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Lovecraft Country: A Novel
Lovecraft Country A Novel
Author: Matt Ruff
The critically acclaimed cult novelist makes visceral the terrors of life in Jim Crow America and its lingering effects in this brilliant and wondrous work of the imagination that melds historical fiction, pulp noir, and Lovecraftian horror and fantasy.Chicago, 1954. When his father Montrose goes missing, 22-year-old Army veteran Atticus Turner ...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780062292070
ISBN-10: 0062292072
Publication Date: 2/14/2017
Pages: 384
Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 3

3.8 stars, based on 3 ratings
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Audio CD
Members Wishing: 44
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reviewed Lovecraft Country: A Novel on + 862 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I have been watching the HBO series based on this novel. The series is about half way finished (episode 5 aired last Sunday 9/13/20) and I have been enjoying it for the most part. It does however deviate quite a bit from the novel. Although the gist of the novel is included in the TV show, it tends to embellish the story quite a bit and go in quite a few different directions. I'm curious to see how the series ends and whether or not HBO decides to do a second season.

As far as the novel, I really enjoyed it. The story takes place in 1954 and is focused on a family of African-Americans living in Chicago. Atticus Turner, a lover of science fiction and horror stories, has just been discharged from the Army after serving in Korea and when he gets home he finds out that his father, Montrose, is missing. Turns out he has been lured to a small town in New England called Ardham by a man whose ancestor had owned as a slave one of Atticus's ancestors. So Atticus, along with his Uncle George and his childhood friend, Letitia, take a road trip to try to find him. George is also the publisher of the "Safe Negro Travel Guide" which is used by Blacks to travel to destinations and accommodations within the U.S. that do not discriminate against Blacks. Turns out Montrose was lured to Ardham because the manor owner there, Samuel Braithwhite, a sorcerer and practitioner of the black arts, needed Atticus (a descendant of the original estate owner) as a sacrifice to perform a ritual for their secret cabal. There are monsters and malevolent spirits encountered along the way but the worst are the harsh actions taken by white townspeople and police against these black travelers. The novel continues on and is broken up into several succinct adventures involving the family while they fight the forces of evil and take journeys to strange places including the far reaches of space.

Overall, this was a great mixture of horror/science-fiction/fantasy set in the period of Jim Crow laws and the segregation of the 1950s. Although the family is being chased by various cultists and warlocks, the real danger to them is the prevalent racism. Included in the story was a chapter describing how George and Montrose survived the Tulsa race massacre that happened in the 1920s. Very harrowing stuff. The "Safe Negro Travel Guide" was based on the real "Negro Motorist Green Book" which was used by African-Americans to find hotels and restaurants that would serve them. The 2018 movie "Green Book" used this as a focus for the movie about "a working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South." I saw this movie recently and would highly recommend it. I would also highly recommend the novel LOVECRAFT COUNTRY but the juries still out on the TV series...
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