Lovecraft Country

Matt Ruff. Pan Macmillan. (384p) ISBN 9781509883356

Lovecraft Country

Lovecraft Country

Soon to be an HBO Series! Got to love those printed stickers on books.

Now that the gripe is out of the way 😉 Lovecraft Country was low on the cosmic horror side of the Lovecraftian mythos, but high on the adventure and thrills.

Matt Ruff sets his series of adventures in mid-50s USA, where Atticus Turner has returned from the Korean war and faces the Jim Crow era of continued discrimination and prejudice toward black people in America. This works well against the knowledge of Lovecraft’s racism.

There are twists concerning lost blood lines, power struggles within secret societies, adventures, but none of the cosmic horrors that I’ve come to expect in books written in the Lovecraft universe.

There’s a small cast of characters who are well developed and have their own story arcs within the book, all leading back to the central figures of Atticus and Caleb Braithwaite (boo hiss).

This episodic nature of the stories will play really well to becoming a television show, and after watching the trailers I’m glad it’s getting a high production value outing.

The ending was wonderful with the story lines of various characters being left open enough for us to return to.


If you want to help and support this blog you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.

Summerwater

Sarah Moss. Pan Macmillan. (208p) ISBN 9781529035476

Summerwater

Summerwater

I tried to read this during the middle of the biggest reading slump I’ve ever had and just couldn’t, and after reading it in two sittings this time I really should have tried harder.

A brilliantly realised character study of several families and their motivations during a summer holiday to log cabins in the Scottish Highland on the edge of a loch where it will just not stop raining.

This sounds way too simplistic for such a well realised novel, each study has a grain of darkness sitting there waiting to be discovered, each grain has you wondering where this will take you. There is also a thread of almost mysticism running though each persons thoughts and ambitions.

The Ballad of Semmerwater’ is also quite important to the book, so if you haven’t read this it’s always worth a read, though not essential it gives a feel for the creeping build up of tensions.

There were several ways I thought the book would end but wasn’t prepared for the ending and exactly how dark it was.

If you enjoy books that explore the inner workings of people, sketch out their psychological depths, especially amid current circumstances you will love this book.

I’m now going to have to search out other Sarah Moss books to read them.


If you want to help and support this blog you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.

The End We Start From

Megan Hunter. Pan Macmillan. (144p) ISBN 9781509843985

The End We Start From

The End We Start From

This is the first time I’ve come across the term cli-fi when describing a genre of fiction, I’ve usually classified books I’ve read about climate change disaster as speculative fiction, but cli-fi is much better.

The End We Start From follows the female protagonist through a sudden climate incident which sees London, and by inference, much of the south of England flooded just as she has given birth to Z.

It follows them through a series of encounters invoolving the break down of society as the situation worsens, and eventually toward a possible resolution, both personal and bigger.

I really enjoyed the episodic nature of Megan Hunter’s writing, it suited this story, telling diary-sized snippets from the life of the main protagonist, and the ever complicating life she was leading to keep her and her child safe and nurtured.

Though it is short, ‘The End We Start From’ packs a real punch, exploring emotions and interpersonal relationships in the face of adversity.


If you want to help and support this blog you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.

Swimmer Among the Stars

Kanishk Tharoor. Pan Macmillan. (256p) ISBN 9781509822201

Swimmer Among the Stars

Swimmer Among the Stars

If you followed me on my old Twitter account you may have already realised that I love the short story format as a vehicle for delivering beautiful and compact prose, sometimes almost poetic, and Kanishk Tharoor’s debut collection, Swimmer Among the Stars, is one of the best examples of that I’ve read.

So apart from being a physically beautiful book, it is a book that also internally beautiful, exploring the human soul and their interactions across a dozen or so well-crafted stories.

The first story is so entrancing I’ve read it twice, and all the other stories deserve close reading they are so poetic in their understanding of the human condition. Some historic, some speculative, all the stories are strong and deserve their place in this book.

I usually dip in and out of short story collections but I had to read this in one go I was that fascinated.

A stunning collection and hopefully a good indicator of more to come.


If you want to help and support this blog you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.