The Outsider
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The Outsider

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  566 ratings  ·  34 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
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Published (first published June 1939)
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Community Reviews

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David Sven
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
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.
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
Mike
Until now, I've ably 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 stuck my interest. It was only about ten pages long and there was something about that got my attention. When I started readi...more
Godzilla
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.
M.Bassam Sonbol
Amazing wording!!
Nadyne
First sentence: "Unhappy is he to whom the memories of childhood bring only fear and sadness."

Last sentence: "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."

Not for me, this one...

Summary from Wikipedia:

"The Outsider" is written in the first-person narrative style and details the miserable and apparently lonely life of an individual who appears to hav...more
Theresa
I found this under Tales of Cthulhu Mythos as a free read on Goodreads.

This is not a story I would have normally read. My nephew loves Scooby Doo and as I was perusing the free books I found out that H.P. Lovecraft was indeed a real writer (he's called H.P. Hatecraft on the show), so I of course had to read something by him. As I read this story I could hear every word as if it were being read to me by the character and that added so much enjoyment to it for me.

The story asked you to suspend a...more
Mark Myers
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.
Mohammad Hossein
a dark and gloomy tale, i liked the atmosphere of it
i tried it after an awesome song by Draconian, named "It Grieves My Heart" which used some part of this story
Dan
I enjoyed this short tale by Lovecraft. I decided this winter to dig into most of his work and see what all the hype about him is about. Already I prefer him to Poe. Despite my background in poetry, I'm not huge fan of constant rhyming: that turns me off from Poe.

I am enjoying the language: the plethora of descriptives that Lovecraft uses to get his point across, as well as the constant use of first person. Horror is always from the viewpoint of the normal, the sane, the innocent. I like how th...more
Etienne02breton
Certainement un des meilleurs receuol de nouvelles de Lovecraft que j'ai lu. Certaines sont un peu moins intéressantes, mais 80% d'entre elles sont excellentes et nous font visiter cet univers unique et inquiétant que j'aime tant de cet auteur. En particulier: Je suis d'ailleur, Air froid et une de mes préférés, de toutes celles jamais lu de cet auteur, Le modèle Pickman. Je le recommande à tous les fans de Lovecraft tout aussi bien qu'à ceux qui aimeraient le découvrir, car ce recueil représent...more
Laure
Quel auteur de talent, aussi bien dans l'imagination que dans l 'écriture ce qui en fait un livre facile à lire tout en étant surprenant et parfois même dérangeant. Une fois que l'on commence à lire une histoire il devient presque impossible de s'arrêter avant la fin. On se sent comme happé par ces univers décrits par H.P Lovecraft. De la terreur toute en légèreté c'est comme ça que l'on pourrait résumer ce recueil...dépaysement total dès la lecture des premiers mots...mais le mieux c'est encore...more
terby2011
To be honest this was my introduction to Lovecraft. I hesitated starting with a full novel as I read mostly contemporary fiction. I will admit that I was actually "creeped out" a little in reading this wonderfully written tale. The prose seemed literary yet with a sense of suspense. Transformation of the mind and soul and body seems to unravel before the readers' eyes. Great story. Cant wait to read more Lovecraft.
Elizabeth
Really quite sad story, in the same mold as Frankenstein, told from the point of view of the monster. This describes someone's interminable wait in a place of purgatory before, after eons, attempting to scale his way out, only to discover his is ascent is under the earth. He claws his way out a graveyard and attempts to rejoin the living, only to be met with fear, rejection and loathing. Sad.
Wind Girl
This was my introduction to Lovecraft and not disappointing at all.I predicted the ending but it was still really well written.Short but very effective.writing a horror story from the monster's perspective?its just cool,you know?its still new to do such a things in my eyes.And I love new perspectives.
Quincy
I love that the author was able to write (view spoiler). Very ingenious. I kept waiting for it to link up with "The Statement of Randolph Carter" or maybe "Herbert West Re-animator" (view spoiler).
Nika
My first Lovecraft. I've had the Necronomicon at home once, but hadn't gotten to reading it. This was wonderfully written, really good. I actually don't read horror ever, but I want to read more of his stuff now that I read this shorty story.
Diana Ruiz
Gran parecido con Frankestein, produce las mismas sensaciones y nos coloca del lado de la criatura odiada. Un cuento corto que se disfruta por sus detalladas descripciones y su toque tenebroso pero sutil.
Vespertine
Very short but very effective. The beginning is quite mysterious and creepy in a claustrophobic way and the outcome pretty clever. Obviously A.E. Poe-inspired but successfully so.
Johan Aulin
I was awed at the twist when I was younger. Now, it seemed pretty obvious. Still a great story though. Most of it lies in creating an atmosphere.
Jakefan Efp
Beh, straordinario. Da leggere anche per una meravigliosa e gratuita lezione di scrittura creativa (sul punto di vista, per essere precisi)
M Pereira
Strange and yet innovative work. It does go on a bit though, but that's almost a minor criticism for when the end/punchline comes up
Kayla
An excellent amount of detail for a short story. I loved reading from the first person perspective, since the character is so intriguing.
Chris
Jun 15, 2012 Chris is currently reading it
I see why there are die hard Lovecraft fans. So well crafted, I can't wait to dice into some of his longer works.
Daniel Jones
Possibly the most engaging short story I have ever read. Never have I empathized so much with a character.
Alonso López
Wow, even i predicted the end in the middle of the history, i think still have "the lovecraft touch"
Olivia
I predicted the ending but it was still really well written, horrific but sad all at the same time.
Martin
My favorite horror author. This book is the cornerstone of my weird fiction collection.
Denise
What the hell was that?
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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...more
More about H.P. Lovecraft...
The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories At the Mountains of Madness and Other Tales of Terror At the Mountains of Madness The Call of Cthulhu

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“I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men.” 185 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.” 11 likes
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