May 14, 2012

Herbert West-Reanimator II: The Plague-Daemon

"The thing actually opened its eyes, but only stared at the ceiling with a look of soul-petrifying horror before collapsing into an inertness from which nothing could rouse it. West said it was not fresh enough—the hot summer air does not favour corpses."

In which our heroes find their hands full while dealing with a typhoid plague, and one of West's experiments runs devilishly amok.

"Herbert West-Reanimator" was written between October 1921 and June 1922. It was serialized and published in six parts in the amateur publication Home Brew between February and July of 1922. Lovecraft was not pleased with the work, but the $30 that he received for the six installments must have kept him well stocked in beans and ice-cream for some time after.

This is my favourite of the first four installments. Things really get out of hand here, though not quite as insane as the final two installments.

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