Delve Deeper

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Trolley No. 1852 by Edward Lee, review by Steve Hergina

Trolley No. 1852 is set back in Providence, Rhode Island in 1934, as H.P. Lovecraft was writing in his prime. He is requested to write a short for an erotic pulp publication, Erotesque: Tales for the Selectively Bizarre. Enclosed is a check for 500 dollars and it includes a clause for another check, of 500, upon delivery of story. Being nearly broke at the time; he comes up with a pen name, Winfield Greene, and writes Trolley No. 1852.

In the story, he recalls the travels of Morgan Phillips, a Brown professor of mythology and ancient history, and his relocation to New York. On his trip he meets Erwin, who shows him the ropes of riding the trolley for the first time, including the harlots. What ensues would make Lovecraft roll in his grave, but it is very much like one of his own stories, just add raunchy sex. It's a very graphic depiction of sex, from the very strange beings from Lovecraft's imagination. It has a great idea behind it with possible sequels (what horror movie/book doesn't), but Lee has multiple ideas of what he has in store for the future, all of which I can't wait to read. Overall a solid book, as long as "hardcore" writing is what you're looking for, I just wish he wouldn't keep using Lovecraft in his stories.

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