The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath
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Thread: The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath

  1. #1

    Default The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath

    To all you Lovecraft fans out there:


    WHY!

    I\'m wading through this and - language usage aside - it\'s utterly pointless! I thought this stuff was supposed to be scary as hell. To quote: Bone-chilling tales of horror and the macabre... Well, I\'ve not been scared once. In fact I\'m mostly thinking he needed a different apporach altogether if he wanted to scare us, like writing stuff that scares people :idea:.

    Anyone else attempted to wade through his work?

  2. #2

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    My brother loves him. I read the back of a couple and thought they sounded nastier than the kind of thing I like. Surely they can\'t be worse than the depressing boredom that was Thomas Covenant? I gave up after about 2 of them.

    I\'m on book 8 of the Malazan series at the moment - is anyone doing minis based on the books because they would be cool?

  3. #3

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    I\'m sticking him out because I like the challenge, but I\'m still waiting for the penny to drop. In all fairness I had the same problem with Donaldson but I worked on through that as well and it got better. Either that or I just got used to his style. It\'s hard-going, but I found it rewarding.

  4. #4

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    The Donaldson book ALMOST became the 2nd book I stopped reading. The only book I\'ve ever stopped was something by CS Lewis.

    I thought \"I liked the Narnia stuff, this should be good, too!\". Can\'t remember the name as it was traumatized out of my brain, thank goodness.

  5. #5
    elouchard
    Guest

    Default

    Reverend,

    The dreamquest is more of a fantasy story, as are the other dreamlands stories of his, and not really the same thing as his horror work. It is creative but just not scary. Most Lovecraft is not particularly scary actually, but is more creepy or actually like sci-fi. Some of it also reads like a scientific journal entry - See \"at the mountains of madness\". Lots of implied things but not much actual desciption. It\'s an acquired taste.

    Maybe read \"Rats in the Walls\" for a more traditional creepy tale. One other thing though, is that practically all of his themes and ideas will seem really familiar (cliche?) but part of that may be because they have been ripped off so much.

  6. #6

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    Interesting stuff.

    I\'m going to try a few more after this one just to see where it all heads. I\'m not moved to stop reading it, I\'m just looking for the sense to materialise and make me understand why I\'m going to enjoy more of it in the future. I think he was high on something pretty potent :D

  7. #7

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    Lovecraft is shit. I think I read 90% of his available stuff and it\'s not scary. Some cool concepts, and I enjoyed \"the mountains of madness\" but how good is an author when they say things like \"then I saw something so horrifying that if I wrote it down, you would be crazy!\". How lazy is that.

    Like a comedian who just stands up and instead of a punchline says \"I can\'t tell you the punchline because it\'s so funny you would explode with laughter, and I would get sued!\". Ugh. The dude sucks a ton. Just stop now and read something else. I like Matheson\'s stuff for a better read with a slight horror slant. I am legend is really good.

    And thomes covenant is awful. I have read them all out of a sense of duty to not give up. I\'ve read to many bad books that redeemed themselves with a good ending, and I was hoping donaldson might provide that. He didn\'t, and those books suck a ton. I\'d rather punch myself in the balls repeatedly then read books that bad again.

    I tried reading the Lovecraft stuff because of all the cool looking RPG stuff I see on the shelves when I go to the game store, I liked some of the movies based on his stuff (Dagon ruled!), and there\'s a board game called \"Cults across America\" that I\'ve played several times and enjoyed myself. But as for reading his stuff.... don\'t. Ever. Anyone who tells you otherwise either

    1) Works for a company that sells Lovecraft books

    2) Hates you or themselves so much they want to spread the pain around.

    I would rather read the french ingredients labels on canned goods for an hour than read Lovecraft or Donaldson for the same amount of time. Even the phone book has more entertainment value. Seriously, do anything other than read those books. Start smoking or learn to breakdance instead.

  8. #8

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    I love Lovecraft.

    But there are some of his stories that are...well...crap.

    I muddled through many that didn\'t do much for me. I do recall some interesting stuff in The Dream-Quest one, but I read those to get to some of his darker stuff.

    And no, there really isn\'t anything too horribly scary at all in any of his stories. Most of the monsters are left to your imagination, but I really liked the use of archiac language, and the \'mood\' that he struck.

    I was particularly impressed with

    The Dunwich Horror
    The Shadow over Innsmouth
    The Call of Cthulhu
    Herbert West: Reanimator

    and several others in his \'Mythos\' phase.

    Those were quite enjoyable for me.

    You have to keep in mind of the time he wrote these stories of \'horror\' there wasn\'t a horror industry. Horrific films weren\'t a dime a dozen, nor were tons of horror writers.

    I\'ll take the odd wordings of Lovecraft anyday over some of the crap I\'ve read recently that calls itself horror.

  9. #9

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    Originally posted by supervike
    I was particularly impressed with

    The Dunwich Horror
    The Shadow over Innsmouth
    The Call of Cthulhu
    Herbert West: Reanimator
    Okay, as a Lovecraft hater I have to agree and say that these stories were okay. Though the whole driving a speedboat through Cthullu\'s head seemed a little stupid. Sorry, that was a spoiler.

    Still, can anyone out there reccomend a better source for simliarily veined stories? I like (R.L.?) Matheson, but don\'t really have any other reccomendations for Horror. I myself would love to pick up some new stuff if anyone has some thoughts on this.

  10. #10

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    Originally posted by Zora
    The Donaldson book ALMOST became the 2nd book I stopped reading. The only book I\'ve ever stopped was something by CS Lewis.

    I thought \"I liked the Narnia stuff, this should be good, too!\". Can\'t remember the name as it was traumatized out of my brain, thank goodness.
    Was it Perelandra by any chance? I read that and it sucked. I\'ve been working my way slowly through the Sci-Fi Masterworks collection over the past few years and I have a very long way to go.
    So far I really loved John Brunner\'s Stand on Zanzibar - great book.

  11. #11

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    Like a comedian who just stands up and instead of a punchline says \"I can\'t tell you the punchline because it\'s so funny you would explode with laughter, and I would get sued!\". Ugh. The dude sucks a ton. Just stop now and read something else. I like Matheson\'s stuff for a better read with a slight horror slant. I am legend is really good.
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=gvj1QGqfQyg

  12. #12

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    Originally posted by DaN
    Like a comedian who just stands up and instead of a punchline says \"I can\'t tell you the punchline because it\'s so funny you would explode with laughter, and I would get sued!\". Ugh. The dude sucks a ton. Just stop now and read something else. I like Matheson\'s stuff for a better read with a slight horror slant. I am legend is really good.
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=gvj1QGqfQyg
    Thank you SIR! Hadn\'t seen that in ages, I appreciate it on so many levels.

    Especially on the funny level.

  13. #13

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    I\'m on the love Lovecraft as well - I\'ve also read pretty much everything there is, and yes some of them are boring and dull but most of them contain a level of suspended horror not seen anywhere else. The more highflying ones, like the dreamquest and other I cannot remember the names of right now(silver key something) are probably not the best ones to start with. But once you have read the shorter gorier ones they start to make more sence I think. Many of them are kind of explanations of the old ones place of origin and planes of living - more to set the mood for all his mythology. Several of the are also directly connected eventhough you might not see it through titels alone.
    To get the mood and get into the Lovecraftian Universe I\'d recomment reading (straight away) The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, The Lurker in the Dark and The Music of Eric Zhan

  14. #14

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    Don\'t mind Lovecraft.

    Edgar Allan Poe and Dennis Wheatley work for me as well.

  15. #15

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    I\'m going to finish the book and go on from there. Wiki Lovecraft and there appear to be quite a few sharing the mythos - maybe there are better writers somewhere in that lot.

  16. #16

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    I love Lovecraft. No pun intended. Someone else mentioned this when I was young. The part abouthe stories not being scary. But if you think about it; the stuff was probably really scary back in the day.

  17. #17

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    Originally posted by reverend
    I\'m going to finish the book and go on from there. Wiki Lovecraft and there appear to be quite a few sharing the mythos - maybe there are better writers somewhere in that lot.
    Nope - can\'t beat the man himself.

  18. #18

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    The two Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos books are good for getting a taste of what other people have done with what Lovecraft started. Both books have stories by Lovecraft as well as a plethora of other authors. I don\'t remember the authors name but one of the first stories in the first volume dealt with a Necromancer and was really great and very creepy.

  19. #19

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    I hadn\'t read any Lovecraft, and was vaguely even aware of Cthulhu until just a couple of years back. I\'m really glad I did, as I can see what kind of influence he had on modern day horror (which is pretty immense)

    It isn\'t high literature, however, and he wrote for \'pulp\' magazines, which were basically the comic books of the day. That is not a knock on comic books, as some of the best writers work there...but again, it isn\'t high literature...it\'s fiction aimed at teenaged boys.

    I found it challenging to read at first, as many of the words I was unfamilar with. I just started making notes of the words, and looking them up. After a bit, you get used to it, and familiar with the style, and it goes quicker.

    Also, a lot of the work is now considered cliche\', but again you probably should read it with the time era it was written in mind.

    I guess it\'s similar to how Frankenstien isn\'t scary at all anymore to modern audiences. The idea of reviving the dead has become such a cliche\'d story idea that some of the horror at just the thought is no longer there.


  20. #20

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    I might be intersted to see what other authors have done with Lovecrafts concepts. I stand by my statement, Lovecraft is the worst.

    Reverend-I\'ll make you a deal here before all the CMON\'ers and baby Jesus himself. After finishing the collection of Lovecraft stories you\'re working on right now I want you to post here and declare if you felt Lovecraft is a talanted author and worth all the hype he still gets today.

    Here\'s the deal, if you say \"Yes, he\'s got the stuff and I do enjoy his writing\" I will pay for your one year support of this site. No strings attached, I just want to put my money where my mouth is (10$ is about right.....).

    I\'ve heard a few comments I agree with, and some of his stories weren\'t as awful as he generally was, and there was a list of stories I mostly didn\'t hate. Someone posted that Lovecraft is an acquired taste, and I don\'t get that. There are millions of choices for entertainment and if you give one the college try what\'s the point of wading through the rest to sort of train your pallete to read Lovecraft when you can keep looking and find some stuff you really enjoy immediately?

    I\'d reccomend near ANYTHING over Lovecraft but there are some especially good ones over at the thread about picking your favorite song, book, and movie.

    So there\'s my deal! Take it up and all your wildest dreams will come true!

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