Behold Tentacles!Posted: November 14, 2010
And now you can, just in time for Christmas, because someone has produced a graphic novel of HP Lovecraft’s At The Mountains Of Madness. I’ve been waiting for the film to come out for long time and even that’s apparently coming along quite nicely*.
Poor old Lovecraft, he never achieved much success in his lifetime but he’s been increasingly popular since his death. He’s become an acknowledged major influence in modern horror – certainly among people open to his odd prose and pessimistic universe. While some authors (notably Stephen King and more recently Charles Stross) give him a nod in their own work mainstream commentators have frequently been less praising. They complain about his turigid prose and clunky dialogue (I’d agree with this last point) but they seem to miss the point. With Lovecraftian prose** it’s oddness immerses the reader in the scariness of his universe – popularly called The Cthulhu Mythos. You can see how Lovecraft’s style can be difficult to deal with – even for those writing a postive review:
Lovecraft isn’t easy to read; his language is archaic and convoluted, and you might not know half the time what he is going on about. Happily, however, one can now experience his eccentricities, his pessimism, and his daring without having to wade through his prose …
Which suggests that even that reviewer really didn’t get Lovecraft.
* … except that it’s allegedly going to be in 3D. I suppose you can’t have everything.
** More irony. How many authors can claim to have little or no success in their lifetime and yet have a style named after them?