Rediscovered: Lovecraft and Race

Race Williams, that is.

Terry Zobeck just updated me on his Pilgrim’s Progress through the Lovecraft reading list I gave him, and it turns out that my blurb for Them That Lives By Their Guns by Carroll John Daly sold him on the first omnibus of Race Williams detective stories.

So, here’s what Terry has been doing:

“I am alternating reading Daly and Lovecraft stories. Last night I finished Daly’s ‘The Man Behind the Mask’ and a few nights before ripped through three HPL stories: ‘The Outsider,’ ‘Music of Erich Zann,’ and ‘The Festival’ all of which were superb.

“I think I liked Erich Zann best of all. Coincidentally, the next day I came across the fact that it is the HPL story chosen by Hammett for Creeps by Night — how’s that for making a Mean Streets connection?

“I’m really beginning to enjoy the Race Williams stories. I’m not quite sure whether the writing is improving (I suspect not) or I’m just getting into his rhythm (more likely).

“Just a little bit ago I was reading ‘Devil Cat.’ I nearly laughed out loud at: ‘That girl moved across the floor as silently and gracefully as a young — whatever it is that moves that way.’ I’m chuckling again as I quote that sentence.”

Yep, if you get into the roll of the Race yarns, they rip along, with lots of funny moments. And of course I stand solid behind that Lovecraft reading list. The thrill level for Terry is about to jump wayyyyy up in the next round of tales.

And on the side Terry knocked out a second review for the Washington Independent Review of Books, on Minette Walters’ The Cellar. If he keeps at it, he could build up a body of work, though it will take him awhile to catch up with me — and even I could never catch up with some mystery reviewer like, oh, Anthony Boucher, who did weekly reviews for several newspapers for years.

It’s all relative. Keep plugging, Terry.

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