Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Friday, April 5, 2013

"The Terrible Old Man" by H. P. Lovecraft (1932)

Everyday I check to see what they have chosen to be the short story of the day.  Today's pick was "The Terrible Old Man" by H. P. Lovecraft 
My first reaction that I could use some light escapist type reading and I have enjoyed the past Lovecraft stories I have read.  He was a pioneer in occult strange tales works (and also, there is no way around this, a racist-in fact he was ashamed that some of his ancestors came from Wales).  I checked and the work was quite short so read it and I am glad I did.  It is not a world class short story but it is fun to read and will make you wonder what is going on.  It is written in a kind of arch style which I like once and a while.
1890 to 1937 USA

As the story begins, three professorial thieves are planning to rob an old sea captain, rumored to have a lot of treasures from his years roaming the globe.  He is a very quiet man that lives alone and keeps totally to himself. He is considered strange.  The robbers know they might have to torture him to get him to reveal his treasures.     Nobody likes professional robbers and I enjoyed knowing they got theirs at the hand of the terrible old man.

This is an escapist diversion type of read.  If you push Lovecraft, some pretty appalling ideas will emerge but he is still fun to read.   In this story the robbers are identified as not of classic New England stock and all have last names that end in vowels, not a coincidence.   

You can read this story here

Mel u

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