Tag: Adaptation

H. P. Lovecraft – The Shadow Over Innsmouth and Other Stories of Horror | Review

Title: The Shadow Over Innsmouth and Other Stories of Horror

Author: H. P. Lovecraft

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 256

Rating: 4/5

Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room in the form of Lovecraft’s concerning personal beliefs. I’m of the opinion that you can separate the art from the artist, especially when the artist is dead, but I also know that that’s not true for everyone.

I’ve only read one Lovecraft book before and so I’m still relatively new to his work, and I can’t quite decide what I think of him. There are times when his stories are fantastic and they more than live up to the hype, and then there are times when… well, maybe not so much.

For example, there’s a story here that Lovecraft ghostwrote for Harry Houdini, and while the story behind the story is pretty interesting, the story itself isn’t great. I think if you didn’t know it was ghostwritten, you’d believe that Houdini wrote it – but then, Houdini wasn’t known for being a writer.

The title story in this collection was fantastic though, and it was made even more interesting because I was talking to somebody about it and they’d done an adaptation of it. There are only around six stories in here and so you could probably ask for more, but they are at least pretty chunky and so there’s a bunch for you to enjoy here. I’d definitely recommend this one if you’re interested.

Learn more about The Shadow Over Innsmouth and Other Stories of Horror.

 


Max Brooks – World War Z | Review

Title: World War Z

Author: Max Brooks

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 344

Rating: 3.25/5

This is one of those interesting examples of when there’s been a movie adaptation of a book that really doesn’t lend itself to movie adaptations. In fact, there’s arguably not even a plot to this book, and if there is one then it’s deliberately thin and disparate. Instead of following a central story, Brooks wants us to see the war against the zombies as a whole, and he does this through this sort of found narrative, epistolary approach that reminded me of Dracula, although I definitely preferred Dracula.

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with this, and indeed I think it would be a good source if you were writing about zombies or studying their impact on popular culture for whatever reason. It’s just that it reads almost more like a non-fiction book than a fictional one, and in fact for something that focusses on zombies, it gets surprisingly boring. The epistolary layout, consisting mostly of the transcripts of interviews, is kind of cool to begin with, but after a while it started to jade on me and ultimately, it felt like a bit of a gimmick.

Still, it wasn’t too bad, and the writing itself was pretty good, as was the world-building. In fact, I’d argue that it’s the world-building that makes this worth reading in the first place. It’s more interesting to learn about the response that people have to the crisis from around the world than it is to follow any one group of characters, and indeed the structure of the story makes it almost impossible to do that in the first place.

Ultimately, that makes it an unusual book but one that’s worth reading, even if I myself didn’t fall in love with it. It was pretty cool to see what Brooks has in mind when it comes to our human reaction to the walking dead, and I don’t regret picking it up, though I doubt I’ll ever re-read it.

Learn more about World War Z.