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3.19  ·  Rating details ·  453 ratings  ·  42 reviews
H. P. Lovecraft was one of the greatest horror writers of all time. His seminal work appeared in the pages of legendary Weird Tales and has influenced countless writer of the macabre. This is one of those stories.
ebook, 14 pages
Published February 10th 2014 by Start Publishing LLC (first published 1926)
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Average rating 3.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  453 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
In this disturbing and bizarre story a first person narrator gets shown by a nameless magician the real face of the city. Is it a perspective of the future or one of the past? The visions seen are terrible and absolutely shocking. What is going on here? This story definitely casts a black shadow on the big city of New York. Does the narrator survive his trip? Well, you have to go on a trip yourself and read this well crafted story by Lovecraft. Sometimes I felt I was shown those thing by the ...more
Bill Kerwin

This short story, first published in Weird Tales (September, 1926) was written eleven months earlier, at 7 A.M., in a Elizabeth, New Jersey park, after one of H.P.’s midnight rambles in August of 1925. Its Greenwich Village geographical details are based on an even earlier walk Lovecraft made during the summer of 1924. During these solitary nighttime walks, Lovecraft could escape from the immigrant throngs that crowed the daytime metropolis, an alien horde which—Lovecraft habitually thought—
Dec 03, 2019 added it
Shelves: horror
"The city is dead".
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Feb 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror

An unnamed optimistic poet arrives in New York. He loves everything about it since the night promises great things for him. Daylight, however, brings disappointments. The wonderful city of night turns into a dead, modern thing during the day. Soon the disappointed man starts going out only at night, wandering the less known or even forgotten streets and alleys and loving the feeling of old he manages to find there.
One night he meets a strange man who promises to show him more. He promises
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lovecraft writes beautiful prose.

A man guides the first person narrator to labyrinths he seeks. He shows him secrets by power of necromancy and the narrators screams awaken something slithering up the stairway, black and with hundreds of undead eyes, "He."
Andrés Diplotti
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
The purple prose is strong in this one. Take a look at this, barely the second sentence of the story:

My coming to New York had been a mistake; for whereas I had looked for poignant wonder and inspiration in the teeming labyrinths of ancient streets that twist endlessly from forgotten courts and squares and waterfronts to courts and squares and waterfronts equally forgotten, and in the Cyclopean modern towers and pinnacles that rise blackly Babylonian under waning moons, I had found instead only
Marts  (Thinker)
Oct 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Another of Lovecraft's weird tales. An unnamed narrator has moved to New York, decides to take a walk one night, meets a strangely dressed fellow, accepts his invitation to go on some late night site seeing, listens to some strange tale, gets damn frightened, then learns that he's just met some dead guy from the 1700s...
Baal Of
Jan 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: weird, fiction, horror
A fairly standard offering from HPL including a trip through weird landscapes and buildings, and the expected overwrought language. Mystical arts, a mysterious stranger, visions of a future with weird architecture, and then black goo with lots of eyes. It's enough to drive one mad.
Just because you put together beautiful words, it doesn’t make it a great story
Jan 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
I think I need a break from Lovecraft. I'm not sure I appreciate such a vivid glimpse of what the world must look like through the eyes of a bigot.
Though only the second Lovecraft story I read, it establishes him as the archetype white racist American without any redeeming qualities. A slight possibility exists that Lovecraft was mocking the ambiguous morality of post-WWI Western world, by exaggerating the deep-rooted fears of racists. However it's hard to distinguish the narrator from the writer in case of such short stories.
Still I find myself immensely attracted to the brilliant prose of Lovecraft which settles between the archaic
First line: I saw him on a sleepless night when I was walking desperately to save my soul and my vision.

Our loquacious narrator travels to New York where he encounters a dirty city, dirty natives and even dirtier foreigners, and has visions of unknowable horrors in the city hat leaves him cataleptic in the end. Typical Lovecraftian stuff, but not as good as other shorts.
Julia Leporace
Dec 29, 2019 rated it liked it
“[...] and when I found the poets and artists to be loud-voiced pretenders whose quaintness is tinsel and whose lives are a denial of all that pure beauty which is poetry and art, I stayed on for love of these venerable things.”
Michael Sorbello
The prose in this story was phenomenal and dripping with eldritch fascination, but the racial undertones dragged it down quite a bit. He could have pulled off a nice dream cycle story here, but chose to go with this instead. Luckily, this was around the point he began to grow out of his discriminatory attitude and moved on to bigger and better things.
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
The lack of dialogue threw me off but in this case it created a certain scary atmosphere.
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a very twisted story.
This is not a very enjoyable short story on three points. First off, the viewpoint of the narrator (the author?) has a very blatant racist tone, without any plot relevance. Second, the prose was over the top this time. It still flows the way you expect Lovecraft's stories to go, but it felt way too much, to the point where the story is really much shorter than it seemed. And lastly, the story pretty much leaves off with more questions than answers, where it all boils down to nothing more than a ...more
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
A man enjoys exploring New York, however one evening he gets more than he bargained for...

One evening the narrator is approached by a nameless man who offers to show his something extraordinary. After taking a long and convoluted journey through the backstreets of New York (almost as if the stranger wishes the narrator to get lost?) the nameless man and the narrator arrive at a house whose upstairs window can show much more than just the city sky line.

'He' is an amazing example of Lovecraft's
May 21, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a weird one. Kind of a time travel story, but mostly a rant on how much Lovecraft REALLY hates New York City (it wouldn't be his last). What I found most interesting was the brief section where the protagonist is looking at an NYC of the future, and seems to eerily accurately describe distinctly cyberpunk stylings you might see in something like Blade Runner. Or maybe that's just me projecting? Regardless, it's an interesting one, but far from the best.
Alex Mutton
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I quite enjoyed this short story, the racial an xenophobic overtones are still present as with all his work, yet far less focal then Red Hook. I always love reading undulating now, provide such a descriptive and sickening movement but I always can see very clearly in my minds eye.

And so far in terms of Lovecraft stories some of my favourites have been the dark Sinister tones surrounding the characters our protagonists encounter, reminiscent of the old man in the picture in the house.
Gabriel Garza
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sometimes Lovecraft can blather on in his writing, but far more often his words can provide a stimulating massage to the mind. This story is the latter. A creative, original nugget of a story that is presented in such a sincere manner, one can easily assume it is partly autobiographical. Aren’t these sometimes the best stories?
Nikola Ignjatovski
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
What is more unnerving, the visions of ruined Cyclopean cities with bare-winged creatures amidst the firmament and eldritch beasts dancing to queer chants, or the idea that most of these visions were derived from Lovecraft's racist phobias and compulsions?

Also there is a bit of purple prose in this otherwise nigh-bizarre tale.
Benjamin Stahl
Nothing special here. I kind of liked the setting in New York, as opposed to a smaller New England town. I also like, despite not loving this story, the trend in those old days of writers making their hero realistic in that they can be frightened. The story pretty much ends with the protagonist legging it and then collapsing in horror.
Oct 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
I would give this five stars if it weren’t for the blatant racism. It’s really astounding to me that someone so educated could also be such a blithering bigot. Yeah, it was a different time back then and blah blah blah, but I still expect more from people of those days who were educated. Totally disappointing.
Amy Mills
Minus the racist trappings, there's a somewhat interesting story buried in here. Immortal show-off, probably leading his next victim home, brings about his own demise (though he blames the victim's screaming... seriously, his other victims didn't scream?).
Jay Rothermel
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very strong story (until the deus ex machina end of the old man). Excellent example of what Machen called a "perichoresis," an interpenetration of worlds.
An  Xin
Nov 02, 2017 rated it liked it
This story clearly depicts why following a creepy looking stranger you just met in the middle of the night is a really bad idea.
Amy (Other Amy)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Yelverton
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is actually a very scary story of witchcraft and revenge, and how the protagonist is blessed to have learned his lesson when he barely escapes with his life.
Alysha DeShaé
Oct 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Another weird one.
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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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“My coming to New York had been a mistake; for whereas I had looked for poignant wonder and inspiration in the teeming labyrinths of ancient streets that twist endlessly from forgotten courts and squares and waterfronts to courts and squares and waterfronts equally forgotten, and in the Cyclopean modern towers and pinnacles that rise blackly Babylonian under waning moons, I had found instead only a sense of horror and oppression which threatened to master, paralyse, and annihilate me.” 0 likes
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