This was the second Lovecraft story I read, after At the Mountains of Madness, so at the time I knew next to nothing about Lovecraft's mythos and other writings. (That didn't last long, though.) Now with two volumes of his work under my belt, this is still the story that has stuck with me the most. It takes a while to get into, and the old-fashioned, stuffy prose doesn't help the slow start, but once things start picking up with terrible revelations and horrible implications, there's no putting it down. I find it fascinating how Lovecraft is able to pull off such a terrifying story with no gratuitous visuals. Everything is implied rather than shown directly. When describing a monster, in this story at least, Lovecraft doesn't go into actual physical descriptions, but instead simply describes how terrifying in appearance the creature is. And the genius of it is, it works. The Case of Charles Dexter Ward is easily the masterpiece of Howard Phillips Lovecraft.