16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Necronomicon: The Wanderings of Alhazred (Paperback)
I was disappointed by this book. Two reasons. Mr Tyson penned this as the written word of Abdul Alhazred the MAD arab. Well the book doesn't read as if Alhazred was mad and had his Mind/Body torn asunder by the dreadful Gods of the nightside. It lacks this punch and left me feeling quite underwhelmed. Lovecraft on the otherhand with his brief extracts weaves a whole different image of this book and what it can do. I like that, because ones imagination picks up and everyone has a loose frame work about this book and it's contents to dream into life. Lovecrafts writing almost reads like a painting of words. He might have been seen as a hack in his lifetime but this was an arist at work who with really so little conveyed an awful lot with his broad brush strokes. Genius!! and well deserved title. After 20 years of reading Lovecraft at least once a year I'm still not tired of his work.
If you really, really want to read the Necronomicon stick to Lovecraft's stories as they are the best in feeling something that exists only in a crack between the stars. The other gripe is the cover design and the artwork inside. It's rubbish. I don't blame Tyson for that as Llewellyn give the authors no creative control over this aspect of their publications. This book was crying out for some art and layout to reflect age, magic and kick the imagination right between the eyes. Instead what little we get isn't well done and adds nothing to give the book a bite. Mr Tyson is a occultist and this Grimoire needed a lot more 'Mad' and art in it to be really effective. Recently I've noticed Tyson has moved to Starfire the puplishers of Kenneth Grants work and They really do know how to get a book out with inspiring design, layout and content. I just wish I had better things to say about this book and from reading some other works by Tyson I did expect more. I would love to see this work juiced up with some MAD and some serious kick ass art to bring the book to 5 stars I wanted to give it and not the 3 I've just given it.
This is not to say this is a bad book. It's a good book and I'm glad I bought it as it adds plently to Lovecraft's legacy but it is let down by its lack of visual imagery and a little to reasoned approach to transcribing the "Horror" that this dread book is supposed to convey. If you love Lovecraft this will add to that and as an artist I know I will find it useful to work with in creating my own ideas on the contents of the world between the spaces that should not be. On Mr Tysons part as an occultist maybe he took this too seriously to let his hair down and flake out in a rollercoaster of insaneness in the writing and I know for a fact that artwise he would not have had much choice in how the book looked as Llewellyn control that aspect of their books to keep them cheap and churned out to the masses asp.