Today you get two (2!) reviews for the low, low price of one. Because honestly? I don’t have much to say about them. Can we just return to last year when I actually loved the book I chose?
The Call of Cthulhu
First published in 1928
A whopping 29 pages on the nook
Despite the fact that this was my choice for Dueling Monsters, I found it to be incredibly cheesy. And even though it was only 29 pages long, it was incredibly wordy, to boot. I mean really, H.P., how could you take yourself seriously with crap like this:
“There is a sense of spectral whirling through liquid gulfs of infinity, of dizzying rides through reeling universes on a comets tail, and of hysterical plunges from the pit to the moon and from the moon back again to the pit, all livened by a cachinnating chorus of the distorted, hilarious elder gods and the green, bat-winged mocking imps of Tartarus.”
The basic premise is that Cthulhu is a sleeping god, one of the Great Old Ones. And a baddie of the highest order. Whatever you do, DO NOT WAKE HIM UP. Because he’ll slime you and scare the crap out of you and eat you. Basically, what Lovecraft is after is to impress upon us that just the thought of Cthulhu should make you want to pee your pants in fright. Or, better yet, kill yourself.
The Island of Dr. Moreau
H.G. Wells (we’re having a battle of authors who like to use initials)
First published in 1896
92 nookish pages
Even though Dr. Moreau was an evil genius (and had Dr. Frankenstein tendencies), the story drug (dragged?). I thought it was dry in parts. It had the potential to be fabulous, but I was actually bored at times. And the only reason I toss that fabulous out is because Wells managed to create a character utterly lacking in morals. Dr. Moreau likes to experiment on animals in an effort to make them human-like, and he could care less about the pain that he causes (the SPCA would be appalled).
And okay, there’s a bit more to the story. We’ve got a shipwrecked narrator, an alcoholic assistant, and a bunch of man-made animal hybrids. We’ve got ethical dilemnas and people who care and people who don’t (and one guy who tries very hard not to think about any of it, which makes him just as bad as the doctor who doesn’t care). We’ve got animals trying to be human but who are ultimately animals, and we’ve got men who think they’re oh so superior but who really aren’t much more than animals themselves.
Yeah, there’s a lot going on in this little novella.
I’d even go so far as to say it’s the better book, but there’s the whole fact that just the mere thought of Cthulhu causes men to keel over and die of fright. Plus, he has slippers.
Which means Cthulhu is clearly the winner. (What! You didn’t think I’d let my guy lose, did you??)