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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovecraft's most accessible horror tale
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward has long been one of my favorite books. Charles Ward is an intellectual young recluse steeped in antiquarianism (much as Lovecraft himself was) who discovers horrible secrets about a distant ancestor, one consciously expunged from public records and histories at the end of his ill-begotten life. Ward engulfs himself in a genealogical and...
Published on 29 Nov 2002 by Daniel Jolley

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The best Lovecraft- The worst adaption
This is my favourite horror story and I'm a massive fan of Lovecraft. The first time I came across this book was in a collection of short stories so I jumped at the chance to get it as its own book. What a mistake. It seems there has been no editorial process whatsoever unless it was done by the Work Experience kids. The amount of 'teh' instead of 'the' is...
Published on 13 July 2008 by Mr. Mark D. Ellis


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovecraft's most accessible horror tale, 29 Nov 2002
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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The Case of Charles Dexter Ward has long been one of my favorite books. Charles Ward is an intellectual young recluse steeped in antiquarianism (much as Lovecraft himself was) who discovers horrible secrets about a distant ancestor, one consciously expunged from public records and histories at the end of his ill-begotten life. Ward engulfs himself in a genealogical and historical pursuit of knowledge of this man, a passion all the more emblazoned by each mysterious discovery he makes. This ancestor, Joseph Curwen, was reputably a dabbler in the black arts who fled from Salem in advance of the remarkable witchcraft trials in that town. Finding refuge in Providence, he lived a reclusive, mysterious life, made even more mysterious by his eternally youthful appearance. A recluse by nature, he spent most nights at a farmhouse in Pawtuxet. A continuing series of terrible cries and noises detected from that farmhouse, in conjunction with a number of missing locals and rumors of brutality against Negro slaves surreptitiously brought to that abode culminated in a raid by local citizens determined to put an end to whatever monstrous acts the strange man was committing. No member of that raiding party ever dared discuss what he saw or heard during that awful night. Ward's knowledge of Curwen is greatly advanced when he discovers an old painting of him (revealing a face virtually identical to his own) and a set of personal papers hidden behind that painting. He then launches into terrible studies of the occult at home and abroad, then returns home to put to use the arcane secrets he has learned. His doctor and father eventually grasp the nature of Ward's actions and unite themselves in a determination to block Joseph Curwen's ancient ambitions and plans to once more walk the earth with the aid of his great-great-great grandson. The horrors they encounter in the pursuit of this objective are richly described and deliciously gruesome.
This story is pretty much straight horror with no deeply mythological overtones beyond those of necromancy. Lovecraft does an excellent job of always pushing the action along while providing a rich, deep, historical background of both Curwen and young Charles Ward. The ending chapter contains some of Lovecraft's most terror-inducing, menacingly evil scenes and is not to be missed by those with a gratuitous admiration for the macabre. For those readers who find the Cthulhu Mythos stories too strangely remote and otherworldly, this novella provides a more practical, more individualistic vision of horror sure to affect the reader more viscerally than do mysterious references to the Ancient Ones. Anyone considering reading Lovecraft for the first time would do well to make this book his introduction to the master of horror. This is everything a horror story should be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good. You will think it's real..., 30 April 2002
By A Customer
The biggest strength of Lovecraft, evident in most of his stories, is his ability to set the scene for a story well enough for you to see it in your mind without being too restrictive. He also has a number of "props" used in more than one story (like the famed Necronomicon), which he invented to give continuity to any stories with even the smallest thing to do with the Chthulhu mythos (he invented the Necronomicon).
The story itself is good - near the end parts of it are predictable, but it still manages to surprise a little.
Overall, a very immersive story (it was the first Lovecraft story i've read, and i'm hooked)
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5.0 out of 5 stars H.P. Lovecraft. The only one master of cosmic horror., 6 July 1997
By A Customer
This was the very first book I read, written by Howard Philips Lovecraft.

A friend had tipped me about H.P. Lovecraft, and when I was at

the library looking for fact-books about old scandinavian religions

for a homework in school I took the chance of looking after the author

my friend had tipped me about.

I had ben reading a lot of fantasy and also a bit science fiction

at that time, but this was different.

It was, and is still - I've read it many times over and over, an usual

horror-tale elegantly mixed with the special spicy cosmic horror, which is

so specific for H.P. Lovecraft.

I won't tell you anything of the story because it's very hard,

or even impossible to find the right words to describe something

so big and elegant without makeing sound banal and patethic.

Instead, I let you see for your self. Next time you're visiting

the library - look for Howard Philips Lovecraft. Or why not look for it

right away here and now. I bet you won't be able to put the book away till

you're finished with it. And when you're finished with it you just need

another one.

Other great short-stories written by H.P. Lovecraft is, among others the

strange "Color out of time and space" which is flooded with cosmic

and strange horror. This one is also totally different compared with

"The case of Charles Dexter Ward.

Please have indulgence with all eventual misspellings, though I am used to

talk, write and read in swedish.

P.S. Everyone who likes H.P. Lovecraft, and of course everyone else,

feel free to contact me.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The best Lovecraft- The worst adaption, 13 July 2008
By 
This is my favourite horror story and I'm a massive fan of Lovecraft. The first time I came across this book was in a collection of short stories so I jumped at the chance to get it as its own book. What a mistake. It seems there has been no editorial process whatsoever unless it was done by the Work Experience kids. The amount of 'teh' instead of 'the' is unbelievable! A normal English word somewhere in chapter 2 has a ö instead of an o. There are many many more errors in basic spelling too (and no, I don't mean the letters containing old writing between Curwen and Orne). I'm only up to chapter 3 and I'm seething at how this piece of unspeakable genius has been mutilated by the 'editor'. The fact I've read it many times before means I can confidently review it here.
If you buy Lovecraft, buy the 'At the Mountains of Madness' Lovecraft omnibus (part 1)- Part 2 is better (Dagon and other Macabre Tales) but part 1 is worth it just for a mistake-free 'The Case of Charles Dexter Ward' as well as the great 'At the Mountains of Madness' itself.
This fantastic, atmospheric horror masterpiece deserves more respect than Creation Oneiros have afforded it. Shame on TEHM.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting little study in horror, 25 July 2001
By 
finnton@aol.com (Reading, England) - See all my reviews
Lovecraft's a difficult author. He does have the imagination to create a vivid universe, but his tales can be repetative. This is his main full length novel and allows him more room to develop a theme. The result? A strangely disturbing book, filled with hints, half veiled horrors and weird ideas. It is about a 17th Century American who may or may not have discovered the secret of raising the dead. Then it switches to modern times (1920's USA) where a distant ancestor may or may not be the reincarnation of the wizzard! It is well worth reading, just to see how Lovecraft steals ideas,- The Picture of Dorian Gray- and other writers style- Washington Irving- to create something naggingly familiar and yet totally unique. It ain't Great Literature, but it sure does stick in the memory
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lovecraft primer, 8 April 1997
By A Customer
One of Lovecraft's most coherent novellas and, consequently, a quick and enjoyable read. Lovecraft manages to invoke a deliciously lugubrious atmosphere without resorting to the tiresome adjective-wringing that swallows whole his lesser work. More plot-heavy than most of his tales, "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" still contains all the standard Lovecraft arcana: the aboriginal elder gods; a troubled, "sensitive" hero/victim; inbred keepers of an unspeakable secret. This, however, is decidedly lighter than, say, "The Dunwich Horror" or "Colour out of Space," which makes it a good starting point for anyone willing to dive into Lovecraft's obtuse canon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stephen King would pee his pants, 28 Oct 1997
By A Customer
I usually don't enjoy reading horror novels but the intelligence and master story telling of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward was amazing. It is a short novel, yet brings all the suspense and tingly feelings of the spine that will chill a reader's heart in the late night. With Halloween coming up, this novel is the one to read. It deals with a magician in the early colonial days of Salem, Massachusetts and his descendent in the near present and how the two intertwine in the story. Lovecraft's style is scarier in the things he doesn't reveal than with the things he does and proves that he doesn't need gore and graphic depictions to frighten the readers. This novel is a must read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Master in Horror, 29 Dec 1999
By A Customer
Lovecraft is undoubtedly the Master of Horror, about 30 years ago I red this book for the first time and every year I will read it two times. All the other stories written by HP are also good.
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2.0 out of 5 stars I apologise to the narrator for a bad review but it is wholly the reason this release ..., 18 Oct 2014
By 
M. Hevingham "Mark Hevingham" (BIRMINGHAM, WEST MIDLANDS United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I give two stars for this overlong story and lose three for - I'm sorry to the performer - an awful reading. The narrator adopts a singsong voice that stresses the wrong words and thus totally misses what's going on in the story. This makes it a very hard disc to follow and unusually for the HPL stories I found my mind wandering rather than being drawn in. I apologise to the narrator for a bad review but it is wholly the reason this release got 2 stars. The same narrator reads the Shunned House from the same company.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Poor printing quality, 23 Dec 2013
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Poor printing quality..
It is like reading a newspaper. I miss the old-days publishers.
If the book doesn't appeal you, the reading experience is quite poor.
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