Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Outsider” as Want to Read:
The Outsider
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Outsider

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  1,497 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews
"The Outsider" is a short story by American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. Written between March and August 1921, it was first published in Weird Tales, April 1926. In this work, a mysterious man who has been living alone in a castle for as long as he can remember decides to break free in search of human contact. "The Outsider" is one of Lovecraft's most commonly reprinted ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1926)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Outsider, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Outsider

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jason Koivu
Jun 11, 2016 Jason Koivu rated it really liked it
Great build up to a solid surprise reveal!

The Outsider has a very Poe-esque feel to it. An old castle. A mysterious stranger. An ominous inner monologue.

This short story feels like a birth-to-adolescence progression. The main character knows very little about himself, but he learns and gradually all is revealed in a spine-chilling climatic ending when we discover he
Orient
May 25, 2017 Orient rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, desperado, horror, 2017, br
A BR with Lovecraft cheerleader Craig :)

What a lovely short spooky story. I loved the atmosphere and the secret revelation wasn't really secret, but I felt that every page of this short story was used fully :)

Bill  Kerwin
Apr 12, 2017 Bill Kerwin rated it it was amazing

I do not think it coincidence that Lovecraft’s three finest early tales--”Dagon,” “Nyarlathotep,” and the last and greatest, “The Outsider”—all share the hermetic and unassailable “logic” of dreams. The world of “The Outsider” defies reason: how can the narrator climb relentlessly upward, leaving behind the castle in the wood, his childhood home, only to emerge hours later on the surface of the earth? Yet we readers of Lovecraft do not find this improbable, for—dreamers too--we know what it is t
...more
Althea Ann
Sep 22, 2015 Althea Ann rated it it was amazing
A re-read.
It doesn't get any more gothic than this!
Alone in a dreary dark castle, a young man has no memories of every being anywhere else, of ever seeing another human soul. He learns of the outside world from the castle's extensive libraries, and develops the desire to see the light. Thus, he embarks on a dangerous excursion to try to reach the exterior.
This story is a classic example of the paradox at the heart of Lovecraft's art and life: He was xenophobic well past what was considered avera
...more
Zuky the BookBum
Mar 30, 2017 Zuky the BookBum rated it really liked it
Loved this short story! I'm only just getting into Lovecraft but I'm already very impressed with his work and his writing.

Creepy setting and descriptions set this up to be a really dark and disturbing little story.

This is fantastic! A story about our fear of the unknown, but with a twist... maybe the unknown is scared of us & the unknown too.
Brian
Jun 20, 2017 Brian rated it it was amazing
A powerful and moving story of a man forced by fate to live alone, and his venture into another world, filled with people and a monstrosity forever pursuing him.

David Sven
Oct 03, 2012 David Sven rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, audiobooks
It’s very difficult saying too much about this story without giving things away so I’ll try not to spoil it. The story is told in the first person by someone who is trapped in extreme isolation – both internally and externally. We start knowing very little about this person other than their situation is rather bizarre to say the least and I found myself extremely intrigued from the very first few sentences about who this person is and even where this person is. As the story progresses our narrat ...more
Keith Ham
Oct 31, 2011 Keith Ham rated it it was amazing
This story is probably, in my opinion, one of Lovecraft's best. I have read it dozen's of times and I never seem to get bored with it.

I'm sure everyone can relate to its general theme of 'being scared of the unknown' but I loved that fact that this story went one step further and made it about how the unknown may just be afraid of us too.
E
It certainly was one of the best stories I have ever read.
H.P.Lovecraft has always been one of my favorite writers. His style, which sometimes reminds me of Faulkner, his disturbed yet amazingly ordered mind, his point of view toward the world(sentences such as: LIGHT IS NOT FOR ME ETC),the simplicity of his works, especially in this story are the features that makes Lovecraft works exception among the other writers in horror literature.
I finished this very short, yet unforgettable story today a
...more
Žahra Hamzeh
Apr 28, 2015 Žahra Hamzeh rated it really liked it
از این بیشتر خوشم اومد! هنوز با نوع روایت داستاناش مشکل دارم.ولی خب میتونم بگم این داستانش به راحتی میتونه منبع الهام برای داستان نویسی بشه.ایده خوب بود دیگه،خووب
Jacqueline Davis
Dec 18, 2014 Jacqueline Davis rated it it was amazing
Love the twist at the end. Love it. I am always a huge fan of the unreliable narrator. Great story.
Mike
Dec 16, 2011 Mike rated it really liked it
Until now, I've only read one other lovecraft story, which was the call of Cthulhu. Then one day I was reading an article online where they were comparing Kafka and lovecraft. I'm something of a fan of Kafka so this struck my interest. After reading how similar this two guys were, I decided to take another look at lovecraft. Looking through his different stories, this one struck my interest. It was only about ten pages long and there was something about that got my attention. When I started read ...more
Scarlet Cameo
Dec 30, 2014 Scarlet Cameo rated it it was amazing
"Unhappy is he to whom the memories of childhood bring only fear and sadness"

Este cuento fue el primero que leí de Lovecraft y de eso ya tiene bastantes años, pero dejo tiene un lugar muy especial en mi vida porque el extraño nos presenta a un personaje triste, solitario y olvidado por el mundo, que teme lo que hay en el exterior de su habitación (¿puedo llamarlo habitación?) pero detesta ese lugar...básicamente describía de manera estupenda como me sentía en el momento que lo leí (dah, pre-ad
...more
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Apr 28, 2015 ᴥ Irena ᴥ rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
You could say that the main themes of The Outsider are loneliness, sadness and loss. You don't know more about the narrator than he is willing to tell you.
You start with the knowledge that he has been living alone in an unapproachable place. He doesn't know how long. No human or any other contact. The books are his source of knowledge. He never talks but knows about it. All the rest you find out along the way.

After numerous attempts to leave the only place he knows, he stumbles upon people who r
...more
Gustavo Muñoz (Akito)
Feb 10, 2015 Gustavo Muñoz (Akito) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, horror
One of Lovecraft's most imaginative short stories. Leaving aside his usual imagery and story formulae, Lovecraft decides to focus on his main character, whose whole life has been spent imprisoned in a castle. Telling us of his efforts to reach the outside world, Lovecraft tells a surprisingly sad story that will leave you with a couple of things to ponder about.
Lauren
Nov 01, 2015 Lauren rated it really liked it
Meu primeiro Lovecraft e adorei! Sinistro
Holly the Infinite Book Dragon
I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men.

Gothic horror at it's finest. This was especially reminiscent of Lovecraft's idol, Edgar Allan Poe (who is one of my all-time favorites!) A tale of grief; loneliness & isolation; a fear of the unknown & facing those fears head-on.
Joshua Shioshita
Mar 24, 2016 Joshua Shioshita rated it really liked it
I imagine the goth kids from South Park reading this story and identifying with its themes. It's got a pretty cool twist at the end, and a dreamy, surreal atmosphere that's a lot of fun. If you're into Tales from the Crypt or Twilight Zone, you'll probably dig it.
Diana
Apr 29, 2016 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
¡Impresionante! Temo enamorarme de sus cuentos.
Gabi
Oct 06, 2015 Gabi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, spooky
Wow.
Baal Of
May 07, 2017 Baal Of rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, weird
Even though this one doesn't make sense, it makes no sense in such an appealing way that it is one of my favorites by Lovecraft. How is it that the narrator who has apparently grown up without any contact with anyone else have such a rich vocabulary, to say nothing of various intellectual constructs and concepts. The more I think on it, the less it coheres... and yet.
Ehsan Gharakhani
It certainly was one of the best stories I have ever read.
H.P.Lovecraft has always been one of my favorite writers. His style, which sometimes reminds me of Faulkner, his disturbed yet amazingly ordered mind, his point of view toward the world(sentences such as: LIGHT IS NOT FOR ME ETC),the simplicity of his works, especially in this story are the features that makes Lovecraft works exception among the other writers in horror literature.
I finished this very short, yet unforgettable story today a
...more
Nicole
Jul 17, 2014 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very beautiful, poetic language. I found it rather predictable, but it was a good short. 3.5 stars.

(view spoiler)
...more
Stuart Slingsby
Apr 24, 2015 Stuart Slingsby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had heard many things about THE OUTSIDER and up on reading it for the first time today, I can see why everyone likes it.

THE OUTSIDER is about a man that lives inside an ancient time forgotten castle and he has never explored the entirety of it inside. So the unnamed narrator decides to do just that.

This is an eerie story filled with gothic overtoned atmosphere that needs to be read by everyone.
Godzilla
Apr 12, 2012 Godzilla rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, 2012, kindle
A dark, almost depressing tale, less of an out and out horror story and more akin to the nightmarish world of Kafka.

The narrator speaks of a memory free childhood, with no human interaction and cannot recall ever speaking.

Exploring the dark confines of the castle they are housed in leads to a revelation and experience which is far from the epiphany they sought.
Callixt0
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mark Myers
Feb 11, 2014 Mark Myers rated it really liked it
One of Lovecraft's best. A classic, concise, short story. A man attempts to break free of a castle he's been imprisoned in only to discover a greater horror. This is perfect "Twilight Zone" material.
Anne
Oct 25, 2014 Anne rated it liked it
Even though it's been classified as horror, I found it to be an exceedingly sad tale of a man looking for acceptance. Oh well, to each his own.
M.Bassam Sonbol
Nov 09, 2012 M.Bassam Sonbol rated it it was amazing
Amazing wording!!
Tempo de Ler
Dec 21, 2015 Tempo de Ler rated it really liked it
«Unhappy is he to whom the memories of childhood bring only fear and sadness.»

«it were better to glimpse the sky and perish, than to live without ever beholding day.»
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Warning to the Curious Ghost Stories
  • The Pseudonomicon
  • Ligeia
  • Red Nails
  • In the Land of the Blind
  • The Burial of the Rats
  • In a Lonely Place
  • The Wandering Jew
  • Green Tea
  • The Enormous Radio
  • Das Urteil und andere Prosa
  • The Hapless Child
  • The Dark Country
  • Batman Versus Predator II: Bloodmatch
  • The Haunter of the Dark and Other Grotesque Visions
  • O Cavaleiro de Westeros & Outras Histórias
  • The Little Green God of Agony
9494
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
...more
More about H.P. Lovecraft...

Share This Book



“I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men.” 367 likes
“For although nepenthe has calmed me, I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men. This I have known ever since I stretched out my fingers to the abomination within that great gilded frame; stretched out my fingers and touched a cold and unyielding surface of polished glass.” 25 likes
More quotes…