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A Lonely and Curious Country: Tales from the Lands of Lovecraft Paperback – August 4, 2015
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My only minor quibble is that the book could have used some additional formatting and editing. It doesn't in any way detract from the narratives, but there are little mistakes like improperly placed paragraph breaks, asterisks used instead of closed quotation marks (perhaps from a cut-and-paste error? It was limited to one story), and a few typos. But with that said, don't let it deter you from picking up this anthology.
If you are looking to creep yourself out a bit, then read this in a cool, stormy autumn night.
The authors and the editor have done a very good job here.
Yes, sadly, you knew there would be a however in here.
My however is this: The book's premise is that Lovecraftian horror can be found anywhere, in the most unlikely places. Many of the stories live up to this in spades. However -- yes, there it is -- many of them don't. A disproportionate number of stories were set in, around, or under Innsmouth, Miskatonic University, etc. Now, don't get me wrong: these are wonderful settings for horror stories. Innsmouth alone is a gold mine (literally) of eldritch horrors, terrible secrets, evil cults, and forbidden knowledge. Which is all fine and wonderful.
But I thought the idea was to take us to UNlikely places, to get us OUT of Innsmouth, Miskatonic, etc. As wonderful as this book is, it does not consistently deliver on its own premise. One or two Innsmouth/Miskatonic stories, I could let pass, especially if they are well written, and these are certainly well written. But there were simply too many of them, and I have to be honest here.
Now, all that being said, if I could have given this 4 & 1/2 stars, believe me, I would have. In my own mind, I have. I wish to Dagon there was a way. This is a hell of a book, and I am pleased as punch to have it in my library. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone ever. And if Matthew Carpenter decides to come out with another in the future, I'll be among the first in line for it. I can't wait to see where he'll take us next time! A modern-day amusement park? A defunct nuclear reactor? Your old home town? A moving shoe box by the side of the road? A seemingly abandoned radio station? The empty lifeguard tower by the beach? Who knows?