Jan 17th, 2018, Herbert West: Reanimator; Part V: The Horror From The Shadows by H.P. Lovecraft, The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft

Finally, part V shows some change to both our narrator and Herbert West. If one would remember part IV, the actions of both the narrator and West take some dramatic turns, but the piece ends there and readers do not get the consequences until this part–part V.

The narrator is quite disgusted with West, as he has gone beyond the goal of reanimating a fresh corpse, and has now moved on to reanimating just detached limbs from human bodies. In West’s quest for specimens, he joins the efforts of WWI as a surgeon and drags the narrator along with him. Strangely, the narrator is critical of West but seems unable to do anything other than help West in his quests. This makes me wonder why power West has over the narrator, and whether the narrator is not a reanimated subject with programmed memories, whose only purpose is to help West achieve his goals. If not, I find the fact of the narrator helping West dubious at best.

This sets up the last part of this story, Part VI. While Miskatonic University and Arkham are commonly mentioned in this piece, the whole of it is less interesting to me than stories focusing on the mythos of Cthulhu and the pantheon of gods HPL created. While I will finish Herbert West soon, I will be glad to be done with it.


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