Short Story Review: “Give Me That Old Time Religion” by Lee Finney

3 of 5 stars.

Fringe religious practices that carry on in Appalachia–speaking in tongues, snake-worshiping–merge with the Lovecraft lore as an improvising Bible-thumping preacher comes back to the hollow with a writhing bag of copperheads and some new prognostications of doom and change. The heavy parallels between extremist Christian practices and Cthulhu worship add perspective even if the characterization of the Appalachians veers into the realm of caricature.

Little Zeb (who’s not little) doesn’t go for all the preacher talk his wife’s younger brother, Caleb, espouses. Caleb’s always one to run a revival and make a show of speaking in tongues. Zeb prefers to stand aside and maybe tend quietly to his cave-hidden moonshine still. Caleb returns for a stay with a bag of snakes and news of a recent vision of forthcoming resurrection. One snake bites him deeply before Caleb starts speaking in a new tongue straight out of Lovecraft …

This tale appears in Whispers from the Abyss edited by Kat Rocha. I received this new anthology directly from 01 Publishing through
[Check out my other reviews here.]


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