Thursday, June 18, 2009

Book Review: Cthulhu Unbound edited by Thomas Brannan and John Sunseri

Cthulhu Unbound is an anthology from Permuted Press where the Lovecraftian mythos really let’s its hair down and goes a little wild. The authors have transposed some of Lovecraft’s most famous monsters into all kinds of different stories with delightful result!

The book’s description sums it up perfectly:

Imagine being free.

Free from everything that defines you, that makes you easily recognizable as who you are.

Welcome to a place where bleak noir cityscapes share a Technicolor sky with combat fighters, where you can find gunslingers from the Old West and a lost chapter from a literary classic, all with something in common: Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos.

This is a place where the Crawling Chaos has to solve his own murder and the Old Ones come up against the Gods of Las Vegas, a place where the new player in London’s underground isn’t human and masked heroes go toe-to-tentacle with eldritch horrors.

This is a Mythos collection unlike any other. This is Lovecraft in many colors, many guises.

This is Cthulhu – Unbound!

I really enjoyed this colorful, unique anthology and didn’t find one bad story between its pages! All fourteen stories are superb, and range from comedic to quirky to shocking to frightening! Permuted Press and editors Thomas Brannan and John Sunseri have put together a wonderfully imaginative anthology that truly shows the versatility of the authors as well as the Cthulhu mythos itself.

My favorite stories include the Wild West-inspired Hellstone and Brimfire by Doug Goodman, a “lost” chapter of Moby Dick called The Covenant by Kim Paffenroth, superhero story In Our Darkest Hour by Steven Graham, Bubba Cthulhu’s Last Stand by Lisa L. Hilton that features a redneck Cthulhu family and the Hunter S. Thompson-inspired The Shadow Over Vegas by John Claude Smith. The remainder of the stories are equally entertaining, so much so that I find it hardpressed to not list them all as my favorites!

Page after page I was amazed by the many different guises the Cthulhu mythos took! I never knew which eldritch monster I would encounter from story to story or what quirky characters I would meet. No matter if you are a hardcore Lovecraft fan or just a casual one, Cthulhu Unbound will no doubt entertain you! It has so much spunk and bite and is such an ambitious anthology that you won’t be able to escape its tentacled grasp!

Available from Amazon!

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