I've traveled the world exploring its dark recesses; treading those trails lost to the eyes of man, crawling the caverns of the earth and clambering over stones worn smooth by time so deep they've forgotten human touch, and sifted the sands of the most remote deserts uncovering secrets in temples that were old when the bones of this world were formed. Spending countless hours pouring over ancient and molding hidden manuscripts. Hefting tomes of forgotten knowledge written by unknowable hands somewhere out there in the depths of time.
My wanderings have exacted a heavy toll. The physical damage is obvious. What is not obvious, what remains hidden is the indelible mark left on the mind. Knowledge of those Elder and Outer Gods, the Old Ones and the Deep... the knowledge and their touch. Dark whispers run circles threatening to collapse my psyche, robbing me of sleep and at times my very sanity.
So, I read Necronomicon. I was going to rave about H. P. Lovecraft's masterful work on this book. I was going to go on about how he was able to break with the style he is so known for and write a book from the perspective and in the voice of a fictional character... and how convincing it was. I was going to mention how cool it was to read about these evil things and this lore that was based on ancient Sumerian rather than the Latin influence we've all seen so often. I was going to say these things, until I got to the research phase of this blog post. You see, before I write a "What We're Reading" post I do a little research about the book I'm writing up. Usually it's just a quick web search to make sure I have publication dates correct or to double check a creator's name. But this time, this time I fell down a little bit of a rabbit hole and discovered the truth of Necronomicon. Necronomicon by H. P. Lovecraft is a lie! The book simply doesn't exist. Lovecraft never wrote a book called Necronomicon. He only mentioned it in some of his stories as a book that existed within the lore that he had built. Several others came along after the fact to actually write the book. When I learned these facts I felt betrayed, disbelieving my own eyes. Sure enough, after inspecting my copy, I saw the truth. This book was penned by an author going only by the name Simon.
My experience with Necronomicon wasn't all bad. It was really interesting to read about this ancient evil that is based in Sumerian rather than the all to familiar Christian/Latin motif. The opening and closing of the book, "The Testimony of the Mad Arab" and "The Testimony of the Mad Arab, the Second Part" paint an amazing picture and tell an awesome story of Abdul Alhazred's experience with the lost tome Necronomicon. Where the book is bad is between those two sections. Most of the words between the the covers are unreadable gibberish. The nonsense does add to the ambiance of the story being told, but it doesn't add anything to the story itself. There is an exception to all of that middle of the book gobbledygook. The section entitled "The Magan Text" is a poetic telling of horrific battle waged, God against God, somewhere before the memory of man.
All in all Necronomicon is a mostly entertaining read. For anyone thinking of picking this one up: stop thinking about, go ahead and get it... but... only read the first and last sections and the Magan Text. Skip the unpronounceable strings of consonants that make up the rest of the book.