‘Herbert West – Reanimator’

I’m making my way through a book of H.P. Lovecraft’s short stories, and I recently finished “Herbert West – Reanimator.” It’s a fascinating story, but apparently it’s been called one of Lovecraft’s worst. 

Herbert West, the main character, is a mad scientist of sorts who experiments with bringing dead bodies back to life. The unnamed narrator meets West at Lovecraft’s fictional Miskatonic University and helps him with the experiments.

Some of the experiments go terribly wrong, resulting in crazed, half-dead zombies roaming the countryside. West also becomes more and more of a fanatic about his experiments as the story goes on.

Lovecraft apparently wrote the story as a parody of Frankenstein.

I enjoyed the story. But I did some quick research and found that many consider this to be Lovecraft’s worst story.

The story was originally serialized in Home Brew, an amateur magazine, which is why it’s broken up into six parts. Lovecraft himself claimed to dislike the story, according to Wikipedia, and he only did it for the money.

Then there’s the Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi who said the story is “universally acknowledged as Lovecraft’s poorest work.”

Harsh! I’m wondering why so many people have a bad opinion of it.

Here’s a link so you can read the story yourself. You be the judge.

Leave a Reply