The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath by H.P. Lovecraft


Rating: 3/5

The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath is a novella of about 40,000 words written by Lovecraft in 1927. It’s one of his later stories, and it incorporates a lot of the monsters he created in earlier works. Even though it has the usual Lovecraftian horror suspects like Nyarlathotep, the night-gaunts, and the gibbering Outer Gods, Dream-Quest is more of an adventure story than a horror story. Most of the book is Randolf Carter (the protagonist from “The Statement of Randolf Carter”) travelling across the dreamlands and talking with its various peoples and species.

It’s interesting to see how the Lovecraftian monsters go about their normal lives and see where they fit into the mythos, but this novella is almost boring enough to make you want to beat your head against the wall. There are two battles/skirmishes, and Carter gets kidnapped twice and almost dies once, but there’s not a lot of real tension because the characters aren’t fleshed out enough to get invested in. The bulk of the book is descriptions of places and races, but there’s not a whole lot going on, so it can get very boring. For someone who’s familiar with Lovecraft, though, you get a little bit of excitement from recognizing characters or creatures from other stories. Continue reading