If you’re a fan of “True Detective”, you need to read “A Season in Carcosa”

io9 has a great article today detailing all the King in Yellow and Lovecraftian influences in HBO’s True Detective.  It is definitely worth a read: The One Literary Reference You Must Know to Appreciate ​True Detective.

A Season in CarcosaAnd if you’re a fan of True Detective, you really, really should pick up A Season in Carcosa, which is a tribute anthology to The King in Yellow.  From Amazon:

“In A Season in Carcosa readers will find the strange and mysterious places of heart and mind that spring from madness, and those minds and the places touched by it are the realms that are mined. Chambers’ legacy of the worms and soft decay that spring from reading the King In Yellow play stir both new and established talents in the world of weird fiction and horror to contribute all new tales that pay homage to these eerie nightmares.”

Buy it here: A Season in Carcosa.

I also recommend reading Thomas Ligotti’s non-fiction book The Conspiracy Against the Human Race.  Cohle’s philosophy strikes many as straight out of that book.  And if there was a real book that could drive people insane, The Conspiracy Against the Human Race would probably be it.

Buy it here: The Conspiracy Against the Human Race.

From Amazon: “Should the human race voluntarily put an end to its existence? Do we even know what it means to be human? And what if we are nothing like we suppose ourselves to be? In this challenging philosophical work, celebrated supernatural writer Thomas Ligotti broaches these and other issues in an unflinching and penetrating manner that brings to mind some of his own imperishable horror fiction. For Ligotti, there is no refuge from our existence as conscious beings who must suppress their awareness of what horrors life holds in store for them. Yet try as we may, our consciousness may at any time rise up against our defenses against it, whispering to us things we would rather not hear: Religion is a transparent fantasy, optimism an exercise in delusional wish-fulfillment, and even the quest for pleasure an ultimately doomed enterprise.”

5 responses to “If you’re a fan of “True Detective”, you need to read “A Season in Carcosa”

  1. I’ve been watching True Detective from the beginning. I like the first episode, but when they started dropping the Carcosa and Yellow King references, I was hooked for sure. I’m predicting there will ultimately be an Inspector Legrasse type scene where horrible worship in the woods is witnessed.


  2. Mike, your timing is impeccable. I just finished watching episode three of True Detective on my DVR. When it was finished I checked my e-mail and voila, this great heads-up on a well written piece by Michael Hughes. Of course before all was said and done, I purchased Ligotti’s Conspiracy Against The Human Race and Hugh’s Blackwater Lights. I have The King In Yellow and Joe Pulver’s A Season In Carcosa. Now I’m going to go to On Demand and re-watch the first three episodes again. The only thing I noticed on my own was Cohle saying “if you look inside your head you’ll see that being human is an illusion. That’s right from Ligotti. So thanks and man have I got some reading and viewing to do.


  3. Haunting the pages of this tome are the following voices:
    Joel Lane “My Voice is Dead”
    Simon Strantzas “Beyond the Banks of the River Seine”
    Don Webb “Movie Night at Phil’s”
    Daniel Mills “MS Found in a Chicago Hotel Room”
    Gary McMahon “it sees me when I’m not looking”
    Ann K. Schwader “Finale, Act Two”
    Cate Gardner “Yellow Bird Strings”
    Edward Morris “The Teatre & Its Double”
    Richard Gavin “The Hymn of the Hyades”
    Gemma Files “Slick Black Bones and Soft Black Stars”
    Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. “Not Enough Hope”
    Kristin Prevallet “Whose Hearts are Pure Gold”
    Richard A. Lupoff “April Dawn”
    Anna Tambour “King Wolf”
    Michael Kelly “The White-Face at Dawn”
    Cody Goodfellow “Wishing Well”
    John Langan “Sweetums”
    Pearce Hansen “The King is Yellow”
    Laird Barron “D T”
    Robin Spriggs “Salvation in Yellow”
    Allyson Bird “The Beat Hotel”


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