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The Horror at Red Hook

3.21  ·  Rating Details ·  857 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
Circles and pentagrams loomed on every hand, and told indubitably of the strange beliefs and aspirations of those who dwelt so squalidly here. In the cellar, however, the strangest thing was found--a pile of genuine gold ingots covered carelessly with a piece of burlap, and bearing upon their shining surfaces the same weird hieroglyphics which also adorned the walls.
Paperback, 48 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Kessinger Publishing (first published January 1st 1927)
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Bill  Kerwin

This long short story—written in August of 1925 and first published in Weird Tales in 1927—is the worst Lovecraft tale that every Lovecraft fan must read. Not only is it morally suspect, suffused with nativism and darkened by racial panic, but it is also indifferently constructed, and poorly written too. Yet the fears and prejudices first unleashed and expressed most explicitly here would become the source of the cosmic terror that distinguishes his best work.

“The Horror at Red Hook”—the story o
[Name Redacted]
This is arguably one of Lovecraft's most racist stories, born out of his increasing sense of isolation and negative impressions of immigrants while living in Brooklyn. It was this antipathy towards others that gave birth to one of my favorite songs by The Mountain Goats (cf: also: ).

Lovecraft's racism appears to be a manifestation of modern post-Enlightenment racial theory, but I think that's giving modernity enti
Bogi Takács
I read this novelette because I'm interested in reading "The Ballad of Black Tom," Victor LaValle's new novella that subverts it.

I read most of my Lovecraft in Communist and immediately post-Communist Hungary, at an age when one probably shouldn't be reading Lovecraft. This one hadn't been translated back then (I just checked and it was first published in Hungary in 1998) - you have one guess why.

Lovecraft on diversity:

"From this tangle of material and spiritual putrescence the blasphemies of an
Jan 13, 2017 Nathan rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People excited about Trump's wall
Shelves: 01-january-2017
H.P. Lovecraft's influence on horror/weird fiction is undeniable. He had an amazing imagination. Too bad, because he was an absolutely awful writer and and an even worse human being. I would call this story racist shit, but that seems somewhat unfair to feces.
Nek0 Neha (BiblioNyan)
Aug 08, 2016 Nek0 Neha (BiblioNyan) rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Not a single person.
This is one of the most disgustingly racist, bigoted, pieces of shit that I have read all year. The writing is a god-awful catastrophe of "smart" words that are used to veil the grossly offensive discrimination and disrespect that is shown towards people of color, poverty, and varying religious backgrounds. I sincerely hope the rest of Lovecraft's work isn't this type of ridiculousness because if it is, then I have no idea how someone like him could be so idolized in the literary world. Unaccept ...more
Naz (Read Diverse Books)
Aug 03, 2016 Naz (Read Diverse Books) rated it did not like it
If you don't want to be simultaneously bored & offended, then I suggest you avoid The Horror at Red Hook.
Mar 11, 2017 Obsidian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tbr-2017
This is going to be short. This story was terrible and it has Lovecraft's racism and xenophobia on full display. I think if he could have torched New York and wiped it clean of those he saw as inferior he would have.

The Horror at Red Hook tells a story taking place in the 1920s with a New York police detective named Thomas Malone. Malone is left disturbed by an incident that left several people dead.

Lovecraft then works backwards telling how a rich and eccentric old man named Robert Suydam. Suyd
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Mar 18, 2015 ᴥ Irena ᴥ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
What a New York police detective Thomas F. Malone experienced, saw (or dreamed) while working on a case in Red Hook made him retire and avoid big buildings.

During one of the raids in Red Hook, some of the buildings collapsed killing many policemen, smugglers. It all connects back to an educated recluse and a folklore researcher Robert Suydam. 'Just at the time when a wave of kidnappings and disappearances spread its excitement over New York, the unkempt scholar embarked upon a metamorphosis as s
Andrés Diplotti
Apr 22, 2015 Andrés Diplotti rated it liked it
I read this mostly out of curiosity, because I had learned that some of Lovecraft's most unsavoury tendences were on full display here.

The straight supernatural horror part is not exactly bad, even though it reads more as a vignette, or a description of a tableau, than a story. Funnily enough, Thomas Malone feels less of a cipher than the usual Lovecraftian protagonist, even though his characterisation stops at the facts that he's Irish and a policeman and he's interested in the Occult. The fact
Catch-up review #4!

I listened to this one on Friday night as I was driving back from Philly after my business trip. It was dark, and I was alone in the car, so of course I'm like "Let's listen to some Lovecraft! :D"

I have this weird thing about Lovecraft, though. I love the IDEA of Lovecraft's horror more than I like the reality of it. I just find the writing tedious at times. It's true. I said it. He was wordy. He'd use 4 words when one would do, and for me, that just bogs things down and dist
Edgar Roberts
Jun 26, 2013 Edgar Roberts rated it it was amazing
A great story, I thought! Lovecraft uses his style of prose quite nicely in my opinion at the end and the storyline and frightful atmosphere are very well presented. Even though the key basis for this story was xenophobia, I honestly don't feel that this marred it, as most do. The racism adds something of vulgar touch to the horror in my opinion and Lovecraft can be excused for being human with faults like the rest of us :) Obviously, I'd rather he wasn't a racist, but there isn't much that I ca ...more
Chakib Bahbaz
Feb 14, 2016 Chakib Bahbaz rated it really liked it
This novel is racist to a certain extent, but somehow its good.

"...and Malone could not help recalling that Kurdistan is the land of the Yezidis, last survivors of the Persian devil-worshippers." What ?!

"Suddenly the leader of the visiting mariners, an Arab with a hatefully negroid mouth, pulled forth a dirty, crumpled paper and handed it to the captain" Double What?!

The language is amazing

“In case of sudden or unexplained accident or death on my part, please deliver me or my body unquestionin
Mar 07, 2016 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I'm learning that I have a thing for phosphorescent horror. I can be completely ho-hum about a book and then suddenly "Ooooh, phosphorescence. This is fantastic!".
Sonia M
Feb 17, 2016 Sonia M rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hated, short-stories
Σ' ένα γκέτο μεταναστών της Νέας Υόρκης, διάφορα ασιάτικα κατακάθια, λοξομάτηδες αλήτες ή Άραβες με απεχθέστατα νεγροειδή χείλη (έτσι περιγράφονται από τον συγγραφέα) κάνουν (view spoiler) Την υπόθεση καλείται να λύσει ηρωικός αστυνομικός κέλτικης καταγωγής, πα ...more
Sep 15, 2014 Laura rated it it was ok
Esta vez Lovecraft no me dejó con las ganas de una resolución a sus misterios sino que se pasó de la raya u.u (ya sé, soy la gata flora). Describe todo con lujo de detalles y para mi gusto con superabundancia de adjetivos en la línea de "fétido"o "deforme", que en tanta cantidad tienen un efecto contrario, no te ayudan a imaginarte los horrores, sino que te dispersan (o al menos eso me pasó a mi).
Otra cosa que no me gustó es lo terriblemente racista que es este cuento, pero de nuevo, me alejaba
Myk Pilgrim
Mar 23, 2015 Myk Pilgrim rated it it was ok
Well.......that was......different.
Lovecraft's xenophibia is probably more rife in this story than any of the others i've read.
The story mostly hinges around:
"them pesky foreigners coming to 'our country' and taking our jobs and bringing their foreign ways and their different coloured skins and it's evil! evil I tells ya"
So don't say I didn't warn you.
But if you're dead set on reading it - start halfway in and you'ill skip most of the racial slurs & get straight to the hairiness. There were
Read this because I was about to start Victor LaValle's new book, which I understand to be in part a response to the racism in this book, which turns out to be extreme. I cannot recommend it except as a case study in how "everyday" racism and anti-immigrant bias permeate many classic texts.
Mar 07, 2015 Matt rated it did not like it

Vocabulary-obsessed, word-happy word-splurge. Terrible. Unfocused. Thank god it was only a short story. Verbose and tedious; I like the idea of Lovecraft's work more than I enjoy reading it. Maybe these are tales better HEARD, as in: cd books or audio versions. We'll see.


Ugh, sound effects, DNF
Feb 24, 2015 Дарья rated it it was ok
Hm, I think I am starting to see quite the similarities between this one and a few of Lovecraft's other work. I did not like this one very much, I was frankly waiting for it to end.
Aug 24, 2014 Lucia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lucia by: Karila
Shelves: book-club, horror
**Leído para el Club de Lectura**
Para la segunda entrega del Club de Lectura le tocó a Gloria elegir el libro, y se decidió por una selección de cuentos de Lovecraft.

Siento que ya estoy "inmunizada" contra este tipo de cuentos de Lovecraft, y a las pocas paginas de que lo empecé ya me esperaba lo que iba a venir. De todas formas no estuvo mal, por más que no pueda considerarlo uno de los cuentos mas memorables de este autor.
Ryan Nims
Wow... This was a miss for Lovecraft. The first half is fairly long winded and boring, but it gets better towards the end; culminating in a fairly creepy climax.

Lovecraft's extreme xenophobia (read: racism) is on full display here, making some elements of the story a bit dated and hard to swallow.

Not bad, but not the best Lovecraft I've experienced by a long shot.
Graham Cope
Mar 19, 2016 Graham Cope rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
Infamous for being Lovecraft's most bigoted tale. It's a short, simple story of black magic, human sacrifice, and a police man chasing after his sanity. Dosed with some cringe-worthy xenophobia and the usual Lovecraftian atmosphere. I read this as a prelude to reading Victor LaValle's novella, (and riposte to H.P.), The Ballad of Black Tom, also set in Red Hook.
Baal Of
Sep 14, 2016 Baal Of rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, horror, weird
This one exhibits all the same problems as much of Lovecraft's other works, with some particularly egregious racism on display. However, the descriptions of the rituals are pretty good. I keep hovering around a two and a half stars. I think I'm getting a bit of Lovecraft fatigue, and need to set the complete works aside for a bit.
JDW Williams
Aug 27, 2012 JDW Williams rated it really liked it
Yes, it's pretty damn hateful and xenophobic but gosh, it's also delirious, vivid, and masterfully written.
Mike Vendetti
Sep 20, 2013 Mike Vendetti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

When you think he can't be any creepier, Lovecraft supprises you.
Aug 30, 2014 Monse rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
Leíble. Buena ambientación de Lovecraft como siempre, pero nada del otro mundo. Me gustó.
Aug 26, 2011 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Really creepy story of a former policeman who had a phobia about tall brick buildings and how he got that way. Not for the faint of heart, this one.
Books, Vertigo and Tea (Danielle)
This might actually be the end of my time with Lovecraft. I found this short story to be a prime example of xenophobia presented in a fluffy packing. A mundane word fest that was attempting to be something much more than it was. I was unable to move beyond the blatantly racist theme. There was nothing of appreciation or value for myself within this dull story.
Dennis Jacob Rosenfeld
Mar 30, 2017 Dennis Jacob Rosenfeld rated it did not like it
Even without the horribly racist theme this is not a good story. Among Lovecraft's weakest efforts, and downright horrible reading in this day and age.
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Play Book Tag: The Horror at Red Hook, by H.P. Lovecraft - 2 stars 11 10 Jan 08, 2017 02:10PM  
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Howard Phillips Lovecraft, of Providence, Rhode Island, was an American author of horror, fantasy and science fiction.

Lovecraft's major inspiration and invention was cosmic horror: life is incomprehensible to human minds and the universe is fundamentally alien. Those who genuinely reason, like his protagonists, gamble with sanity. Lovecraft has developed a cult following for his Cthulhu Mythos, a
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“In youth he had felt the hidden beauty and ecstasy of things, and had been a poet; but poverty and sorrow and exile had turned his gaze in darker directions, and he had thrilled at the imputations of evil in the world around.” 2 likes
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