Herbert West: Reanimater by H.P. Lovecraft

I listened to an audio version of this short story. It was linked to by one of my blogs a decade ago, so I don’t even know if it’s still available. I picked it up to see what the author of Chthulu was like since it was free.

Published: 1922

Genre: horror audiobook

Length: 48 pages

Setting: Arkham, a fictional town in Massachusetts

Summary: Short version: Herbert West develops a formula to reanimate dead humans

Long version: We follow the narrator as he and Herbert West enter medical school in Arkham. West has some research ideas that go beyond what the school is willing to research involving the reanimation of the dead using a chemical formula. West quickly discovers the formula is unique to humans. In order to get the best results, he needs the bodies to be as freshly dead as possible. We then follow West and the narrator as they set up their lives in search of fresh bodies to do new experiments on. Each experiment is more successful, although if the body has decomposed too much the reanimated creatures is a mindless zombie. Finally West is captured by a horde of zombies who take him away into a crypt.

Final thoughts: The story was OK – nothing special but nothing too annoying beyond the voice of the narrator. She sounded like she was doing her Goth impersonation with a deep, slow voice. It was almost annoying enough to turn me off the whole book. No mention of Chthulu in this particular Lovecraftian story. It apparently is one of the first mentions of zombies as reanimated corpses, though. I could tell it was originally serialized since each section started with a quick summary of the terrible events so far.

Title comes from: The main character and his chosen field of research, the reanimation of the dead into a simulacrum of life

Reading challenges fulfilled: none since I read this book in a previous year

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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