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The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H. P.…
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The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (1941)

by H.P. Lovecraft

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Randolph Carter tales (5; mentioned)

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1,239199,715 (3.93)41
Recently added bydClauzel, pynchon07, private library, moose_irl, cpascopr, Harpagon, LeoOrozco, Paperpuss, chaosfox
Legacy LibrariesTim Spalding
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    Haunted and the Haunters by Edward Bulwer-Lytton (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Lovecraft's Curwen is reminiscent of the ageless villain in Bulwer-Lytton.
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» See also 41 mentions

English (14)  French (2)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
I'm nearing the end of my foray into Lovecraft, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward was a long stretch or writing. Ward is the scion of a prominent Providence family - aren't they all? - and has a fascination with history from a young age. Soon enough, he is investigating the history of an infamous ancestor said to have fled Salem Village during the witch trials. After some startling finds Ward becomes distant with his family and obsessed with his research.

The novella is made up of notes taken by Ward's doctor along with some letters and other documents compiled shortly after Ward's mysterious disappearance from the mental hospital he was confined to. The doctors acting as narrator allows for an unaccustomed eye to experience the horrors of Ward's research and to preserve the ending, which Ward's perspective would give away far too soon. It wouldn't be a proper Lovecraft story if anyone knew or could be relied on to guess what the hell was going on at any time.

There was an impressive amount of research done by Lovecraft to show the differences between 17th century Providence and his own time. The structure of the story had a little more to go on as well being extended over several years with smooth transitions between gaps provided by Dr. Willett's commentary. It wasn't bad, I only got bored a few times by the rambling, and there were a few discoveries that were genuinely creepy. Lovers of weirdness owe Lovecraft a debt, that's for sure.
( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
Você sabia que Sêneca foi contemporâneo de Jesus Cristo? E sua filosofia, o estoicismo, foi com o passar dos séculos bastante aproveitada pelo cristianismo, de fato, poderíamos dizer que elas são muito parecidas. Com a diferença que Sêneca, um de seus principais expoentes, deixou obra escrita. Seus ensinamentos são simples e práticos: "não procures a felicidade no dinheiro", "aceite a inevitabilidade do destino", "aceite a dor que lhe cabe, mas não te demores muito, siga em frente". Ele também vai lembrar sempre da força divina que é maior do que todos nós, porém, avisa que a fortuna é uma deusa caprichosa, e que convém ser prudente. Muito útil nos dias de hoje como no império romano; bons conselhos, ensinados não longe da vida cotidiana, feitos sob medida para as redes sociais, mas que talvez não sejam populares como poderíamos querer... E isso, também, é uma lição dos estóicos. ( )
  WalkerDeBarros | Apr 29, 2018 |
Lovecraft's only full-length novel (though a short one) and a classic of the genre. It falls just short of masterpiece due to a slightly prosaic feel that never quite attains the scope of something like At the Mountains of Madness and the Shadow Out of time, to name two of his other longer works. Which isn't necessarily a criticism per se since it's a different type of story, more in common with the works of Poe and Hawthorne than Hodgson or Blackwood. It's simply that I prefer his more cosmically themed work, and feel that Lovecraft excelled more strongly in that area. Tales of witchcraft and the occult were hardly new, even in Lovecraft's day, and had already been attempted by bigger-name writers than himself.

The novel isn't without its high points, of course: for one, a strong evocation of place that includes more than a few semi-autobiographical details, as well as a good deal of authentic New England folklore and history, all of which add a richness to the tale that raises it above his other works of this ilk. There are also some magnificently eerie moments such as the doctor's exploration of the abandoned catacombs, as well as a surprisingly rousing action scene early in the book. Unfortunately some recurring Lovecraft faults are also present: a rather too credulous and naive set of characters, an over-reluctance to reveal a particular twist long after said twist should have become blindingly apparent to everyone concerned, and a somewhat fuzzy main threat that's just a little too ill-defined to be truly terrifying.

Taken as a whole, though, I found The Case of Charles Dexter Ward to be a gripping and well-wrought tale of New England witchcraft, worth reading as much for its autobiographical content as its merits as a horror tale. ( )
  StuartNorth | Nov 19, 2016 |
Lovecraft's only full-length novel (though a short one) and a classic of the genre. It falls just short of masterpiece due to a slightly prosaic feel that never quite attains the scope of something like At the Mountains of Madness and the Shadow Out of time, to name two of his other longer works. Which isn't necessarily a criticism per se since it's a different type of story, more in common with the works of Poe and Hawthorne than Hodgson or Blackwood. It's simply that I prefer his more cosmically themed work, and feel that Lovecraft excelled more strongly in that area. Tales of witchcraft and the occult were hardly new, even in Lovecraft's day, and had already been attempted by bigger-name writers than himself.

The novel isn't without its high points, of course: for one, a strong evocation of place that includes more than a few semi-autobiographical details, as well as a good deal of authentic New England folklore and history, all of which add a richness to the tale that raises it above his other works of this ilk. There are also some magnificently eerie moments such as the doctor's exploration of the abandoned catacombs, as well as a surprisingly rousing action scene early in the book. Unfortunately some recurring Lovecraft faults are also present: a rather too credulous and naive set of characters, an over-reluctance to reveal a particular twist long after said twist should have become blindingly apparent to everyone concerned, and a somewhat fuzzy main threat that's just a little too ill-defined to be truly terrifying.

Taken as a whole, though, I found The Case of Charles Dexter Ward to be a gripping and well-wrought tale of New England witchcraft, worth reading as much for its autobiographical content as its merits as a horror tale. ( )
  StuartNorth | Nov 19, 2016 |
A master of infered horror. ( )
  jefware | Sep 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (62 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lovecraft, H.P.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blommestein, Bob vanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, IanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Niessen-Hossele, J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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From a private hospital for the insane near Providence, Rhode Island, there recently disappeared an exceedingly singular person.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is for books that contain The Case of Charles Dexter Ward as their complete contents.
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Book description
Incantations of black magic unearthed unspeakable horrors in a quiet town near Providence, Rhode Island. Evil spirits are being resurrected from beyond the grave, a supernatural force so twisted that it kills without offering the mercy of death!
Haiku summary
"OGTHROD AI'F GEB'L-EE'H

YOG-SOTHOTH 'NGAH'NG AI'Y ZHRO!"

Fine blueish-grey dust!

(timspalding)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345354907, Mass Market Paperback)

Incantations of black magic unearthed unspeakable horrors in a quiet town near Providence, Rhode Island. Evil spirits are being resurrected from beyond the grave, a supernatural force so twisted that it kills without offering the mercy of death!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:43 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"Incantations of black magic unearthed unspeakable horrors in Providence, Rhode Island. Evil spirits are being resurrected from beyond the grave, a supernatural force so twisted that it kills without offering the mercy of death" -- Cover verso.

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