Saturday, February 5, 2011

Review: The Rats in the Walls by H.P. Lovecraft

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories:
The Rats in the Walls
by Howard Phillips Lovecraft
Penguin Classics (1999), Paperback, 448 pages

‘They must know it was the rats.’ (page 108)

A descendant of Delapore’s family is the narrator of The Rats in the Walls (1923). He has recently moved from Massachusetts to England.

The narrator and his cat, named Nigger-man, hear noises of rats scurrying behind the walls.
Looking for the rats he discovers ‘a subterraneous world of limitless mystery and horrible suggestion.’ (page 105) The narrator’s family raised human cattle building an underground city.

Eventually the narrator attacks a friend and eats him. He is locked in a mental institution, claiming his innocence and telling that were the rats in the walls to eat his friend.

A gift from Lovecraft to Edgar Allan Poe.

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