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The Thing on the Doorstep

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  2,875 ratings  ·  240 reviews
"The Thing on the Doorstep" is a short story written by H.P. Lovecraft, part of the Cthulhu Mythos universe of horror fiction. It was written in August 1933, and first published in the January 1937 issue of Weird Tales.

Daniel Upton, the story's narrator, begins by telling that he has killed his best friend, Edward Derby, and that he hopes his account will prove that he is
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Kindle Edition, 250 pages
Published January 1st 1937
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  2,875 ratings  ·  240 reviews


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Glenn Russell
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing


"I do not know—but others have strange things to tell of Edward and Asenath Derby, and even the stolid police are at their wits’ ends to account for that last terrible visit." - H.P. Lovecraft, The Thing on the Doorstep

I must say I am particularly drawn to this harrowing H.P. Lovecraft tale of terror first published in 1937 since the author probes deeply into the various psychological and magical dimensions of consciousness, personal identity and personality via the story’s major theme: mind-tra
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Peter
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Daniel Upton's friend Edward seems to be completely changed after his marriage to a younger woman. Asenath lives in Innsmouth (!) and seems to be into dark magic. Her father recently died. What influence does she have over Edward? What about the strange cosmic evils Edward is talking about? And what about his body? A very uncanny Cthulhu story of Lovecraft. Highly recommended! ...more
Alejandro
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Knock, knock! You're doomed!


TRULY SCARY TALE

Daniel Upton and Edward Derby were best friends.

However, Upton has to kill Derby to save him.

Yes, you read right...

...this seems to sound weird but in this creepy tale, it’s explained the unusual predicament in which poor Derby is involved...

...and how death maybe is his only escape from it,...

...but even Upton maybe will be cursed too.

Friendship is a heavy burden...

...in Lovecraft Country.


...more
Bill Kerwin
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing

H.P. was dissatisfied with “The Thing on the Doorstep” and hesitated to submit it; although it was written in August of 1933, it was not published until more than three years later, in Weird Tales (January 1937). I do not share his hesitancy and dissatisfaction, for not only do I think that it is one of the most enjoyable and best constructed of his medium length tales, notable for its visceral shudders as well as for its cosmic terrors, but I also believe it contains glimpses of autobiography t
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Brian
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“There are horrors beyond life’s edge that we do not suspect, and once in a while man’s evil prying calls them just within our range.”

Daniel Upton wants to tell you his story. He wants to explain his innocence. He shot his best friend, Edward Derby, six times and he claims justified reasoning. He tells of a love story, of Edward meeting and falling in love with Asenath Waite. The girl has been known to read things she shouldn’t read, to know and do things people shouldn’t. Girls in class look a
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Mir
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, lovecrafty
One of the more pure-fantasy Lovecraft stories, with magic spells out of ancient books, no aliens or other dangers from space or alternate dimensions.



Also one of his few active female (view spoiler) characters, along with an interesting but largely undeveloped set of themes about gender and sexuality. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>
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John
Nov 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
Story- 4/5
Narration- 3.5/5
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Jul 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
'It is true that I have sent six bullets through the head of my best friend, and yet I hope to shew by this statement that I am not his murderer.'
That's a promising beginning. The narrator Daniel Upton is perfectly aware how his explanation might sound. He even asks himself whether he was misled but, considering that others too have their own experiences of his friend Edward Derby and his wife Asenath, that's highly unlikely. One expects a lot from a story as soon as it is revealed that the wif
...more
Bettie
Oct 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Bettie by: Gerry


Read online here

Description: Daniel Upton, the story's narrator, begins by telling that he has killed his best friend, Edward Derby, and that he hopes his account will prove that he is not a murderer ...

Opening: It is true that I have sent six bullets through the head of my best friend, and yet I hope to show by this statement that I am not his murderer. At first I shall be called a madman - madder than the man I shot in his cell at the Arkham Sanitarium. Later some of my readers will weigh each
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 Дарья
Feb 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best H.P. Lovecraft short story I have read so far; I cannot even begin to describe how remarkable this was. This is one of those stories that will captivate you and remain with you to ponder upon days after you have read it.
Amy (Other Amy)
Some people know things about the universe that nobody ought to know, and can do things that nobody ought to be able to do. I’ve been in it up to my neck, but that’s the end. Today I’d burn that damned Necronomicon and all the rest if I were librarian at Miskatonic.

This is a thing I've been thinking myself for a while. I'm no book burner, but, were we living in Arkham, the biggest hero would be the one who burned down the damned library. Sure, they have other copies of the Necronomicon, but that
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Dean
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Howard Phillips Lovecraft was an American author of fantasy, horror and science fiction..

Also: "Lovecraftian", the word does not appear in the Oxford English Dictionary, but there can be few readers who are unaware of its meaning.

"Lovecraftian" implies a very specific type of supernatural tale - of ancient horrors imagined in the darkest regions of one's subconscious, or glimpsed out of the corner of one's eye..

These are excerpts from the introduction of his works, but they are so accurate which
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Althea Ann
Sep 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
A re-read.
"It is true that I have sent six bullets through the head of my best friend, and yet I hope to show by this statement that I am not his murderer." Is that a great first line, or what?

A frightening tale of stolen identity and ancient, immortal horrors.

The narrator, Dan, was friends with Edward Derby since childhood. However, he saw Edward grow up into an unassertive, weak-willed man, who eventually merely transferred his dependence on his parents onto his new wife, Asenath... an Innsmou
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Michael Sorbello
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, book-reviews
Wow, that was quite the mind-blowing trip. It starts off with the narrator claiming that he visited his best friend in an asylum and put six bullets in his head, immediately following up with the statement that he’s not a murderer. It doesn’t take long for the readers to figure out that there’s something horribly wrong here.

The narrator’s best friend was a relatively down-to-earth chap until he met his wife from Innsmouth (a very bad place if you’ve read The Shadow over Innsmouth) and begins to
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Quirkyreader
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read this story and you have a better appreciation for Alan Moore's comic Providence. ...more
Zuky the BookBum
Wow. I wasn't sure what to I was going to think of this, as several state it's not his best of stories, but as I'm a new reader of Lovecraft, I have nothing to compare this to, so I enjoyed it hugely!

The opening line of this story, It is true that I have sent six bullets through the head of my best friend, and yet I hope to show by this statement that I am not his murderer," is enough to completely suck you in to the story. You'll find yourself getting lost in this piece of fiction, coming o
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Shannon
At long last, I finally understand the Edward Derby references!

MY GRADE: B to B plus.
Ramakrishna
Oct 09, 2020 rated it did not like it
This would have been a good story had it not been sexist af.
Sheesh.
Anastasia
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Even though you get an idea of what is going to happen at the beginning, this story is still profoundly frightening. Lovecraft is not for the faint of heart, or those with a tenuous grip on reality. However, I highly recommend him for those who like to get that chill down their spine that only a convincing horror story can deliver. Being that I love most things horrifying, I don't know how I made it 25 years without reading any of his work, but I'm glad that I'm starting now. ...more
Julie Rylie
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Loved it! About a guy that was always interested in esoteric/ supernatural phenomena that meets an odd girl and they both get married. Turns out she isn't who he thought she was and she stars trying to take the life/ body out of him slowly. There are references to Innsmouth and the smell of fish from locals. ...more
Michael Gardner
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lovecraft writes a cautionary tale about why it is unwise to marry a cosmic alien fish woman from Innsmouth. I'm cancelling my subscription to InnsmouthBrides.com. ...more
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
Lovecraft's stories could be classic - the Cthulhu ones, for example - but his collection was a mix of hit-and-misses.

This story however, is definitely one of the hits. It conveys a nice sense of horror with what happened with the real Asenath Waite, and the ultimate fate of the narrator's friend. There's a movie of this, but I haven't seen it, so I can't compare the two, but the written story is bloody fantastic on its own and in my opinion, one of Lovecraft's best.
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Jen (LOHF/Book Den)
I've probably read more things derived from Lovecraft than actual Lovecraft tales, but I've been making an effort to read Lovecraft more the last few years.

I was a little leery heading into reading The Thing on the Doorstep simply because it is part of the Cthulhu mythos. While I have enjoyed many of the derivative works, I haven't had success with the original Cthulhu stories. I'm much more drawn to stories like The Shunned House and The Horror at Red Hook. I love hauntings and atmosphere and l
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Chakib Bahbaz
Mar 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Aseneth, is there such a thing ?

My hair bristles every time i read this.

“Dan—for God’s sake! The pit of the shoggoths! Down the six thousand steps . . . the abomination of abominations . . . I never would let her take me, and then I found myself there. . . . Iä! Shub-Niggurath! . . . The shape rose up from the altar, and there were 500 that howled. . . . The Hooded Thing bleated ‘Kamog! Kamog!’—that was old Ephraim’s secret name in the coven. . . . I was there, where she promised she wouldn’t t
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Mr. Noc
Apr 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thrilling.
Chilling.
Killing.

If there is a word that ends with -illing this story has them in spades.
It's beautifully set up and executed and I rank it higher than some of his more famous works.
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Working Man Reads
Nov 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I cannot pretend that this was not one of the better classic horror stories I have read. It honestly grabs your attention and holds it for the entire time. You follow Daniel who is the stories narrator, And his friend Edward Derby. Edward meets a young lady who had a father who was involved in cult activities. The young woman had abilities and almost came off as a psychic with witch like powers. Edward and the woman named Asenath develop a relationship. quickly Edward is pulled into researching ...more
Katy
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Part of the Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft , which can be found formatted for Nook and Kindle on CthulhuChick.com.

Synopsis: The Thing on the Doorstep is a short story written by H.P. Lovecraft, part of the Cthulhu Mythos universe of horror fiction. It was written in August 1933, and first published in the January 1937 issue of Weird Tales.

Daniel Upton, the story's narrator, begins by telling that he has killed his best friend, Edward Derby, and that he hopes his account will prove that he i
...more
Iulian
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Terrific writing and atmosphere, as in Lovecraft's usual trademarks. As I am a fan of horror films in general - though haven't read many horror stories - I looked up if someone did adapt this eerie and tremble inducing short tale. There is indeed a quite recent adaptation from 2014 and the overall score of 3,7 out of 10 on Imdb doesn't necessarily hold me up in seeing it, near future-wise. I consider that as being called "diversity", in seeing both great films and utterly garbage ones ha ha. Mos ...more
Charles  van Buren
A sense of foreboding builds as the story progresses, April 13, 2017

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This review is from: The Thing on the Doorstep (Kindle Edition)

In this story, Lovecraft reveals much about the ending in advance, but in doing so he builds an eerie feeling of horror and doom to keep the reader interested. Even though most will guess what the "thing on the doorstep" is going to be, there is a little twist which will surprise many. This is a good story in the Cthulhu cycle which can
...more
Melora
My first Lovecraft, but it won't be my last. The story itself was fine but unremarkable (well, remarkably weird and gruesome, but it didn't knock my socks off), but I was intrigued by all the hints of a larger created world. I'm inclined to learn more about Innsmouth, Miskatonic University, etc. ...more
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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
...more

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