Southern Gods

Southern Gods

3.7 (1,716 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel
Recent World War II veteran Bull Ingram is working as muscle when a Memphis DJ hires him to find Ramblin' John Hastur. The mysterious blues man's dark, driving music - broadcast at ever-shifting frequencies by a phantom radio station - is said to make living men insane and dead men rise. Disturbed and enraged by the bootleg recording the DJ plays for him, Ingram follows Hastur's trail into the strange, uncivilized backwoods of Arkansas, where he hears rumors the musician has sold his soul to the Devil. But as Ingram closes in on Hastur and those who have crossed his path, he'll learn there are forces much more malevolent than the Devil and reckonings more painful than Hell... In a masterful debut of Lovecraftian horror and Southern gothic menace, John Hornor Jacobs reveals the fragility of free will, the dangerous power of sacrifice, and the insidious strength of blood.

Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction (space opera, time travel, hard SF, alien invasion, near-future dystopia), fantasy (grimdark, sword and sorcery, contemporary urban fantasy, steampunk, alternative history), and horror (zombies, vampires, and the occult and supernatural), and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller, a national bestseller, or a Hugo or Nebula award-winner, we are committed to publishing quality books from a diverse group of authors.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 300 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 20mm | 313g
  • Newberg, United States
  • English
  • 1597802859
  • 9781597802857
  • 398,395

Rating details

1,716 ratings
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 21% (357)
4 41% (708)
3 28% (477)
2 7% (128)
1 3% (46)

Our customer reviews

"I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees." Robert Johnson sang these words in the opening line to his classic blues song, Crossroad. Johnson is famous as being pretty much the archetype for the legend of the blues man who sold his sole to the devil at a crossroad. Crossroads being in-between places of great power in many magical traditions, and notably in the Southern States of the US in the practices of Hoodoo and American Conjure. Practices derived in-part from earlier West African folk traditions brought to the US by slaves. In Southern Gods the legend of the devilish blues man has the the name of ramblin' John Hastur, and the devil isn't of a Christian kind but of the Lovecraftian variety. I don't read much Cthulhu Mythos stuff outside of Lovecraft's own work. I do like H.P. Lovecraft, but I'm not crazy for the whole genre of Lovecraft inspired Cthulhu fiction that has arisen, like the tentacled one himself, in more recent times. In fact despite being full of Lovecraftian references, it wasn't this aspect of Southern Gods that appealed to me the most. No, it was definitely the whole Southern Gothic and Delta Blues vibe that really lifted this novel above the average Cthulhu Mythos inspired tale for me. Southern Gods takes many of the classic elements of Southern Gothic and American Noir and mixes them with Lovecraftian Horror and the kind of blues legend mentioned above, to great effect. I love all these things as separate ingredients, so it was a sure bet I would like the combination of them in this story, and I did - yes indeedy! John Hornor Jacobs has cooked-up some mighty fine literary gumbo in Southern Gods. The writing here is uncomplicated, and the plot is also relatively straight-forward. This is not a book that is trying in any way to be clever. It also features characters and a setting that could be perceived as a little clich�©d. For example, a lot of the action takes place at a big plantation house where the white landowner is fussed over by her stoic and resourceful black best friend, who is also her twisted mother's housekeeper. The hero, Ingram, is a solid but occasionally thugish ex-soldier, who ultimately has a good heart. You've seen all these characters before to an extent, but truthfully, none of this matters because it's such an enjoyable read. I thought Southern Gods was thoroughly entertaining. It has a classic pulp fiction vibe about it and it would make a fantastic setting for an ongoing series of some kind, especially a comic book. John Hornor Jacobs has crafted a first novel that feels like it should have been done ages ago. It reads like the kind of story you could easily imagine appearing serialised or in short form in the original Weird Tales. What could be more fitting for a tale of Lovecraft inspired horror? I thought Southern Gods was thoroughly entertaining. It has a classic pulp fiction vibe about it and it would make a fantastic setting for an ongoing series of some kind, especially a comic book. John Hornor Jacobs has crafted a first novel that feels like it should have been done ages ago. It reads like the kind of story you could easily imagine appearing serialised or in short form in the original Weird Tales. What could be more fitting for a tale of Lovecraft inspired horror? Filled with twisted family secrets, musty old tomes of arcane power, crazy preachers who know the truth of cosmic horror and shadowy men singin' the blues, Southern Gods is a treat. If you're a fan of Lovecraftian Fiction or like me you have a soft spot for the blues, then you really ought to read Southern Gods. "I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees..."show more
by Jason Baki
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