Tag: Art

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.

 


Bill Bryson – The Road to Little Dribbling | Review

Title: The Road to Little Dribbling

Author: Bill Bryson

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 390

Rating: 4/5

This book is subtitled More Notes from a Small Island, and so as you can expect, it’s pretty much the natural and spiritual sequel to Notes from a Small Island. Arguably Bryson’s most successful book, that one charted his experiences as an American who’d moved to the United Kingdom and then spent a bunch of time travelling around it.

Since then, he’d moved to America and then presumably back to the UK again. It’s kind of hard to tell with Bryson sometimes because I don’t necessarily read his books in publication order and it’s my understanding that he’s headed backwards and forwards here and there. The good news is that I enjoy him most when he’s writing about the UK, possibly only because I live there and so it’s easy for me to picture the things that he’s writing about.

I also think that Bryson has continued to mature as a writer over the years. It’s not that his style has changed, but he has tightened it up a little bit and I think this book benefits because of it. He’s perfected the art of narrative non-fiction and has the knack of writing super engaging informational books on pretty much any topic he tries his hand at.

I will admit that from time to time I’ve found that Bryson’s humour can grate on me, but that’s okay because it wasn’t a problem here. I think it really depends upon his headspace at the time, because when he came across as petty and vindictive, he was having a pretty tough time of things while travelling across Europe.

Overall then, I enjoyed reading this one and would definitely recommend it if you’re a fan of Bryson’s travel writing and stuff. If you’re new to him, though, I’d probably go for Notes from a Small Island to begin with, although this wouldn’t be a bad place to turn to second. And so all in all, it’s a cracking book and I enjoyed it a lot, despite it being my second Bill Bryson book in as many weeks. He hasn’t started to get old yet, at least if we’re talking about my opinion of his books. Looking forward to more!

Learn more about The Road to Little Dribbling.