I love reading Lovecraft anyway, though, because he has some great ideas and concepts "underwriting" his stories (despite the fact that a huge portion of Lovecraft's work is written in open and frank imitation of other authors: Edgar Allen Poe, Lord Dunsany, Arthur Machen and others.) The idea of a secret history, monsterous threats lurking just below the surface that are beyond the ability humanity to understand, much less oppose, etc. I've said before that what I like most about Lovecraft is often the story that I can read between the lines, not the story that we actually got. Those stories, those hints of stories, are what is so intriguing. And therein, I believe, lies the longevity of the Lovecraftian style, and my own personal fascination with it as well.
Gary Myers' short story collection Dark Wisdom almost became my fourth casualty in a row; a book that once started, I found myself with little motivation to finish. Because it was so short; just over 100 pages, I forced myself to keep going and read it anyway. This little over 100 page book has twelve extremely short short stories (averaging, I think, about nine pages each, when you account for the poor yet space-occupying illustrations that pepper the book.) Myers has many of the flaws of Lovecraft, and yet few of Lovecraft's strengths.
In particular, he just tells us stuff. Even these short, short stories are littered with needlessly clunky exposition. Literally every single story is so flawed. Few, if any, of the characters is fleshed out, or even given a believable motivation; the point of view characters are transparently merely plot devices, driving on autopilot through the plot as quickly (and unbelievably) as possible. And rather than Lovecraft's antiquated and stylized prose, Myers writes with such simplicity as to almost approach a juvenile style. By the end of the collection, I was almost hoping he'd finally break out in a string of descriptive words like foetor, eldritch, maddening, blasphemous or Cyclopean.
That said, there are some pretty cool ideas nestled here and there in these stories. The idea of a Deep One being an emergency understudy on a filming of a 50s b-movie knock-off of The Creature from the Black Lagoon, for instance. The young pregnant girl trying to run away from her fate as the mate of the leader of a cult of Shub-Nigguruth, not knowing that the unholy life within her womb was destined to end hers in the pangs of birth. The testimony of a policeman who, while investigating a serial killer, discovers a brood of ghoul puppies. The two kids who find the real Necronomicon, with working rituals, on the internet. And so on, and so on.
But, as I said, none of them were developed or executed well enough to make reading them really worth it. I got the book for free from the library, and it only took me a few hours to read it. That was already too much of an investment for what I got back from it. If I'd actually bought this book, I'd be extremely disappointed. As it is... well, frankly, my expectations weren't all that high to begin with.