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review 2017-03-11 21:36
The Horror at Red Hook (Horror Classics) - H.P. Lovecraft,Joust Books

This is going to be short. This story was terrible and it has Lovecraft's racism and xenophobia on full display. I think if he could have torched New York and wiped it clean of those he saw as inferior he would have.


The Horror at Red Hook tells a story taking place in the 1920s with a New York police detective named Thomas Malone. Malone is left disturbed by an incident that left several people dead.


Lovecraft then works backwards telling how a rich and eccentric old man named Robert Suydam. Suydam ends up buying property in Red Hook and people are disappearing. The police believe something nefarious is happening, but can't prove it. And then suddenly Suydam seems to be slowly reverse aging and marries a young 20 year old distant relative of his.


The story jumps around too much to really get a handle on the story. Lovecraft doesn't include the Chulthu mythos at all. Instead it seems to be about human sacrifice and Lilith. I don't get what caused Suydam to be turned against unless that was the plan all along. And the ending with Malone being buried after falling into another portal and witnessing what Suydam was up to was pretty lame. The story honestly put me to sleep for a few minutes and I was not happy when I woke up and realized I still want done right this story. It is short though and I finished in it about 25 minutes (nap included). 

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text 2017-03-11 20:32
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Horror at Red Hook (Horror Classics) - H.P. Lovecraft,Joust Books

Yeah I still don't like Lovecraft, but I wanted to read the source material that inspired Victor LaValle.

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review 2016-10-29 21:27
The Shunned House...
The Shunned House - H.P. Lovecraft

The Shunned House by H.P. Lovecraft is a novella about an actual house in Providence, Rhode Island but Lovecraft's inspiration to write the story came from another house in Elizabeth, New Jersey. The story is about a doctor and his nephew. They've been fascinated with this house because so many strange things have occurred there over the years and so many people have died or became sick after staying there. In hopes of getting to the root of the evil, they both stay overnight in the house with dire consequences...


So this story was ok. It took me a little while to get into it and use to the old style of writing. I appreciated the scientific vibe of the haunting and story the most. It made me question for a second whether this strange house and all of its happenings really existed. The ending was also pretty good. It was a little faster paced and had the most action, so to speak. The story wasn't scary though but it did have a little creepiness to it. It was a quick read and good for getting in the Halloween spirit.


*I read this for my 2016 Halloween Bingo: ~Set in New England~ square



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review 2016-02-23 19:59
Review: The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
The Ballad of Black Tom - Victor LaValle

H.P. Lovecraft was a giant racist and all-around shitty human being, but it's utterly impossible to deny the man's tremendous influence on the modern horror genre, his ability to craft some damn fine stories, and the legacy his Cthulhu mythos has borne on many a reader and writer. There's a degree of freshness then, and certainly a bit of satisfaction, in Victor LaValle reinterpreting Lovecraft's short story The Horror at Red Hook to produce The Ballad of Black Tom.


Tom has been tasked with retrieving a book for the reclusive Ma Att, a job that eventually brings him into the orbit of two detectives and Robert Suydam, another reclusive sort who lives in a mansion in Flatbush. Inside this mansion is a peculiar library, and Tom becomes privy to a world he scarcely imagined, one that is quite a far cry from his Harlem roots. And that is all I'm going to say about the plot; if you want to know more, read the synopsis.


Set in 1920, LaValle is able to craft a serious and literary bit of cosmic/supernatural horror that brilliantly reflects on issues of race and class warfare. It's no secret that blacks and immigrants had it rough in 1920, and sadly we haven't progressed much further as an American society. Tom lives in a world marked by boundaries, where crossing over into a white community could be a death sentence at worst, or which could earn him a beating by the police if he's merely unlucky. The Ballad of Black Tom is an uncomfortable reflection of present-day America juxtaposed against an earlier period piece. Unarmed black men are killed by police, and the police themselves, modernized by Roosevelt, are practically an urban army ready to wage war against the minority population. Now, where have we heard about this before?


LaValle's novella is a beautiful work in its own right, and as a Lovecraftian-fueled horror story it's downright gorgeous. There's plenty of creepy crawly moments and eeriness to satisfy fright fans and get those dark imaginings churning, and it's a solid and welcome addition to the legend of Cthulhu. Tor Books has really been knocking it out of the park with their series of novellas, and of the few that I've read so far this title stands out as a particular highlight. Kudos to them, and most certainly to LaValle in particular for this fantastic read. Highly recommended.

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text 2015-10-17 13:51
Reading Progress: 77% She Walks in Shadows


After what can only be described as a sagging middle, the stories are starting to pick up steam again. 


Cthulhu of the Dead Sea: a new form of microbes are found living and thriving in the toxic salt levels of the Dead Sea.  Guess what happens when they're brought to a lab for study?


Notes Found in a Decommissioned Asylum: a young woman recounts her days in a mental institution after discovering something that should've remained hidden.  But some people are fully aware of what she found and want to know why she still lives.


Not bad at all.

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