Knowledge brings pain. Madness offers release.
Lovecraft’s stories focus on the unknown, the alien, and the otherworldly. His stories confront everyday people with this hidden world, sometimes directly, more often through the accounts of the less fortunate. In Lovecraft’s world knowledge is a burden that drives many to madness. He is perhaps one of the most skilled writers when it comes to unreliable and unstable narrators; however, he also has shortcomings.
His stories start slowly and with excessive backstory. They only begin to achieve real momentum at the midpoint, before ending abruptly. He often hints at a larger narrative that remains unresolved. Of course this lack of resolution is also part of his general theme, there is no happy ending, and only those ignorant of the truth can live happily.
Within his own writing he is quite repetitive. His protagonists are often generic and somewhat flat, and his descriptions tend to be excessive, particularly when describing architecture. He has a bad habit of summarizing a scene rather than showing the reader what happened.
In spite of that he remains an accomplished author in the realm of horror, and a good read for anyone with the patience to persevere through the slow starts.
The Rats in the Wall (01-16)
An aging man returns to his ancestral home with intentions to restore it. Along the way he learns of past tragedies through historical accounts and urban legends.
The story tempts the reader with minor mysteries. Nothing threatening, but the investigation uncovers new questions, leading the protagonist ever deeper.
It’s slow but the story is well served by its measured pace, as the protagonist confronts the truth.
Best of HP Lovecraft 2of6- Anthology