30 January 2012

The Shadow over Innsmouth


The Shadow Over Innsmouth was a return to form for me after reading Lovecraft’s The White Ship, an ethereal, almost dreamy story.  Shadow, on the other hand, sits squarely within the parameters of most of Lovecraft’s work, showcasing the horror of what lurks just beyond normal human experience.
Set in the fictional town of Innsmouth, it tells the story of an unnamed narrator, a young man (who Lovecraft named Robert Olmstead in his notes, apparently) taking a vacation around New England to visit his familial roots.
Drawn by a sort of macabre fasciation, he passes through the town of Innsmouth on his way to Arkham, where he discovers that the inhabitants have, for several generations, been engaged in a pact with sea-dwelling creatures who, again, go unnamed, though later works would refer to them as the Deep Ones.  These humanoid fish-frog creatures have been providing the townspeople of Innsmouth plentiful fish and gold, in exchange for breeding with them, producing hybrid creatures that start their lives as human before eventually taking to the ocean and gaining immortality as they transform fully into Deep Ones.
Shadow was far more action-oriented than the prior works of Lovecraft I have read, featuring an exceptional chase scene as the narrator attempts to escape Innsmouth, which contained some of the most tense of Lovecraft’s narrative I have yet to see.
It was the ending, though, which was perhaps most striking, as the narrator realized his own links to Innsmouth, and the choice that lay before him.

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Books: Finished Believer Beware and started on The Family.

Bottles: Chappellet 2008; Orin Swift Papillon 2006; Orin Swift The Prisoner 2009.  All in the course of a trip to Memphis, TN.  It was divine.

Writing: Working on a fun little short story that will never see the light of day but pleases me to write.

Guitar: Getting my guitar back from the shop today, with a new tremolo bridge!  Yea!