Friday, October 17, 2014

Bookmonkey x Penguin Horror Day 17: The Thing on the Doorstep

Following a reading of The Raven, the first thing that struck me about Lovecraft’s prose was just how modern and engaging it seemed; yes he sometimes got bogged down in detail, and his characters are not the most well drawn, but wow could that guy build a sense of dread. The collection contains two novellas “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward” and “At the Mountains of Madness” and ten short stories, all of which work amazingly to showcase the sense of overwhelming dread and sheer terror he was so good at producing.

The book itself, although missing a filmography like Frankenstein, is by far the most annotated of the imprint so far, giving each story at least a four paragraph contextual description in the notes (discussing year published, written, and any information the author gave on inspirations for the story) as well as point by point notes for geographic, historic, literary, and folklore-based information which may be unknown to the casual reader. All in all the book is a great resource and introduction to the authors work, containing some of my more favourite stories (“The Temple” being an incredible standout, and a great introductory story for those who haven’t ever read Lovecraft before as well).

Of the series, it is by far the biggest text, and with all of the extra information given, including a “further reading” section both in general and for every story as well, it may be my favourite edition of the imprint so far.

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