The Night Ocean by Paul La Farge
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review: THE NIGHT OCEAN by Paul LaFarge
A stunning and complex novel. THE NIGHT OCEAN is an extraordinary literary contribution to fiction focusing on the life of Weird Fiction icon H. P. Lovecraft. It has impacted me as powerfully as did Jacqueline Baker' s THE BROKEN HOUR, published in April 2016. Both novels vivify, but not idolize, HPL, who as an individual was troubled, often fearful, and certainly not politically correct.
THE NIGHT OCEAN, in its exploration of "truths" in Lovecraft' s life, on a deeper level explores Truth in abstract. Stories founded on hoaxes founded on lies-triggered by revenge? Jealousy? Egotism? Hatred? Love? Along the way we are treated to Pre-World War II Hungary and Canada and New York City, the rise of science fiction fandom, the early maneuvers of famous names in science fiction, the aftermath of a concentration camp, and academia in Mexico City post-World War II. We see the rampage of McCarthyism, anti-Communism, and the House Un-American Activities Committee. An intense theme throughout is reputations--how they are constructed and how they are trashed, both subtly and blatantly. Always underlying all is the 20th century's received views on homosexuality, and the costs for those for whom this is the preferred orientation.
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