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Protecting Project Pulp No. 20: Robert Bloch

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    Main Fiction: “Fane of the Black Pharaoh” by Robert Bloch, first published in Weird Tales, December 1937.

    Narrator: Nick Camm.

    Captain Carteret bent forward and peered at the queer, metallic thing. His thin, usually pale face now glowed with unconcealed excitement. He grasped the black object with twitching fingers.

    “The Seal of Nephren-Ka!” he whispered.



    Great pulpy story with some added Cthulhu spice. Though you can see the ending coming a mile off (how else was it going to go?) the story and Nick Camm’s excellent narration make the journey a great deal of fun.



    Seriously awesome. I love the mythos, and Nyarlethotep is my favorite of the dark deities. Yeah, it was predictable, but in a way, that made it ominous; the idea that this -had- all been ordained, and that it -was- going to happen this way, no matter what.

    That being said, just listened to it again, and laughed at the fact that the protagonist pretty much even knows how it’s going to go when he first opens the door, but then gets suckered in anyway.



    I remember reading “Opener of the Way” quite a few years ago and while I enjoy Bloch’s writing, I found and continue to find that his mythos stories have a huge buildup with an almost anticlimactic finish.  This story is a fine example of that trait.

    As much as I like his later work, I think he is probably one of my least favorite of the mythos writers.

    That being said, I think you’ve uncovered a goldmine with narrator Nick Camm.  His readings have interesting subtleties that force the listener to really pay attention.  It’s like having Alan Rickman tell you a bedtime story.  I’ve just finished listening to his reading over at “Starship Sofa”, and he’s now definitely one of my favorite readers.  More, please!

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