Harrison Squared: Or Adventures at Lovecraft High

Harrison Squared - Daryl Gregory

Let me just start by saying I really enjoyed We Are All Completely Fine Here (which takes place several years after the events in Harrison Squared), as well as Daryl Gregory's writing in general. I also get a kick out of Lovecraftian themed horror (though oddly not Lovecraft himself). I was pretty much assured to like this book, so it's really no surprise that I happily tore through it.


Interestingly enough this is one of those rare books that could easily be shelved in either teen or adult fiction. On one hand it follows a teenager, at his new creepy high school, overcoming difficulties and having adventures. It is relatively low on the sex and violence scale, and it is written in a youthful first person voice. On the other hand it isn't immature or lacking any of the things that would make this an engaging read for adults. The writing is solid, and pops with interesting metaphors. Gregory's mastery for character also cannot be understated - even the side characters come to life in his books. It really is a story with wide appeal...so long as you like tentacley horror.


The Lovecraft angle is not subtle. The town is named Dunnsmouth. There is an unspeakable sea dwelling horror with a mouth contorting name which translates to the Walker Between Worlds. There are fish people. It's all in there, and Gregory isn't trying to hide the influences. That's part of what makes it all so fun. It's like being in on a joke. This book is just as funny (in my opinion) as it is creepy, perhaps even more so. When it comes down to it, if you're looking for something to keep you up at night this isn't it. But if you want something kooky that will keep you flipping pages give this book a try. It's a fast fun read with just the right blend of the bizarre.