2020 Book Review: THE DUNWICH HORROR BY H.P. LOVECRAFT

Originally, I had wrote this long beautiful review of this story, but accidentally saved over it. I will try to recreate that review to the best of my knowledge and a new cup of coffee to help me refocus myself. Now, let’s get to the review.

I have read many of Lovecraft’s catalog. His writing is a dense/thick style which makes it difficult at times for the average reader to consume, this story is no different. Once you get use to it, the style, is completely engulfing. Though The Dunwich Horror is not my favorite of his works, it made it into the top five because it contains the elements of horror I really enjoy.

A boy, Wilbur, is born to an unstable albino mother. He is different as he grows very quickly. During the years of his growing up his grandfather teaches him of witchcraft and dark rituals. The family is shunned by the town’s folk for their odd behaviors and their foul smells. Even animals fear them.

When he becomes a man (by the time he should be an average ten year old little boy) his grandfather has him helping him in their farmhouse to summon and entrap an invisible monster. As the monster grows it becomes harder to control and Wilbur seeks a copy of a book called Necronomicon in order to find a way to do just that.

While Wilbur does find the location of one he is denied. He breaks in a steals a copy from the library housing it, but ultimately ends up dead trying to escape with it. Due to his passing the monster becomes completely uncontrollable and breaks free of the house that had been holding him. It rampages the town. The people only realize something is there because of the damage and the ‘prints’ the monster leaves behind. Near the end of the story it is stopped and revealed to be the twin brother of Wilbur. It calls out for its father, Yog-Sothoth.

Since I have read many of Lovecraft’s work since, I have learned that Yog-Sothoth is apart of the Cthulhu Mythos. It is first mentioned in the story The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. As to what it really is is at least hinted at in the story Through the Gates of the Silver Key, in which it is described to have a connection with all time and space. It is in this story, The Dunwich Horror, that you can connect the dots and see the connection to ‘The Old Ones’.

I had many assumptions about the story. It was one of the earlier works of Lovecraft I read and all the horror stories I’ve read had me predicting the twists and the storyline, but I was pleasantly surprised and have learned since not to assume anything when it comes to Lovecraft.


This review is a part of my 2020 yearlong self-challenge to read and review. I have reread some books for the purpose of reviewing them on my website whereas I have read others for the first time. Check out Book Reviews and Recommendations to find other book reviews, book recommendations, and more information about the books I’m reading, have read, or are sharing.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Do you agree with me? Do you disagree? Let’s have a conversation about it.


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