Today is Towel Day/Geek Pride Day, so what better day to pen my thoughts on H. P. Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories? I’ve heard a lot about Lovecraft over the years–his work is regarded as classic science fiction—but it wasn’t until recently that I actually got a chance to read him.
After reading him, I can’t help but think he’d be more accurately classified as horror instead of science fiction. Those were some weird stories, y’all. I enjoyed them, but still…that was some of the weirdest writing I’ve ever read. The best way I can describe it is as nightmares made flesh, as if he tapped into the things that terrify us the most and put them in front of us so that we were forced to confront them. I actually felt sorry for the characters; they were full of hopelessness and despair and terror. They were trapped in a world beyond all comprehension and had no chance of escape.
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the stories. On the contrary, I can see why he’s so popular (and why Cthulhu is popular, too). And I truly believe Lovecraft had a major impact on the science fiction genre. But, man, stories like “Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family”, “The Rats in the Walls”, and “Nyarlathotep” were some of the weirdest things I’ve ever read.
Is this review coming off as equivocating? I don’t mean it to be. Lovecraft is great; just expect some weirdness if you read him, that’s all.
I think I’ve just succeeded in confusing myself. So here, just enjoy “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish”.