Friday, January 10, 2020

Book Review | A Lush and Seething Hell by John Hornor Jacobs

A Lush and Seething Hell combines two tales of cosmic horror by John Hornor Jacobs.

A Lush and Seething Hell by John Hornor Jacobs

The award-winning and critically-acclaimed master of horror returns with a pair of chilling tales—both never-before-published in print—that examine the violence and depravity of the human condition.

Bringing together his acclaimed novella The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky and an all-new short novel My Heart Struck Sorrow, John Hornor Jacobs turns his fertile imagination to the evil that breeds within the human soul.

A brilliant mix of the psychological and supernatural, blending the acute insight of Roberto Bolaño and the eerie imagination of H. P. Lovecraft, The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky examines life in a South American dictatorship. Centered on the journal of a poet-in-exile and his failed attempts at translating a maddening text, it is told by a young woman trying to come to grips with a country that nearly devoured itself.

In My Heart Struck Sorrow, a librarian discovers a recording from the Deep South—which may be the musical stylings of the Devil himself.

Breathtaking and haunting, A Lush and Seething Hell is a terrifying and exhilarating journey into the darkness, an odyssey into the deepest reaches of ourselves that compels us to confront secrets best left hidden.

I just love John Hornor Jacobs' cosmic horror. The two novellas in A Lush and Seething Hell are set in the same world as Southern Gods {my review}, and I really can't get enough of it. You definitely don't need to read Southern Gods before reading A Lush and Seething Hell, but I do recommend you read Southern Gods at some point just because I loved it so.

I read the two novellas in A Lush and Seething Hell separately (a month apart), and even though I really enjoyed The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky, I think I missed something. I was probably my own worst enemy with all of my preconceived Lovecraftian notions and expectations. I want to read this one again.

The second novella - My Heart Struck Sorrow - was my favorite of the two stories. Not only was I in Jacobs' world of cosmic horror, but it turned out to be music horror which is something I always love. My Heart Struck Sorrow was dark and unsettling, and I love when reading a book becomes an experience. I will probably want to reread this novella, too, just because I liked it so much.


*according to the book description, My Heart Struck Sorrow is actually a short novel and not a novella.


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  1. I gave up on the first story, it was just moving too slow. But I'd love to go back and read the 2nd one, since you loved it so much😁


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