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February Discussions > The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I've been on the road and suddenly I'm late discussing this book.

At first, the 80yo language left me feeling a bit stupid as I had to look up far more words than usual. But, in general, I think the older, more formal writing style suits horror quite well. If written today, this story overall would sound foolish - but it worked for me. I read this on a flight from Dallas to Miami and it passed the time nicely.

Much of it is now stereotyped horror elements - castles in Transylvania, creepy little men, 'deranged' men of leisure. I really need to go do me research and see how much of this was fresh and a source of the classic horror imagery vs. just a user ....

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

This isn't Lovecraft at his best, for sure; in fact, he never published it during his life, and I think he thought it was too flawed and set it aside.

I happen to like Lovecraft's stilted somewhat formal writing style and I agree with Geoffrey that is very suited to pulp horror. I've always used Lovecraft as the benchmark for horror and tend to prefer his quiet and less flashy style of uncovering secrets no man was meant to know horror.

message 3: by stormhawk (new)

stormhawk | 75 comments February has ended up being a far more active month than I expected. I have started reading the book, but have only just started chapter 2.

I enjoy Lovecraft's use of language ... stilted and old, even to the 1920's reader.

I'm going to a conference next week and am hoping to get some reading done on the train.

message 4: by stormhawk (new)

stormhawk | 75 comments Random thought from the early pages of chapter II ... there is a description of something being "horribly obscure." I know it's a weird phrase to key on, but the statement is so chilling that it sets the tone for the background he is giving about Curwen.

message 5: by stormhawk (new)

stormhawk | 75 comments As I was reading today I started wondering if there were any movie versions ... the answer, apparently, is "yes," with a loosely based adaptation by Roger Corman with Vincent Price, and a more faithful rendition called The Resurrected, which is available as a Netflix Watch Instantly.

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I might have to get the movie ....

message 7: by stormhawk (new)

stormhawk | 75 comments For me it's not a matter of "might have to." I will, but I have to find the time.

Since this seems to be a day for my random brain wanderings ... Male leads in Lovecraft films ... were they weird BEFORE they did the movie, or did doing Lovecraft make them lose sanity points, just like in The Call of Cthulhu Role Playing Game? Dean Stockwell, Jeffrey Combs, Chris Sarandon ... I'm just saying ...

message 8: by stormhawk (new)

stormhawk | 75 comments The astute reader can see part of the conclusion before the characters figure out the unbelievable thing that has happened ... a lot of the horror lies in Dr. Willet's journey to that terrible and forbidden knowledge.

message 9: by stormhawk (last edited Feb 21, 2011 10:24AM) (new)

stormhawk | 75 comments Hey Geoffrey, how do you link the discussion to the monthly notification header thingy?

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

hmmm ... dunno ...

message 11: by stormhawk (last edited Feb 22, 2011 06:45PM) (new)

stormhawk | 75 comments It doesn't let me edit the link for the thread, I figured you must be able to being Master of All He Surveys, hereabouts. I am at a conference in Baltimore. If I have time (after the sessions and the important inter-agency networking that occurs at the pub around the back of the hotel) I may try to watch the movie ... although I would like to be able to remember it and make erudite comments, so I may hold off on that until I'm home ...

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