The Night Ocean
February 14, 2023 3:16 AM - Subscribe

Marina Willett, M.D., has a problem. Her husband, Charlie, has become obsessed with H.P. Lovecraft, in particular with one episode in the legendary horror writer's life: In the summer of 1934, the "old gent" lived for two months with a gay teenage fan named Robert Barlow, at Barlow's family home in central Florida. What were the two of them up to? Were they friends--or something more? Just when Charlie thinks he's solved the puzzle, a new scandal erupts, and he disappears. The police say it's suicide. Marina is a psychiatrist, and she doesn't believe them.
posted by Literaryhero (7 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Read this after seeing La Farge's obituary thread on the blue. Somehow I had never heard of it (or La Farge) beforehand. I like the book. It reminds me of John Danielle's Devil House, but I liked this one quite a bit more.
posted by Literaryhero at 3:18 AM on February 14

Like Literaryhero, I read the novel just after hearing of Le Farge's death. It's an odd story, but arguably more fun than actually reading Lovecraft. Worth reading just for a brief scene with Ursula LeGuin in her tenth year.
posted by Agave at 9:04 AM on February 14

A friend recommended it to me the other week (again, prompted by La Farge's death). I absolutely loved it. I was very much up for the sections about Lovecraft, but then it went to so many other places. It's been a while since a novel gripped me like that.
posted by orbific at 10:26 AM on February 14

This sounds intriguing. I found La Farge's New Yorker article on Barlow, which goes into a bit of history regarding not only his connection to Lovecraft but also to William S. Burroughs. I'd gotten kind of burnt out on Lovecraft, but this might be worth a gander.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:47 AM on February 14 [2 favorites]

(low priority suggestion: tweak the tags to include the author's name and while you're at it remove the extraneous 'd' from "bookswithoutandending")
posted by Nerd of the North at 1:13 PM on February 15

low priority suggestion: tweak the tags to include the author's name and while you're at it remove the extraneous 'd' from "bookswithoutandending"

Your wish is my command! I never use tags, so I honestly don't think much about them, but I'm happy to help other people who use the site in a different way. :)
posted by Literaryhero at 7:54 PM on February 15

Incidentally this is the second post in a row where someone asked me to add the author's name as a tag. I'll (hopefully) remember to do it from the get go in the future. :)
posted by Literaryhero at 7:55 PM on February 15

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