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Review: H.P. Lovecraft
H.P. Lovecraft
Gender, Mythical, Animal, Animal, Male
In "The Festival," Abdul Alhazred writes how sometimes worms and insects that feed on the corpses of dead sorcerers become possessed by their spirits and grow to obscene sizes. In "The Moon Bog," the owner and staff of a manor-house are turned into frogs. In "Shadow Out of Time," ancient al ...more
From: Anne-Mal , 664 months, post #1
Dreadful story. Man is forced to swap minds with his wife because she is a monster. Nothing is really explored, the man just hides and moans.

From: D.B. Cooper , 290 months, post #2
But it wasnt really his wife! She had been possessed by her dead father. Lovecraft was a notorious mysoginist who naturally focused more on the evil of the wizard than the gender change.

From: anonymous , 286 months, post #3
Classically good stuff, a typically horrific, twisted, and startling Lovecraft short story.
Of course, more than anything, it's about evil forces, those who play with them, and the innocent bystanders who get sucked into their sinister games.
Unfortunately, the import of this particular story is reduced and its impact rather numbed by the narration. Lovecraft normally doesn't hesitate to cast as his protagonist, say, a man destined to become a sea monster, or a lonely ghoul who climbs from the depths of the earth to confront mortal humans. But, this time, the story is told by a distant observer, a friend of the man whose wife periodically steals his body and leaves him in hers.
So instead of hearing the tale from a witness actually in the middle of it, we get it second or third hand from someone who has only limited contact with any of the people involved.
Imagine your favorite horror movie told from the perspective of a detective who doesn't even appear until after everything is over.
Any shock at what happens in "Doorstep," or horror at the gruesome ending is muted by the fact that it's all happening to "somebody else."
It's a good story. Too bad the author didn't designate a different storyteller.

From: Io , 279 months, post #4

I really hate to say it, but what was everyone expecting from a Lovecraft story? The swapping of bodies with the wife would of course be secondary to the machinations of the evil wizard occupying his daughter's body, the hints of nameless horrors, and the gruesome ending.

As to Lovecraft shying away from the narrator being the main participent, a 'cop out' if you will. I'm sure that's entirely the case. In the Statement of Randolph Carter the narrator waits outside an opened tomb while his buddy Warren goes inside and meets whatever nameless fate lies in store for those that tamper with dark forces. Carter was also being interrogated by the police.

It just seems like a formula Lovecraft was comfortable with. A great Lovecraft story ,but if you want TG elements look elsewhere.

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