Tuesday, October 20, 2009

RIP IV Challenge Update and a PSA

I signed up for the R.I.P. IV (Readers Imbibing Peril) Challenge back a few months ago. The challenge is, essentially, to read eerie fiction (mystery, suspense, thriller, dark fantasy, gothic, horror, and supernatural) and to have fun while doing so, and also to share that fun. I chose to participate in the Short Story challenge. So, without further ado, I give you my thoughts.

The Shadow Over Innsmouth, by H.P. Lovecraft
Innsmouth, MA is a fishing town that was once large and prosperous, but over the years it has fallen on hard times. The unnamed narrator (who from later notes by Lovecraft turns out to be Robert Olmstead) is telling the story of his travelling and touring of New England, in particular his time in Innsmouth. Outsiders caution the narrator against going to the shambling town, saying how some people have disappeared and how the Innsmouth folk don’t take kind to strangers. Against his own judgment, the narrator decides to go on a daytrip.

As he arrives in the dilapidated town, he immediately notices the horrible smell of fish and ruin. The people he sees all have a peculiar look and gait about them. The antique architecture is strange, and something eerie seems to be going on.

I enjoyed The Shadow Over Innsmouth. The tale was spooky enough to have my pulse race a bit faster than normal. As the story progressed I became more engrossed in the tale and history of Innsmouth, especially when Zadok began to give the history to the narrator. If you can get past the wordy introduction to the story, this tale is truly eerie. By the end, you’re left with haunting images in your mind and a dreadful stench in your nostrils.

Dagon, by H.P. Lovecraft
This story is much shorter than the previous one, but they are related to one another. This tale is told in a similar fashion, by an unnamed narrator recalling an incident by being stranded on a lifeboat in the ocean. While he’s at sea he witnesses something that leaves him haunted and terrified.

This story was a quick read, but the impact was strong and felt. The last few paragraphs are shocking, and as I finished I blankly thought about what had just happened. I can’t say much, but if you want to read a quick-paced, psychological-paranormal horror tale, Dagon is it.

Together, these two tales examine the impact on the psyche, and the "madness" that ensued was quite believable. These stories by Lovecraft have given me a taste of what the Master of Horror is capable of, and I'm sure I'll read more Lovecraft in the days to come.

And now, here's a Public Service Announcement from around 1979. (Apparently there are a slew of these sorts of PSA's, but I've never seen any.) Enjoy. Writing Wednesday's tomorrow...

7 comments:

Krista said...

LOL! That video is funny :) Good luck on the challenge!

Oh, and HP Lovecraft has been on my to get list for some time :) I really should get to him. Next time I'm at the library...

Looking forward to tomorrow!

logankstewart said...

I liked the video, too. There was another funny STAR WARS one related to getting your children vaccinated.

Lovecraft is definitely wordy, but his stories I've read have been good.

And thanks, I'm glad you're liking my Writing Wednesday's posts.

David Wagner said...

Man, it seems like all my comments here lately have started with "Well, I've never been much for ____".... lol... what is wrong with me?

Anyway, never been much for traditional, classic horror either... I did read quite a bit of Stephen King when I was younger, but that doesn't count, lol... anyway, I'm glad there's so much stuff out there to read... everyone can find their own little corner and dig in... it's awesome that you enjoy so many different things. And I'm glad to read your thoughts on them as well...

Next, you'll review something steampunk! Then I'll go, "Well, I've never been much for steampunk..." *sigh*...

Krista said...

Getting your children vaccinated? LOL! That's just funny :)

logankstewart said...

@David: Aye, Lovecraft would definitely fit the bill on traditional horror, being the father and all...

Steampunk, eh? I've not read anything heavily steampunk, but it's a genre I want to dabble a few books in and see whether or not I like it. As always, I'll let the world know when I do.

@Krista: It was weird, but funny. Droids, can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

Brandon said...

Hey Logan,

I've thoroughly enjoyed some good Lovecraft! His prose and writing style make for a fun eclectic read. You don't get that overwrought style these days. I find it quite enjoyable. You should read his short story, "Winged-Death". A terrifyingly fun story about revenge among scientists and a KILLER FLY embodied by the spirit of one of the scientists!

logankstewart said...

Hey Brandon, thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to see if "Winged-Death" is in my collection of stories I have. Take care.