“In the Mountains of Madness: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of H. P. Lovecraft”

in-the-mountains-of-madness-cv-revReviewed by The joey Zone

(Purchase In the Mountains of Madness: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of H. P. Lovecraft by W. Scott Poole.)

The question of this book being worthy of purchase, with the plethora of eldritch study currently available (Age of Lovecraft, any of S. T. Joshi’s volumes out on Derrick Hussey’s Hippocampus imprint, etc.), should be answered first.

This conversation with Scott Poole is worth your time.

I say conversation because a large part of this book’s close to 300 pages reads to what amounts to a gentlemanly back & forth between Scott and S.T. Joshi. But more on that in a bit.

When this book was announced, this reviewer was not curious regarding that ‘Life’ and work of HPL which has been examined rather thoroughly elsewhere, but in what the author had to say about the ‘Afterlife’, in that a lot of current—tendentious or otherwise—discussion ends up being more about…those of us living in that afterlife and not about The Writer Himself. I was happily surprised to find differing viewpoints into that ‘Life’ and work instead however (For another view please see Scott Connors’s review).

One example is Poole’s refuting some of Alan Moore’s inferences to certain motifs in the graphic novel Neonomicon: “A full examination of [HPL’s] work, even by someone intent on the most radical and thoroughgoing Freudian reading would conclude that sometimes a sea monster is just a sea monster…” And while I don’t subscribe to everything the author posits, well, that’s the point of conversation, not argument, correct?

Poole comes right out and says he’s an HPL fan even more so after working on this book. He envies new readers and admonishes them to “Read Lovecraft. Then read Lovecraft some more.” But he also discusses current views on Lovecraft and his work that he disagrees with. Again, this conversation is thankfully far above clickbait pissing rhetoric. By my rather cursory count, Scott agrees with S.T. a lot more than not.

THAT said, this still comes off as an individual’s look that is welcomed, not instead of, but in addition to previous study.

(Purchase In the Mountains of Madness: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of H. P. Lovecraft by W. Scott Poole.)

The joey Zone hopefully has been a help to NecronomiCon Providence when they’ve given The Call and is also an illustrator in his own right when he helps himself.

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