ABSTRACT LUMLEY, BRIAN – THE TITUS CROW TRILOGY - THE BURROWERS BENEATH (1974) THE TRANSITION OF TITUS CROW. (1975) THE CLOCK OF DREAMS (1978). New American Library. A three-volume tribute story to the worlds of H. P. Lovecraft. Henri-Laurent de Marginy has a strange friend Titus Crow, an elderly chap who is convinced that there are too many earthquakes occurring in the world. He has whole files on the subject and begins to attribute the phenomena to the movement of underground Cthulhu monsters. De Marginy is sceptical until he is in a quake himself, seemingly sent to stop Crow’s studies. The pair now begins a campaign to fight the terrors beneath their feet. In doing so they are attacked in their dreams and by dead men resurrected by Cthulhu entities. Titus forms a band of scientists and arms them with mysterious star-stones, which are able to entrap the monsters, which are then destroyed with mines. Crow also has a mysterious grandfather clock, and when he and Henri are attacked at his home, they flee into time and space in the clock, but Henri falls out, or off, and ends up in hospital, having no idea where his friend has gone. Crow is a strange and barely credible character, a mixture of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Who in his Hartnell guise. The clock is like a TARDIS, though not bigger on the inside than out. Henri Marginy is very much a Watson figure that does little more than be amazed by his companion’s exploits.
In Book Two, Titus and the clock return to Earth. Titus is however much younger than when he left. He describes his adventures to Henri. He went from planet to planet, and trough all of time and space, even visiting the dinosaurs. This goes on for many chapters, with much of the description of one spectacle after another adding little to the plot. Eventually however, Titus runs into a giant space Cthulhu, which makes him crash onto a planet, where he is killed and the clock destroyed. Crow is however resurrected by a race of beings on the World, and made younger, and stronger, in effect as he is when Henri reunites with him. He goes on to meet a benevolent seeming Cthulhu King with a humanoid daughter, with whom Titus falls in love. He invites Henri to travel with him to meet her, and in effect save her as she and the Universe are now in mortal peril. The Third book is that quest, which again meanders all over the place, so much so that I am afraid this reader lost interest and care long before the end. The first book is dull but intelligent. Book Two is sprawling and filled with incidents that don’t knit together. The third is even less substantial.