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The Shadow Over Innsmouth

4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,435 Ratings  ·  243 Reviews
"The Shadow Over Innsmouth" is a short novel about a weird hybrid race of humans and creatures resembling a cross between a fish and a frog, which lives in the seaside village of Innsmouth.
Paperback, 158 pages
Published April 1936 by Visionary Publishing Company (first published 1936)
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The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. LovecraftThe Shadow Over Innsmouth by H.P. LovecraftThe Rats in the Walls by H.P. LovecraftAt the Mountains of Madness by H.P. LovecraftHerbert West by H.P. Lovecraft
H.P Lovecraft collection
2nd out of 98 books — 26 voters
The Rats in the Walls by H.P. LovecraftThe Shadow Over Innsmouth by H.P. LovecraftThe Dunwich Horror by H.P. LovecraftThe Call of Cthulhu by H.P. LovecraftSupernatural Horror in Literature by H.P. Lovecraft
H.P. Lovecraft: His greatest works
2nd out of 18 books — 7 voters

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Jeffrey Keeten
Oct 12, 2015 Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
”One night I had a frightful dream in which I met my grandmother under the sea. She lived in a phosphorescent palace of many terraces, with gardens of strange leprous corals and grotesque brachiate efflorescences, and welcomed me with a warmth that may have been sardonic. She had changed--as those who take to the water change--and told me she had never died.”

It might have been the uncertain light from the flickering fire casting deceptive shadows across my friend’s face or maybe it was the way t
The Shadow Over Innsmouth is one H.P. Lovecraft's later works - written in 1936 and published in 1936, the only of his works of fiction to be published during his lifetime - he died in 1937. Lovecraft himself disliked the story, thinking it poorly written and not suitable for publication. The first and only print run consisted of only 200 copies, filled with typographical errors, most of which were not sold.

If you'd judge the book by the ineptitude of its publisher and the unrelenting negativit
Feb 09, 2016 Lyn rated it really liked it
Aleister Crowley, “The Mad Arab” Abdul Alhazred, Asmodeus, Ozzy Osbourne and John Denver sit in a pub in London, discussing HP Lovecraft’s Shadow Over Innsmouth.

Aleister: This was one of Lovecraft’s later works, first published in 1931, and I think, in my humble opinion, one of his finest.

Abdul: When were you ever humble, my friend?

Ozzy: Thoos twr, Alztr, wy njed dis stwi vry moos twu

John: Um, I think what Ozzy is trying to say is that he liked it too, what about you Asmodeus, um, or should I us
⊱ Irena ⊰
Dec 25, 2014 ⊱ Irena ⊰ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
I remember a survival horror game Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth a couple of years ago. Only a part of the game is similar to The Shadow Over Innsmouth and it is a combination of more Lovecraft's stories, so it's not exactly the same, but I still remember how the arrival of the main character to Innsmouth, that filthy old hotel, and what happens later made me feel.

Needless to say, I loved this story. I think it is one of those you could recommend to anyone who wants to try Lovecraft
Feb 09, 2015 Mohammed rated it liked it
كما جرت العادة مع نصوص لافكرافت، تقلب الصفحات متسائلا: مالذي يخيف في الأمر. وما إن تفرغ من الكتاب وتضعه جانبا حتى يجتاحك شعور بالتوجس وتملأ أذنيك همسات الوساوس. السبب في ذلك هو أن لافكرافت يعمل ببطء ودأب ليخلق محيطا سوداويا غامضا لا يسعى أن يصدمك بل أن يتسلل إلى دخيلة نفسك تاركا بصمة رعب في اللاوعي.

تحكي هذه الرواية القصيرة عن رحلة فتى إلى مدينة إنزماوث الملعونة، بأهلها الذين لايختلطون مع العالم الخارجي ولا يتقبلون أحدا. وبما أننا نقرأ للافكرافت فلابد من وجود بحر، وديانة وثنية، وكم كبير من العتم
Dec 31, 2012 Katy rated it it was amazing
This is part of The Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft , which can be found formatted for Nook or Kindle at

Synopsis: "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" is a short novel about a weird hybrid race of humans and creatures resembling a cross between a fish and a frog, which lives in the seaside village of Innsmouth.

My Thoughts: There is a fairly decent video adaptation of this story on YouTube. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. It's not exact, of course, but it gives the basic gist. I really enjoyed
Oct 27, 2014 Simon rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I'll just start by pointing out that I didn't read this particular edition; I picked it out of this collection for a re-read.

After reading most of his stories once before, this stood out as one of my favourites. There's just something about that shadowed town of Innsmouth that is so evocative and creepy that it really stays with you. Indeed, this is one of the stories I often suggest to people who haven't read him before as a good introduction to his work.

Most of Lovecraft's work is not always w
Sep 17, 2014 Anton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It's not everyday that one comes across a novel or novella that winds up making their top 5 list of all-time favorites. This one made that list. The Shadow Of Innsmouth is a story that I will be reading again and again for the rest of my life, and if I were to describe this book in one word, it would be "fun." Unlike some of my other favorite novels, which consist of mostly horror and sci-fi horror novels, The Shadow Of Innsmouth was a fun read, despite being so disturbing as well. Lovecraft's w ...more
Aug 24, 2012 Kyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Ahhh, this story. What can you really say about Lovecraft that hasn't been said a million times before. The gears turning in this mans' mind were one finely crafted machine for scaring the crap out of his readers. The Shadow Over Innsmouth is a novella that sent me into the darkest recesses of my mind. I dare not spoil the twists anymore than the horrible description set for the book. What I will include are the feelings of dread and filthiness that Mr. Lovecraft seemingly shoved into my head du ...more
Jun 08, 2013 Owen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The Shadow Over Innsmouth is my absolute favorite horror story ever- It's one of the few stories written by H.P. Lovecraft that has a true action scene in it and it is by far one of the most intensely terrifying action scenes I have ever read. The poetic description creates a roller coaster of twists and turns that makes you want to close your eyes and pray for the end of the horror to come quicker- not because it's boring, but because it's so creepy and it feels real while you read it. You feel ...more
Dec 08, 2014 Lucia rated it really liked it
Recommended to Lucia by: Karila
Shelves: book-club, horror
**Leído para el Club de Lectura**
Para la segunda entrega del Club de Lectura le tocó a Gloria elegir el libro, y se decidió por una selección de cuentos de Lovecraft.

Este es el tipo de historias de Lovecraft que más me gustan. Poco a poco va construyendo la atmósfera hasta llegar al momento de mayor horror, para después despacharse con un final inesperado. Admito que ya suponía lo que iba a pasar en el cuento por las pistas que va dejando en el camino, pero el final no me lo imaginé. Mi fé en Lo
Nov 23, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Bettie, Carey
BBC Radio 4 Extra:
Young historian Robert Olmstead journeys to the mysterious, shunned town of Innsmouth in New England. Read by Richard Coyle.
Andrés Diplotti
Feb 21, 2015 Andrés Diplotti rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 12, 2014 Monse rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
Otro cuento de Lovecraft que me encantó como está narrado. En especial la parte de la persecución. Además me gustó que estuviera contado en primera persona y en pasado, a diferencia de Dunwich que estaba en tercera persona. Como negativo destacaría la vuelta de tuerca del final, que me pareció bastante esperable ya que hubo pistas durante todo el relato que vaticinaban ese desenlace, y eso no me convenció. (view spoiler) ...more
Charn Singh
Aug 14, 2015 Charn Singh rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Late night, with total silence around you and a camp outside under full moon- this is a book to be read.

Lovecraft creates eerie atmosphere, his trademark one. If he had been a painter, his works would have contained grey daubs of bizarre scenes with murky black as background. The narrative slowly builds up and creeps on you, churning slow terror from dark corners of the mind. It immerses you with sheer intensity invokes grotesque exposition of isolated evil in Innsmouth.
Baal Of
Jan 08, 2015 Baal Of rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, horror, weird
This is one of my favorite Lovecraft stories. It's still flawed like all his work, but this one has just a whiff more characterization than usual, and the building creepiness of the town of Innsmouth is particularly well done. The nighttime pursuit of the main character by the batrachian townspeople is genuinely scary, and then his eventual change comes as a surprise, but was clearly hinted at early in the narrative. The lengthy monologue by Zadok is a bit difficult to follow sometimes because o ...more
Jan 11, 2016 Jesse rated it liked it
I find myself often thinking that if Lovecraft's writing was as good as the concepts he came up with, then his work would be nothing short of masterpieces. The same holds true for The Shadow Over Innsmouth. It's eerie and thought-provoking like many of his other stories, but has a tendency to drag from time to time. Regardless, it's another interesting look into the Cthulu Mythos; a world I find myself continually drawn to.

Almost maddeningly so...
Sep 28, 2012 Ténzom rated it liked it
Eery. Haunting. Weird. Wouldn't have associated such a genre with a name like Lovecraft. One time, I took this test online that evaluated your writing and told you which writer wrote most similar to you and I got H.P. Lovecraft. I had no idea who he was then. Anyway, now that I've read Shadow Over Innsmouth, I'll say, the man can make your skin crawl with his words. The imagery they evoke is enough to creep you out, and then there's the atmosphere the story's set in ... brr. I dunno if I'll be r ...more
Coos Burton
Dec 23, 2014 Coos Burton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: terror
"(..) sentía un impulso irracional a apartarme de la vida sana y ordinaria que llevaba, y a lanzarme a las tinieblas y la locura."
Cuando a los nueve años leí por primera vez una narración de Lovecraft me quedé con una especie de sensación rara. Una sensación que no era precisamente mala, pero que tampoco podría expresar como buena. Extrañada, confundida, y también un poquito perturbada. El click se dio en el momento en el que descubrí que de eso se trata Lovecraft: una vuelta por acá, unas crip
Oct 05, 2012 Andrew rated it really liked it
This is certainly one of Lovecraft's strongest works, and almost devoid of his otherwise distracting and nauseating racism. The mood is rendered expertly, and the reader can easily fathom the extreme anomie of Innsmouth and its ghoulish denizens.

Although the discussion with Zadok is overly tedious and difficult to navigate, the story is absolved of its banality once the suspenseful hunt for the protagonist commences. However, the novel terminates too abruptly for my liking.

If you're strapped on
Jan 04, 2016 Flickercat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In „Schatten über Innsmouth“ berichtet der Protagonist, wie er auf seiner Reise durch das Land von einer heruntergekommenen, von den Menschen gemiedenen Hafenstadt und deren irgendwie unheimlichen Bewohnern hört. Neugierig geworden beschließt er, einen Abstecher dorthin zu unternehmen. Die Entdeckungen, die er dort macht, wecken sein Entsetzen und bringen ihn zunehmend in Gefahr...

Wie schon in „Der Fall Charles Dexter Ward“ haben mich der langsame Spannungsaufbau und auch die Berichtsform überze
Jan 04, 2016 Toolshed rated it it was amazing
So I have finally read The Shadow Over Innsmouth. Having played the video game Call of Cthulhu: The Dark Corners of the Earth some years back, I have to point out just how faithful it was to the source material (at least the first few moments, the game then moves on to its own thing and draws upon some other works of HPL). And whoa, the atmosphere here; I have to say that Lovecraft may have created his most compelling world in Innsmouth, though I have yet to read some of his major works to make ...more
Carlos Reges
Oct 27, 2014 Carlos Reges rated it it was amazing
Terror negro, agobiante, oscuro, escabroso, macabro y truculento. Sé que suena a trabalenguas (si lo dices rápido), pero así es como catalogo esta novela corta e intensa de Lovecraft. No escatima en darnos un vistazo de un pueblo ficticio, pero que parece tan real en su descripción como si alguna vez lo hubiéramos visitado. Tampoco es fácil deducir qué se esconde en la iglesia, la taberna, la fábrica abandonada e incluso el mismo hotel donde debió hospedarse nuestro protagonista.

Mucho menos me
Martin Sebesta
Feb 23, 2015 Martin Sebesta rated it really liked it
Ideální na začátky s Lovecraftem.

Je to zvláštní autor. Na jednu stranu mají jeho příběhy předvídatelné pointy a lidem v nich chybí takový ten, no, lidský rozměr, ale na druhou dokáže vytvořit úžasnou mytologii a vyzdvihnout taková ta dnes už tak vzácná autentická místa, jako jsou křivolaká města a volná krajina.

Celým Lovecraftem se táhne nevýznamnost člověka, což evidentně souvisí s tehdejšími poznatky o našem umístění ve vesmíru. Máme dvacátá třicátá léta. Edmund Hubble zjistil, že galaxie není
Mar 04, 2015 Matt rated it liked it

What Lovecraft could have been with a decent editor is tragic to think about.

I will read more, however. This was my first. I am worried that so many have called this one of his best works, especially since I found it above average--if only just. And this was Lovecraft when he was working at the pinnacle latter-years (1931-1937) of his writing before his early death. If his later work, which was small in number, was his best, I fear trekking through his earlier material (1917-1930) may prove
Jul 16, 2014 Dmitry rated it it was amazing
In this short story Lovecraft masterfully immerses reader into derelict and isolated seaside town of Innsmouth, and it's dark secrets. He manages to do so first through suspenseful and vivid exposition, followed by one of the most intense and thrilling escape scenes put on paper. As in most Lovecraft stories, the protagonist is expendable, and is used as a medium, or, if you will, "sacrifice", which channels Lovecraft's dark genius of horror with reader's own psyche. Definitely worth a re-read.
Jan 16, 2014 Chibineko rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: awesome-narrator
I picked this up from ye olde podiobooks via my iPod Touch and I'm glad I did. Reading Lovecraft is fun, but having it read to you? Pretty damn spiffy in and of itself. Bennett does an excellent job as narrator, so much so that many will probably be shocked that he isn't a professional audiobook reader working for one of the big publishing companies out there.

Bennett did such a good job that I downloaded his book Underwood and Finch without even really bothering to see if the book would be some
Lovecraft did for New England what Fred and Rosemary West did for the Gloucester tourist board, and what the meat pie floater did for South Australian cuisine. This book would provide ample evidence for the prosecution should New England ever choose to sue Lovecraft from beyond the grave. It is also one of Lovecraft's finest works in my opinion, not least because it is one of his longest in which his ideas are fully fleshed out. I would recommend this, At the Mountains of Madness and The Dream-Q ...more
Oct 08, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it
Había leído este cuento hace mucho tiempo pero solo recordaba detalles. La forma en la que está escrito fue gratamente muy diferente a la de los demás cuentos de Lovecraft que tuve que leer para el Club de Lectura. La historia es muy dinámica y todo el tiempo atrapante.
Lori Anderson
Jan 22, 2016 Lori Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Ah, so NOW I've read this Lovecraft of whom Stephen King speaks. But I'm still vague on how to pronounce "chthulhu". It sounds right in my head, but when I try to say it, I sound like a strangled frog.

Which, I believe, is the point.
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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
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“Certainly, the terror of a deserted house swells in geometrical rather than arithmetical progression as houses multiply to form a city of stark desolation. The sight of such endless avenues of fishy-eyed vacancy and death, and the thought of such linked infinities of black, brooding compartments given over to cob-webs and memories and the conqueror worm, start up vestigial fears and aversions that not even the stoutest philosophy can disperse.” 8 likes
“One night I had a frightful dream in which I met my grandmother under the sea. She lived in a phosphorescent palace of many terraces, with gardens of strange leprous corals and grotesque brachiate efflorescences, and welcomed me with a warmth that may have been sardonic. She had changed - as those who take to the water change - and told me she had never died. Instead, she had gone to a spot her dead son had learned about, and had leaped to a realm whose wonders - destined for him as well - he had spurned with a smoking pistol. This was to be my realm, too - I could not escape it. I would never die, but would live with those who had lived since before man ever walked the earth.” 2 likes
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