4 of 5 stars.
Capping an anthology of eerie tales of the supernatural and horrific, some inspired by Lovecraft and others blatant fan-fiction, this tale was a pleasant if not startling surprise. It’s historical fiction, and moving at that.
Unhappy is he to whom the memories of childhood bring only fear and sadness.
[“The Outsider” by H. P. Lovecraft]
In 1929, Douglas is a foster child, misunderstood by his “aunts” who raise him. At school, he’s a loner avoiding the other children at recess where they can be cruel. His escape is into reading–fantasy tales of madness and the bizarre. Namely, those by H. P. Lovecraft. Douglas’ teacher wonders if the author might be Howard Phillips Lovecraft of the local Providence area . . .
Douglas finds that it is. And where HPL lives. And where he works. Finally, someone to understand him. Someone that speaks to his heart. But hero-worship rarely survives close inspection . . .
“The Boy Who Followed Lovecraft” appears in New Cthulhu 2: More Recent Weird edited by Paula Guran after originally appearing in Subterranean Press Magazine, Winter 2011.
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