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The Shunned House Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
And I loved it.
This is an example of master craftsmanship as even though it is basically a history of a house without any overt personalization or interest in many of the things that drive us to enjoy a book, Lovecraft is able to write each word so that an atmosphere of terror slowly pervades the senses. A great read for someone learning how to drive fear by making each word matter.
I found the story fascinating, partly because I have an interest in odd bits of history, and also because it is so well written. By today’s standards it is not particularly graphic but still gave me the creepy-crawlies. So, if you’re looking for something a little different to read, you should check out this story.
The narrator (never named) and his uncle are obsessed with this haunted house. The story deviates from the present to include the horrible history of the house and its inhabitants, so when it returns to the present to follow the narrator through a night spent with his uncle in the house's cellar, you experience the same dread and anticipation as the characters.
THE SHUNNED HOUSE also has quite possibly the longest sentence ever written.
We don't really have a plot. Character development is not a priority. Not a great deal "happens". This is a portrait of a house and a recounting of its tainted history. It is a demonstration of how to write horror, terror and implacable creeping menace. It's entertaining and it delivers a full measure of Lovecraft's special supremely well-crafted style of crazy weird fiction.
Here's an interesting exercise. If you found this book on the Amazon Kindle site the book was displayed with just the bland red and yellow generic cover they use for out-of-copyright freebies. Read the first chapter of this story in which the house is described and its miasmatic decay is first addressed. Now, go to the Hardcover edition site and call up the original Virgil Finlay cover illustration from "Weird Tales" that appears there. That picture is absolutely one hundred per cent what you likely have in your head after reading Lovecraft's first chapter. I'm not impressed by the fact that one picture can replace a thousand words; I'm amazed that only one thousand words from Lovecraft can so successfully paint a picture like that.
So, if you'd like a first taste or just a little touch of H.P. Lovecraft, this is a very nice place to begin. A happy find.
We all know of those houses in our childhoods that we avoided and crossed the street when passing them because we knew they were haunted. This is a story about such a house where the narrator and his uncle, Dr. Elihu Whipple decide to spend the night in it's cellar to see if they can root out the problem. Many people have died in this house or have simply gone mad. Was the house the cause?
Was the property perhaps at fault? They hope to discover this on their overnight trip.
Only one returns.
This is a clever story that fills you with complete dread as you plunge in with the narrator to diagnose a haunted, cursed house in Providence, Rhode Island.
A fun, spooky story. I wish the ghostly parts had been longer and more detailed. Creepy good though.