made it, albeit unhappily.

To summarize, I was disappointed. When so many authors I like tell me another author is amazing, I expect to agree. I did not.

Honestly, I wasn't impressed with the book at all.  Half the time I couldn't follow the characters, I wasn't totally sure who he was talking about, and there was a lot of jumping from place to place.

Also, maybe I'm just not intelligent enough for this story, but to be honest, I just didn't get it.  The Cthuhlu is supposed to be this insanely scary thing.  Basically it scares men to death.  But our main character doesn't even SEE the thing, and he's petrified of it.  He's done nothing but read second hand accounts and that's convinced him that he's going to die, which seems a little over dramatic to me.

For such a classic, I was insanely disappointed with the book.  

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