Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Shadow Over Innsmouth by H.P. Lovecraft

Source: Voices in the Dark (Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 )
Length: 2.6 hours
Reader: Sean Puckett

The book: While on a architectural tour of New England, a man visits the isolated port of Innsmouth. Locals from neighboring towns view the place with suspicion and treat the odd-looking Innsmouth natives with disgust. While there, he hears rumors of strange goings-on and investigates further. His investigations turn up more than he expects.

This is a dark and frightening tale that also causes some unease when it comes to digging beneath the surface as a modern-day reader. Lovecraft is obviously drawing upon pre-War racist attitudes and fears of miscegenation in his portrayal of the Innsmouth people. He shows mistrust of non-Western people and their "demonic" religions. Though thematically distasteful, this novella is probably my favorite H.P. Lovecraft story, though I can't say I've read Lovecraft's entire oeuvre. I've reviewed At the Mountains of Madness and "The Call of Cthulu" as well as having read but not reviewed "The Rats in the Walls" and "Dagon". Any suggestions of what to read next?

Rating: 8/10

The reader: Puckett narrates this story in a melancholy tone that fits well with the mood. For characters like Zadoc, he drops into a believable-enough dialect. He has a few repeats of phrases and there is some background noise, but otherwise this is a good recording.

(image by speedwaystar via flickr. Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, No derivative works)

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