American Writers (One Hundred Pages at a Time)

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Series 6: Episode 3: Letters February-August 1930

What do dinosaur bones, "clock-slavery", Charleston, and Hart Crane have in common? They all are discussed in H. P. Lovecraft's letters in 1930 (specifically February through August). I talk about this and more in this episode of this podcast.

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Series 6: Episode 2: Letters November 1929-February 1930

H. P. Lovecraft's letters from the winter of 1929-1930 were written around the time he wrote "The Mound". So we should not be surprised to see him reflecting on civilizations, art, and geography. These letters also speak to his thoughts about erotic art. Highlight is a massive letter to Woodburn Harris.

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Series 6: Episode 1: Letters July-November 1929

So we are back to the "Selected Letters of H. P. Lovecraft" in this episode. Features correspondents include Maurice Moe, Elizabeth Toldridge, and James Ferdinand Morton. Topics include poetry, lost cultures, and machine culture

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Series 5: Episode 28: The Electric Executioner

In this second revision of a Adolphe de Castro story, "The Electric Executioner", we explore the supernatural power of electricity in a Mexican setting. A fun story, worth checking out. 

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Series 5: Episode 27: The Last Test

"The Last Test" is by Adolphe de Castro, as revised by H. P. Lovecraft. I rather liked this story, with its exploration of deep history and hidden traditions. It is framed as a story about experiment and outbreak in the prison, although the truth is much more chilling.

H.P. Lovecraft Book Club: Series5: Episode 26: The Thing in the Moonlight

So this story is based on a dream, detailed in a letter by Lovecraft to Donald Wandrei in 1927. Wandrei later revised this account into a the published story "The Thing in the Moonlight".

Episode 453: Henry James: Confidence (2)

The second and final part of my review of CONFIDENCE by Henry James. This puts an end to this series on James' early novels.

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Series 5: Episode 25: Two Black Bottles

This short story, "Two Black Bottles", was written by Wilfred Blanch Talman, with an assist by H. P. Lovecraft. While not one of the revisions that is mostly done by Lovecraft, let's read it anyways. It is a pretty good story. Published in WEIRD TALES in 1927

Episode 452: Henry James: Confidence (1)

Like THE EUROPEANS, CONFIDENCE is a light and somewhat comedic novel about Europeans in America or Americans in Europe, or something. Another early novel by James that I found underwhelming but still probably worth checking out.

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Series 5: Episode 24: The Very Old Folk

After a long wait, I am finally looking at "The Very Old Folk", the published version of Lovecraft's dream of ancient Rome. It hits many of the themes Lovecraft was interested in at this time of his career, especially vernacular traditions and their dangers.

Episode 452: Henry James: The Europeans

In this short comedic novel, THE EUROPEANS, Henry James follows two Europeans-a soon to be divorced woman seeking a new start and a free-spirited young man--in their encounters with a wealthy American family. Decent entertainment.

H.P. Lovecraft Book Club: Series 5: Episode 23: The Dunwich Horror (2)

The second part of my review of "The Dunwich Horror" by H. P. Lovecraft. What is the danger of ignoring the backcountry? What is the blowback to burying the horrible things deep? I think this story gives some of Lovecraft's answers.

Episode 450:Henry James: The American (3)

Part three and finale of my review of THE AMERICAN by Henry James. It is a highly recommended novel with some real drama and wonderful character growth. Our hero becomes an American while confronting European aristocratic culture.

Episode 449: Henry James: The American(2)

Part two of my review of THE AMERICAN by Henry James. For much of the middle part of this novel, the hero pursues his courtship with a French aristocrat while learning more of the gap between his world and that of the woman he hopes to marry.

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Series 5: Episode 22: The Dunwich Horror (1)

"The Dunwich Horror" is another of my favorite H. P. Lovecraft tales that has a bit of everything; intentional amnesia, folklore, outer gods, body horror, class tensions, and the geography of horror. Part one of my analysis.

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Series 5: Episode 21: The Color Out of Space

"The Color Out of Space" was Lovecraft's favorite story and it is indeed one of his best. The combination of body horror, science, and classic Lovecraftian themes makes for a fascinating, if bleak tale.

Episode 448:Henry James: The American (1)

Part one of my review of THE AMERICAN by Henry James. It is by far my favorite of the five early novels I will look at in this series. It explores the attempt of a rich American to court a French widow from an aristocratic family.

Episode 447: Henry James: Roderick Hudson (3)

Part three of my review of RODERICK HUDSON by Henry James. It is his first strong novel but a bit repetitive and banal in the end. I guess the lesson is Americans should stay away from Europe.

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Series 5: Episode 20: The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (Finale)

The final part of my review of THE CASE OF CHARLES DEXTER WARD by H. P. Lovecraft. The final chapter is an epic story of the conscious eradication of memory.

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club:Series 5: Episode 19:The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (4)

Episode 446:Henry James: Roderick Hudson (2)

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Series 5: Episode 18: The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (3)

We go back to the present in chapter 3 of THE CASE OF CHARLES DEXTER WARD and witness the consequences of Ward's exploration into his family history. Some strange mysteries are revealed and the horror begins again.

Episode 445: Henry James: Roderick Hudson (1)

Let's start over with Henry James by looking at his first decent novel, RODERICK HUDSON. In this novel, an aimless rich man adopts a poor artist and brings him to Europe for fame and adventure. What they find is that Europe is a bad place for anyone, especially artists, to be.

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Series 5: Episode 17: The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (2)

A solid second chapter of H. P. Lovecraft's THE CASE OF CHARLES DEXTER WARD almost works as a stand-alone horror story set in the 18th century, climaxing in the context of the American Revolution. Through this story we see Joseph Curwen as a metaphor for America's founding sins.

Episode 444:Henry James: Watch and Ward (2)

More forgettable stuff in the second half of WATCH AND WARD by Henry James. Let's hope his later novels are a bit more interesting. If nothing else, this novel is a good piece of evidence of why certain authors will never be cancelled.

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Series 5: Episode 16: The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (1)

The second of two posthumously published novels by H. P. Lovecraft, THE CASE OF CHARLES DEXTER WARD also happens to be my favorite Lovecraft story. There is no better place to go for Lovecraft's historical vision.

Episode 443: HenryJames: Watch and Ward (1)

A new series and a new novel: Henry James' WATCH AND WARD. While it is not a good novel and can be easily forgotten we can at least introduce ourselves to Henry James as we prepare to read his first five novels.

Episode 442: Sinclair Lewis: Dodsworth (3)

The final to my review of DODSWORTH by Sinclair Lewis and the final of my series on Lewis's mid-1920s works. While DODSWORTH is not my favorite, I think it has some interesting things to say about marriage, aging, and the habits of the elite.

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club: Series 5: Episode 15: The History of the Necronomicon, Ibid., and The Descendents

A trio of works by Lovecraft are examined in this episode. Two of them explore the mythology of the Necronomicon and the other deals with footnotes.

H. P. Lovecraft Book Club:Series 5: Episode 14: Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (Conclusion)

My final thoughts on Lovecraft's DREAM-QUEST OF UNKNOWN KADATH appear in this episode. In this part of the story we see the battle between the Men from Leng and their Moon creatures allies and Carter's forces before arriving at the final confrontation between the Dreamer and the Outer Gods.

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