Knowledge brings pain. Madness offers release.
The Whisperer in the Darkness (10-16)
A shaken narrator opens with doubt, wondering if his story can be true. It begins when strange things are seen floating in Vermont rivers, reviving local legends of a reclusive alien race up in the hills. Various debates spread the story further, until a Mr. Akeley warns the narrator to stop, before “they” stop him.
At first Akeley is easily dismissed as mistaken, but in his letters he scientifically documents all of his findings, lending them an objective authenticity. The story uses their correspondence to alternate between intense and calm experiences. The story as a whole gradually shifts from scientific to emotional tones, but the contrast helps to enhance the suspense as both men slowly uncover the full scope of their adversary.
The Colour Out of Space (11-16)
A narrator learns of a “blasted heath”, a patch of forsaken farmland. He finds a local man who tells him what happened. It began when a meteor fell on a local farm. The story reads like a historical summary, outlining numerous attempts to study the meteor, as well as the gradual changes it effects upon the farm. As the changes become more drastic, the summaries become more detailed but never quite cross over into actual scenes. Even the dialogue is summarized rather than simply said. The story ends tragically, as each character confronts and ultimately resigns themselves to their fate.
The Haunter of the Dark (12-16)
In the aftermath of a storm, an artist is found dead. Most conclude that he was struck by lightning, but his journal suggests another explanation, an ancient evil he awoke by exploring an abandoned church, and disturbing ancient relics. An unnamed narrator summarizes much of the story, glossing over details that do not directly relate to the church or the malignant entity. Some passages are interesting, particularly the parts where the artist is allowed to speak directly, once again hinting at complex horrors in disjointed phrases, aptly demonstrating the artist’s tattered mind. Unfortunately these moments are few and isolated to the latter portions of the story. Once again Lovecraft frontloads his story with exposition before demonstrating his strengths.
Best of HP Lovecraft 5of6-Anthology