Lovecraft Country|Matt Ruff
Lovecraft Country
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Soon to be a New HBO(R) Series from J.J. Abrams (Executive Producer of Westworld), Misha Green (Creator of Underground) and Jordan Peele (Director of Get Out)

The critically acclaimed cult novelist makes visceral the terrors of life in Jim Crow America and its lingering effects in this brilliant and wondrous work of the imagination that melds historical fiction, pulp noir, and Lovecraftian horror and fantasy.

Chicago, 1954. When his father Montrose goes missing, 22-year-old Army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his Uncle George--publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide--and his childhood friend Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite--heir to the estate that owned one of Atticus's ancestors--they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours.

At the manor, Atticus discovers his father in chains, held prisoner by a secret cabal named the Order of the Ancient Dawn--led by Samuel Braithwhite and his son Caleb--which has gathered to orchestrate a ritual that shockingly centers on Atticus. And his one hope of salvation may be the seed of his--and the whole Turner clan's--destruction.

A chimerical blend of magic, power, hope, and freedom that stretches across time, touching diverse members of two black families, Lovecraft Country is a devastating kaleidoscopic portrait of racism--the terrifying specter that continues to haunt us today.


  • ISBN-13: 9780062292063
  • ISBN-10: 0062292064
  • Publisher: Harper
  • Publish Date: February 2016
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Page Count: 384

Supernatural thrills amplify a thoughtful narrative on prejudice

Atticus Turner, a young Army veteran from Chicago, is on a search for his father. He enlists his uncle George—the publisher of a book called, not metaphorically in 1954, The Safe Negro Travel Guide—to help find him. Along the way, the two black men encounter the powerful effects of racism in the mid-20th century, but they also meet so much more. It’s hard to say any more than that, because Lovecraft Country is a book that’s best experienced as it’s unfolding.

Matt Ruff, a James Tiptree Jr. Award winner who has written cult classics like Bad Monkeys, brilliantly interweaves the racial tensions of the time with the supernatural, creating a world in which his characters must often literally grapple with their own second-class status. The juxtaposition is potent. Ruff’s steady, self-assured pacing and voice make this all very matter-of-fact, giving more supernatural moments a tactile quality. As with so many great genre novels, Lovecraft Country provides a sense of familiarity that makes the unbelievable believable. 

Fans of dense supernatural fiction will get happily lost in Lovecraft Country, as will anyone who wants a vastly entertaining novel that’s also an exploration of the nature of human prejudice.


This article was originally published in the March 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.