Book Cover
Title That Which Should Not Be
Series ---
Author Brett J. Talley
Cover Art Philip Renne
Publisher Journal Stone - 2011
First Printing Journal Stone - 2011
Category Horror
Warnings None

Main Characters

Carter Weston, Jack, Daniel, William, Captain Gray

Main Elements Gods

I'll be honest, I'm not some diehard Lovecraft fan. In fact, until I got this book I hadn't even read anything Lovecraftian except for a middle grade book. So I figured before reading this one, I should read the original stories on which this is based and see what all the fuss was about.

So let's just say I had the originals very fresh in my mind while reading this book.

The premise of the overall story arc was very appropriate, a Miskatonic student on an errand to retrieve a fabled book of power travels to a small town somewhere in New England and encounters a group of men, each with a story of their own. This intrestingly turned a novel into a set of short stories, more in keeping with the format of the originals.

The Wendigo story seemed out of place to me, after all one can't tie in every ancient myth and legend into the Cthulhu Mythos, but I see based on other people's reviews that there is a valid connection (through the author Algernon Blackwood), just not one I was aware of. I found the story free online so I'll try to read it some time soon.

My other critique was the use of the names Seward and Harker in the third story that takes place in an asylum. My brain went "Dracula!" which I'm sure was intentional but again, seemed like an attempt to mix in another mythos that didn't belong (the previous story also involved a carriage ride through an Eastern European mountain pass which gave me too many Dracula vibes for comfort).

It's not quite what I expected, I figured more references to Lovecraftian creations and less to those of other authors. But the Lovecraft element seemed to build as it went along, from nearly non-existant in the first two stories to really clear in the second pair, and of course the climax of the overall book.

But on the whole, all the stories had the element of the weird and the creepy and was a good read in and of itself. It was still an enjoyable read that drew me in and kept me wondering what would happen next.

Posted: March 2015


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