Sunday, February 04, 2007

By H.P. Lovecraft

This collection provides a look at Lovecraft’s early tales. It is a grab bag of HPL’s work, and shows some of the various directions he went in.

The title tale and “The Festival” are vintage HPL, obsessed with ancestral curses and an unhealthy interest in the past on the part of the young. These themes would later bloom in the form of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. “In the Walls of Eryx” is a straight up science fiction tale, set on an old-school Venus filled with jungles and hostile natives. “Imprisoned with the Pharoahs” is an example of HPL’s ghost-writing, it is an adventure tale featuring none other than Harry Houdini in the starring role.

“He” and “The Horror at Red Hook” come from HPL’s New York phase. In the most ultra-modern of American cities HPL searched for the antique. In “He” he revealed it, giving the settling of America a very dark turn. “The Horror at Red Hook” is a good story, but so pervasive is the loathing of immigrants and Middle-Eastern types that it falls only slightly short of Ann Coulter.

The Tomb and Other Tales is a good set of stories, but probably most of interest to an HPL collector.
-Dave Hardy

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