Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The Dunwich Horror by HP Lovecraft

The Dunwich Horror and Other Stories

In the degenerate, unliked backwater of Dunwich, Wilbur Whately, a most unusual child, is born. Of unnatural parentage, he grows at an uncanny pace to an unsettling height, but the boy's arrival simply precedes that of a true horror: one of the Old Ones, that forces the people of the town to hole up by night.

This is quite a difficult review to write, partly because it's a collection of short stories and partly because I didn't like it as much as I thought I would.

The first story was the longest and also the title story, about a strange boy growing at an unusual rate and with unnatural powers. I really liked the beginning but the ending, with the professors and doctors trying to decipher the messages and stop some sort of alien uprising, got a little weird. Even for Lovecraft. Having said that, they were all enjoyable in their own way, very clever and well written from a master of the genre.

I liked the shorted ones, especially the one about a man having nightmares about an old witch and creepy rat-man; that one was surprising and so atmospherically terrifying. This is definitely one to read if you're a fan of old-school horror.

Published 2nd October 2008 by Penguin. First published April 1929.

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