Lovecraft Country

Lovecraft Country

A Novel

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
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The critically acclaimed cult novelist makes visceral the terrors of life in Jim Crow America and its lingering effects in this brilliant and wondrous work of the imagination that melds historical fiction, pulp noir, and Lovecraftian horror and fantasy.

Chicago, 1954. When his father Montrose goes missing, 22-year-old Army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his Uncle George--publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide--and his childhood friend Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite--heir to the estate that owned one of Atticus's ancestors--they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours.

At the manor, Atticus discovers his father in chains, held prisoner by a secret cabal named the Order of the Ancient Dawn--led by Samuel Braithwhite and his son Caleb--which has gathered to orchestrate a ritual that shockingly centers on Atticus. And his one hope of salvation may be the seed of his--and the whole Turner clan's--destruction.

A chimerical blend of magic, power, hope, and freedom that stretches across time, touching diverse members of two black families, Lovecraft Country is a devastating kaleidoscopic portrait of racism--the terrifying specter that continues to haunt us today.

Publisher: New York, New York :, HarperCollins,, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062292063
0062292064
Branch Call Number: FICTION Ruff Matt 02/2016
Characteristics: 372 pages ;,24 cm

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JCLGreggW Oct 11, 2017

Social commentary AND Lovecraftian horror tropes? I'm in. Novelist Matt Ruff weaves several interrelated tales of a 1950s African-American family with ties to an ancient order of New England cultists. Surprising and delightful, what you get is never what you expect.

The critically acclaimed cult novelist makes visceral the terrors of life in Jim Crow America and its lingering effects in this brilliant and wondrous work of the imagination that melds historical fiction, pulp noir, and Lovecraftian horror and fantasy.


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JCLGreggW Oct 11, 2017

Social commentary AND Lovecraftian horror tropes? I'm in. Novelist Matt Ruff weaves several interrelated tales of a 1950s African-American family with ties to an ancient order of New England cultists. Surprising and delightful, what you get is never what you expect.

KCLSRacheal Jul 13, 2017

This story of a Black family whose members each intersect with the head of a creepy cult of 'Natural Philosophers' would be great for fans of the movie Get Out (Jordan Peele is actually adapting this for TV!) because it turns often white-centered horror tropes on their heads, and focuses on Black characters with tons of smarts and agency.

i
isaachar
Apr 04, 2017

Lovecraft Country packs a lot of historic and social commentary into an intriguing science fiction/fantasy plot. In one sentence, it's the story of an African American families unfortunate and unwilling involvement with an secret cabal of sorcerers. That plot alone is interesting, but there are a ton of smaller things which really drew me in. The book delves into things like the difficulty of travel as an African American in the 50's and 60's. The looming threats of sundown towns, discrimination in lodging and gas stations come up repeatedly throughout the story. The story even brings up a fictional version of the real life 'The Negro Motorist Green Book', a 40's era publication circulated among African American families in the Midwest and the south so that they could know what roads, towns and motels they could safely stay at without fear of violence from the locals or law enforcement. Other things that I really enjoyed in the novel were the interactions between two of the main characters, Atticus and his father Montrose. Atticus is a big fan of early 20th century science fiction and fantasy. The title comes from the fact that Atticus was an avid fan of Lovecraft's writings. His father criticizes him for it, not just because of the subject matter, but because of Lovecraft's' and several other authors of that era's racial prejudices. Particularly the dehumanization of African Americans, which Atticus and Montrose are. Atticus comes to terms with this contradiction by arguing that he enjoys the writing, not the author or their perspectives. It was tiny details like this that made me such a fan of this novel. The overall story is an enjoyable romp, but the details inbetween really brought this book to life.

“Lovecraft Country,” takes place in Jim Crow U.S.A. and the majority of main characters are black. The primary character, Atticus Turner (a combo name built from Atticus Finch and Nate Turner?) is a science fiction literature aficionado. And he travels around the country doing research for a book published/written and printed by his father. The book's titled, “The Safe Negro Travel Guide.” A book which, unfortunately, is based on an actual historical artifact. Lovely. USA! USA! USA!

Read the rest of my review on my blog at: http://www.kellydowhower.com/blog1/book_review:_lovecraft_country/

l
lukasevansherman
Jun 10, 2016

As a huge fan of weird tale master H.P. Lovecraft (even as I'm repulsed by his racism), I was really excited for this novel, which transports Lovecraft land to 1950s Jim Crow America. Its novelty is taking a pulp-like plot (which were often written by men with less than progressive views on race and women) and infusing it with a social and political awareness that is often lacking in genre fiction. It's a great idea and while I enjoyed it, I wish it had been a little more successful in blending the two ideas. Still, this is a great read for fans of genre fiction who want something a little different. Great cover too. Cthulthu gives it two screaming tentacles up.

Radharc Apr 25, 2016

Buckle in for a chilling supernatural journey through 1950s America, encountering unseen monsters in the dark and lake-dwelling tentacle creatures that eat their victims whole, melancholy ghosts, haunted houses, deadly magical spells and the mundane racist horrors of Jim Crow America both in the North as well as the South.

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“Lovecraft Country,” takes place in Jim Crow U.S.A. and the majority of main characters are black. The primary character, Atticus Turner (a combo name built from Atticus Finch and Nate Turner?) is a science fiction literature aficionado. And he travels around the country doing research for a book published/written and printed by his father. The book's titled, “The Safe Negro Travel Guide.” A book which, unfortunately, is based on an actual historical artifact. Lovely. USA! USA! USA! Read the rest of my review/summary on my blog at: http://www.kellydowhower.com/blog1/book_review:_lovecraft_country/

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