|By BenduKiwi (Unknown) via Wikimedia Commons|
If you like Edgar Allan Poe, you will definitely enjoy H.P. Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu."
My son introduced me to this author by suggesting that I read "The Call of Cthulhu." I was so enthralled in this short story that I didn't put the book down until I had read the last word.
This is a review that will no doubt surprise my friends and follows because I don't normally like horror stories, but this one has a paralyzing effect on the reader and I was simply too mesmerized to stop reading.
Apparently I am not alone!
The Call of Cthulhu Short Story Synopsis
Written by Cynthia Sylvestermouse
The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)The Call of Cthulhu is a thrilling short story about a creature that by merely knowing of his existence, places you in danger. From the very beginning of the story, you feel as if you are being entrusted with a great secret that could cost you your life. In the days that followed my first reading of this tale, I found myself glancing in dark corners with a certain "expectancy."
This story starts as a narration by Francis Wayland Thurston who was named as the executor of his granduncles estate. His uncle, George Gammell Angell, died after an encounter with a unidentifiable dock worker. In sorting through his granduncle's effects, Francis finds a bas-relief of a mysterious alien entity. He was intrigued by this cast and conducts an investigation of its origin and meaning. What he finds is horrific! It seems that an encounter with this "creature" results in mental illness or death.
Actually nothing could describe this story better than the very opening statements of the tale. "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."
About the Author, H. P. Lovecraft
A True Literary Genius
|Source: Wikimedia Commons|
Like so many other great authors and artists, Lovecraft had a very limited following during his life. His reputation as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century, has only been established since his death.
With so many products, books sold, and cult following status, it seems quite the shame that Mr. Lovecraft himself, never got to enjoy any of the proceeds and know the extent he has touched so many lives.
Stephen King has called Lovecraft "the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale."
Not that I would have as much influence as Stephen King, but I must say that I honestly have never read more captivating tales than those that were written by H. P. Lovecraft.
Call of Cthulhu Games & DVD's
This short story has also inspired a role-playing game similar to Dungeons and Dragons. If there are only two of you who want to play, don't worry there is also a boxed card game. And for those of you who prefer a video game, fear not! An Xbox game has been produced for you.
I have not seen any of the Cthulhu videos, but I do know there are a couple of different versions to choose available.
Cthulhu 12 Inch Plush Inspired by HP Lovecraft
There are actually quite a few "cute" Cthulhu puppets, plush and other toys also available. Not everything is eerie or scary.
My own son carried a Cthulhu backpack for several years to school. If you didn't know the story of Cthulhu, you would have just thought it was a funny green creature backpack.
He also has several of the Cthulhu plush, including a Cthulhu Christmas wreath.
The Cthulhu Birthday Cake
A few years ago, I made a Cthulhu birthday cake for my son. In true Cthulhu form, the cake split down the center and started falling apart before I could even finish drawing the image!
It was, as if, Cthulhu was breathing down my back. I felt chills and an eerie sense of being "haunted."
|Cthulhu Cake by Sylvestermouse|
My Personal Opinion of Cthulhu
Cthulhu is a work of literary fiction, but it is very easy for me to embrace the idea that there is a demon (my word) roaming this earth stealing minds, driving man to insanity or suicide.
I have noticed when I read other critiques of this story, that each one had a different emphasis. I find it fascinating that we all read the same short story, but were "touched" in such a wide variety of ways.
Perhaps one of the reasons this short story has been so popular is because we can all define Cthulhu by our own established personal beliefs. I would love to hear what you think about the story.
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