Featured Audiobook: Dreams of Terror and Death: The Dream Cycle of H. P. Lovecraft

By on May 3, 2016 in Issue 16 | 0 comments

Dreams of Terror and Death: The Dream Cycle of H. P. Lovecraft (link for those of you whose libraries afford you access to OverDrive)

Written by: H. P. Lovecraft
Narrated by: Varied
Length: 20 hrs and 5 mins

This collection of Lovecraft short stories and short novels from Blackstone Audiobooks is superb. While I definitely appreciate the volunteers at Librivox for their hard work, this version as read by numerous professional narrators (including Bronson Pinchot) is definitely worth paying for.

If you are not familiar with Lovecraft, this collection would be an excellent starting point. The works within the so-called Dream Cycle are more cohesive and intertwined than what would be found in his earlier Eldritch Tales while still being less horror-centric and gruesome as the later Cthulhu Mythos. Especially nice in this collection are the Randolph Carter works, which tell of an interbellum armchair anthropologist who travels to fantastic lands in his sleep. The wonders he sees and calamities he experiences are evocative of a nascent modernity, the science of Lovecraft’s time blending with the poetry of antiquity.

Caveat emptor: Lovecraft is a product of his time. Some of his stories include themes based on now-outmoded theories of race and eugenics. His settings and characters reflect not only his own views but also the realities of the first half of the 20th Century. I find that, overall, Lovecraft redeems himself; I certainly understand if you disagree.

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