From Publishers Weekly
Horror legend H.P. Lovecraft (1890–1937) wasn't much of a ladies' man, as anyone knows who's read his ex-wife Sonia Davis's poignant account of their brief, doomed marriage. In his first novel, an episodic alternative history in the form of a memoir anthology, Lovecraft scholar and PW
Forecasts editor Cannon (Lovecraft Remembered
) sympathetically explores his subject's vexed relationships with three women. Lovecraft gets the best of two (fictional) female admirers—a spunky teenager and a Barbara Pym–ish spinster, each of whom serves as his secretary—but meets his match in Lyda Long, the real-life bride of his old pal and fellow pulp writer, Frank Belknap Long. Along the way Lovecraft publishes a story collection (which never quite happened in actuality) and realizes his dream of visiting England, where he meets renowned fantasist Arthur Machen. Those familiar with Cannon's chronicle of the Longs in their old age, Long Memories
, won't be terribly surprised by the tragicomic denouement. The three first-person narrations, sepia-toned portraits in words, exude period atmosphere and expertly capture Lovecraft's complex character. Borrowing giddily from Stella Gibbons, Charlotte Brontë and George Gissing, Cannon extends and reinvents his life in ways sure to amuse (and provoke) serious Lovecraftians. Jason C. Eckhardt's illustrations complement the text perfectly.
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