by L. Sprague de Camp. Doubleday, $10.00. If only would-be members of the Cthulhu cult and thwarted students of The Forbidden Necronomicon read this biography, it will be a pity, for H. P. Lovecraft was such a caricature of traditional Yankee eccentricities that it is hard to believe he was real—he should be the invention of a disgruntled satirist in Omaha. Mr. de Camp, somewhat stunned by his own discoveries, observes that Lovecraft “spent much of his life, in effect. arguing learnedly about the anatomy of unicorns and the culture of elves.” He was a man of considerable learning, mostly self-acquired, and a good taste which had no influence whatever on his own dreadful writing. Yet in his best work (of which there is pitifully little) some voice spoke from the depths of his bizarre mind, and stood the reader’s hair on end. In telling Lovecraft’s story, Mr. de Camp has casually tossed in what amounts to a history of the whole freak-spook-fantasy school of fiction that flourished in the 1920s. Illustrations, notes, bibliography.