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Legacy of the Reanimator Paperback – December 4, 2015
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“Herbert West – Reanimator” is a very unique story of Lovecraft’s. It’s not a Cthulhu Mythos tale, it’s not a Dreamlands tale or one of his early gothic stories. If anything it can potentially be grouped together with some of his other “scientific tales” such as “Cool Air”, “From Beyond” and “Beyond the Walls of Sleep.” I kept thinking of this idea and then in the Afterword Brian Sammons made these same comments. I guess I just “reanimated” them.
So what about the book? Well if you like Lovecraft’s Herbert West or Stuart Gordon’s film version you will love this collection. The stories are presented in a chronological fashion, starting with Herbert West in school then college, followed by his experiences at Miskatonic University and beyond as chronicled by Lovecraft. Following this are two sets of round robin stories where each author tries to outdo the previous one. The last set of tales document what happens to West’s assistant and provides some information on what West’s decedents are up to.
All of the stories are enjoyable but the round robins are the best part. In particular, I found myself both laughing and repulsed by the contributions made by Donald R. Burleson and then Charles Hoffman. The concluding tale in the second set of round robin tales by Michael Cisco was an incredible way to end that collection of stories.
Overall, I strongly recommend buying this book once it is available, particularly if you have a place for Dr. Herbert West in your reanimated heart.
As I had hoped, this collection is brilliant! It includes the original Lovecraft tales (which I was already quite familiar with) as well as the great, and incredibly hard to find, round - robin tales from the old Lovecraft 'zine "Crypt of Cthulhu" - which I had been looking for for some time.
Great stories all around that expanded on Herbert West's adventures both before and after Lovecraft's original works.
Presented in basically chronological order, the stories give us a bit of insight into Herbert West, and let us know where he may be again.
Each story, while now connected through this book, can be enjoyed on its own or as a part of the whole - a sign of a great anthology work.
Fans of Lovecraft, Herbert West, or simply great stories will not go wrong with this book!
A few of the stories fall flat, but never enough to ruin the book.