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Hardboiled Cthulhu: Two-fisted Tales of Tentacled Terror Paperback – July 15, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
Some housekeeping: The book is a handsome trade paperback, well up to Elder Sign Press' usual excellent standards. No autographed collector edition signed by the authors, more's the pity! The wonderfully evocative cover art is by David Senecal and is perfectly in tune with the collection's theme: world weary private eyes and HPL's mythos, kind of Raymond Chandler and extradimensional tentacles. Price is $11.67 at Amazon, with free shipping available if you buy at least $25 worth of stuff. This is heavily discounted from list $17.95. Page count is a generous 330, just about all devoted to the stories and counting a few pages of mini-bios of the authors at the end. Production qualities are high; I can't recall any typos.Read more ›
Only 6 of 21 stories have a private detective in them, 1 is even Conan-like sword and sorcery (how that got included beats me). The rest are OK Mythos tales but are not really "hard-boiled" in the traditional sense.
Either Ambuehl didn't specify what he wanted from the authors strictly enough or he let them get away with shoddy work, either way it's bad editorship.
James Ambuel took on the mantle, but unfortunately, with this anthology he did not actually succeed. A collection of uneven stories, the works were to embrace stories that are “hardboiled,” with the impression they are basically pastiches of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.
The result is a mishmash of detective noir (Ambuehl’s opening story, The Pisces Club), detective noir satire (Tim Curran’s entertaining Eldritch-Fellas), an Iraqi war story (Jeffrey Thomas’ Pazuzu’s Children), a reporter investigating the Starry Wisdom cult (Robert M. Price’s The Prying Investigations of Edwin M. Lillibridge) and others. Buyer beware, you are getting a book of Cthulhu Mythos stories, but they embrace all sorts of themes and tropes.
All in all, the collection holds its own. Jonathan Sharp’s The White Mountains introduces us to two moonshine runners who fall on the wrong side of an inbred mountain family who just happen to worship one very nasty monstrosity. John Sunseri has a little story about professional thieves stealing the Necronomicon from the heavily guarded library at Miskatonic University. The anthology also has offerings from the late J. F. Gonzalez and the late C.J. Henderson, so collectors of their works may find some value in the book.
All in all, the collection is not a waste of time. Just be aware of what you are buying.
This book is a waste of time. It's filled with poorly done stories, offensive story lines and bad editing. I realize that my reviews may contain grammar and spelling errors, but then I'm not an editor of anthologies. Whoever let this book be published without doing the most basic spell- and grammar check?
Alright, so the book contains the lauded "Eldritch-Fellas", a mythos version of (duh) "Goodfellas". Fine, I enjoyed that, it was a good combination of mythos, humor and Mafia cliches. However, the book also contains the utterly crappy sword and sorcery(!) story "Day of Iniquity". Hello, editor? Anybody home? Why was this story included? It's not even a good S&S tale ...
The quality of fiction gets worse from there on, and pretty much bottoms out until the very end. R. Lupoff's "Dreems.biz" was a neat little piece of mythos fiction, and heads and shoulders over the majority of this collection. Unlike many of the stories it didn't include extreme violence, abuse of animals and/or sex. It was simply well written, carefully plotted and entertaining. Take note of this, mythos fiction need not be offensive, gross, hyper-violent and/or pornographic.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I purchased this anthology in the Hodges Figgis during a vacation in Ireland.I decided to buy the majority of the anthologies in the horror section of the store (i visited the... Read morePublished on November 26, 2011 by Eitan Mizrahi
I wasn't expecting The Big Sleep, you know? But when you buy a book that claims to be an anthology of Hardboiled/Lovecraftian stories, you do expect it to... Read morePublished on April 9, 2011 by Wanderer D
I found this dull reading, suitable only if you're really bored and have already read anything else you can get your hands on.Published on March 21, 2010 by B. Bryant
Down and out PIs, doublecrossing dames, and wiseguys mix surprisingly well with the Cthulhu Mythos.
Some of those wiseguys are "Eldritch-Fellas". Read more
Only some of the stories follow the noir-ish theme implied by the title and cover, but an above-standard collection of Lovecraft (and other authors) inspired short stories.Published on December 8, 2007 by Jonathan R. Hatch
This mixing of genres seemed like a good idea, but it did not work. The only reason that it rates two stars is that there are some stories that pass: "A Little Job in Arkham" and... Read morePublished on July 27, 2007 by S. Potter
Maybe some short stories in this book are worth reading, but I couldn't get to them - I tried the first 5 or 6, and they were very amateur and cliche. Read morePublished on March 27, 2007 by J. White
The concept is brilliant, though drawing from the film _Cast a Deadly Spell_ in the idea of 1930s detectives and Cthulhu Mythos. Some of the stories work well, others are forced. Read morePublished on February 7, 2007 by Kathleen C. Griffin