Southern Gods is the kind of book that swims through your brain at night – after you’ve put it down and resolved to go to sleep.
Many will say noir crime with Lovecraftian overtones. Many will be right, in a way, yet overly conservative in their description.
Southern Gods is a fascinating journey through the deep south in the early years after World War II. Following the investigation of a less than reputable private detective, the reader is lured into a world that is almost trapped in time.
Fans of True Detective, which is everyone whose seen the show, will be left wondering if Jacobs isn’t in fact a time traveler playing a stories that predate the show. The common element being The King in Yellow.
In the original stories by Chambers The King in Yellow is a stage play that corrupts the mind and drives people insane before they reach the second act. Usually this occurs when they read the play, let alone act it out on stage.
In Southern Gods, the man of mystery, Ramblin’ John Hastur, moves about the state seeking out small single operator radio stations to play his signature southern blues music. As the song goes out on the airwaves, the fun begins.
Q: Hastur? That’s Lovecraft right?
A: Yes, although Robert Chambers wrote the original King in Yellow collection just prior to 1900. Lovecraft co-opted some of his concepts, it wasn’t until August Derleth was bequeathed control over Lovecraft’s legacy that Hastur became properly associated with it all.
Q: What if I’m not a fan of noir crime, or blues music?
A: Jacobs is a formidable writer and this novel is a great read. If you enjoy intelligent supernatural horror you will enjoy this book.
Q: Has Jacobs written anything else of note?
A: Yes, yes, and yes. I plan on writing reviews of his other works, so read Southern Gods and by the time you’re done my next reviews of: