Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft - Book Review

The Call of CthulhuThe Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What is it that empowers writers with prose that penetrates the deepest mysteries to bring forth a bone-chilling story that plays on your mind? It can't be pure imagination, or is it? How is it that the author can write such intense, engaging, awe-inducing log of a mountainous monster-priest, which ironically makes you eagerly wait for the Thing to make an appearance?

"The Thing cannot be described, there is no language for such abysms of shrieking and immemorial lunacy, such eldritch contradictions of all matter, force, and cosmic order. A mountain walked
or stumbled."

I have read this story alright, but the all the pieces are spread out in my mind like the hidden cults. Surely, they will chant and remind me of the vagaries of human imagination based on circumstantial evidences. As the narrator says, "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents."

Phew. H.P. Lovecraft is a master of words and worlds. I can see how he has influenced so many writers. Every paragraph is laden with ideas and mysteries that other authors write books about. I agree that his prose is heavy and at times it get's redundant, but it has an intense mysterious magnetism that pulls you right in. The very nature of build up of the story, and how the narrator weaves the facts together is engaging. It's OK if I had to read some lines twice or more times than that, the effect some of them had was deep.

"The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would ame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom."

I wonder if I can describe the story as a bildungsromanightmare. A coming-of-age-in-your-dreams story. An inception of a conviction of the presence of the surreal, eldtrich being. The narrator convinces himself and us of the presence of the great Cthulhu, submits himself to fate, and concludes the story with the line: "Let me pray that, if I do not survive this manuscript, my executors may put caution before audacity and see that it meets no other eye."

And, here we are:

On a lighter note, the chant "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" kept reminding me of Korn's Twist.

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