What authors or artists have you heard referenced or praised many, many times, but have only recently just started reading/seeing/experiencing?
Mine is H.P. Lovecraft. I like horror, and I like authors like Edgar Allen Poe and Stephen King, but it never really occurred to me to read Lovecraft. I think I mostly regarded his work as “the Cthulu mythos and very little else” and never bothered to inquire further into the matter. (I’ve never been interested in Cthulu; I feel like all the pop culture references and parodies have ruined it for me.) But I kept seeing his name pop up in places I wouldn’t have expected (such as some of my favorite horror tropes, like Nothing is Scarier), and thought “eh, okay, might as well give it a shot.”
So I found his entire collection of works online and read The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. When I first started reading, I thought “ugh, purple prose,” but I kept reading, thinking perhaps it might get better.
Fast forward two hours, and I’m sitting in front of my computer saucer-eyed and resisting the urge to crap my pants.
I actually saw the twist that Curwen had come back to life and killed Ward to assume his identity coming from a mile away…but the story was so utterly terrifying that it didn’t matter. I was hooked. And even the purple prose didn’t bother me after awhile, because Lovecraft is so damned good at it. Victorian authors did not use descriptive, flowery language this masterfully.
So what are your recent discoveries? Remember, this has to be well-known authors and artists, ones that you’ve seen and read about, but resisted for one reason or another.
(And, Lovecraft fans…should I read the Cthulu stuff? I don’t really care for creature horror, but his storytelling is so good that I might just have to give it a shot.)