Review: ‘I Am Providence’ by Nick Mamatas

ProvidenceI Am Providence by Nick Mamatas
Night Shade Books (August 2016)
256 pages; $10.66 paperback; $15.99 e-book
Reviewed by Frank Michaels Errington

I can’t say I read a lot of Nick Mamatas, but what I have read, I’ve certainly enjoyed.  

Nick’s most recent work is dissimilar from anything I’ve read before. Set at the fictional, annual Summer Tentacular—“Providence’s premiere literary conference about pulp-writer, racist, and weirdo Howard Philips Lovecraft”—the book is an inside look at the craziness such an event would give rise to.

The attendees at said conference seem to be based on a combination of real writers and an amalgamation of the writers and fans who frequent such a happening.

The story is told from two separate points of view: that of first-time attendee and recently published Lovecraftian writer, Colleen Danzig; and the other, her roommate, a writer know as Panossian who spends most of the book in the morgue, lying on a slab.

The goings on in I Am Providence  may seem strange to the average reader, unless you’ve ever been to a social occasion like this—then it reads more like a documentary.

Overall, I enjoyed this tome from Mamatas, and the scene where several of the characters are digging in the woods in hopes of finding the remains of Lovecraft’s cat was hysterical.

There were some great lines, too; one of my favorites: “Like Richard Matheson told me, ‘Nobody likes a name dropper.'”

Ultimately, however, I Am Providence is little more than a murder mystery and I found myself wanting something more.

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