Saturday, October 30, 2010

"Hometown Horrorible" by Matthew Bey

Source:Pseudopod (mp3)
Length: 25 minutes
Reader: Elie Hirschman

The story: Fans of H.P Lovecraft can point to his influence, popularity, and continued relevance of his horror, but they have to eventually face the negative aspects of his work. Several stories contain the subtext, and sometimes blatant statements, of racism. Lovecraft was also not financially or critically successful in his lifetime, and the frustrations of his failure come through in his work.

Bey's story fictionalizes the life of Lovecraft as a relatively unknown Wisconsin writer named Helmut Finch. As the main character of his own story, Bey describes themes and parts of Finch's writings in a mockumentary style that tantilizes by suggesting more than it reveals. There's not much actual horror until the ending, but setting the pieces up pays off in the chilling climax.

Rating: 7/10

The reader: As one of the Escape Pod family of podcasts, Pseudopod brings the same high standards to the production of this story. Hirchman gives the narrator a neutral voice, but does appropriate accents for the minor characters. His subtle reading brings out the wry humor of this piece, which might be lost in the hands of a less talented reader. The intro and wrap-up by Alasdair Stuart set the story in context and add an interesting connection.

Happy Halloween!

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