In view of my Century of Books, I get to see lists of books for a specific year and usually I know at least of those titles. Not the case with 1924, where (at least I) couldn't decide which book to read. So, in good faith, I chose The Shunned House by H.P. Lovecraft and started reading. I knew that it was one of the earlier samples of horror literature and I believe that feature was the one that made me want to explore it. The beginning did not seem promising though, as there was just a long list of the persons who had inhabited the famous "shunned" house. I was determined to keep on reading however, mainly because of a passage that meant to describe the better latter half of the book:
"the house was never regarded by the solid part of the community as in any real sense "haunted""
So, that's what I needed to know. I am glad I kept on reading, because when the main character and his uncle, a knowledgable older character with personal interest in the story, decide to stake out and find the cause of the evil in the house, the story really fires up. The tone is very quick, with very good descriptions of scientific explanations and discoveries during that night. The vocabulary used proved to be rather difficult, and made me look up several words - very interesting, because they were terms that tried to illuminate the weird circumstances of the night in a believable and unemotional manner - again, something I subscribe to:
"to say that we actually believed in vampires or werewolves would be a carelessly inclusive statement"
I loved the plot -- a fast, interesting story of the good old-fashioned horror genre. The end as well, was unexpected and further proved the genius of Lovecraft - I thoroughly enjoyed this book and plan to search for more of his work.