Thursday, March 20, 2014

"The Shunned House"

"The Shunned House"
by H.P. Lovecraft

Our narrator investigates the strange history of a local house.  What is the origin of its troubled past?  Will it remain shunned forever?  

My Reaction (with SPOILERS):
This was a shared "stopgap" read with Donald. 

The build-up to the narrator's first-hand account of his time in the house.  The creepiness of the house's history.  The faux-historical atmosphere of "this really happened".  The totally bizarre and unexpected nature of the discovery under the cellar. 

The pseudo-science.  The fact that I still am not completely sure what in the heck was under the house. 

I mean, really.  What was that?!  It had a physical body, apparently... but it was huge.   I was expecting it to be some version of a vampire-- and maybe that's what it was meant to be-- but it's a very odd vampire.  More of a cross between/among vampire, demon, and subterranean giant than a New World Dracula.  The vampire/demon mix is creepy as all get-out, but the ground-dwelling giant aspect was so weird that it weakened the denouement (for me, at least). 

Not Lovecraft's best, by all accounts, but interesting enough-- especially considering that it's just a long short story.  I might be more critical if I'd invested more time in reading it.