What The Moon Brings: The Complete Lovecraft #36

ales …the spectral summer when the moon shone down on the old garden where I wandered; the spectral summer of narcotic flowers and humid seas of foliage that bring wild and many-coloured dreams…

Lovecraft at his best is a master of lurid weird description and verbose excess, sometimes he does this to such an extent you can read a whole story and find yourself wondering what the hell it was all about. This is also the reason we go back to Lovecraft so often and reread the tales. It is also the reason that sometimes mere fragments of a tale appear in his cannon of stories, as with the unfinished ‘Azathoth‘. Most of these fragments of tales were never published in his lifetime but appeared posthumously when apatite for his stories caused those who managed his estate to dig through the equivalent of his old hard drives. It’s not always the case. However, some of these short fragment tales were published before his death. ‘What the Moon Brings‘  being a case in point, at least that is a view taken by many. Personally, I think it is a tale complete within itself. Short though it may be. To call it a fragment somewhat belittles it…

Of the dream cycle tales, it is among my favourites. If not actually my favourite. Which may well be down to my general dislike of the longer pure dream tales. I am not counting tales like ‘The Cats Of Ulthar’ here, but the pure dream tales rather than those that get lumped in with them.

Also like many of the shorter tales, there is something to be said for listening to them. While never written specifically for the spoken word, there is something in the way Lovecraft writes that lends itself to this form. If you can find the right voice to do the reading, hence the Youtube below with the wonderful Nick Gisburne reading the tale… Which is more than worth a listen if you have a few minutes to spare, in the dark, or with your eyes closed, just feeling the words…



You may notice I have told you little about this tale from old tentacle huggers. Which is because there are only so many times you can say, ‘Its based upon a dream Lovecraft had...’ or, ‘For a teetotaller, the bard of Providence didn’t half have some odd dreams…‘ or even ‘ Old Tentacle huggers been on the night nurse again…‘.  Occasionally you just have to go with it. So read it, or listen to it, indulge yourself for a few minutes in verbose descriptions and a strange ride through the subconscious of that lamentable genius Old tentacle hugger and his desire to be eaten by sea worms… Draw your own conclusions from that.

As for a score, as I said this is a favourite, short though it is, this is what a dream sequence should be like, so its five slithering tentacles reaching up from the seafloor from me…

5out 6

Further Lovecraftian witterings 

This entry was posted in dreamlands, Lovecraft, mythos, reads, retro book reviews, sci-fi and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to What The Moon Brings: The Complete Lovecraft #36

  1. Iranon says:

    How can you dislike the longer dream tales? They are perfect and allowed HPL ‘s skills to show up even more strikingly.
    Ps: Stories like “What the Moon..” do not belong to that cycle perse but were dream-inspired.


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