Oct 20, 09
Read in October, 2009
Intriguing and extremely bizarre novella-length story about a man interested in the past, who discovers he had a distant relative who may or may not have been involved in sorcery and all kinds of unholy practices.
I've read that Lovecraft was unhappy with the way this novel turned out. In comparison to his best short stories, it is less satisfying, but is by no means a bad piece of entertainment.
At the opening, we've got a guy who escaped a mental asylum. He'd been just fine, perfectly ordinary, until his recent researches into his family history. He begins conducting experiments and secretive studies that mirror activities undertaken by a mysterious relative who lived two centuries before.
The narration occasionally gets a little cumbersome, and most of the the story is told via dialogues between observing characters. And Lovecraft includes large paragraphs of old-fashioned speak, including crazily spelled words, which, as with all of his other stories in which he does this, makes the reading somewhat difficult. This does not take up much of the text, though.
I couldn't recommend this book over some of his short story collections, but it's worth checking out, obviously, for Lovecraft fans. I'd like to see what another novel of his would look like.