Reviews - Books

Reviews: The Ballad of Black Tom

Lovecraft Inspired

Today I am writing to talk to you about The Ballad of Black Tom, which was written by Victor LaValle and published in 2016.

Being a Lovecraftian fan when I heard about this novella, I was all in there and it is safe to say that I was not disappointed. It is a reworking of Lovecraft’s “The horror of Red Hook.” But it builds on the original story and themes to explore racism, prejudice and isolation.

The novella won a slew of awards including but not limited to the Nebula and Hugo Awards.

Summary

Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

The novel follows Charles “Tommy” Tester who lives with his sick father and runs schemes as a street hustler in Harlem in 1924. The first part of the novella is told from Charles perspective and the second is seen through the eyes of Detective Malone.  

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Classic Horror

Classic Horror: The Outsider

You are the monster

Today I am writing to you to talk about one of Lovecraft’s shortest but possibly most effective short stories, The Outsider.

The Outsider is a beautifully written short regarding a chap escaping a castle.

The story is told in first person, which was a means of story telling Lovecraft favoured to an extent. Our narrator talks about his life, focusing on how lonely and isolated he has been and ultimately how unhappy. He has no real memory of other people, or even where he is from originally. He also describes his environment, the dark and rather run-down castle that squats in an endless forest. The narrator has never even seen natural light. All his knowledge from outside world comes from books.

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Classic Horror, Katie Recommends, Reviews

Classic Horror: Best Three Lovecraft Stories

Some favorites

I’m feeling a little indulgent today and have decided to talk about one of my favourite writers, H.P. Lovecraft. If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time you will already be aware that Lovecraft is one of my top three horror authors and was the inspiration behind a few of my own short stories.

Today I want to talk about some of my favourite stories, The colour out of space, the shadow over Innsmouth, the Call of Cthulhu, the Dunwich horror and the mountains of madness. I love all of these stories for their ability to build tension, create dramatic and loathsome settings and ultimately bring those things together and give a satisfying pay off at the end of the story.  

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Classic Horror

Classic Horror: Lovecraft is being made into films and I’m happy scared.

Ooo Err

Being a huge Lovecraft fan I am both excited as Hell and nervous as Hell about the adaptation to film of some of the stories.

That’s right some!

It’s old news that The Colour Out of Space is being turned into a film, but recently the news broke that The Colour Out of Space is the first of THREE films. That’s right we’re looking at a trilogy.

The Colour Out of Space, directed by Richard Stanley is due out this year and is set to star Nicolas Cage has been hailed as been an adaptation that is more faithful to the original story.

“We had been hellbent on finding the Lovecraft adaptation that truly captured cosmic dread without the camp”.

Sounds good right?

But while I’m excited, I’m also worried. Lovecraft has a special place in my heart, to the point where I put it permanently on my skin, twice! So the risk that this might end up horribly wrong is a real concern.

How do you feel when your favourite stories get made into films?

Classic Horror

Classic Horror: Call of Cthulhu

Missed calls

As you are already aware, I’m a huge Lovecraft fan. So once again I use the word review in the title of this blog lightly, as what is far more accurate a descriptor for this blog is an over-enthusiastic gush.

Today I am going to talk about The Call of Cthulhu. 

The Call of Cthulhu was written by H.P Lovecraft in 1926 and was published in the pulp magazine Weird Tales in February 1928. This is a marvellous story for a number of reasons, the foremost being that despite it being a ‘monster’ story it has it’s own unique take on the kind of fear that such a creature should inspire. 

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Classic Horror

Classic Horror: At The Mountains of Madness

Madness in the Mountains

Today I am writing to you about one of my favourite Lovecraft stories, At The Mountains of Madness. This story has inspired horror creators for years, resulting in books, films and games. The world would be a much poorer place without this story.

I recently picked up an audiobook collection of Lovecraft and have been listening to this particular story on the way to and from work. Listening to it has reminded me of just how much I enjoyed this and now I want to talk about how awesome it is.

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