About writing. And reading. And being published. Or not published. On working on being published. Tangents into the pop culture world to come. Especially about movies. And comic books. And movies from comic books.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
"The Tomb" (a book review post)
"The Tomb" opens more as preachy than descriptive. It's Lovecraft giving us a philosophy of life that I have to believe is his and that, to some extent, this particular character is his representation of himself. He's a character obsessed from childhood with a tomb on the property on which he lives. The tomb is locked with a huge chain, but the door isn't quite closed, which taunts him because he can almost see in, but he can't get in.
The rest of this will have spoilers. You've been warned.
The kid grows up with a habit of sneaking out of the house at night and sleeping outside of the tomb door and dreaming strange and weird dreams. Which lasts until he gets old enough to suddenly know where the key to the lock is hidden. Yes, one day, he just knows.
From that point forward, he goes down into the crypt each night and sleeps in a special, empty coffin and gains all kinds of secret knowledge that cause him to become even more estranged from his family and the people in the town.
Skipping some of the details, here, eventually the protagonist is put into an asylum. This raises the question: Was what the protagonist was experiencing real? Did it happen or did he just think it happened? I think we're supposed to side with the protagonist, but there are too many gaps for me to buy into the story the protagonist is telling us. Without that buy in, the story falls flat and is kind of shrug worthy.
Still, if you want to get the full Lovecraft experience, I think it's instructive to see his progression, so the first story he wrote is essential to that. Otherwise, even though I've still only read a handful of his stories, there are certainly better ones out there and this one can be skipped.
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
I don't remember that one, so I guess I've already skipped it.ReplyDelete
Alex: I guess so.ReplyDelete
It was way better than the one I just read, which I'm not even going to review because I don't think I could pull a full review out of it.
I had to look that one up because although I've read it, I totally didn't remember it. It must not have left much of an impression. When his stories work, they stick with you. When they don't, well, they're like this.ReplyDelete
Jeanne: I'm not sure if I've had any stick with me, yet. I guess we'll see.Delete
I don't really believe in the "full author experience." I'd rather read only the best stuff from an author. Sometimes they lose it late (Grisham, Cornwell, Irving) and sometimes they get much better as they go (can't think of any examples) but either way unless you're doing it for learning purposes, I'd rather just stick to the good stuff an author wrote.ReplyDelete
This one just sounds sort of meh.
Briane: I am, actually, doing this for learning purposes. Also, I don't really know what's supposed to be his best work. Most of what he wrote, though, is relatively short.Delete
My first year out of college, I devoured every John Irving novel I could find. Setting Free the Bears was his first - fun, but his art was unrefined compared to his later works. Still, it was instructive to read it as part of the journey.ReplyDelete
TAS: I've had authors I've done that with. It's much better when the books get better as you go rather then getting worse.Delete
Can't argue with that!Delete
At least the Lovecraft journey won't absorb as much time as the L'Engle endeavor!ReplyDelete
Veronica: That is so very true. I'm still surprised I made it through all five of those books.Delete
This one doesn't sound as if it's my sort of book, but I probably read quite a few books you wouldn't like. Willy Dunne Wooters often shakes his head over my choices.ReplyDelete
Janie: I didn't particularly care for this one.Delete