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The Shadow Over Innsmouth


H.P. Lovecraft

The Shadow Over Innsmouth
average rating is 3 out of 5

Cosmic Horror, Classics, Psychological

R. Alex Jenkins

This is my third venture into H.P. Lovecraft territory after short story The Nameless City and the omnipresent novella The Call of Cthulhu. Whereas Cthulha is a collection of three short stories made up into a loose whole, The Shadow Over Innsmouth is a proper novella with a decent plot and interesting concept. Thankfully.

My opinion of Lovecraft after Cthulhu was negative, but has happily gone up a notch since then. Historical curiosity is the real draw. Like Shakespeare for prose, why is the author so highly revered in horror circles? No definitive answer, other than a thumbs up for the best Lovecraft material so far.

We get zero terror, gore or splatter here; only mild scariness while trapped in a hotel room as doors are banged and rattled during an intense imminent capture and desperate escape scene.

The expression cosmic horror stems from foreboding rather than direct experience, being kept at a safe distance while horrors go on in the background. Events are described as terrifying rather than actually being so.

Well written and historically informative for burgeoning horror fans, and in the pantheon of respected horror writers it’s an important read. But also quaint and dated.

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