Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lovecraftian Book (Dark Wisdom, Gary Myers) Reviewed at Horror World

DARK WISDOM by Gary Myers from Mythos Books, LLC
Review by Steve Middaugh

It's been a long time coming from a writer that gave us one book from Arkham House back in the 1970s, only to disappear from radar for a very long time until 2007. The writer in question is Gary Myers, and the first book is The House Of the Worm, printed in 1975.

Now we have the second collection, Dark Wisdom, from Gary Myers along with his own hauntingly atmospheric illustrations done specifically for this book. The two books couldn't be more different. The House Of the Worm is more of tales of the ancient fabled past familiar to the works of Lord Dunsany and Clark Ashton Smith. Whereas Dark Wisdom is Cthulhu Mythos set mostly in contemporary times.

Myers' writings are crisp, clear, and straight to the point. The prose hardly needs any additional adjectives to create atmosphere. It's already there throughout twelve stories. The characters are three dimensional; the cosmic horror is very palpable when peeking through certain intervals as the plots progressed to its conclusion. What he lacked in originality, he made up for in dry wit and humor.

"The Web" opens with two computer teenaged geeks who come upon a website that promises to conjure forth strange gods in their very own bedroom.

"Fast Food". Who wouldn't be suspicious of the fast food joint with a moniker like "Belial's Burger", with fat people lining up for more of that tasty burgers? This one's fun. Really.

"Understudy" is a clever send-up of a studio shooting a film of something similar to the Creature from the Black Lagoon. One of the special effects guys can't help but wonder who's really playing the Fish Man.

"The Big Picture" is a strange tale of a man obsessed with stereogrammitic pictures where, if you stare at it in a certain way, you'd get a picture. His obsession causes him to lose his job and wife and everything. At a certain point, he starts to wonder just what was he looking at?

"Horror Show" was shown at an out-of-the-way place where Lisa started having second thoughts as the show progressed on stage towards the bizarre and the sadomasochistic.

I thought this book was well edited by Robert Price, who wrote a short intro to the twelve stories. Gary Myers does an admirable job and I recommend giving this book a look.

Mythos Books, LLC

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