Hello all! Back to the usual, I finally finished this paper sandwich! The Dark Eidolon and Other Fantasies by Clark Ashton Smith. H.P. Lovecraft said this author was "perhaps unexcelled by any other writer, dead or living." I knew I had to check him out and I was not at all disappointed. I much prefer CAS over Blackwood. Smith's mixture of atmosphere, tension, and action were perfect. It reminded me of when I first discovered Lovecraft. I felt the same things then as now. His short stories are amazing and haunting, very much worth retelling. The Uncharted Isle, The Holiness of Azéderac, The Vaults of Yoh-Vombis, The Double Shadow, and Genius Loci were all great. His poetry is just as good. The Witch with Eyes of Amber, Ode to the Abyss, Exorcism, The Old Water Wheel, The Hill of Dionysus, and Amithaine were the most memorable. Now I will admit I didn't finish this entire book. I finished most of the readings, but I skipped some as well. For 337 pages, there's a lot of material here! Anyways, Lovecraft and his cohort are simply problematic, especially today. There's plenty of examples of prejudiced thinking. CAS in particular has some racist, sexist, and anti-Semitic passages. Mostly they're offhand remarks. It didn't take away from the experience for me, but I can never speak for others. Smith also carries a common formula in his writing. Crazy stuff happens, main character gets in too deep, they have a close encounter with evil, and either die or wish to return after they escape said evil. It's his own cliche. Anyways, I give this a light recommendation because of the criticisms I just mentioned and because it's denser than most writing today.
Expect some very different book reviews soon!
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