Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lovecraft For Your Ears

Well, the plague came to the Tomb, and at the most unwelcome time possible. I spent the week before and after Halloween utterly sick and haven't been able to bring myself to write much. Hence why you heard little unholy howling this Halloween season. The holiday months ahead will have to make up somehow, and we're going to start with Lovecraft . . .

If you've looked at the links in the sidebar, you may have come across the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society, an organization that, among other things, has produced a sterling 1920s style silent film production of THE CALL OF CTHULHU. In addition, they have gone on to produce a handful of adaptations in the style of "old time radio" of Lovecraft's stories, beginning with AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS. I spent some of my convalescence time catching up with THE DUNWICH HORROR, another story in Lovecraft's "Cthulhu Mythos." A prior audio adaptation of the play found listeners in 1945 thanks to the radio show SUSPENSE, and thanks to DataJunkie, you can listen to that program by going here.

While I love programs like SUSPENSE (along with THE WITCH'S TALE, WEIRD CIRCLE, and others), it's still a shame that they seldom turned to Lovecraft's work for material. With that in mind, it's refreshing to find the HPLHS bringing us new adaptations of such professional quality. THE DUNWICH HORROR stands as one of Lovecraft's more chilling stories, where libraries and old books become sources of terror and paranoia. We also see the author's signature anxiety over miscegenation, and as outmoded and silly as such fears rightfully appear today, Lovecraft's "Old Ones" still come across as brilliantly conceived.

Definitely check out this production, which the HPLHS store offers both as a CD and as a downloaded MP3. The CD comes packed with pseudo-reproductions of newspaper clippings and pages of archaic tomes. Your hard-earned dollars will be well-spent.

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