Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Taint of Lovecraft Paperback – December, 2002

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
$39.99 $16.99

New Hogwarts short stories from J.K. Rowling
Don't miss these new, digital-exclusive collections of short stories from Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling, available on Kindle Sept. 6. Learn more
click to open popover

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Mythos Books (December 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965943399
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965943390
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,999,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 7 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've been reading Mythos and Lovecraftian pastiche since the late 70s. I've read it in book collections, magazines and fanzines. I've read it on the net and people have sent me their personal works through snail- and e-mail. After two and a half decades of reading this material my conclusion is that most of it really is drek. When I was a kid and saw a movie that I really liked, I would go home and try to recapture those memories by drawing what I had seen in the theater. Those drawings were crude and poorly thought out, with the attempt being to just catch those visceral moments of inspiring imagery. It got my jollies going but it didn't for anyone looking at the "artwork". That is what most Lovecraft pastiche is; a quick regurgitation of what a reader liked about his writings in the first place, but without a clear and thought out structure to their imitations. Just monster names and adjectives.

This is not what Sargent does, not in the slightest. He has taken the form known as "Mythos Fiction" and turned it on its ear. There is no multi-page spewage to name terrible tomes in a crazed professor's library or recitations of the long list of Great Old Ones which will likely show up at the end of the tale. There are no final tableaus that read "My God! I can hear it clawing at the window! It's going to....." .

But what there is in Sargent's writing which makes it so fascinating and satisfying to read is that he takes a seed of Lovecraftiana and grows his own tale out of it. He does not luridly imitate or ape Lovecraft (except in moments of satire) in any way, but instead uses a Lovecraftian idea or subject as the premise of a story and then playfully builds something completely new and different out of it.
Read more ›
Comment 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a wonderful book. If you are not familiar with the work of Stanley Sargent, I heartily recommend this book. For once Cthulhu Mythos aficionados can revel in a new, individual voice. Indeed, it is the distinct "voice" of each of the selections in this book that remains so impressive. That and the fact that Sargent (like Robert Bloch before him) is one of the few Mythos writers that successfully mixes horror and humor.
Probably one of the most satisfying aspects about the "Taint" is that the reader gets to sample Sargent in various aspects of his craft - from straight, Mythos horror, to subtle humor, to irreverent poetry and well-researched analysis. (The central novella, Nyarlatophis, set in ancient Egypt, is also superbly researched and delivered.) His range is as varied as is his manner of delivery - from a creepy "Live Bait," a sequel to H.P. Lovecraft's famous (and disturbing) "Shadow Over Innsmouth," to a thought provoking "Black Brat of Dunwich"-- a different interpretation of Lovecraft's "The Dunwich Horror." The two should be read side by side for the remarkable insights and conclusions Sargent manages to draw from Lovecraft's original story. To be honest, I found all the stories in this volume interesting and surpirsingly successful - despite their different construction and delivery. In the last story: "Double Screecher" Sargent manages to perfectly capture the claustrophobic paranoia of an insecure man in a movie theater. But don't be misled, you will think the story is going one way but then Sargent will pull the rug out from under you and go in an entirely different direction. Fabulous!
Read more ›
Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
In this, his second collection of tales inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's writing, Stanley C. Sargent firmly establishes himself as a master of his craft--a compelling storyteller in his own right and an important torchbearer for the legacy of Lovecraft's Mythos. The best tale in this collection is "The Black Brat of Dunwich," an insightful reinterpretation of Lovecraft's "The Dunwich Horror" that meshes so well with the original one cannot help but think Sargent found the key for cracking a sinister code Lovecraft intentionally wrote as a hidden subtext. It almost begins to feel that one needs Sargent's later work in order to appreciate the antecedent text on all of its multi-faceted levels. I don't want to overstate the point, but I wish future collections reprinting Lovecraft's original tale could all include "Black Brat" side-by-side with it. That being said, Sargent's story may lose some of its relevance for the uninitiated.

Most good Mythos fiction is not only steeped in a sense of otherworldly terror and the macabre, but is also solidly grounded in real-world history. "Nyarlatophis" is no exception; Sargent's knowledge of ancient Egyptian history and mythology appears exhaustive, and this tale--the longest in the collection--was obviously well researched. In some ways, it may actually have been too well researched, as the first third of the story is rather ponderous as the reader wades through what often feels more like an historical essay than a novella. But again, readers who stick with this tale will be glad they did, as the pace picks up significantly half-way through, and the dark, cataclysmic ending is all the more powerful for the grounding in history Sargent provided earlier on.
Read more ›
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse