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Gumbywan

Randolph "Dilda" Carter

A rant about books, horror, and the weird.  I sometimes take on my love/hate relationship with goodreads and Amazon.

Currently reading

Perchance to Dream: Selected Stories
Ray Bradbury, Charles Beaumont, William Shatner
Progress: 140/336 pages
Pavane
Keith Roberts

The Shadow Of a Story

Shadow Out of Time - H.P. Lovecraft

The Shadow Out of Time is the third volume of Lovecraft adapted by British artist I.N.J. Culbard into a graphic novel.  The first two were:  In the Mountains of Madness, for which he won the British Fantasy Award in 2011, and the equally excellent The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.  Culbard, as usual, unlike most gn adapters, does a great faithful job of adapting the stories from Lovecraft.  The artwork again is a perfect match, simple, evocative, idiosyncratic (in a good sense).  

 

Shadow was one of the last stories Lovecraft wrote and is more of a science fiction horror story than a pure horror story.  The problem with this book is the starting material is so much weaker than Ward or Madness.  There are a lot of opinions about the quality of this Lovecraft story:  Kenneth Hite thinks it is a mediocre story, Joshi thinks it is one of Lovecraft's best, Lin Carter thought it was Lovecraft's absolute best story, and, in typical fashion, Lovecraft didn't think much of it.  I tend to follow Hite and Lovecraft here.  Shadow for me has always been a mediocre Lovecraft story.  This is not to say that it is a bad story, mediocre Lovecraft beats most others' best, but Shadow has always seemed to me like a mish-mash of bits from much better Lovecraft stories.  There is a bit of The Whisperer in Darkness, a lot of The Call of Cthulhu, and a lot of At the Mountains of Madness put together in a fashion that pales relatively when compared to these stories.  The ending seems rushed and almost tacked on from a typically Lovecraft formula.  Lovecraft was obviously trying work some themes he had used before into a new story but it just seems like a rehash with nothing new when compared to what he had already achieved.

 

Basically then the problem here is the weaker Lovecraft starting material.  But as I said, weak Lovecraft is still pretty damn good and Culbard does the most with it.  3 1/2 stars.