The Miskatonic Manuscript, reviews part 3


Following a slow Christmas week, when most folks presumably had other things to do, additional reviews of The Miskatonic Manuscript are starting to flow in.

Oliver Del Signore, webmaster for Oregon-based Backwoods Home magazine (though he actually lives somewhere in the frozen wastes of Massachusetts), offers his take on the latest adventure of Matthew Hunter and Chantal Stevens at .

“I’m going to give you only the barest of plot outlines,” sayeth Mr. Del Signore, “because when you read the book, as I hope you will, I want you to be as continuously surprised (and hopefully delighted) as I was. I want you to encounter ideas that might make you rethink the way we live, love, govern, and even worship in modern America. . . .

“As you can tell from the jacket, inside you’re going to encounter some strange places, some dinosaurs, and a naked woman or two, but don’t let any of that put you off the story. It’s not just science fiction and not especially racy. It is well-written, engaging, and each time you think you know where it’s going, it surprises you.

“The tale begins with Windsor Annesley, leader of the Church of Cthulhu, on trial. He and his church use mind-enhancing plants and chemicals as sacraments, sacraments those in power misclassify as narcotics as part of their War on Drugs. But unlike most accused ‘drug dealers’ facing the modern equivalent of a ‘hanging judge,’ Windsor doesn’t seem particularly worried. On the contrary, he’s downright defiant as he makes his final statement before sentencing. . . .

“As with the characters in The Testament of James, those you will meet in The Miskatonic Manuscript are well-drawn. Many are folks you’d love to have as friends. . . . When you’ve finished the book, you’ll . . . have experienced an imagination that takes you on a trip you might well wish you could take for yourself. . . .”

Thanks, Oliver!

‘I was put off by much of this . . .’

Of course, not everyone is going to enjoy Vin’s work. On his RAW Illumination site -– — Tom Jackson, Illuminatus fan and a member of the Libertarian Futurist Society, acknowledges “There’s plenty of action in the book, including sequences in which Stevens gets to blast away with her firearms at dinosaurs and giant spiders, and a lot of heartfelt discussion about the evils of the war on the drugs. . . . Anyone interested in the war on drugs and in psychedelic drugs will likely find the book interesting. The book moves along at a good clip.”

Beyond that, though, Mr. Jackson finds little to like in all this “gun toting.”

“There’s quite a bit of violence in which the pro-drug forces murder authorities involved in the war on drugs. I was put off by much of this, and also thought the writing could have been better,” Mr. Jackson opines. “The quality of the prose is not the best part of the book.”

As ever, feedback and discussion from all perspectives is welcome; readers are invited to post comments or questions below.

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