Lovecraft’s Monsters – book review

lovecrafts-monsters b-cover

Lovecraft’s Monsters

edited by Ellen Datlow
anthology – Tachyon Pyblications

Lovecrafts Monsters - Ellen DatlowThe book starts off with a great story by Neil Gaiman titled, Only the End of the World Again. We find a werewolf in Innsmouth who incidentally saves the world by stopping the arrival of the elder gods. It is an enjoyable read because of its comical aspects.

In the story, Red Goat Black Goat, by Nadia Bulkin, two well-off children on a farm estate learn the harsh lessons of the goat god, and why you should never scoff at its rules.

The Same Deep Waters as You, by Brian Hodge is a top story in the collection. A woman who is known as an animal whisperer is brought to a secretive Atlantic Island prison to assess the prisoners. The prisoners are the last surviving population of Innsmouth, deformed and fish-like, and unable to speak. They have begun a new ritual. They are all facing the same direction in unison towards the ocean. They are waiting for something. Something wonderful.

And then we have the story by Thomas Ligotti called Sect of the Idiot, which I had already read in his anthology, Songs of a Dead Dreamer, but was happy to revisit here. A man enamored by a small but unusual town unlocks a hidden cosmic horror. As his curiosity leads him into the malignant hidden underbelly of the town, he will forever become a participant in the madness. This is close to reading an actual story by Lovecraft if he were alive today. Ligotti has all the mannerisms, atmosphere and stylings of Lovecraft without ever feeling derivative and he rarely touches upon tentacles or Cthulhu things from the sea.

Next we have a Lovecraftian Southern Horror story, The Bleeding Shadow, by Joe R. Lansdale. This one connected with me because it incorporates music, blues specifically, and updated the old crossroads story. As always, Joe relayed the tale with a distinct character and a wonderful character voice.

There are some other high points in the book and some stories I liked less. As with all collections there are stories that you will favor. I’ve listed my favorite here and to me, these alone made Lovecraft’s Monsters worth a read.

available from

not part of the book but loved the art

not part of the book but loved the art…

parlor of horror book reviews

9 thoughts on “Lovecraft’s Monsters – book review

  1. One of these days I need to begin reading Lovecraft once again. So far I have only read At the Mountains of Madness and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.

    • You have to be in the right mood to read his stories because of his analytical, almost scientifically detailed style. It sometimes makes reading his stories laborious, but the pay off is a believability in the character doing the narration. I would definitely recommend Shadow Over Innsmouth or Whisperer in Darkness next.

  2. I love the world of Lovecraft, and several of my favourite authors are featured in this collection. I’ll definitely be picking up a copy. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention 🙂

    • This was definitely good reading for Lovecraft fans. A few of the stories were too…literary and didn’t quite appeal to me (I’m more of a lowbrow and pulp fan), but it also had some top notch entertainment 🙂

  3. I gotta pick this up! Love me some Lovecraft. Just bought the new HP Lovecraft hardcover with the stories and including the annotations. Awesome book! Also, not sure sure if you read comics, but you must check out “Providence” by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows. The run is almost over so I would trade wait it and pick it up when they release the collected issues. It is epic stuff, Mike. Right up your alley, man!

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