Monday, October 26, 2009

"The Tomb" by H.P. Lovecraft

Looks like a guy who'd create Cthulhu, doesn't he?Okay, now that I'm caught up on my reading, it's time to announce what I'm doing for the next week in honour of Halloween. To commemorate one of my favourite non-holiday holidays, I decided that it would only be appropriate to read some scary stories, and who better to go with than H.P. Lovecraft? So, for the next seven days (including Sunday, aka "All Saints Day,"), I'll be reading and writing on one Lovecraft story a day. And who might be the lucky first contestant, you might ask? Well, it's:

"The Tomb"

I personally think that this story perfectly showcases why H.P. Lovecraft is considered a master of creepy fiction, and it doesn't even contain a single Cthulhu reference. It's a first person account of Jervas Dudley, a young man who has been driven mad by his obsession with an old tomb in the woods near his home, the final resting place of the once great Hyde family. What makes this story great, however, is how Lovecraft makes you question whether the "facts" Dudley recites to the reader are the result of his existing psychoses, or if they are the cause of his current state. He makes the reader ask whether Dudley was mad to begin with, or if there was something else that caused his madness (or if he is even mad at all. . .). It's a creepy, atmospheric read, and a great way to start out Lovecraft week.

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