Move Under Ground by Nick Mamatas
|Move Under Ground is the story of Jack Kerouac and company in a Lovecraftian setting. The Beat writers have been personal favorites of mine for as long as I can recall; with Neal Cassady acting as a seminal icon of my childhood. Coupled with the Lovecraftian mythos that was instrumental in my falling in love with the genre of speculative fiction, an amalgam of the two both excited me as a prospect, and generated considerable distress that it would not be pulled off adequately.|
I need not have feared. Nick Mamatas achieves a seamless blend of the dialectic worlds, and Move Under Ground is a feat worthy of song.
Kerouac is seeking nirvana on Big Sur, but is never quite complete without his kindred Neal, and so when Cassady writes to Jack telling of strange goings on and a 'wakened sleeper,' Kerouac decides that it is time to return to the road.
Jack finds the world has become even more strange since his last fling with living, indeed eldritch horrors abound, and a non-Euclidean city has risen from the sea. Kerouac meets up with Cassady once more, and their travels take them to New York, where they face off against the Mythos, and each other.
Do you need to have read Kerouac and Cassady and Burroughs to enjoy this book? Lovecraft and Derleth? Perhaps not, but you should read those books, regardless of the answer. Mamatas speaks to us in the unquestionable voice of Jack Kerouac, and that alone deserves to be savored.
Move Under Ground deserves the classification of cult classic, both from the inmates of Arkham and the yearners of the Beat Generation.
Move Under Ground has not yet garnered the attention it deserves, and perhaps will not until Mamatas writes more novels and attains more acclaim. However, a copy of the hardcover from Night Shade Books is a worthy investment, both because it could very well become a cult classic, and because it is quite deserving of being read, and would not be amiss on any book shelf.