Recent World War II veteran Bull Ingram is working as muscle when a Memphis DJ hires him to find Ramblin' John Hastur. The mysterious blues man's dark, driving music - broadcast at ever-shifting frequencies by a phantom radio statio - is said to make living men insane and dead men rise. Disturbed and enraged by the bootleg recording the DJ plays for him, Ingram follows Hastur's trail into the strange, uncivilized backwoods of Arkansas, where he hears rumors the musician has sold his soul to the Devil. But as Ingram closes in on Hastur and those who have crossed his path, he'll learn there are forces much more malevolent than the Devil and reckonings more painful than Hell....
In a masterful debut of Lovecraftian horror and Southern gothic menace, John Hornor Jacobs reveals the fragility of free will, the dangerous power of sacrifice, and the insidious strength of blood.
©2011 John Horner Jacobs (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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"Big, Bold and Bright"
If you are offended by graphic good and evil, best think twice. If your intellect has chosen a predictable, mutual fund sort of existence, and read the same, forget it. So suspend the predictable and look under all your socialization , at least as a "Westerner", and grub down to the essential- good vs evil and all its manifestation: love, loyalty, family; lust, indulgence, selfishness. Mix it up with life and eternity and all our mortal, or otherwise, soul's, and you get Southern Gods.
Kinda Cool. Thought it might turn zombie but ended up much bigger than a single genre. It was fun and has big characters, not just in size but philosophical point of view. But then again, since this is a personal review, I think all life ultimately really does boil down to good vs. evil and the choices we all make along the way.
Try it, it's lusty, gritty southern as befits the local.
"Sweet idea well read but poorly executed by author"
I grow weary of writers who seem to think that plausibility no longer applies when the genre is something other than strict "realism." The underlying ideas here (as you can discern from the descriptive synopsis) are deadly cool and fertile. The author is not able to live up to the possibilities. Too many implausibilities within the story's own frame of reference wreck the thing. (I cannot elaborate without giving things away for those who purchase--and, I hope, manage to enjoy--this audiobook.) If you like to continue THINKING while you listen to a tale (that is, if you enjoy tracking how a tale hangs together as it goes along), this audiobook will probably disappoint and irritate you.
"Great flawed attempt"
I'd say Southern Gods is worth it for Lovecraftian Horror fans just for the first, really great half, which is a stunning ride, an idea brilliant in its conception and execution but lacking in its completion. The setting is cool, unusual, and nicely crafted, the idea is brilliant, the characters are interesting and pretty likeable for horror. But there's a point where the momentum suddenly stops. You seem to switch tracks into a secondary story, slower tempo, sodden mood. At that point, feel free to read something else. If you decide to slug it out to the final scene, you may not feel like your persistence was rewarded. I didn't. But the first half of the book - that was a gem. If the author could find a way to keep that kind of inventive, interesting scene and character thing going, with that feeling of tension and menace but at the snappy tempo of the first half of the book, he'd have something worth praise. As it is, I can recommend this book as an indication of an author to watch.
"A Standard Cthulhu Mythos(tm) Horror Novel"
Probably not. It wasn't original enough or surprising enough.
I would've stripped away the conventional Good versus Evil, Derlethian theme (in the form of Mithra), stripped away a lot of the gore and occult cliches, and cut it to novella size.
He is an excellent voice talent. At times, he falls back on standard Southern accents when they're not needed/warranted (e.g., the well traveled, scholarly Reinhardt men wouldn't have accents). Otherwise, it was superb.
In retrospect, no.
There has been some pretty stunning hyperbole in the reviews about SOUTHERN GODS -- not the least of which is the comparison of its author with literary legends William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor. SOUTHERN GODS is not a classic, nor is it written by a writer with the skill and distinctive style of a Faulkner, O'Connor or Lovecraft. SOUTHERN GODS, rather, is a competently (if not superbly) rendered horror novel which joins one of the many Cthulhu Mythos pastiches that have been written over the past 80-90 years.
The prose of SOUTHERN GODS on the sentence level is utilitarian and unremarkable and occasionally redundant (e.g., hugging
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