Review: The Call of Cthulhu

For all I’ve heard of The Call of Cthulhu, I expected more.

Basically, you have three short stories about perhaps the best known of the Old Ones. Truly ancient cults. Even Cthulhu himself rising. But it’s all just a little underwhelming, especially when read back to back with The Festival and The Colour out of Space.

One interesting aspect is that the the descriptions are actually relatively solid (for Lovecraft):

A monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind.

He’s usually much more vague that that… which I think is actually the better route. For all one wants to be able to imagine what one is reading about, sometimes the impossibility thereof is what makes all the difference.

On top of that, The Call of Cthulhu is really the first work with definite traces of the time in which Lovecraft wrote. I’d heard about the casual racism, but it was still a bit surprising and off putting to come across it.

All together, it was worth reading just for the context, but not my favorite of Lovecraft’s works.