H.P Lovecraft stories

I know some may not like me for my thoughts on this one, but I have to say I do not like H.P. Lovecraft. I feel the man wants to prattle on just to hear himself use big words and sound important. I also did not like how everything that seemed to go wrong or was terrible was directed at people with dark skin, mixed heritage, or were African Americans.
He acts as though everything that he and the White-Anglo Saxons has done is of the highest quality and none of them are in the wrong. There is a massive chip on his shoulder, and I wanted to knock him down a few pegs. I could barely stand to read The Call of Cthulhu. It was not fun trying to get past the constant racist accusation and belittling he slung around like you would a scarf over your shoulders.
This section of work only became interesting to me when one of the prisoners started talking about the lore behind Cthulhu. In all honesty, he could have skipped the part about the dreams and shortened finding the box with the strange markings down to a page or two and then went into the interview with the man who had been arrested.
Moving on to The Outsider, this one was slightly better. There was some really good use of words to describe what came across to me as someone on an LSD trip. I like part of the opening paragraph because it seemed to set the stage and tone of for this passage. I was not impressed as time went on with this one. Lovecraft seems to get bogged down by describing what feels like mundane things. His narrator talks about never having spoken a word and yet he could read it all and have never been urged to learn. After he started on that, I became bored with this one as well. He began to prattle on in this one as well, and I was left wanting something different. I am not sure exactly what I wanted, but it was not there. Too many times I had to stop myself and go back and re-read a passage because I got bored.
Finally, The Pickman was just plain weird. It was hard to follow who was talking and about what. I swear the narrator was neurotic or something. The story didn’t do it for me. It was hard to get inside his head, and then he would stop mid-story and talk about something else. The story felt very disjointed, and I got the impression we were more inside someone’s mind like their actual scattered thoughts than actually listening to the tell a story. I felt like it was more a dream or a world they had created inside their head and nothing inside your head is ever linear.
Overall, I don’t think I will ever touch Lovecraft unless I have too. The condescending tone he took towards those of other races angered me. His stories were hard to follow, and I just could not get into it. I can not see why people like his writing. I had hope for The Outsider in the beginning, but then it let me down. I tried to have hope for The Pickman, but the sudden interjections of things completely off topic did not help to follow the story.

5 thoughts on “H.P Lovecraft stories

  1. I also described Lovecraft as writing with a chip on his shoulder. He really seemed to have a complex about not being taken seriously enough, not being respected enough, not being loved enough, etc. It got kind of old.

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  2. I couldn’t get over the racist overtones in Call of Cthulhu either. While I liked The Outsider, I have to admit that a lot of his writing seemed pompous and overly complex for relatively simplistic writing. I can see why he is so well-known as a horror writer, but he is not my cup of tea.

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  3. I have no dislike for you based on your opinions. There’s a few friends of mine who are great admirers of Lovecraft’s work, and I’ll admit I’m definitely one of them to some degree. They like to say that Lovecraft is an “acquired taste,” but I can see how his work doesn’t leave a lot coming back for seconds. Since Lovecraft was published primarily through pulp magazines I think that’s one of the reasons why his style is so wordy. When you’re paid by the word sometimes you overindulge for a bigger paycheck. Sometimes I think Lovecraft is a lot like Tolkien. Definitely has some merit, but I feel like the stuff that was inspired by them and came afterward is superior in most ways.

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  4. Hi Louise,

    I think disjointed is a great way to put it. When Lovecraft writes in first person, his characters don’t talk like normal people. Lots of stream-of-consciousness mixed with shrill hysteria dilute the storytelling experience. I think describing something awful in a quiet, calm tone can sometimes be more effective than going off the deep end. And he does takes forever to get to the point, but maybe that’s because he was writing for magazines and got paid by the word!

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  5. I was a little disappointed with Lovecraft as well. The Call of Cthulhu was torture, and while I definitely think that the other two were better, he did seem to prattle on a lot about unnecessary things. I thought that The Outsider was predictable, but I actually enjoyed The Pickman’s Model. I thought that the stream of consciousness worked really well for that story in particular, and though it made it hard to follow, it was cool to see. It’s SO different from anything these days.

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