The Call Of Cthulhu: TCL #48 Part 3 The Madness from the Sea…

Vigilant Arrives With Helpless Armed New Zealand Yacht in Tow.
One Survivor and Dead Man Found Aboard. Tale of
Desperate Battle and Deaths at Sea.
Rescued Seaman Refuses
Particulars of Strange Experience.
Odd Idol Found in His Possession. Inquiry
to Follow.

The above is from the third and final part of ‘The Call of Cthulhu’. While the first two parts we solid workaday Lovecraft, it was in this third and final part that old tentacle hugger really stepped it up a notch. It was here the world first got to ‘see’ old tentacle face himself. Demi-god, old-one, winged dragon, octopus-headed, giant, late sleeper himself. A monster from the Lovecraftian pantheon that has surpassed all the others as a counterculture phenomenon. Old tentacle face is everywhere in geek culture, from pop figures to board games, crochet patterns to role-playing games, computer games to tattoos…


And it all started here…

But this blog is not about the cultural impact of the tale, but the tale itself. And like the first two parts of the tale, it is a minor let down, if only because the expectations are so high. If there is one Lovecraft tale you want to drag you in and then leap off the page at you it is surely this one. But that’s a small complaint, and any reader of Lovecraft will get past that easily enough.

In this third part, the narrator is still sperate form the bulk of the action, reporting second hand on events he has been told about after rooting them out in his dead uncle’s files. But at least in this he is not just repeating second hand what his uncle had discovered. In this part, he goes to visit the source itself. The last survivor of the encounter at sea which the opening exert of this post is referring to. That survivor, a Norwegian seaman, tells the real tale, a tale of cultist pirates warning his ship off and been ignored, of a mysterious island where no island should be, a part of the sea floor pushed up to the surface for a time, much like the events in Dagon which Lovecraft wrote so many years before, and of an ancient tome, or temple of something , a structure that made no sense with its strange geometry. And finally of fleeing the island, crewmen dying and the ship being pursued by a cyclopean creature that resembled the strange little statue they had found, a Cthulhu idol. Yet somehow he survived this encounter when all the other hands aboard ship did not…


As a tale within a tale, within a tale, this story is the best of it. Much like the other parts, it is the stories within that make the tale as a whole great. the final ending of the tale as a whole, with the narrator waiting for death at the hands of cultists, that he is sure his investigations will bring down on him is bleak and cold. But it should be bleak and cold. For once Lovecraft’s tone is perfect here. But as a part of the whole, this story is not quite as good as it should be. I can’t place why but it is just a feeling I have, an itch at the back of my mind perhaps… So its another five out of six for this section.

5out 6

The posts on the first two parts of this tale can be found following the links below:

Part 1 The horror in the clay

Part 2 The Tale of Inspector Legrasse…

Summing up the whole story…

There is, however, it has to be said, something of the grand scale here when you take on the whole of  ‘The Call of Cthulhu’. This is a tale in three parts, and each part is not quite as good as it could be. But, when you consider the whole. the everything, and the impact beyond itself it is still the story you should read. It is ‘The Call of Cthulhu,‘ and the call is strong. So in essence, as the sum of all its parts, it is so much greater than a mere five tentacles. It is in fact, like ‘The Rats in the Walls.’ a Lovecraft tale that surpasses that out of six judgment I have placed on the others. It is all the tentacles out of many…

allout 6


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2 Responses to The Call Of Cthulhu: TCL #48 Part 3 The Madness from the Sea…

  1. Pingback: The Call Of Cthulhu: TCL #47 Part 2 The Tale of Inspector Legrasse… | The Passing Place

  2. Pingback: The Call Of Cthulhu: TCL #47 Part 1 The Horror in Clay… | The Passing Place

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