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Book Review: The Necronomnomnom: Recipes and Rites From The Lore Of H. P. Lovecraft
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The Necronomnomnom
Recipes and Rites From The Lore Of H. P. Lovecraft
Hardcover | Kindle
Written by Mike Slater
Edited by Thomas Roache
Illustrations by Kurt Komoda
Publisher: Countryman Press | W.W. Norton
Release date: October 1, 2019

“In his house at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming… about tasty food and drinks.” Or so you would think when you read The Necronomnomnom: Recipes and Rites From The Lore Of H. P. Lovecraft. Apparently, when the Great Old One awakens, he’ll have a hankering for some Cthus-Koos, aka Tuna Couscous. Thankfully this tome contains Cthulhu’s own secret recipe, which serves four, so it should be suitable for a lovely reunion.

If tuna’s not your thing, mix up some Tsathogguambalaja (seafood jambalaya), a favorite of the Old One, Tsathoggua (another sleepy dude). Or if any shoggoths stop by, serve them the Shogghoulash (beef and tomato goulash). For the vegetarians (like me), construct the Atlach-Nachos (nachos) without the layer of meat or summon up some Mi-Go To Go portobello sandwiches. For the young ones, the Lovecraft Macaroni and Cheese is sure to hit the spot. Then finish it all up by invoking The Ring That Should Not Be (Jell-O ring) and The Cake In Yellow (angel food cake) for dessert. Whoever (or whatever) your guests are, don’t forget the libations: Gin and Miskatonic for the adults, and At The Fountains Of Madness (gummy bears frozen in cherry syrup) for the kids.

If you’re reading this thinking, “What the hell is she talking about?” then I guess you’re not familiar with H. P. Lovecraft’s chilling tales of horror, for which all of these creations were inspired. And that’s fine, because the book also contains an appendix with all the recipes in plain English. So if you’re not sure of what some of the ingredients are, like “viscous white doom” and “flame of Tabas Koh,” this appendix reveals all, alleviating any confusion.

But if you’re a Lovecraft fan, then you’ll thoroughly enjoy the way author Mike Slater and editor Thomas Roache describe the preparation of each creation, with instructions that read like mini tales of woe and despair themselves. (“Hearken to my tale of woe and salvation. Our instruments were crazed, reading longitude 450 degrees F, and hot as an oven it was that night.”) These details provide instructions on how to follow each rite, incantation, amalgamation, and transformation precisely to create an authentic Lovecraftian experience.

Although the book doesn’t include photos of the finished products, each recipe is accompanied by hauntingly gorgeous illustrations by Kurt Komoda, who somehow manages to make even moon pies and bundt cake seem terrifying. You’d never see such imagery in your average cookbook, but clearly The Necronomnomnom is not your average cookbook.

I spotted the cover for The Necronomnomnom on display at the W.W. Norton booth at BookCon in New York City earlier this year and immediately sought out the publicist to give him my card because I knew this was a book I needed to review. I’m not someone who’s big on puns, but seriously I can’t even say the name of this book without laughing out loud. Then when I read the recipe list, I was just so amused. They hooked me immediately with the premise, but I wasn’t sure if the dishes would be edible. As it turns out, they totally are.

While the connection to Lovecraft is the hook, The Necronomnomnom is not merely a novelty item, but rather a functional cookbook filled with appealing recipes for everything from drinks, appetizers, and side dishes to main courses and desserts, all of which are neither horrifying nor alien. Plus, unlike in the real Necronomicon, the concoctions in this grimoire are harmless to conjure up. But maybe don’t read the instructions aloud… just to be safe.🦑🐙🐉

A Lovecraft-inspired cookbook with recipes to whet your appetite and threaten your sanity

Reading about the slime-covered, non-Euclidean ruins of the sunken city of R’lyeh or the squamous, tentacled deity who slumbers there would make anyone hungry. Starting with the puns and working from there, authors Mike Slater and Thomas Roache have summoned forth 50 funny, bizarre, and horrible dishes such as:

“¢ The Deep Fried Deep One
“¢ Nog Sothoth
“¢ Cthus-Koos
“¢ The Great Old Buns
“¢ The Gin and Miskatonic

Like H. P. Lovecraft’s Necronomicon, the legendary and forbidden book of the dead that is “alien to all sane and balanced readers,” this cookbook contains many dark (but still delicious) secrets within its pages. The book comes infested with sanity-melting and mouth-watering illustrations, as well as annotations full of crazed discoveries and desperate warnings about the recipes that brave readers will undertake.

100 illustrations
8.4 x 0.9 x 10.3 inches


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