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The Beast in the Cave

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  1,512 ratings  ·  134 reviews

a selection from the beginning of the story:

The horrible conclusion which had been gradually intruding itself upon my confused and reluctant mind was now an awful certainty. I was lost, completely, hopelessly lost in the vast and labyrinthine recess of the Mammoth Cave. Turn as I might, in no direction could my straining vision seize on any object capable of serving as a guid

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ebook, 12 pages
Published by Feedbooks.com (first published 1918)
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Alysha DeShaé Any Goodreads Librarian (a regular user with book editing permissions) can upload any image as a book cover. From the changelog, it looks as though…moreAny Goodreads Librarian (a regular user with book editing permissions) can upload any image as a book cover. From the changelog, it looks as though this image was attached as a cover to a book entry as far back as 2010, which is when it was merged with another book entry to create this entry.

As far as why it was uploaded, I'm not certain. It's possible that whoever originally created the book entry didn't have any cover art and did an image search and came across this rather awesome image. They may have thought it an actual and correct book cover and used it or just chose to use it as it is indeed pretty awesome.

I wish I could have been more help, but it is a nice image. If you like, I can remove it if you feel that would be appropriate. The cover image on the kindle purchase page is definitely different, though, and I can change it to that if you prefer.(less)
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Average rating 3.45  · 
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 ·  1,512 ratings  ·  134 reviews


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Paula
Interesting short story filled with a sense of foreboding about a man who wanders away from his tour group in a cave, gets lost in the tunnels with no light, and what happens after that. I enjoyed it.
Jason Koivu
Mar 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, fiction
Enjoyable, if not Lovecraft's finest work. What I like about him is that he usually delivered the goods monster-wise. That's not exactly the case with this (view spoiler), but there's still enough of a twist on the mundane to keep this adequately creepy.
Ahmed H. Mansour
Oh my goodness
Now that's the kind of horror I'd like to read...the real fear... fear of the unknown
The funny thing is this short story was written by a 13 years old teen...we have a full grown men and women these days that keep throwing trash into pages and calls it a horror story...nothing beats the classics I suppose :)
the story tells of a man that found himself in a very tight spot, eye to eye with an unknown thing that he thinks of it as nothing but something evil and sinister,
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Ringman Roth
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've seen many mixed reviews for this story. However, I have to defend it. Its Lovecraft's first published (as far as I know) and its one of his scariest. But unlike a horror movie, or even some of the newer horror sex/gore fests stories today, you have to work for this to get the most out of it. You need to read it with a crystal clear, flexible imagination, and read it alone, at night in a dim room with a single light. If you really get in the shoes of the character, and see everything as he s ...more
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Sep 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
2.5
The narrator, in his infinite wisdom, got separated from his group while they were following their guide through the caves. He wasn't aware there are so many tunnels. Soon he lost his light too. Nobody heard his screams.
Then he heard the sound. The last words are written in capital letters followed by a couple of exclamation marks. It ruined the story.
Shravanthi
Beautifully written horror short story, although the story itself was no better than a school assignment.

Read it purely for his excellency in language and for the imagery he creates.
Marts  (Thinker)
Apr 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, fiction
Interesting short story by Lovecraft. The protagonist wanders away from his guide while touring a cave, and soon hears strange sounds approaching him in the darkness...
Kenneth McKinley
Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
A short story from 1918 set in Mammoth Cave. A man wanders off from his guided tour to explore a side passage in the cave and gets lost. With his light extinguished and yelling for help not bringing rescuers, the darkness begins to bring in despair. Suddenly, a set of strange footsteps approach unlike any heard before.

The Beast in the Cave is a quick snippet with a funhouse ending that what Lovecraft specialized in and passed down to future generations of horror masters. You can tell this is on
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Crystal Dawn
Where's the best place to read this book? On audio during an evening walk. It's terrifying. Lovecraft has a very refined way with words. His use of imagery, his use of metaphors, his use of language, everything! It's superb! And to think, he wrote this story at the age of fifteen, pouring hours into his research to produce the best story he can. He's impressed me. I will definitely be tackling more of his works.
Oliver Holm
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"For a moment I was so struck with horror at the eyes thus revealed that I noted nothing else. They were black, those eyes, deep, jetty black, in hideous contrast to the snow-white hair and flesh. Like those of other cave denizens, they were deeply sunken in their orbits, and were entirely destitute of iris."

The first draft of this 2,500-word story was penned in the spring of 1904, when Lovecraft was just a 13-year-old teenager, and the finished version dates to April 21 the followin
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Kendall Hines
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
;-; Feels bad man, my heart..
Gary
Apr 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
a scary story work-up
{ U n s o l v e d M y s t e r y }

A man gets lost in an underground cave. A strange beast creature soon finds him.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
After I read this short story, I did some research. In the first part, it mentions, "Mammoth Cave". This is fun to me because I used to live in Cave City, Ky. There are numerous caves there, one being Mammoth Cave. The story also mentions "Green River" well, it just so happens, Green River runs near Mammoth Cave.

So, this story was based on Mammoth Cave in Cave city, Ky.......and I lived there! Isn't that neat??


A man gets lost in an underground cave. A strange beast creature soon finds him.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
After I read this short story, I did some research. In the first part, it mentions, "Mammoth Cave". This is fun to me because I used to live in Cave City, Ky. There are numerous caves there, one being Mammoth Cave. The story also mentions "Green River" well, it just so happens, Green River runs near Mammoth Cave.

So, this story was based on Mammoth Cave in Cave city, Ky.......and I lived there! Isn't that neat??

description
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Christopher
Guy finds himself lost and (perhaps not as) alone (as it first seemed) in a pitch-black cave. He is approached by what is surely a quite excellent piece of meat. However, as is tradition in a lovecraftian piece of prose, the aforementioned guy is overwhelmingly neurotic, and as such he conjures the image of some terrifying beast, unknowing that the piece of meat surely only wants his unyielding love.
Roxy
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
A great short read. Amazed that this story, given its use of language, was written when he was less than 15 years old. I can't imagine any of the teenagers i know having such a wide vocab and being able to use it effectively. A very enjoyable little story.
Brian
Apr 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Lovecraft writes with an attractive style. The story was okay, not enthralling to me. He writes entirely in summary, telling and not showing. Somehow his syntax makes it attractive still.
Ryan Vaughan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marco
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
Years ago I decided to read the complete work of this author, a choice that I came to regret: while Lovecraft's contribution to the field is indisputable, and while a small number of his stories are good, the vast majority of his work is mediocre at best, and often marred by horrifying xenophobia. I thought I was done reading his work, when I came across this short story that I had previously missed. The story is not great or particularly original, but it was written by the author at a very youn ...more
J.B.M. Patrick
The Beast in the Cave is only a brief recollection of a cave explorer told in the first-person.

My issue with this short story is that a lot of the storytelling itself relies on embellishment, as the narrator seems to spend an awful amount of time re-describing characteristics of his environment that he's already gone over the first time.

There is a careful and deliberate buildup to a rather weak and nonsensical action scene, and then the payoff is disappointing. Lovecraft
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Eye of Sauron
I get that Lovecraft was only fourteen years old when he wrote this, but still.

It's a pretty average, boring story of a guy lost in a dark cave, paranoid and neurotic. And there's something in there too!

gasp

I'm hoping his later stories increase in quality along with his age.

Side note: Yes, I am going to individually log all of Lovecraft's short stories on here as I read them. BECAUSE I CAN. Also because they're all on Goodreads. Also because I want to look back and reme/>Side/>
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Lachlan Burke
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The final reveal left a pit in my stomach, even if the bold font and three exclamation marks made me read it a page too early. The description of the creature is some of Lovecraft's later magic shining through in his earliest story, and the setting and mood is pitch-perfect. Hard to believe somebody only fifteen years old wrote this. Only knocking one star off because the story is unoriginal in places and Lovecraft sounds a little amateurish, not having found his voice as a writer.
Alyssa
It is very clear that this was Lovecraft's earliest story. It is roughly written and inspires disinterest in the story itself. It reads like a ghost story that one of your more pretentious friends in high school would have come up with while your friends and you sat around a campfire or laid down in sleeping bags in your living room while exchanging scary stories. That being said, to Lovecraft's credit, it is markedly good for being written when he was only fourteen.
JM
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dumbass gets lost in cave complex and is chased in the dark by a mysterious beast until he manages to wound it with a rock before finding the exit and meeting up with his guide. Both are disgusted by the hideous albino ape-like thing and they're about to shoot its ass dead when they realize it's a horribly degenerated human being who went insane and became a gibbering beast over years of living in pitch-black darkness and eating whatever it could get.

No cosmic horror or Mythos elemen
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Neelam Babul
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An Interesting and captivating short story by Lovecraft.

The protagonist wanders away from his guide while touring a cave. He is lured into the cave by his curiosity to explore the cave. On entering the dark cave, he hears strange the sound of footsteps approaching him. Equally terrified and bewildered, he tries to save himself by throwing logs and rocks within his reach to save his life.

An exhilarating story that chilled me to the bones.
Austin Wright
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Beast in the Cave" is a short story by American horror fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft. The first draft was written in the Spring of 1904, with the final draft finished in April 1905, when Lovecraft was fourteen. It was first published in the June 1918 issue of the amateur press journal The Vagrant.
Peter Wolfley
I love how HPL creates such a spooky atmosphere in his writing even when nothing spooky is happening in the story. This one struck me as a modern remix of the story of Gollum from LOTR. The psychological implications of the story are also very interesting to consider when you think about the duality of mankind, the corrosive nature of isolation, and the inability to see a shared condition.
Andrea Hollopeter
2.5 stars
Wow Andrea, you're so harsh! A 15-year-old wrote this!
Yeah, well, it was still pretty meh. It had a pretty decent build-up, but the climax and payoff honestly just kind of... fizzled out (and it was also kind of hilariously cheesy). Don't get me wrong, this *is* pretty impressive writing for a 15-year-old, but I still didn't really care for it.
Giwrgos Ntomaris
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the first stories Lovecraft ever published. Reading this book while being in your room alone with a small lamp can be a truly fascinating experience.
The story is different from today's horror stories
While reading this book try to be in the shoes of the protagonist and you will see why Lovecraft was a master of horror stories.
Netanella
A man gets lost in an underground cave, and in typical Lovecraftian fashion, develops paranoid delusions. He also encounters a beastie. All around, good stuff.

Yes, the ending is slightly cheesy and cliche. But, as Howie wrote this when he was 15 years of age, then holy bloody hell, but you can see Howie's gift of language early on.
Nellie
Good story, really gets you to feel the loneliness and then the safety that the main character feels. Kind of a weak end, but still a cool one that make you think deeper of what happened before the story took place. 7/10

Not really scary.
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12,495 followers
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 Cthulh
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