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Publishers WeeklyThe Cthulhu Mythos-the myth pattern spun from the alien entities, forbidden books, and haunted New England towns of H.P. Lovecraft's fiction-is a popular fiction phenomenon that has inspired thousand of horror tales from fans and professionals writing under Lovecraft's spell since the 1920s. In this opinionated but entertaining study, the world's foremost Lovecraft scholar closely scrutinizes the Mythos and finds much to criticize. Separating out as the "Lovecraft Mythos" the stories in which Lovecraft developed his unique mythology, Joshi (H.P. Lovecraft: A Life) sees a distinct difference from the Cthulhu Mythos as practiced by most other writers, primarily in the absence of a cosmic perspective that gives the fictional horrors intellectual weight and gravity. Joshi lays the blame for the Mythos reducing Lovecraft's work to its most superficial aspects on Lovecraft's disciple August Derleth, who misinterpreted the intent of his mentor's work and created the template from which most Mythos fiction ever since has been struck. Though written for the small subculture of horror enthusiasts who will find its arguments provocative, this volume nevertheless offers cogent analyses of hundreds of horror stories that constitute an essential reading list for further study.
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