Sunday 2 October 2022

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (Discovering Lovecraft)

For today's (first?) countdown to Halloween post, a trip down nostalgia lane and a bit of a reading suggestion. You know that I like reading H.P. Lovecraft. His stories are often part of my spooky reads for the months leading to Halloween. I first discovered it when I was a teenager, learning about the role-playing game Call of Cthulhu. But before I started playing it, I wanted to discover the source material as inspiration, so I borrowed in the library The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. The very version you see here, with the psychedelic cover. The same way I discovered other great horror stories, come to think of it. I thought Lovecraft was a lesser writer than Stoker or Stevenson, but I enjoyed the story and the atmosphere tremendously. I haven't reread it in years, but I might revisit it one day during one of the countdowns to Halloween. You can find it online for free here. It has a Jekyll and Hyde feel to it, even the title is a call back, but in spite of the influences it is very much its own thing, with notions of a vast arcane conspiracy of necromancers that can threaten human civilisation. This is horror on a grand scale. So if you haven't read it, I suggest you make time in the coming weeks.


Deadpan Flook said...

A lot of my experiences of HP Lovecraft have been through TV shows and films, but mostly video games based on the RPG you played! I’ve never properly read any of his stories….maybe I should give it a go soon too!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Thanks for the recommendation!