Sunday, May 22, 2011


One of the vexing things about H. P. Lovecraft is when you get down to it, he wasn't that good of a writer. If he was enrolled in say writing 101 he would be the type of student that would have the teacher's eyes rolling in no time. Lovecraft is certainly a case where the end result is inexplicably more than the sum of the parts. It does make one wonder what a "better" writer would have done with Lovecraft's theme.

Meet Thomas Ligotti. He takes on Lovecraft's theme of unnameable horror with delicacy and with the ear of a poet.  "Grimescribe" is a collection of his short works and each one is a dark note that together forms a very disturbing sonata.  There is very little horror at work in these tales.  There is rarely a monster popping out of the dark.  Rather, the narrator of each story sees and experiences things that he can barely conceive of much less put to paper.  Sometimes the narrator falls to despair, and sometimes falls to darker forces being changed utterly, but in the end there is no going back to the bright sunlit reality we take for granted. 

Definitely worth reading for those who like darker readings. 


  1. Does one read a 'darker reading' to realize how much better one's current life is than it could be, or to plunge one into further despair? Just curious...

  2. I think folks read for different reason. I find reading such tales thrill a part of my being who wonders just how dark midnight can be.

  3. Would love to have you read this to me.