The Shadow out of Time by H. P. Lovecraft

I admit, I haven’t read many of Lovecraft’s works. But what I have read, I love. I have read quite a few stories from the Cthulu Mythos, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward and now this fascinating little novella about time travel and mind transference and spiritual possession and such. H. P. Lovecraft was an American authors, known for his tales of madness and gory and has influenced some of my favourite writers; not to mention, was himself influenced by some of the greatest horror/weird fiction writers. Those of you who are familiar with or like Lovecraftian horror, should definitely give this one a try.

The Shadow of out Time, published in 1936, is a combination of horror, thriller and science fiction. The story takes place (sort of) in the early 1900s, when a man named Nathaniel Wingate Peaslee happens to temporarily switch bodies with a member of the Great Race of Yith; a weird species that is able to travel through time and space. And it is Nathaniel who tell us the story!

What I like about Lovecraft, is how he dives right into the crazy, gory part of a story; without a build up or even a vague idea as to how grotesque things might become. It is shocking, but it is also fascinating. It makes me realize how unnecessary the build up is. The narrator tells us what has happened at the start, even though it would normally be the suspense in a story. And then the story of how he got there, that works as the suspense. It is terribly intriguing.

It is a short, quick-paced novella, with wonderful writing and an engaging plot; so it certainly makes a nice, quick read.  Do try it, it’s worth it. It was the perfect book for me to read as a part of the 24 Hour Readathon, at any rate!

(I found a short film version of the book on Youtube, here.)

The 24 Hour Readathon Wrap Up!

Done. Dewey’s 24 hour read-a-thon is over!! 24 hours, well spent.

Number of books completed: 4
Number of pages read: 915
Books read (in order of completion) – (Click on the name for review)

1. Turn of the Screw by Henry James
4. Snuff: A Novel of Discworld by Terry Pratchett
I thoroughly enjoyed this readathon. I met some great new and old bloggers, managed to check four books off my TBR list in just one day. I would love to take part in the next 24 hour read-a-thon, only this time, more prepared and knowing what to expect.
Right now, I am too tired to post anything else; but I will post the reviews of these books along with a little something about my first 24 hour readathon experience in a short while (as soon as I stop looking like a zombie.)
Good-(whatever time of day it is where you are)!

The 24 Hour Readathon Update # 3

This will be my last update.

Currently Reading: Snuff: A Novel of Discworld by Terry Pratchett

Last book read: The Little Drummer Girl by John le Carre
Next up to-be-read: None. Just started reading Snuff, and it will last a while!

Reading stats –
Total Number of pages read: 715
Total Number of books completed: 3

I had planned to read the second book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series at the end, so that I could enjoy myself and it would be a light, entertaining read. Still, when I finally got to that moment when I was tired and ready to read what would be my last book of the readathon, I was quite in a mood for some Discworld magic. I can read a Discworld book even in my sleep and I managed to get my hands on this one. Well, wish me happy reading. Hope you had a lot of fun!

(The next time I do this, I’ll try to be more prepared with what to read, and plan my updates better!)

The 24 Hour Readathon Update # 2

Currently Reading: The Little Drummer Girl by John le Carre (496 pages)

Last book read: The Shadow Out of Time by H. P. Lovecraft (70 pages)
Next up to-be-read: I’m not quite sure, anymore!

Reading stats –
Total Number of pages read: 472
Total Number of books completed: 2

The thing is, The Little Drummer Girl by John le Carre, though very interesting and action-packed, is much longer than I figured it would be. The print is very small and the pages are kind of large, so I am flitting between this awesome spy novel that I’ve been reading for hours now and shorter reads.
I read and liked Turn of the Screw by Henry James; it reminded me vaguely of a movie I had once seen, and I realized after a quick Google search that it was actually the book that inspired the movie The Others. It’s slightly dramatic and overdone and really more of a psychological horror story than the ghost story that the blurb on the back says it is. Still, a quick, good read!
And then, I just finished reading The Shadow Out of Time by H. P. Lovecraft. Ah, Lovecraft. It’s a great story. I love how Lovecraft never bothers with a good introduction or slowly inching his way into the messy, weird stuff; instead he just dives right in, and pretty much shocks you to the core of your being. Amazing book; reminded me why I loved The Case of Charles Dexter Ward so much.
Now I am signing off, till the end of the readathon, to… you know, just relax, cuddle up in bed and read. I will post a sort of master update at the end of the readathon, with all my reading stats and books I read, along with, (assuming I manage to stay awake that long) mini-reviews of all the books I manage to read in the remaining time. Happy Reading!!

The 24 Hour Readathon Update # 1

Currently Reading: The Little Drummer Girl by John le Carre (496 pages)

Last book read: Turn of the Screw by Henry James (149 pages)
Next up to-be-read: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams (…maybe.)

Reading stats –
Total Number of pages read: 322
Total Number of books completed: 1
I think I started reading a bit too early (the whole GMT, IST thing is very confusing.) But does it really matter if I accidentally read for a couple of extra hours? I honestly can’t recall the last time I felt so incredibly comfortable and involved in a book. Maybe when I read the entire Chrestomanci series (Diana Wynne Jones) in a single day. Or when that Harry Potter book, that I had been desperately waiting for for almost a year, finally came out. It wasn’t more than a couple of times. I guess you’re not always able to just drop everything else from your mind, avoid all possible distractions and throw yourself into a book. This read-a-thon is helping me realize how much I love reading and how little enjoyment I usually take out of this. The fact that this seems like the best book I have ever read (which it probably isn’t) proves that I am loving every second of this. Really.

I am making notes on little scraps of paper while I am reading the book, so that I can write instant reviews, something I’m not really used to. This is a library book, so writing notes in the margins is out of question… and I haven’t exactly tried doing that ever. So I want to ask you, are you okay with actually writing inside books, in the margins or on that blank page at the end? Or do you just wait till the entire read-a-thon is over to write your views on the books that you read? If you’re participating in this read-a-thon, I look forward to reading your updates as well.

Happy Reading!