Cave of a Thousand Tales: The Life and Times of Pulp Author Hugh B. Cave
This biography of the legendary pulp author
The first half of the book covers Cave's childhood, adolescence, his first attempts at writing, and his blossoming pulp career. Thomas's account moves on to Cave's foray into the slick magazine market, his experiences as a war correspondent during World War II (I wish I'd known that Cave was around Guadalcanal; I would have had him make a cameo appearance in one of my World War II novels), his trips to Haiti, where he learned so much about voodoo that would form the basis for many of his later works, his years as the owner of a coffee plantation in Jamaica, his mainstream novels and his later horror novels, and the rebirth of interest in his pulp work that began with Karl Edward Wagner's publication of the collection MURGUNSTRUMM in 1977. In reading this book I discovered that Cave was at the fourth World Fantasy Convention in
As for CAVE OF A THOUSAND TALES, it's a well-written, well-researched, beautifully-produced book. I was a little unsure about Thomas's habit of fictionalizing certain incidents in the lives of Cave's parents and in Cave's early life, but the technique worked just fine. I might have a quibble or two with certain of his comments about pulp history, but those are very minor points. All in all, this is a highly readable account of the life and career of one of my favorite writers, and it's one of the best books I've read this year.