Pickman's Model by H.P. Lovecraft
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Here's some truly haunting supernatural horror to whet your appetite for Halloween.
I love Lovecraft's technique here. Conversational, but rising in horror as our MC tries to describe what he experienced, starting out with normal controversy and winding up with several stages of new reveals.
But it's always the journey that I most appreciate. Every description, every addition, every plucked-out eyeball of discovery and gibbering holy madness, builds to a wonderful crescendo.
A middle passage, if you will:
*** Dances in the modern cemeteries were freely pictured, and another conception somehow shocked me more than all the rest—a scene in an unknown vault, where scores of the beasts crowded about one who held a well-known Boston guide-book and was evidently reading aloud. All were pointing to a certain passage, and every face seemed so distorted with epileptic and reverberant laughter that I almost thought I heard the fiendish echoes. The title of the picture was, “Holmes, Lowell, and Longfellow Lie Buried in Mount Auburn”. ***
No spoilers, but this is a beautiful tale and not at all problematic for anyone's modern taste. No startlingly racist comments, in other words.
Ahhh, life is art, art is life.
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