Review: Lovecraft’s Monsters edited by Ellen Datlow

October 22, 2014 2.5 stars, Book Review 13 ★★½

Review: Lovecraft’s Monsters edited by Ellen DatlowLovecraft's Monsters by Ellen Datlow
Published by Tachyon Publishing on April 15, 2014
Genres: Horror
Pages: 432
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Goodreads

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

This deliciously creepy and loving tribute to the master of modern horror features riveting illustrated stories of his wicked progeny.

In the century since the master of horror, H. P. Lovecraft, published his first story, the monstrosities that crawled out of his brain have become legend: the massive, tentacled Cthulhu, who lurks beneath the sea waiting for his moment to rise; the demon Sultan Azathoth, who lies babbling at the center of the universe, mad beyond imagining; the Deep Ones, who come to shore to breed with mortal men; and the unspeakably-evil Hastur, whose very name brings death. These creatures have been the nightmarish fuel for generations of horror writers, and the inspiration for some of their greatest works.

This impressive anthology celebrates Lovecraft's most famous beasts in all their grotesque glory, with each story a gripping new take on a classic mythos creature and affectionately accompanied by an illuminating illustration. Within these accursed pages something unnatural slouches from the sea into an all-night diner to meet the foolish young woman waiting for him, while the Hounds of Tindalos struggle to survive trapped in human bodies, haunting pool halls for men they can lure into the dark. Strange, haunting, and undeniably monstrous, this is Lovecraft as you have never seen him before.

Contents

"Only the End of the World Again" by Neil Gaiman
"The Bleeding Shadow" by Joe R. Lansdale
"Love is Forbidden, We Croak & Howl" by Caitlín R. Kiernan
"Bulldozer" by Laird Barron
"A Quarter to Three" by Kim Newman
"Inelastic Collisions" by Elizabeth Bear
"That of Which We Speak When We Speak of the Unspeakable" by Nick Mamatas
"Red Goat Black Goat" by Nadia Bulkin
"Jar of Salts" and "Haruspicy" by Gemma Files
"Black is the Pit From Pole to Pole" by Howard Waldrop and Steven Utley
"I've Come to Speak with You Again" by Karl Edward Wagner
"The Sect of the Idiot" by Thomas Ligotti
"The Dappled Things" by William Browning Spencer
"The Same Deep Waters as You" by Brian Hodge
"Remnants" by Fred Chappell
"Waiting at the Cross Roads" by Steve Rasnic Tem
"Children of the Fang" by John Langan

two-half-stars

Lovecraft’s Monsters would likely be a perfect fit for readers who have read and enjoy H.P. Lovecraft’s writings. So I must preface this review with the fact that I personally have never read any of Lovecraft’s work nor am I intimately familiar with the horror genre. But I do enjoy a horror novel now and then usually when it falls into the realm of Science Fiction and Fantasy which I totally think this book, and much of Horror does. With that, who knows, maybe I’m more acquainted then I realize?

I thought that a collection of shorts by other author’s inspired by his stories would be a good fit for me – especially since I love monsters. Unfortunately, due to having not read his work I think many of the stories were lost on me.  I couldn’t put some of the story or character elements in context and was sometimes left trying to google particular words, characters or monsters so I could figure things out better.  This of course detracted from my overall enjoyment because I’m never usually comfortable with the feeling of not knowing.

Typically when I review collections I individually mini review and rate each one. But as I started moving through the book I gave up on doing that after a few stories.

If I’d known the source material that inspired these I firmly believe I would have enjoyed them more. Such as it is, I wasn’t disappointed. I got a wide array of completely off the wall stories told in different styles of storytelling and a lesson learned that if you want to read a book or collection of stories inspired by another that you probably want to read the original first.

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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13 Responses to “Review: Lovecraft’s Monsters edited by Ellen Datlow”

  1. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    I’m guilty of a lack of Lovecraft in my life too. I don’t know why I never picked up one of his stories, for the longest time I didn’t even know what kind of stories he wrote. This collection sounds really interesting, but it’s good to know that it relies so much on the original. I would at least like to read Neil Gaiman’s story sometime, so I should get to a Lovecraft story soon!
    Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy recently posted…Review: Halton CrayMy Profile

  2. Molly Mortensen

    I tried to read this book last year, but I wound up putting it down fairly quickly. Maybe it’s because I didn’t read any of Lovecrafts stories either. You’ve made me feel better about not understanding what I was reading. It wasn’t just me after all. 🙂
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…Angelbound Armageddon By Christina BauerMy Profile