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Cthulhu Fhtagn, Baby! and Other Cosmic Insolence [Paperback]

Will Ludwigsen , Matthew Warner
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

12 Jan 2006
Oscar Wilde wrote that "the real tragedies of life occur in such an inartistic manner that they hurt us by their entire lack of style." Not satisfied with that, Will Ludwigsen chooses instead to add humor and flair to the horrors that surround us. Why settle for the lesser of evils in your newspaper when you can read an entire book of stories about zombie-exploiting, plesiosaur-chopping, alien-dissecting, robotically-enhanced, lunatics instead? This premiere collection by Will Ludwigsen brings together thirteen of his best horror, mystery, and science fiction stories from magazines such as Weird Tales, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, and Cemetery Dance, plus three originals. Though the work of a single deranged author, these varied tales share a flippant disdain for common decency, courtesy, and sense. Witty and irreverent, they remind us that we have more hope than we think--if only because we have wit and irreverence.

Product details

  • Paperback: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Lethe Press; 1st U.S. Ed edition (12 Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590210522
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590210529
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 21.3 x 13.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,737,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rugose good read! 15 Jan 2008
So Will Ludwigsen is not the sort of fellow you want leading a troop of Boy Scouts. Or maybe he is, if you are a parent who is open-minded to dark urban (and suburban) fantasy. Care for a cephalopods in your milk? Apparently Will does. According to Wikipedia he has a tattoo of the Yellow Sign on his bicep and can recite the rhyming couplets from The Book of Eibon. He also cares enough to write very witty stories with a dark, fantastical edge. This is his first short story collection. I look forward to reading the next.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Eldritch exuberance 7 Mar 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I always enjoy a new take on the Cthulhu mythos, and believe me, this is as new as it gets. Not all these short stories are mythos, but all share a certain black wit, a sly and subtle enjoyment of the weirdness behind reality. Great for a quick read when you have only a few minutes to spare, and equally good for when you have an hour or two. Sharp, intelligent and disturbingly funny - definitely an author to watch out for.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Macabre, Gruesome, and Delightful! 11 Oct 2008
By Jennifer Black - Published on Amazon.com
This fantastic collections by a brilliantly twisted author is one of the best anthologies I've read. Highly recommended to any enthusiast of the macabre.

An ill-mannered bum gets a comeuppance in the face of a philosophical teenager.

And Justice for Doll
A child's playworld becomes the fertile breeding ground for a court case of her own invention.

A loch ness monster turns up on the lawn of a Scottish couple.

Speaking Mouth Dog
An allegory for modern art, "Seeing Mouth Dog" is the tale of a blind, mute, and deaf man still able to create "literature".

The Trespasser
An old-style autopsy takes a supernatural turn.

Set in what some animal activists would call the ideal future, a young girl comes to love a -- literal -- mindless hunk of meat.

Cthulhu Fhtagn, Baby!
The book's namesake is a scathing "review" of "musical" Cthulhu Fhtagn, Baby!. One of the most imaginative pieces I have ever read.

A child's dislike of milk proves to be well-founded.

Portrait of the Horror Artist as a Young Man
An "N" in art goes from worse to better.

Raw Recruits
An early attempt at spirit-channeling goes eerily wrong. This is one of my favorite stories in the volume.

Representational Sample
A collection of many strangely gathered items grows, brought together for a mysterious purpose.

A retired, drug-sniffing police dog finds a new home with two apartment-bound college students.

You're Welcome
A childhood romance ends tragically -- or does it?

Bums have a special place in the fabric of reality -- do we all?

Exit Laughing
A roadtrip through Florida takes a disastrous turn.

Grandpa, What Happens When We Die?
A final, parting poem reminds readers to live for the day.


6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't Be Fhtooled 3 Dec 2007
By David Berck - Published on Amazon.com
This is a collection of short stories by Will Ludwigsen. There aren't any consistent themes or genres represented here, as the stories touch here and there in terms of subject matter.

There are a couple of clever stories that should elicit a chuckle or even an outright laugh. However, the overall quality of the stories is a bit sketchy. The title is also very misleading, which is probably done on purpose, to market the book to fans of the Cthulhu Mythos. There are a couple of stories that can be described as macabre, but only one of those could really be described as belonging in the Lovecraftian genre.
5.0 out of 5 stars Unclassifiable and Amazing 27 Nov 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't quite know how to classify these stories, and that's a compliment. I love to read and Kindle is my crack dealer, so I have read mountains of formulaic horror, sci fi, fantasy, you name it. You can't really categorize these: they are witty but not parodies or "funny", some are dark but not necessarily horrifying, some have a twist ending but not in the M. Night Shamalyn "you can see it coming" way. These stories are genuinely original, and stick with you after reading them. "And Justice for Doll" doesn't even strike you as a horror story at first until you start thinking about it, and "Billy" raises questions about love, genetic engineering and unforeseen consequences without even seeming to. If you are looking for straight horror fiction, or a Lovecraft collection, this isn't it. If you enjoy being surprised by what you read I think you will like this.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mordant humor 6 Oct 2007
By Matthew T. Carpenter - Published on Amazon.com
Cthulhu Fhtagn, Baby and Other Cosmic Insolence by Will Ludwigsen was a diverting collection of short stories. They sort of defy categorization, being sci fi, horror and dark fantasy. I enjoyed it, but in spite of the title (cynically chosen for commercial appeal?) there is nothing specifically to interest the Lovecraftian collector except the rather lame story that gives the book its title, perhaps the worst story in the book. Even the most devout Cthulhu mythos completist can safely pass this by. Unless, of course, they are not so hidebound in their chosen genre that they can't take a walk on the wild side of Mr. Ludwigsen's imagination. The stories are characterized by enjoyable mordant humor and startling imagery, and are worth reading. I think my favorite image was dismembering the corpse of Nessie with a chainsaw.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not great. 9 April 2009
By M. Butler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was expecting a lot more from this book than the final product I got. While the stories were okay, they weren't as original as I expected. It was probably worth the money, but I wouldn't buy it again.
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