The Colour Out of Space by H.P. Lovecraft

‘It was a monstrous constellation of unnatural light, like a gutted swarm of corpse-fed fireflies sarabands over an accursed marsh’ (epigraph)

Penguin’s Mini Modern Classics series certainly made H.P. Lovecraft accessible. I have heard of his genius in the horror genre, but haven’t come across any of his works in the local bookstores, nor didn’t know of any friends who had his short stories.  With this compilation now in my hands thanks to Penguin’s brilliant idea to come up with this collection, the three short stories featured in the book brought me the sublime creeps after reading them. It’s not something you would be comfortable reading before bedtime, I warn you.

Lovecraft’s short story ‘The Colour Out of Space,’ however common its subject, is a piece of work that stands apart the usual sci-fi, alien invasion stories. Who would have thought that writing a horror story could have such poetic charm, and yet terrify the soul? It is simply about a curious fragment, a piece of  ‘something’ from outer space that landed in the territory of Nahum Gardner in Arkham. It is an eccentric meteorite, an odd slice of matter that defies the earth’s physics and is beyond the known color spectrum of humans. The town’ s crazy old man, Ammi Pierce,  lives to tell the tale of the ‘blasted heath’ that became of the Gardner property to the unnamed researcher who serves as the narrator also of the story. There is no match for the terror that one feels in witnessing anything inhuman or otherwordly that unleashes its power to control human life. It is disturbing to feel that somewhere behind the blanket of shadows, lurks an evil with a phosphorescent glow, just preparing to strike its next prey. Pop culture trivia: Batman’s Arkham Insane Asylum was snitched from, yes, the town of Arkham in this story!

That night the Baron dreamt of a many a woe;

And all his warrior-guests, with shade and form

Of witch, and demon, and large coffin-worm,

We’re long be-nightmared. – Keats

The next story, ‘The Outsider,’ speaks of the woes of an isolated being. Forced to be a recluse, the character speaks of pain about his unknown biography, not knowing who he is. The tone of the text feels dated, expressed in an elaborate and older English language (what in the world is an ululation?) that helped establish its Gothic-ness. Eventually, the damned being discovers who he is through an accidental glimpse of the monstrosity that stared back…

The last story, named  ‘The Hound,’ is about the tale of two grave robbers suffering the consequences of their greediness. An infernal creature literally and figuratively HOUNDED them (hehe), and drove them to their grisly end.

Interesting, huh? Grab a copy now, or if you can. Fully Booked isn’t stocking up much on all 50 authors, so get it if you see it!

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

I wish Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard lived forever. They should teach Kimerald lessons on how to act subtly in romantic comedies, where constipated profiles and buckets of tears don’t exactly translate to hidden anguish and sadness.

This trivia is probably unknown to many, but this movie classic is a novella of Truman Capote published by Random House, and later on in the magazine Esquire. Hepburn became a timeless fashion icon as Holly Golightly; her black gloves, dress, wayfarers, and upswept bun is a fashion style that is imitated all throughout the ages. Her onscreen character, on the other hand, is, personally for me, not a good role model. Her frivolity and naivete as a social climber is a bit shocking, but as all lost souls try to find their grounding in life, George Peppard’s own soul-searching character, Fred/Paul, found an affinity in Holly’s. He found his backbone to make his life decisions early on, but also held on to his love for Holly, reminding her to place her stakes, to gather her guts, to accept that her so-called ‘free spirit’ is the one keeping her jaded. Henry Mancini’s ‘Moon River’ is a beautiful choice as the main soundtrack, as these ‘two drifters’ really are going to start their adventure together, along with the cute, tabby cat they squished in between them as they kissed under the rain.

I suppose this is in the list of the movies to see before you die. I think it deserves to be there for all the reasons it made its mark and influence in the movie, music, and fashion industry of today.

Harry Potter illustrated!

Funny illustrations by Lucy Knisley which summarized books 1-5!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I hope she completes the comic! Let me know if you’ve found her illustrations for The Half-Blood Prince and the Deathly Hallows!