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on 30 July 2005
On first reading of this book it was hard not to get very excited. Wow, i thought, a big fat book full of journalism and reportings from H. P. Lovecraft, the Master of Horror Literature. But when i read it i must say i got a bit disappointed. I found out that amateur jornalism did not have much to do with professional journalism, it was rather a breeding ground for amateur poets and would-be authors. To get response on their works in a pre-internet world they formed societies and printed journals often exclusively filled with works by the printer himself. Lovecraft joined the main association United Amateur Press Association (UAPA) and quickly got around to some key posts in that organization. This book therefore, is mainly filled with essays concerning the organization itself, reviews of other journals, discussions of the past and future of the organization etc. Its a bit like reading the collected writings of your local amateur flowerbinding association or some such club, EXCEPT, and of course this is very relevant, this is H. P. Lovecraft, and it is, for me at least, always interesting to read about that great author, and this book clearly shows, as S.T. Joshi explains, the profound effect the Amateur Journalist movement had on him and his writing. In short without the UAPA, none of Lovecrafts later stories would have existed. Thats my main reason for the 4 star rating.
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