New Lovecraft biography also explores horror author’s cultural impact
There’s a new tome on the horizon that aims to please cultists of iconic writer H.P. Lovecraft while exploring the global perverse pop culture phenomenon that surrounds his legacy.
It’s called In the Mountains of Madness:The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of H.P. Lovecraft (a reference, of course to the beloved Lovecraft tale At the Mountains of Madness) by author W. Scott Poole (the pen behind the fantastic Vampira: Dark Goddess of Horror). It’s a biography and exploration of the legendary writer that aims to explain this reclusive figure while also challenging some of the general views held by Lovecraft devotees, focusing specifically on the large cross-section of horror and science fiction fans who know Lovecraft through films, role playing games, and video games directly influenced by his work but know little or nothing about him.
From the press release:
From a childhood wracked with fear and intense hallucinations, Lovecraft would eventually embrace the mystical, creating ways in which his unrestrained imaginary life intersected with the world he found so difficult to endure. The monsters of his dreams became his muses. Yet, Poole insists that Lovecraft was not the Victorian prude who wrote “squishy monster stories for boys.” Rather he was a kind of neo-romantic mystic whose love of the 18th century allowed him to bring together a bit of Isaac Newton with a bit of William Blake in a real marriage of heaven and hell.
More than a traditional biography, In the Mountains of Madness will place Lovecraft and his work in a cultural context, as an artist more in tune with our time than his own. Much of the literary work on Lovecraft tries to place him in relation to Poe or M.R. James or Arthur Machen; these ideas have little meaning for most contemporary readers. In his provocative new book, Poole reclaims the true essence of Lovecraft in relation to the comics of Joe Lansdale, the novels of Stephen King, and some of the biggest blockbuster films in contemporary America, proving the undying influence of this rare and significant figure.
In the Mountains of Madness is $17.95 (SLP) and is on sale September 13 from Soft Skull/Counterpoint Press.