Lovecraft Country

Book Notes

While sitting at the dining table at Chez Oliphant, Claire and I started talking books. I suspect we started talking about books because I was lamenting not having any good road trip books, and I was about to start a four day road trip. Well, for solo road trip books, Claire has some great recommendations. This one came out because I had recommended the Dread Nation sequel (zombies!), and Claire countered with Lovecraft, or rather Jim Crow South with Cthulhu. Go on...

Turns out, while there are elements of Lovecraft in the book, the book is more an homage to Lovecraft than a Lovecraftian fan-fic. It reads like a serial, with eight separate stories, each tangentially related to the others, told in sequential order, each with different characters as the focus. There is an over-arching plot, which works very well with the satisfying ending (good guys win! rah!). The Jim Crow parts were uncomfortable reading and that is likely the point. One of the stories didn't interest me at all, but the uncomfortable parts relating to abuse of power were worth sticking with.

I think Claire's review sums up the book well: "White people were all, 'Gasp! Ghosts???' and the black people were all, shrug 'Ghosts. Sure, okay.'" The Wikipedia article sums up the individual stories well. If you like urban fiction with a hint of Lovecraft, and want to sit with racial difficulties (yes, you do), this is a great book to pick up. So great that it is a mini-series. I suspect the book is better, but haven't seen the show, so don't know.