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Originally published in the November 1931 issue of Weird Tales pulp magazine, this is the story that gave birth to the Cthulhu mythos deity Tsathoggua. But its not the story that introduced Tsathoggua to the world, because while this story was written in 1929, it wasn't published for a couple years, and in the meantime Clark Ashton Smith showed the manuscript to his friend H.P. Lovecraft, who then invoked Tsathoggua in his own story "The Whisperer in Darkness" which was published in the August 1931 issue of Weird Tales. So, H.P.L's Tsathoggua was the first in print by three months even though it was created by Clark Ashton Smith.
While Lovecraft's Tsathoggua was first to print, he was only briefly mentioned in "The Whisperer in Darkness." In "The Tale of Satampra Zeiros" Tsathoggua is fleshed out with a wonderfully macabre and slightly humorous description: "He was very squat and pot-bellied, his head was more like that of a monstrous toad than a deity, and his whole body was covered with an imitation of short fur, giving somehow a vague suggestion of both the bat and the sloth. His sleepy lids were half-lowered over his globular eyes; and the tip of a queer tongue issued from his fat mouth. In truth, he was not a comely or personable sort of god..."
Needless to say, this story is a classic of weird fiction, and the reading by Jim Gallant is marvelous as you can tell by the sample. This is the type of audiobook that rewards full focus, and I personally enjoy visually reading stories such as this along with the narration for full immersion.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Clark Ashton Smith was a contemporary of Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft, but sadly he never quite achieved their level of fame. That said, if you love weird fiction like the Cthulhu mythos this story is well worth you’re time. Plus, the audio version by Jim Gallant is absolutely perfect. You just don’t often see performances that put this level of detail into the work. A true hidden gem on Audible. Beyond highly recommended!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful