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Strange Eons Hardcover – Jun 1979

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Pastiche of the best kind 3 May 2009
By M. W. Perry - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Strange Eons is Robert Bloch's homage to his old mentor and correspondent, H.P. Lovecraft. Taking names and incidents mentioned in Lovecraft's tales, Bloch (best known for the novel Psycho) weaves a story surrounding three individuals who run afoul of the otherworldly monsters of the so-called Cthulhu Mythos. (In brief, the Cthulhu Mythos is the name given to a fragmentary mythology as reflected in most of Lovecraft's fiction; he posits an array of godlike beings so horrible and alien to human conception that running into one is likely, even if one is lucky enough to survive the encounter, to drive a person insane. Cthulhu, a giant being with the head of an octopus, is the most well-known of these creatures.)

The title is taken from a famous Lovecraftian couplet: "That is not dead which can eternal lie/ and with strange eons, even death may die." The story begins when Albert Keith, an eccentric art collector, purchases the literally ghoulish painting described in Lovecraft's story, "Pickman's Model." From that point, he (and others) begin to deduce that Lovecraft's stories were not fiction, but thinly-disguised prophecies and warnings to the human race. As they investigate, the novel gives us a kind of Cliffs Notes overview of Lovecraft's major themes.

Bloch's novel is fast-paced, which is unusual for this kind of supernatural fiction. Typically, atmosphere and evocative description dominate, neither of which necessarily lend themselves to quick reading. This marks the book's biggest departure from Lovecraft's style and tone, but what he loses in 'period authenticity', Bloch makes up for in plot twists, with each new revelation uncovering another Lovecraftian icon--the Shining Trapezohedron, or the people from Innsmouth. Added to that is Bloch's gift for naturalistic dialogue (a gift Lovecraft himself lacked) and characterization.

The biggest problem with the novel is deciding who its audience is. Die-hard Lovecraft fans might not like the direction Bloch took with some characters (such as a hip, jive-talking preacher--the book was written in the '70s, after all), nor would most of them need to have the background explained to them. Those unfamiliar with Lovecraft might wonder why so much of the book is devoted to someone else's writings. Nonetheless, the solidity of the plot and the fast pace of the storytelling are worthwhile in their own right.

If you're a fan of Lovecraft and don't mind the radical departure in tone, or are a fan of supernatural investigation in general, Strange Eons is a great short read and a tribute to the man who gave Bloch so much inspiration in his early days.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
An addition to the Mythos.......... 7 Aug. 2006
By Senlac_Hill - Published on
Format: Hardcover
If you do not understand the title of this review, you'll most likely get lost from the start reading this novel.

Strange Eons is an attempt to seek "closure" to H.P Lovecrafts outstanding cycle of stories "The Cthulu Mythos". While being an excellent addition to the many many stories written on and/or about the mythos, in Strange Eons, the style of Robert Bloch (an outstanding writer of horror and the macabre) just doesn't seem to carry the superlative finesse that H.P. Lovecraft himself posessed completely. If you are, in fact a lover of Howard Phillips writings, by all means grab this one !!! If not, I highly recommend them to those that truly enjoy this genre.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
For Lovecraft Fans Only 14 Mar. 2000
By Matt C. Stedman - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I couldn't resist the opportunity to be the first to review a book, albiet an obscure one. Everyone knows of Psycho from the superb Hitchcock film, but few know that it was originally a book, and even fewer know that the author was a member of the "Lovecraft Circle." (Most of these people don't even know who H.P.Lovecraft is). Here, written 20 years after Robert Bloch's phenomenal hit Psycho is Strage Eons, the ultimate homage to the works of Howard Phillip Lovecraft! And here over 20 years after this book was written is the first commentary on it for! First of all, only fans of Lovecraft's works will really understand this book. Throughout the book are parallels to Lovecraft's original stories and even though these parallels are explained to the main characters who, like most of the public, are unfamiliar with Lovecraft's writings only a reader of Lovecraft will find the fun in them. This story, I think, is really meant to be more for fun than for genuinely disturbing the reader, which Lovecraft's writing tried and succeeded at. Bloch's writing style can't touch Lovecraft's and his characters are flat and dimensionless but overall its a fun read and I recommend it to fans of The Great Old One. Its a little unfortunate that the genius behind Psycho couldn't make a great book to pay homage to the Master, but its still worth a look.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
"...even death may die." 3 Aug. 2010
By William Timothy Lukeman - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As any fan knows, there's no shortage of Lovecraftian material these days. If anything, there's far too much of it, with an inevitable dilution of quality. It's sad, then, that this wonderful homage & tribute to Lovecraft by one of his acolytes is out of print.

Robert Bloch is a well-known name in both horror & film circles -- "Psycho," anyone? But he began as a fan & literary friend of HP Lovecraft, to the extent that they both featured (and killed off) versions of each other in a brief series of Mythos stories. And decades after Lovecraft's death, Bloch wrote this fine novel, which works as both a Mythos story brought into the 1970s, when it was written, and as a memorial for his mentor & friend.

Quite simply, in a series of linked novellas, various people discover that Lovecraft wasn't writing fiction -- he was writing fact. Secondary characters are killed off in gruesome ways, duplicating the deaths in Lovecraft's stories, right down to the italicized taglines. There's a touch of fond parody here, and one can easily imagine Bloch's smile in writing those passages, no doubt thinking how Lovecraft himself would have been pleased by them.

But there are chills & shocks in plenty here, too! All of Lovecraft's work warns about the return of the Old Ones & their renewed domination of humanity. Bloch follows that warning to its logical, terrifying end, with quite a few twists along the way. Well-written, fast-paced, appropriately frightening -- Bloch does a fine job that entertains the reader & honors his friend. For all Mythos fans, highly recommended!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
My first Lovecraftian Exposure 4 Feb. 2011
By Neil J. Katz - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Remember reading this some 20 years ago - it was my first exposure to the world of H.P. Lovecraft. And a great one it was too. Works for a novice to introduce the reader to the world of Lovecraft, or for a fan of the mythos.

Highly recommended - only wish it would be issued in a Kindle format.
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