Jan 25th, 2018, The Hound by H.P. Lovecraft, The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft

When I started reading this piece it felt like a repeat of many HPL stories. First person, confession, epistolary. Many of the narrative elements in this piece are ones I had seen from HPL. For a moment I was gripped with disappointment, as I am determined not to skip any stories in this book in case I miss even a little glimpse I might use in my own work.

However, halfway through The Hound, I began to enjoy this piece thoroughly. While it has been critiqued again and again by scholars as a deplorably written short story, some posit it is actually a parody, citing the overuse of adjectives and adverbs. And the story is at times off-putting due to this. But much of the plot makes up for it.

Two friends go grave-robbing (HPL has a thing for it) and discover a jade amulet mentioned in a book they have called the Necronomicon. They take the amulet only to hear a keening howl like a large hound somewhere off. With the amulet with them, they return home to England. Everywhere these two go they attract shadowy evil things. Things that go bump in the night. While there is a crafted ambiguity around what is actually stalking them, the piece itself gives just enough to spark a reader’s imagination. Like most of HPL’s work, the ending is not a happy one, but the experience of getting there is quite enjoyable. (B-)

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