I've read all the stories in this collection (save for one) in The Dunwich Horror back in November 2009, though I have not yet read this particular coI've read all the stories in this collection (save for one) in The Dunwich Horror back in November 2009, though I have not yet read this particular collection. I've rated it, though, as I adored The Dunwich Horror and am so glad that my favorite stories are in this collection - particularly "The Whisperer in Darkness", the first Lovecraft story I ever read. Will be a bedside staple for a long time to come....more
**spoiler alert** The thing that struck me first, and hardest, about Lovecraft was his endings. You know, instinctively, what is going to happen, but**spoiler alert** The thing that struck me first, and hardest, about Lovecraft was his endings. You know, instinctively, what is going to happen, but when it does - or more so, they way he writes it - you can't help but get goosebumps and feel chilled. Take, for example, the first story I ever read by Lovecraft, "The Whisperer in Darkness".
Once Akeley sends his letter to Wilmarth that all is well, his ravings being a misunderstanding, you know something is up. Something doesn't feel right. How can someone, who was once afraid for their life at the hands of things that literally go bump in the night, be so resolved and complacent that everything is now O.K.? Lovecraft expects the reader to question, to think that maybe something happened to Akeley, and it's the prospect of learning about this "something" that keeps us reading. In the end, of course, we find that the person sitting in the chair whom Wilmarth assumed was Akeley was NOT Akeley, but one of the Mi-Go impersonating him. With Akeley's very own face and hands. And at that point my skin burst forth with goosebumps, I set the book down, and covered my mouth. No book or short story has ever had that affect on me. (I loved it!)
And yet through the latter half of the story I had the more-than-sneaking suspicion that Akeley wasn't really Akeley. The bandaged head and hands and feet! Of course it wasn't him! And in spite of that, in spite of knowing the ending before it happened, I was still terrified. That is the mark of a master right there.
This is one example of many, but I'm going to mention a few more, for my memory's sake:
Pickman's model being real. ("Pickman's Model")
Asaph gnawing at Birch's ankles because he (Birch) cut Asaph's ankles off to fit him in the coffin. ("In the Vault")
Olmstead turning into one of the creatures he so despises and fears and wishing to live under the sea with his brethren. ("The Shadow Over Innsmouth")
Derby being put into the body of his months-dead wife. I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around the horror of such a thing. ("The Thing on the Doorstep")
Delapore, crazed, eating Norrys. (Anything with cannibalism makes my skin crawl.) And still he hears the rats in the walls. ("The Rats in the Walls")
I just have to read more by this amazing author....more
**spoiler alert** It's difficult to describe how I feel about this book. One the one hand, I wasn't too crazy about the highly-detailed descriptions o**spoiler alert** It's difficult to describe how I feel about this book. One the one hand, I wasn't too crazy about the highly-detailed descriptions of the battles when Ender was in Battle School, nor the bit about Demosthenes and Locke, though I appreciate how they played into the overall story. The thing I really liked was how far the teachers in the Battle School (as well as in the Command School) pushed and pushed Ender, isolating him and trying to find his breaking point, to see if he was "the one" to lead human civilization into victory. Though the fact that Ender was bred to be a super-intelligent child with the mind of a true battle commander, he was still that; a child. The reasons for everyone pushing him were noble (in a strange and twisted way), but stooping so low and fueling the Peter-ness that Ender already had inside him, a trait he feared above all else, was disturbing.
Then the end; Ender being ultimately drawn to a planet once inhabited by the Buggers, finding the last hope for the re-flourishing of their kind - and how Ender realizes that the buggers themselves were isolated and alone and made a mistake by attacking humanity, a mistake they would fully regret. It's kind of like both sides were wrong, Buggers and Humans, but they found a compromise in Ender being the last hope for the Buggers.
This was a very different coming-of-age story, and the last sentence, about Ender searching world to world for the right time and place to lay the bugger cocoon, makes me want to read further into the series....more