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The dreams in the Witch House and other…

The dreams in the Witch House and other weird stories (edition 2005)

by H. P. Lovecraft, S. T. Joshi

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5151030,744 (4.18)15
"Plagued by insane nightmare visions, Walter Gilman seeks help in Miskatonic University's infamous library of forbidden books, where, in the pages of Abdul Alhazred's dreaded Necronomicon, he finds terrible hints that seem to connect his own studies in advanced mathematics with the fantastic legends of elder magic. "The Dreams in the Witch House," gathered together here with more than twenty tales of terror, exemplifies H. P. Lovecroft's primacy among twentieth-century American horror writers."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)
Title:The dreams in the Witch House and other weird stories
Authors:H. P. Lovecraft
Other authors:S. T. Joshi
Info:London : Penguin, 2005.
Collections:Your library

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The Dreams in the Witch House and Other Weird Stories by H. P. Lovecraft

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
È sempre Lovecraft ma nn una delle sue storie più belle e terrorizzanti ( )
  Mandane75 | Nov 16, 2018 |
È sempre Lovecraft ma nn una delle sue storie più belle e terrorizzanti ( )
  Mandane75 | Nov 16, 2018 |
This is the third volume in S. T. Joshi's excellently edited series by Penguin of the collected fictions of the master of weird-fiction, H. P. Lovecraft. As Joshi notes in the introduction, this volume collects much of Lovecraft's "Dunsanian" pieces, ones inspired by Lord Dunsaney's fantasy fictions as opposed to the cosmic horrors of the Arkham Cycle. These stories form the Dream Cycle and in this volume include The Other Gods, Polaris, The Doom that Came to Sarnath, The Cats of Ulthar, The Silver Key, Through The Gate of the Silver Key, Hypnos, The Strange High House in the Mist, and the crowning work in the Cycle, The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath.

These stories, while a departure from Lovecraft's cosmic horror stories, are still enjoyable though coloured by the influence of Lord Dunsaney. Still there are genuine parts of excellent writing, particularly in The Dream Quest and The Cats of Ulthar is a stand-out piece as well.

Of the other stories, the stand-out pieces include The Horror At Red Hook (a horror-infused detective story) and the masterpiece that is The Shadow Out of Time; rightly considered one of Lovecraft's best. This is a fitting conclusion to this volume and to the series by a writer whose own shadow still falls long over fiction today. ( )
  xuebi | May 30, 2014 |
I just want to respond to what some of the others here have written about ye book. I, too, find the character of Gilman rather dull. Lovecraft's need in writing weird fiction was to create mood and paint the weirdness that haunted his mind; the creation of characters was of little importance. He was, for me, able to create some wonderful characters, people and semi-humans who seem almost like icons of horror today.

I fear that whpugmire is COMPLETELY wrong on a number of points--he really shou'd know better. "The Lurking Fear" was NOT "the first story that Lovecraft wrote for a semi-professional journal," that honour being bestow'd on "Herbert West--Reanimator." Pugmire is also wrong in stating that the story is set in Lovecraft's Providence--it is set in the Catskill mountains. How such a devoted Lovecraftian can make such egregious errors, especially concerning a story that he professes to adore (he has written his own version of the story for a magazine called FUNGI) is beyond comprehension.

lorirorke's protest of a "too-frequent appearance of aliens or 'elder' beings" certainly does not pertain to this final collection of Lovecraft's tales from Penguin Modern Classics. The only tale in this book that has such elder things in the extremely excellent "The Shadow out of Time."
2 vote wilum | Jan 14, 2014 |
I'll start this off with a story from my grad school days. There is a point to all of this, I promise.

I don't remember being all that sleep-deprived as an undergrad – I think I maybe did one all-nighter during the whole four years – but my memories of grad school are filled with how sleep-deprived I was. This didn't happen every weekday, thank goodness, but there were times when I'd get up early in the morning to go to class, go to one or both of my jobs in the afternoon and/or evening, and then spend the late PM and early AM hours working on homework. On particularly horrible days, I'd get home with only a couple hours left before my alarm went off to start the next day. Some days, I had a choice between grabbing a bite to eat or sleeping, because I didn't have enough time or energy for both.

I remember one particular evening. I was in my apartment, working on an assignment. I was pacing my usual path around the room while thinking about what I was going to write when I spotted something I swear looked like an evil little gnome on the floor. It wasn't until after I jumped about a foot and made a strange little scared noise that I realized what I'd seen was not, in fact, an evil little gnome, but rather a warped reflection of myself in some shiny packaging material. Shortly after that, I decided it was time for bed.

Parts of “Dreams in the Witch-House” read like H.P. Lovecraft had had a similar experience and then had chosen to couple it with drug use. Gilman's more abstract dreams were extremely bizarre, to the point where I had a hard time even picturing what was supposed to be going on. The Brown Jenkin bits were more in line with my “evil gnome” experience, except that Brown Jenkin definitely wasn't Gilman's reflection in a bit of shiny packaging material.

Apparently this is the norm for Lovecraft works, but I thought I'd mention that this story doesn't end well for Gilman. Personally, I didn't mind that, since I didn't particularly like Gilman – I cared less about whether he lived or died than about what was going to happen next. What I didn't entirely understand was why Gilman didn't just completely move out of the Witch-House. Was it that he couldn't afford a more expensive room? Had he just become so obsessed with Keziah, his dreams, and his studies that it never even occurred to him that moving was an option? Was he too disturbed by his experiences to remember that he could leave? Whatever his reason for staying, it was frustrating for me that he continued to live in a place that was causing him so much mental distress.

Although I enjoyed the overall creepiness of this story, I think I liked At the Mountains of Madness more. Gilman's dreams of Brown Jenkin and Keziah were spooky and interesting, and I enjoyed the detail about Gilman's painfully sharp hearing (all the better to describe disturbing sounds and wonder at what those sounds might be hiding). The more abstract dreams were a bit much for me, though, and I never could shake that feeling that Gilman's problems would have been solved if he had just gotten a room somewhere else.

(Original review, with read-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.) ( )
  Familiar_Diversions | Sep 24, 2013 |
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H. P. Lovecraftprimary authorall editionscalculated
Joshi, S. T.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Perfino negli orrori più spaventosi di rado manca l'ironia. Talvolta essa entra direttamente nell'insieme degli avvenimenti, mentre altre volte è legata soltanto alla posizione fortuita di questi tra le persone e i luoghi.
Alcune settimane fa, a un crocevia nel villaggio di Pascoag, nel Rhode Island, un uomo alto e possente, visibilmente in ottima salute, diede mostra di un comportamento strano e incomprensibile.
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