That Which Should Not Be

That Which Should Not Be

by Brett J. Talley


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Miskatonic University has a long-whispered reputation of being strongly connected to all things occult and supernatural. From the faculty to the students, the fascination with other-worldly legends and objects runs rampant. So, when Carter Weston's professor Dr. Thayerson asks him to search a nearby village for a book that is believed to control the inhuman forces that rule the Earth, Incendium Maleficarum, The Inferno of the Witch, the student doesn't hesitate to begin the quest.

Weston's journey takes an unexpected turn, however, when he ventures into a tavern in the small town of Anchorhead. Rather than passing the evening as a solitary patron, Weston joins four men who regale him with stories of their personal experiences with forces both preternatural and damned. Two stories hit close to home as they tie the tellers directly to Weston's current mission.

His unanticipated role as passive listener proves fortuitous, and Weston fulfills his goal. Bringing the book back to Miskatonic, though, proves to be a grave mistake. Quickly, Weston realizes he has played a role in potentially opening the gate between the netherworld and the world of Man. Reversing the course of events means forgetting all he thought he knew about Miskatonic and his professor and embracing an unknown beyond his wildest imagination.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781936564149
Publisher: JournalStone
Publication date: 08/04/2011
Pages: 260
Sales rank: 567,829
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 13 Years

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That Which Should Not Be 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 80 reviews.
Aloysius03 More than 1 year ago
Finally a contemporary author has written a novel worthy of the appellation "literary horror." Evocative of the work of H.P. Lovecraft, this many-layered story takes the reader from a stormy New England seaport to the mountain ranges of Eastern Europe; from snowy forest to the dreadfully still waters of a dead sea; from the peculiar halls of an ancient university to the infinitely more ancient dangers that lurk beneath the surface of the earth and inside the heart of man. The author's language--reminiscent of Lovecraft, Faulkner, and Melville--paints a series of deeply entrancing pictures. This is a book you will struggle to put down. But Carter Weston's journey is not just a battle of monsters and phantoms; it is a quest that illuminates humanity's deepest truths.
Crystal-Trent-Dotson More than 1 year ago
Carter Weston finds himself on a journey to find a book for his professor Dr. Thayerson , Weston goes to a village and in a tavern he is told stories by men that have seen unspeakable evil,stories of a school of dark magic taught by the devil himself, one of a cruel evil man named Vladmir, to an occult and mysterious Insane Asylum . Once he leaves the tavern he joins one of the men , Captain Gray at his home where he discovers Gray has the book he is searching for . Gray freely gives Weston the book , little by little Weston finds out what Evil the book holds. Once he returns , he gives the book to his professor , but little did he know of what evil the professor was about to unleash with it. This was a Great book , it's devilish stories kept me on the edge of my seat.
jbkirkpat More than 1 year ago
Author Brett J. Talley's masterful retelling of ancient legends, of creatures which existed before many of our own gods. That Which Should Not Be is a wonderfully rich combination of five separate stories, made common by excellent characters, and the evil they encountered within each tale. It is an evil which must not be released. Talley takes us on a journey, to find a mysterious book - the Incendium Maleficarum - a text written when the earth was shrouded in darkness. If ever combined with the equally dangerous Necronomicon, untold horrors will be released from their eternal prison. We meet elements of this wickedness in each of the first four tales, and we dread what will happen when the forbidden book is found. For Literary Horror fans, this book will be a joy to read. For those unfamiliar with those oldest demons who ever walked before daylight blessed our world.don't read this in the dead of night; Talley has set those demons free.
Dranea More than 1 year ago
The things that go bump in the night, the zombie apocalypse, the amount of money it takes to fill up your gas tank are horrors that may seem truly frightening - until you read what is in store for humanity inside the covers of this book. Carter, a student at a university known for its dabblings in the occult, the otherwordly, and the possibly demonic, is asked by his professor to undertake a particularly daunting task. A book known as Incendium Maleficarum has been rumored to be nearby, and Carter must go searching for the book. Fate and the book have things worked out just a tad bit differently. When Carter comes into a lonely little town, a blizzard to take on all other blizzards arrived before him, and he must struggle to find a place to get some hot food and shelter while the storm runs its course. The book starts its move. Carter runs into a motley crew in the pub he is using for a bite to eat and shelter from the bitter winds. These four people have stories to tell that will chill your bones. The final story comes when the 'leader' of the group invites Carter to stay the night with him in his ocean front mansion. Book - checkmate. The horrors in store for the world are just now being placed to take control of all. And we have never imagined the dreadful things the deepest, darkest places of the world have been hiding. This is a masterfully written piece of work. There are smaller stories that you get to be a part of while wandering down the adventure with Carter. At first, you may not see the point of these musings, but once you get to the end, everything that you have learned, all of the stories that have been shared, all tie together into one giant puzzle you never realized your were putting together until the last piece falls. Then you sit transfixed thinking, how in the world did I not see that coming, all the while rubbing the goosebumps from your skin from the horrors that you just lay witness to. This isn't a graphic story, there are a few instances in there where you may have some spilled entrails, but the most horrifying part is the book itself. What it can do, what it can bring forth, what could be lying in wait. If you have an imagination like mine, this book will leave you thinking long into the night, and several days later you will still be thinking of the tales, how each part wove it's way in relation to the others. Brett's debut book is nothing short of superb.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
isabelx on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
But I never forgot some truths. That what we see is not all there is, and that just beyond my vision float beings as unbelievably powerful as they are filled with a burning hatred of mankind. And sometimes, when the light is right - or should I say the darkness - if I turn quickly enough, I catch a glimpse of a thing that cannot be . . . that should not be . . . but that is, nevertheless Carter Weston  is a student of folklore at Miskatonic University, who has always considered myths to be symbolic rather than based on actual events, but he is forced to confront the truth of the legends about the Great Old Ones. when Professor Atley Thayerson sends him to a local town to retrieve an ancient book of magic, the "Incendium Maleficarium" or "Flame of the Witch". Having arrived in town he goes for dinner at a local inn and gets into conversation with four local men, all of whom have encountered the cult of the Great Old Ones in the past. Each of their stories is more Lovecraftian that the last, moving from the forests of North America to an ancient fortress in the mountains of Eastern Europe, the state insane asylum at Danvers, Massachusetts, and finally to a ship in the mid-Atlantic when Captain Gray tells Carter the story of how he came into possession of the fateful book. The stories have an authentically Lovecraftian feel to them, with some of the protagonists fainting and temporarily losing their wits, but Carter Weston is made of sterner stuff, as befits a character named after Lovecraft's most heroic protagonist, Randolph Carter. While Captain Gray and his friends were telling their stories, I felt that this book seemed more like a collection of short stories with Carter Weston's search for the book a method of tying them together. But once the stories were told and the action re-started things fell into place, and by the end it did feel more like a novel, and an enjoyable novel at that.
bcquinnsmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
To tell you how creepy this book is, I was sitting outside reading it, my husband came out and closed the door, and I jumped what felt like 10 feet out of my chair. When a book can do that, it's a plus. I'm a true Lovecraft lover, and although That Which Should Not Be isn't quite as chilling as the stories by HPL, it still gave me goosebumps! I'm not going to go through the plot, but there's enough of everything for those who enjoy Lovecraftian-type horror here. My only complaint about this book is that the end sequence came very quickly and considering my anticipation, felt a bit rushed. Otherwise, I really enjoyed it! My thanks to the publisher, and to LT for offering this book.
jjackunrau on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't like reviewing books I don't like. It feels rude. So I'm not going to rip into Brett J. Talley's That Which Should Not Be with great abandon.This is a Lovecraftian tale about a young man at Miskatonic University who is sent by a mentor to find a book in the town of Anchorhead. In that town he goes to a tavern in a storm and listens to tales of horror from world-weary men. One is a Wendigo story, one is a cultists in Transylvania story, one is an Asylum story, one is a nautical ghost-ship/evil tome story. Then the young hero sails around the world and helps prevent Cthulhu from waking. The thing about this book is that there wasn't anything new or interesting done with any of those story-forms. They are all entirely old-fashioned in plotting and language. The language emulation leaves out a lot of Lovecraft's purple prose, but it does use that formalized stiff diction that makes it sound like it was written a hundred years ago. If you have read any Mythos stuff before (really, if you've read any horror story from the last two hundred years) you've read the same thing.The big philosophical problem I had with the book was the power of Judeo-Christian symbols in the face of the Mythos. Not to be a huge nerd about it, but these monsters cowering at crucifixes is completely antithetical to how I see the cosmology of a universe including Great Old Ones. There is altogether too much veneration of Christ in these stories to be effective Mythos tales.I would not recommend this book to anyone but someone completely new to horror fiction.Note: I received a free copy of this ebook through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program.
cedargrove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Questions of sanity and good 'old fashioned' tales of horror.At first, I thought this was going to be slow going and that I wasn't going to enjoy the story at all. The 'old world' feel to the language and the slow pace at the beginning of the book all screamed to my mind that it was going to be something I would not enjoy. However, I persevered, and I'm very glad that I did, soon becoming lost in the telling of the tales and While to book pays homage to Lovecraft, I believe Brett J. Talley manages to maintain his own authorial voice through the pages of his book.The story follows the quest of a young man, sent on an errand by his university professor to retrieve a book renowned for its evil. On the way he meets a group of people who each tell him their own, chilling stories, which feed into the creepy, unsettling nature of the book. The characters are strong, their tales compelling, and within the pages of the novel they all - particularly the main character, Carter Weston - evolve and grow through their experiences, something especially important in a story like this if one is to maintain a degree of believabiliy among such fantastical tales.The only point I questioned in all of the story is how or why such ancient powers as the ones with which Carter et al are in conflict should be repelled by Judeo-Christian signs and symbols when they are said, many times during the course of the stories, to pre-date Christianity by countless centuries, but once I moved past that, and settled back into the story, I could not fault the suspence and overall 'creepiness' of the storytelling.What I especially liked, which crept up on me after I realised I had got myself lost in the story, was that each of the four tales told by the characters Carter meets on his journey, has some element that feeds into the final conflict in the main story, and the fact that, in the end, the whole thing came full circle.Stories within a story, within an overarching raison d'etre all build a compelling and well crafted, chilling tale of ancient evil and mankind's ongoing struggle with the things that go 'bump in the night' that we can only sometimes see, more often feel... and with that which should not be.
Renny31 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good read for those who enjoy sci-fi/supernatural stories. It was a little slow in the beginning but the stories/tales picked up towards the middle and end and was an entertaining read.
jjlangel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Apparently, is book is in the style of Lovecraft. I wouldn't know, since my only experience with his works is an appreciation of the Campus Crusade for Cthulhu movement, back when you were allowed to be a smart aleck about the evangelical movement on a college campus in Texas.So, this is a review of this book, rather than of a book someone else might have written...The author has done a great job of capturing that tone of books written in the railroad age, written in the first person by a man relating the tale of the moment when he realized that his commitment to being a "man of science" might not hold in the face of the mysteries of the real world. Actually, it's a book of five such stories, and they are presented in a manner consistent with the kind of book this one imitates; modern books may cut back and forth between stories,but older books did not. Bravo for tone.The stories themselves are well-told but not overly imaginative. I didn' t devour the book in one sitting, but I did finish it in about a week, which works out to about 3.5 stars in my world. The major battle at the end was a bit perfunctory, but, after thinking about it, I don't think that was the part of the ending that was supposed to make your blood run cold...
NKSCF on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is how you write a short story collection of Lovecraftian fiction. In a worthy extension of the mythos, Brett J. Talley has created a wonderful book full of the classic feel of the original stories whose inspiration has made this possible.Comes highly recommended from me. A fascinating read.
necromage on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is composed of several stories in fine Lovecraftian tradition, which are really only linked because of this, excepting the last one. They are very well written, and the author is well versed in the Cthulhu mythos. I will definitely keep an eye open for further additions to the mythos from this writer.No spoilers here, just a brief summary of the main plot. The protagonist, a student at Miskatonic U, is sent on a mission to recover an eldritch tome (no, not the Necronomicon, something far worse!) from a nearby town. All he knows is that this tome has turned up there, but no clue as to exactly where it is, or who has it. Upon arrival, in the middle of a nasty storm, he takes refuge at a pub. He is invited to join the table of several local gentlemen, each of which regales him with his own personal encounter with the occult. These tales make up the seemingly unconnected stories that make up the bulk of this book.In the end, of course, the tome is found and a final adventure ensues.While the book is hardly to be mistaken as one being written by H.P. himself, it is still very much worth reading.
lostinalibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Carter Weston is a student at Miskatonic University (a place which should be familiar to fans of HP Lovecraft), a university which is considered by the superstitious to be 'witch-haunted', a place where nameless rites could be heard echoing through its hallowed halls. Weston is enlisted by a professor to retrieve an ancient relic which is believed to be hidden in a neighbouring town. When he arrives at his destination during a blizzard, he seeks shelter at the nearest inn where he is invited to join a table of four other men. Here, he is told several tales of horror by the men who each assure him these are true tales. Soon Weston is caught up in the horror and he is swept up into a world of danger and ancient gods from which he will be lucky to escape with him mind, soul and body intact.The novel is written in the form of a journal and its language evokes both the style and form of Lovecraft. It is well-written and, once started, it is a hard book to put down. I cannot recommend it enough to fans of horror or anyone who enjoys a good story. But be warned, make sure all your doors and windows are locked and never, never read it alone in the dark.
sidhera on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was delighted to receive a copy of "That Which Should Not Be" as an early reviewer. I love the occasional horror story, and I especially love the sort of meta-fiction that Talley has written here in the form of in-jokes and references. "That Which Should Not Be" was an entertaining read, though it's not something that I would read twice. The plot is predictable (more so, I think, if you're a fan of the genre), but this doesn't really detract from it's value as light horror. Much like Lovecraft's original stories, this is fun to read, but not particularly scary in the modern sense. My only caveat is that Talley's Latin doesn't quite work - Maleficarum, for example, is plural; Incendium does not carry the hellfire connotations that the translation 'inferno' suggests (he could have used 'infernum' itself!) - which made a conversation early on in the book particularly nonsensical. Since most people these days don't nit-pick their Latin, I would say that this is a perfectly delightful read, and I've already recommended it to several of my horror-reading friends.
cdhtenn2k10 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
[That Which Should Not Be] is successfully written in the style of H. P. Lovecraft, nicely adapting the Cthulhu Mythos. There are five stories present here, all faithful to Lovecraft's style and ideas. My complaint is that like Lovecraft, sometimes Talley takes his time getting to the meat of the story, filling in details and backstories that sometimes went too long.The best parts of the book are when Talley is relating the horrors befalling the characters. That's what we're all interested in, and that's where Talley's work really shines. All in all a good read for fans of Lovecraft and the genre, but maybe not for fans of quicker paced and more visceral horror.
JessicaWill on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful novel that weaves several short stories into its tale of Carter Weston's encounter with the occult. As someone who doesn't usually read horror, I was impressed by how easily I fell into the events of the book. Talley has written a fabulous story that keeps you engaged through its final moments. I hope we will be reading more of his work in the future!
kawika on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There are plenty of folks out there trying to capitalize on the cult status of HP Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. Here is yet another book dealing with Miskatonic University, occult magic, and the rise of the Old Ones. However, unlike a lot of the drek being put out there, this story is very much enjoyable. The author works in a way to actually combine a number of short stories that become related through the Cthulhu mythos and provides the narrative to tie them together under a larger story context that could easily fail, but doesn't. The stories very much reflect the old flavor of Lovecraftian fiction and retain that classic horror feel. This definitely one you can give some time towards and not be afraid of just another hack trying to make money off Lovecrafts's and the mighty Cthulhu's name.
Joles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book came as a very pleasant surprise. While I knew it would be right up my alley I didn't expect it to read as easily as it did.The story is a classic horror. (And a few of the character names are rather pun-ny.) What I didn't expect was it to read like 6 short stories, sharing a similar thread of the main storyline. All of the stories are excellent and I highly recommend this book if you enjoy the works of Richard Matheson.
FremdeB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Currently reading chapter 15 and so far am really enjoying this book! Received it as an Early Reviewer title from either LibraryThing or GoodReads..sorry, can't remember which one.
msellers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
That Which Should Not Be by Brett Talley is a story about evil. The narrator of this story is Carter Weston. Carter is a student at Miskatonic University in the subject of folklore. Sent on a quest by his professor to find and retrieve a book he is told personal accounts by four different persons of their encounters with evil. The tales all involve the book he was sent to retrieve. This book is very powerful and it is believed that the person possessing this book, along with another book, can awaken the evil that was cast out by God. In this story this evil is called Cthulhu.The narrative is very thrilling and engrossing with lots of suspense. It is well written and the author knows how to keep your attention. I was on the edge of my seat many times waiting to find out what would happen next.
arelenriel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was excellent. The settings were detailed and the characters well rounded. The influence of H.P Lovecraft on Talley's writing style is clearly visible in this spooky tale. Definitely a good read
ErisAerie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When a book has Cthulhu on the cover and is set within the Lovecraftian universe centered on Miskatonic University, it has a tough job to do. On the one hand, if it is TOO much like HP's work, it will be considered an off-brand knock off. If it is too different, it will 'not be in keeping with the spirit,' or something of that nature.I can't begin to tell you how happy I was that Brett Talley manages to pull off this high-wire act beautifully. The book is both a single story and a collection of stories, much like Arabian Nights. Talley obviously is well read in a variety of traditions; one story involves the Algonquian Wendigo made famous by Algernon Blackwood, another has hints of Romanian Vampirism, including a character with a name suspiciously close to 'Bathory,' and of course, what Arkham horror could be complete without a visit to a madhouse (not, I was dissapointed to learn, Arkham Asylum)?Talley does not have the infatuation with adjectives that Lovecraft had...there are still 'cyclopean structures' here and there, but I think the author made a smart choice in not burying the reader under a mountain of long, frustratingly vague words.In short, I was thoroughly impressed by this book. It managed to be unique and original and yet keep the strong tradition of Lovecraftian suspense intact. Often, when I review, I have to work to think of something positive to say...this time, I'm hard pressed to think of something negative!
QueenOfEschnapur on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
That Which Should Not Be, by Brett J. Talley, is a wonderfully written work of supernatural fiction that simply grabs the reader's attention through the smooth style of writing and the interesting story itself. For someone who has never read anything by H.P.Lovecraft, but knows of some of the things and beings mentioned in his works, this was a very enjoyable read, but I would believe that aficinados of H.P.Lovecarft's works would truly enjoy it even more.I would definately recommed this book to all, who are interested in supernatural/occult fiction with a historical flair.
thompsonml1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Talley gives new life to old nightmares. Four scary stories told in the spookiest of settings play to all we fear, and Carter Weston, a bright student of the occult, just shrugs it off! The premise that evil exists and is just out there waiting for those unsuspecting or naive enough to look past the warning signs is truly frightening. Unfortunately, for me, the last story, the culmination of the journey, was a let down. It should have been more epic, bigger, but it moved quickly, too quickly in comparison to the rest of the book. All in all a great effort and I would make it a point to read Talley's offerings again in the future.