I’m only a so-so fan of HP Lovecraft. I guess I’ve read as much of him as I have more out of a sense of allegiance to the horror genre than a sense of loyalty to his literary acuity.
Which is why I was somewhat surprised when I found myself selecting Jonathan L. Howard’s CARTER & LOVECRAFT the other night when cruising my Overdrive app looking for an audiobook fix for which to fall asleep to…
Which, to me, is the primary purpose of audiobooks – literary lullabies.
And most of the audiobooks I listen to do a great job of it.
In fact, they do such a great job of it that most audiobooks I listen to, I don’t finish because each night I always have to go back to the last point in the book I can remember before drifting off to sleep the night before, which is, more often than not, only a minute or two after I started listening.
And the books I do manage to get through before the loan ends I often only remember in sketchy patches.
The last audiobook I checked out before CARTER & LOVECRAFT was Irvin D. Yalom’s WHEN NIETZSCHE WEPT: A NOVEL OF OBSESSION.
I picked the book because I loved the premise: some dude analyzing Nietzsche. Awesomeness.
It starts out strong, even has a cameo with a young Sigmund Freud. But, with each passing night, it began to drag on more and more and I found myself falling asleep faster and faster, which, while not good for my literary needs, is a boon for my physiological ones.
But it’s not just the author’s fault that his or her book literally puts me to sleep. The reader’s ability and voice is nearly just as critical to the evolution.
The reader for CARTER & LOVECRAFT is Ari Fliakos. He’s perfect for Carter, the book’s gumshoe narrator and he rocks it… and he just happens to be Audible’s 2017 Narrator of the Year. So yeah, Fliakos’ award-winning voice probably has something to do with the fact that, since I’ve started listening to C&L, I’ve been listening much more and sleeping much less.
The narrator for WHEN NIETZSCHE WEPT is Paul Michael Garcia and he’s pretty good, too. But he’s nowhere near as good in WNW as Fliakos is in C&L. My biggest problem with Garcia’s narration is that he makes Nietzsche sound very effeminate. Now, I know Nietzsche wasn’t the most manly of men, plus he had his health issues, but how Garcia read him was a distraction for me… and pretty much a sleep sedative.
Come to find out, Garcia might have been on the mark with his Nietzsche voice acting, though, at least according to a bunch of nerds who scraped together some of Nietzsche’s DNA and put together what they say is a prediction of what he sounded like.
Not that it matters (except in keeping me awake at night), but his writing is much more masculine than his voice.
Back to C&E…
Yes, it is good, genius, in fact, as is evident by the dark circles under my eyes.
It is a superior mashup of a Dashiell Hammett hardboiled gumshoe vibe and HP Lovecraft creepy horror vibe.
It’s one of those rare audiobooks finds that I like so much I spend time listening to it during the day.
I could try to explain to you what it’s about but, I’m sleepy from… lack of sleep so, if you’re interested, forgive my laziness and just check out its book description at Amazon or other fine bookstores everywhere.