Lovecraft Country

Matt Ruff

2017 Nominee

World Fantasy Awards Best Novel

07 February 2019
736 pages


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.

An imaginative blend of magic, power, hope, and freedom that stretches across time, touching diverse members of two black families, Matt Ruff's Lovecraft Country is a devastating kaleidoscopic portrait of racism – the terrifying specter that continues to haunt us today.

Great fun. You can see why Lovecraft Country has been optioned by HBO for a TV series, and the book’s broader political point, that even ostensible liberals like Caleb Braithwaite exploit the labour of African Americans, as their ancestors did during the slave-owning era, is well made . . . None of the book’s other-worldly encounters feel as dangerous as those moments when a black character runs afoul of a tired police officer or vicious sheriff.
Smartly subversive pulp horror . . . The book is beautifully structured . . . This must be one of the kindest works in the horror genre I have read. Although the stories have genuine moments of horripilation, what shines through is solidarity, conscience and not backing down in the face of wickedness.
Another "only Matt Ruff could do it" production. Lovecraft Country takes the unlikeliest of premises and spins it into a funny, fast, exciting, and affecting read