The Case of Charles Dexter Ward: A Review

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Original Image: Noe Araujo

So, guys, that Lovecraft dude, huh? In our never ending quest to become more terrible, pretentious people, one thing cannot be left behind: learning to enjoy the classics. Also Sam Winchester loves him therefore by default so do we all.

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward Lovecraft

Today's lesson of Sirliness features a 'novella' that would actually be a pretty good introduction to Grand Master H.P.'s work: The case of Charles Dexter Ward.

The book features the entitled young Charles Dexter Ward who finds out about a shifty-azz ancestor on his Mum's side rumoured to have dabbled in the dark arts. Said to have been carrying out mysterious experiments in the arcane, the never ageing ancestor, Joseph Curwen had been swiftly booted out of the family history with his descendants (and the rest of the town) going to great lengths to destroy any lingering records of his life. Charles sets out to find out more about his strange ancestor but ends up opening a door he's not so sure he'll be able to close... *lightning flashes* *thunder claps* *your cat leaves the room, terrified*

You can read or download the book legally and absolutely free from HERE.

The Pacing. Lovecraft is THE ultimate Khal of knowing just when to drop a truth bomb on you when you were getting complacent with the story and thinking you're slick.
Key plot points are well spaced out so you never feel at any moment that you're marching on the spot waiting for the next "Girl, whaaaaaat" moment.

The Foreshadowing. Key information about the future of the story is slipped in throughout the book in the most natural and inconspicuous way possible.  You pretty much won't notice that there are hint Easter eggs all over until about half way through, at which point you'll want to start the book again, pay rapt attention to every detail going forward AND question your intelligence. Everything you want in a man!

The Head-scratchers. Once you establish that the trail of breadcrumbs has been laid, the next step is to trying to figure them out, because you're a real G. This will be both fun and frustrating, but the pay off will be amazing. Just, you guys.

The Writing. Lovecraft is always lovely for his straightforward, unpretentious work and this is no different. The writing will flow and be easy to follow, in spite of the fact that the book is set in 1918 and written in 1927. 10/10 would recommend.


Slow start. "The Call of Cthulhu" had the same problem; Lovecraft tends to take his sweet time in setting up and kicking off the story. It's easy to keep putting off continuing to read if you don't know that there's good things coming, but now you do, so hang in there.

Ye Olde English Parts. Some parts of the book require 'transcription' of very old letters written in the English of the time. This can be irritating to read, but you can skip them since the information is repeated throughout the course of the book anyway.


Righto, no spoilers have been given because G.R.R. Martin and I both want you to read the novella for yourself OR TYRION DIES. Don't try us. For Monday-ish Like A Sir, 'tis I, Evey G. Deuces!

And sweet dreams. ign


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