Shakespeare V. Lovecraft and really nobody wins…

14040892Shakespeare v Lovecraft
D.R. O’Brien
Publisher: Obsidian
125 pages

Although it pains me greatly to give only 1-star, I feel that the author had such greatness in his hands that he just blew it all! I mean you think Shakespeare and Lovecraft and you are like: oh yeah, baby! And then both worlds collide and merge into something completely weird and off. The prose does not match and I feel guilty, how could I not see that? It’s like mixing Stephen King with E. L. James, it does not match. Somewhere there is a big black hole being created due to this and I honestly hope that nobody will ever write a crossover between Salem’s Lot and 50 shades of Grey! I am not page 12 and I think “I can’t do this”. The purple prose is a style of writing, I understand but I cannot read it, yes it is something personal, but it was something that did affect the process.

The wind wept with the fury of a thousand bereft mothers but was met with only the dispassionate gaze of the ageing magician as he clung tightly to his gnarled staff high upon the island’s loftiest peak. Clad in a skull-cap and billowing tunic of dark colour, his long hair and flowing beard were of a terrible and intense black hue.

Terrible and intense black hue? It is like the author is trying really hard to choose words from Thesaurus. What happened to black hair? Why terrible? Was the hair greasy?

As Miranda leaned in closer out of concern Prospero burst into mocking laughter and rounded on his daughter, beating her back with the ancient text:

“Mad?!? No, I am not mad!! I wish to heaven that I were so!!! For then ‘tis like I should forget myself!!! Come now – do not wait until later; it is better to repent and be forgiven than to defy and be condemned. If I am mad, it is mercy! May the gods pity the man who in his callousness can remain sane to the hideous end! Come and be mad whilst It still calls with mercy! ”

Why so many exclamation marks? If I recall, Shakespeare used only one exclamation mark and that is really quite enough. And then the clash between two worlds happen again:

Prospero howled his approval:
“Ho! A dish fit for the Gods art thou now, Antonio!”
Miranda, sobbing, grabbed weakly at her father’s arm:
“Thou tread the path that thou shalt ne’er return!”

And then I realized what was wrong! When you read Shakespeare, you read 100 pages of the same type of dialogue and at first you may be a little apprehensive, but soon you are emerged in those words, however here, you have two versions, sometimes three styles of writing and it is a mess. It is confusing, it demands too much from the reader who is really just trying to still understand what is going wrong. I studied Shakespeare, I read Lovecraft: I enjoyed both, yeah sure I prefer Poe to Lovecraft, but that does not mean I do not enjoy him.
However, this mixture is odd, some sentences have too much purple prose and in the end, the reader ends ups yawning instead of laughing. It fails to achieve Shakespeare’s greatness and Lovecraft’s horror. This book shows that you must think twice before getting your hands on Shakespeare’s work and do something with it. The way the paragraphs are structured influences the flow, some paragraphs should be merged.
In the end, the author could have it all, but honestly I don’t believe he succeeded.

In the same putrid vein as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Shakespeare v. Lovecraft slithers hideously onto the literary mash-up scene, whispering of cosmic horrors and eldritch tales whilst espousing sweet soliloquys and profoundly contemplating mankind’s place in the universe.
Prospero, driven dangerously insane by prolonged exposure to the dread Necronomicon, makes a terrible pact with the titanic alien beast known only as Cthulhu. Now only his enchantress daughter Miranda and a handful of history’s greatest heroes are all that stand between humanity and blasphemous eternal subjugation.
It’s a bloodbath of Shakespearean proportions as Cthulhu and his eldritch companions come at our protagonists from all manner of strange geometric angles in a hideous and savage battle for supremacy.
This horror-comedy novella of 36,000 words will seize you in its clammy grip and not release you until you have gone positively mad with delight! Witness all this and more:
Histrionic Heroes vs. Tentacled Terrors!!! Endless Soliloquys vs. Unnatural Silences!!!
Romeo vs. Mi-Go!!! England’s Royal Beasts vs. A Shoggoth!!!
The Author vs. Iambic Pentameter!!!

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About Adeselna Davies

Occasionally works as an English and German teacher, also loves to read all kind of books and wish someone would pay her to read and write reviews forever. She is also a magazine designer and writes short-stories.

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