The protagonist, Randolph Carter isn't someone the reader would care about; he's not someone I felt I was able to admire, love, or even pity, nor could I hate this character, because virtually no information was given about him and we never really see what kind of a person Carter really is. The reader is told that he likes cats and that he prefers the dreamworld to the real world (though it isn't discussed WHY he feels this way about either cats or the dreamworld), but no other information was given about Carter, thus rendering him little more than a name without a face throughout the novel. Perhaps the intent here was to make him enigmatic somehow, but that doesn't work either, because usually when a character is an enigma, the reader is interested in finding out what makes him tick, though learning about him or her may diminish the mystery and intrigue at times.Read more ›
Lovecraft is famous for his creation of the Cthulhu mythos, an alternate universe (or series of universes) populated by strange beings of infinite evil. These are the Elder Gods, beings who enjoy tormenting the human race. Time and time again, Lovecraft takes his characters into unfortunate encounters with the Elder Gods, almost always to the detriment of these hapless souls. In "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath," DelRey collects yet another batch of Lovecraft gems.
The main course of this collection is "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath," a story about Randolph Carter, a mystic who has the ability to enter a fabulous world through his dreams. Carter isn't content with merely shuffling about a dream world; he wants to track down Kadath, a fortress where the gods live and play. Carter's quest takes him through endless adventures where he faces both good and evil realms. Carter goes to the moon, talks to cats, sails on the seas, and encounters weird creatures both helpful and harmful. All of this brings him steadily closer to his goal. This story is a synthesis of many of Lovecraft's other stories, such as "The Cats of Ulthar."
"Celephais" is a short story about one of Carter's friends who became a king in the dream world.Read more ›
The other stories in the collection also take us to the dream world created by Lovecraft. "The Silver Key" and "Through the Gates of the Silver Key" (written in collaboration with E. Hoffman Price) reveal much of the history of Randolph Carter and offer glimpses of other dream quests he embarked on in life.Read more ›