Oliver Wyman (an Audie-award winner multiple times and voice for numerous characters on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television series) performs this entertaining homage to H. P. Lovecraft's imaginative horrors. The time is early 20th century, a period abundant in drama both real (World War I, the sinking of the Titanic) and imagined (a "tied" World Series, Charlie Chan's honeymoon). Dr. Stuart Harwell finds himself in a race against Dr. Herbert West, a man he loathes for his vision and the resulting monstrous results from experiments to let the dead walk again. One of the horrid results from Harwell's own experiments is the discovery of how much he has become exactly like what he most despises.
Two men, a bitter rivalry, and a quarter-century of unspeakable horrors. Herbert West's crimes against nature are well-known to those familiar with the darkest secrets of science and resurrection. Obsessed with finding a cure for mankind's oldest malady, death itself, he has experimented upon the living and dead, leaving behind a trail of monsters, mayhem, and madness. But the story of his greatest rival has never been told until now.
Dr. Stuart Hartwell, a colleague and contemporary of West, sets out to destroy him by uncovering the secrets of his terrible experiments, only to become what he initially despised: a reanimator of the dead. For more than twenty years, the two scientists race each other to master the mysteries of life...and unlife. From the grisly battlefields of the Great War to the haunted coasts of Dunwich and Innsmouth, from the halls of fabled Miskatonic University to the sinking of the Titanic, their unholy quests leave their mark upon the world and create monsters of them both.
©2013 Pete Rawlik (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Creepy good times!
If you are an avid Monster Hunters International fan (as I am) you'll recognize Wyman's voice. I had to laugh whenever he vocalized some of the "mis-born" seven foot tall 15 year-olds since it was the same voice used for Agent Franks.
Don't get me wrong I am a HUGE Wyman fan and he is one of the best voice artists in the industry! This adaptation is no exception! Great job!
If you like Lovecraft, you'll love this! This book is crazy fun and I enjoyed Rawlik's re-telling / furtherment of the mythos universe. There was very few actual cuttle-fish-face sightings and just a tad of referencing of the elder ones but everything else is off the hook!
"A wonderful romp through Lovecraft country"
A story that intertwines several of Lovecraft's more well known stories from the view point of a character in the background but with his own story to tell. Great for Lovecraft aficionados who don't mind seeing old stories told from a different angle.
"Good, but not great"
The voice acting is good, the book is well written, and this book quite adequately expounds on Lovecraft's stories. Its only problem is that it is a bit dry. Somewhat emotionless writing. But of all the fiction that tries to expand on the existing Cthulhu mythos, this is the better.
"Generally good and well performed"
I found this book to be a bit longer than needed, with the author going off on tangential rambling flashbacks that, for the most part, I could have done without.
Yes, I would (and will since I have already purchased "The Weird Company" by the same author) try another book from Pete Rawlik.
Overall, I enjoyed the performance of Dr. Stuart Hartwell as read by Oliver Wyman.
No, this has been done already, and somewhat poorly, recently in the 1985 film "Reanimator", in my opinion this book would lend little to that terribly bad movie.
This is a good listen if you happen to be the type of person who often reads fan-fiction and enjoys looking at known stories from a different perspective. Normally, I don't read this type of material but I wanted to give it a fair listen, especially since I enjoy anything related to the Lovecraft universe. Firstly, I was impressed with the merging of the protagonists timeline with known stories, most notably The Dunwich Horror. It is obvious that the author is well read in the Lovecraft library as all of the factual details are well presented and accurate. I also found the added material to be consistent with my expectations of the areas in and around the Massachusetts that existed in Lovecraft's mind. The voice work by Oliver Wyman was very good overall with the exception of a few mispronounced words, oddly none of the mistakes were related to the sometimes odd and eccentric library of obscure words used by Lovecraft. Speaking of vocabulary, on the down side, the author attempts to make use of various words used often by Lovecraft, and although I understand the need to keep with the spirit of the original writing to an appropriate extent, I found that much of this seemed forced and instead of adding a nostalgic twist to the story, it made the performance in some areas appear ... lugubrious ... if you will. ;-) Overall, considering that I have been spoiled by confining my auditory experience with Lovecraft stories to narrators like the unmatched Wayne June, I found this to be a good listen, as long as you approach it with the idea that this is an extremely well written piece of fan-fiction by an author who not only has an excellent grasp of the English language of the target era, but also commands much knowledge of the genre and a gift for creating seamless timelines that tie his stories to that of the original. I look forward to listening to "The Weird Company" next, hoping that the author, and the narrator, continue advancing and improving their work.
"A wild ride through Lovecraft ' s universe"
This book was a lot of fun. It ties many of Lovecraft's characters and places into a whole. It offers a new perspective on some of his most classic tales.
The subject matter, the research that went into it by the author, the voice acting. Everything about this version of the book was spellbinding. From start to finish I was hooked. I have listened to it over 30 times now and am sure to keep doing so. It is like comfort food for the mind. Never bland, always fun to return to. Everything about this book is spectacular.
There is a moment when all the threads of the story start to come together. A photo involving the Titanic, I grimly laughed out loud as it happened. Such a great moment. I do not wan to spoil it but it was damn fine storytelling.
Even if you are not a fan of the mythos, you will enjoy this book if you dig solid storytelling and things that are a little off the beaten path.
"True to a Great Tradition"
I read a review on Goodreads by some Philistine who obviously isn't quite the Lovecraft scholar he thinks he is. Otherwise, he would know that "pastiche" is hardly the term to apply to an episodic novel in the tradition of Lovecraft's particular "sandbox". And the fact that he seems to think that other authors "intruding" in Lovecraft's Mythos is a recent phenomenon pretty much says it all. (I imagine he's also furious that some people get paid good money to invent stories in the Star Trek, Star Wars and Dr. Who universes as well.)
As to his bleating complaints about the structure of the book, well, he might want to go back and re-read the original Reanimator, paying a little more attention to the way that story was presented.
Anyway, enough about that oaf. I happen to think, for what it's worth, that Mr. Rawlik did an outstanding job, one that I feel HPL would approve of, and which any Lovecraft fan would appreciate and enjoy. If you're one of those "purists" who turn your nose up at Mythos stories by Derleth, Bloch, Long, Campbell, et al, then you might want to steer clear.
If, on the other hand, you're a True Fan of the Master, then you already know that he shared his sandbox with many another like-minded writer. Would he have approved of the veritable stampede that's ensued over the past few decades? I don't know. Dig him up, prepare his "saltes," say the words and ask him!
But remember: Do not call up that which you cannot put down...
Report Inappropriate Content