Thursday, November 15, 2012

Review: The Whisperer in Darkness

The Whisperer in Darkness
The Whisperer in Darkness by H.P. Lovecraft

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Please note: This novella is included in The Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft, which can be downloaded for free from the CthulhuChick website. (Links where formatting is allowed)

Synopsis: An Arkham university professor is contacted by a farmer living in a remote part of Vermont, who claims to have evidence of aliens living in the hills and mining a mysterious metal. After visiting, the professor becomes alarmed at the mysterious change in the behavior of the farmer, including his assertion that the aliens can extract a human brain and keep it alive in jar for eternity

My Thoughts: One of the best things about reading Lovecraft is the way he structures the story, slowly building the details, slowly building a creepy atmosphere, moving forward and back to great effect, and then dropping a bomb on the reader with a sudden revelation at the end. Sure it's a structure that eventually was taken up by many mystery and suspense writers and used to the point where it has become a cliche, but in Lovecraft's time it was still new and fresh, and reading it with that in the back of one's head let's one enjoy it anew. This would be a great choice for someone wanting to sample a classic Lovecraft to start with, as it brings together a number of his ongoing themes - the Elder gods, those Outside, even to a certain degree the dreamworlds.

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