- Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Cosmos Books; Reprint edition (February 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0843959509
- ISBN-13: 978-0843959505
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.1 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,112,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Moon Pool Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2009
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The Moon Pool is supposedly a layperson's account (transcribed by Abraham Merritt) of Dr. Walter T. Goodwin's exploration of the ancient ruins of Nan Madol in the South Pacific. Dr. Goodwin, a famous botanist, had run into his friend David Throckmartin, a colleague who claimed that his research partners (one of whom was his wife) were kidnapped by a sentient moonbeam while exploring the ancient ruins of Nan Madol. After Throckmartin tells him the strange story, Goodwin sees Throckmartin being borne away by a moonbeam that seems to encompass an evil being who Goodwin begins thinking of as The Dweller. On his way to investigate the ruins, Goodwin discovers that others have had similar experiences. This Dweller is stealing humans and, oddly, when they are taken away, they simultaneously have expressions of both horror and rapture on their faces. By the time that Goodwin arrives at the scene of the crimes, he's accompanied by a few others who want to know what's going on in the Nan Madol ruins: Larry O'Keefe, a roguish Irishman who's a lieutenant in the British Navy's Royal Flying Corps, Olaf Huldricksson, a Norseman whose wife and daughter have been kidnapped by The Dweller, and a Russian named Marakinoff.
The Moon Pool is a traditional SFF predator/lost world adventure story with an Indiana Jones feel. The story is exciting from the beginning as Dr. Goodwin, a scientist and a skeptic, can't believe the preposterous tale he hears until he sees the evidence with his own eyes.Read more ›
Merritt's writing is wonderfully imaginative and extraordinarily detailed. His ideas, his places, his devices, and his underground world are enthralling. The Moon Pool does have a certain charm. And yet the writing has a lot of problems.
Pacing is the most egregious issue. The book crawls in many places, and for long stretches. This shouldn't be; there's plenty happening in the story, but Merritt's writing ranges between verbose and extremely verbose. The storytelling is further hampered by a cast of flattish characters spouting corny dialogue, a great deal of which neither develops the characters in meaningful ways nor moves the story along.
Merritt devotes paragraph upon paragraph to his vivid descriptions of subterranean wonders, and yet the reader's sense of place is often poor, as Merritt can scarcely ever be bothered to tell the reader where, specifically, his characters are, or where that might be in relation to the other places he's depicted.
There are other issues. It's painfully convenient how quickly all the characters learn the subterranean language. Much of the mystery of the underground world isn't resolved until much too late in the book, and then by way of a massive expository dump. The book's climax, an epic clash between warring factions, should be exciting, but the resolutions are clichéd and predictable.
The Moon Pool has been cited as an influence on Lovecraft's "Call of Cthulhu.Read more ›