I am not a huge Lovecraft fan. I'm not a Lovecraft fan at all. I understand why he is a touchstone and all that, but yeah, he's not for me. So outside of the two characters, there are probably some Lovecraft references I missed.
This is a fine book about racism, society, and what society makes people become. LaValle gets so many points for the wonderful story arc that kicks Hollywood stories to the curb.
Overall the writing is beautiful (though the kindle edition has at least two run-ons that jarred). This novella is a brillant work of criticism and homage to Lovecraft as well as indictment of USA past and present.
And it is a story about music too.