I read The Dunwich Horror by H.P Lovecraft as inspiration for a story I have been crafting. I’ve read Lovecraft before, but that was decades ago, so I expected the unexpected from this expedition into his classic horror.
Since the story is old (1928) and beyond its copyright, I looked for it at The Gutenberg Project and found a file I could download onto my Kindle Fire. Books with expired U.S. copyrights can be optioned for absolutely free, so you don’t want to pass up this magnificent opportunity.
All that said, Lovecraft’s wee tale is closer to its 19th century predecessors than it’s 20th century antecedents, so it was hard to read. It was harder to get a sense of horror and dismay from the story as well. It’s slow, plodding, and pretty much a weighty drag, unfortunately.
Yet Lovecraft is a tremendous influence on 20th century horror, so a wider reading of his works is required beyond this one, small story. I hope to revisit him at some point to further my re-education into this master of the literary arts. Just because its old doesn’t mean its outlived its usefulness or its relevance.
2 thoughts on “Review: “The Dunwich Horror” by H.P. Lovecraft”
I’ve read a few Lovecraft stories. Dunwich Horror struck me as dull also. Been researching the Cthulhu Mythos a bit for my own in-progress novel. Not intending to mimic anything and my story wouldn’t even be similar, but different ideas of terror from beyond might be useful when I write some upcoming chapters. I just purchased a collection, Tales of the Cthulhu mythos, which has mostly stories by later authors. Call of Cthulhu definitely captured my imagination even though it’s anything but a captivating read.
I read the Lovecraft story plus one of Robert E. Howard’s “Conan” tales to get my head in a particular space. I agree that authors can be influenced by the works of others without copying them.
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