Monday, September 16, 2013

Review: Shoggoth's Old Peculiar by Neil Gaiman

Shoggoth's Old PeculiarShoggoth's Old Peculiar by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a short story Audible was giving out for free to promote
  The Ocean at the End of the Lane

. It included a bonus chapter of the Ocean audiobook.

The short story is originally from "Smoke and Mirrors." It's about Benjamin Lassiter, an American from a small Texas dry town, in more senses of the word than average rainfall. He's decided to do a walking tour of the British coastline during the off season, believing a guidebook that assures him that'll work out well. He winds up in a town called Innsmouth, and hasn't read enough to know why it's a bad idea to drink the local beer.

The story is funny, but not in a laugh-out-loud way. It's slyly so, and funnier the more one knows about H.P. Lovecraft's fiction. Benjamin knows even less about that than he does about beer and its effects, and the story hinges on his being completely unaware of what he's gotten himself into.

The story was narrated by the author, who does a fine job reading his words, though his American accent could use some work. He can be forgiven for that, for his pleasant British accent that carries the narration and other characters' dialogue.

The story is no longer offered through Audible, so I feel lucky to have pounced on the offer while it was still around.

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