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The Tomb (H.P. Lovecraft Ebooks Book 16)

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"The Tomb"by the master of horror H.P.Lovecraft, first published in 1922, tells of Jervas Dudley, a self-confessed day-dreamer. While still a child, he discovers the entrance to a mausoleum but when he is an adult this mausoleum and the day-dreamer's state of being may cause madness to him.


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"The Tomb"by the master of horror H.P.Lovecraft, first published in 1922, tells of Jervas Dudley, a self-confessed day-dreamer. While still a child, he discovers the entrance to a mausoleum but when he is an adult this mausoleum and the day-dreamer's state of being may cause madness to him.

30 review for The Tomb (H.P. Lovecraft Ebooks Book 16)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    This is Lovecraft's earliest story published and it's a real good read. Jervas Dudley, a homebound boy, discovers an interesting tomb in his surrounding. It belongs to the Hyde family whose house burnt down. Rumours of debauchery and all kind of evil fill the village. But why is Jervas drawn to that old grave? Things get interesting when he finds a key and enters the deserted site. Why is the name Jervas written on one of the coffins? What does Jervas think about that and why did his behaviour This is Lovecraft's earliest story published and it's a real good read. Jervas Dudley, a homebound boy, discovers an interesting tomb in his surrounding. It belongs to the Hyde family whose house burnt down. Rumours of debauchery and all kind of evil fill the village. But why is Jervas drawn to that old grave? Things get interesting when he finds a key and enters the deserted site. Why is the name Jervas written on one of the coffins? What does Jervas think about that and why did his behaviour change since he found the tomb? Where is Jervas when he writes this story? It's a very compelling and eerie story from a legendary storyteller. There aren't no old ones here, no Necronomicon either but it's a classic gothic read. Absolutely recommended!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dante

    "I have been a dreamer and a visionary"

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    “The Tomb”—completed in 1917 and first published in The Vagrant (1922)--is the first tale of terror (apart from juvenilia) that H.P. Lovecraft composed. Melodramatic, and slightly absurd, it is not without its charm, and, in the way its protagonist Jervas Dudley is dominated by an 18th century spirit, it looks forward to Lovecraft’s short novel, The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward. The eccentric youth Jervas Dudley, fascinated by his visits to the Hyde family mausoleum, stares at the stone “The Tomb”—completed in 1917 and first published in The Vagrant (1922)--is the first tale of terror (apart from juvenilia) that H.P. Lovecraft composed. Melodramatic, and slightly absurd, it is not without its charm, and, in the way its protagonist Jervas Dudley is dominated by an 18th century spirit, it looks forward to Lovecraft’s short novel, The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward. The eccentric youth Jervas Dudley, fascinated by his visits to the Hyde family mausoleum, stares at the stone tomb for hours, wishing he could remove the giant padlock upon the door and enter within. He even sleeps outside the mausoleum; then one night, when he awakes, he is convinced that he has slept inside. Jervas, already strange, begins to act and speak even more strangely, as if he were a gentleman rake of the 18th century…. This story is also notable for its inclusion of passages that are distinctively autobiographical. For example, Lovecraft once confessed that in his youth he built altars to the Greek gods and “once beheld some of these sylvan creatures [satyrs and dryads] dancing under autumnal oaks.” In “The Tomb,” Jervas Dudley writes of a similar experience: ...temperamentally unfitted for the formal studies and social recreations of my acquaintances, I have dwelt ever in realms apart from the visible world; spending my youth and adolescence in ancient and little-known books, and in roaming the fields and groves of the region near my ancestral home. I do not think that what I read in these books or saw in these fields and groves was exactly what other boys read and saw there…. ...I have said that I dwelt apart from the visible world, but I have not said that I dwelt alone. This no human creature may do; for lacking the fellowship of the living, he inevitably draws upon the companionship of things that are not, or are no longer, living. Close by my home there lies a singular wooded hollow, in whose twilight deeps I spent most of my time; reading, thinking, and dreaming. Down its moss-covered slopes my first steps of infancy were taken, and around its grotesquely gnarled oak trees my first fancies of boyhood were woven. Well did I come to know the presiding dryads of those trees, and often have I watched their wild dances in the struggling beams of a waning moon—

  4. 5 out of 5

    ᴥ Irena ᴥ

    The Tomb is Jervas Dudley's explanation of why he is committed at 'this refuge for the demented'. He even warns you himself that 'you are going to hear the ravings of a crazy person'. As a ten-year-old he discovered the Hyde family tomb. It left a lasting impression on the boy and he started thinking of it as his. Strange things started to happen there and more than once our narrator only hints at the things he had done or seen there. He never gives any details. His speech patterns and overall The Tomb is Jervas Dudley's explanation of why he is committed at 'this refuge for the demented'. He even warns you himself that 'you are going to hear the ravings of a crazy person'. As a ten-year-old he discovered the Hyde family tomb. It left a lasting impression on the boy and he started thinking of it as his. Strange things started to happen there and more than once our narrator only hints at the things he had done or seen there. He never gives any details. His speech patterns and overall behaviour changed over the years because of that place. His concerned parents even hired a man to follow him on his nightly excursions to the cemetery.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Vaishali

    Dangerously near 5 stars ! Just glimpse this intro: "It is an unfortunate fact that the bulk of humanity is too limited in its mental vision to weigh with patience and intelligence those isolated phenomena, seen and felt only by a psychologically sensitive few, which lie outside its common experience. Men of broader intellect know that there is no sharp distinction betwixt the real and the unreal; that all things appear as they do only by virtue of the delicate individual physical and mental media Dangerously near 5 stars ! Just glimpse this intro: "It is an unfortunate fact that the bulk of humanity is too limited in its mental vision to weigh with patience and intelligence those isolated phenomena, seen and felt only by a psychologically sensitive few, which lie outside its common experience. Men of broader intellect know that there is no sharp distinction betwixt the real and the unreal; that all things appear as they do only by virtue of the delicate individual physical and mental media through which we are made conscious of them; but the prosaic materialism of the majority condemns as madness the flashes of super-sight which penetrate the common veil of obvious empiricism." Sold! Wildly intelligent... eerily creepy... even sadly triumphant. "Lovecraft" indeed. Awesome! .

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. (view spoiler)[Bettie's Books The shelving, status updates and star rating constitute how I felt about this book. (hide spoiler)]

  7. 4 out of 5

    Asha Seth

    Excellent! Just the perfect amount of insanity, creep, wonder, and beauty, this piece. . . . 'The Tomb' tells of Jervas Dudley, a self-confessed day-dreamer. While still a child, he discovers the entrance to a mausoleum, belonging to the family Hyde, whose nearby family mansion had burnt down many years previously. The entrance to the mausoleum is padlocked and slightly ajar. Jervas attempts to break the padlock, but is unable. Dispirited, he takes to sleeping beside the tomb. Eventually, inspired Excellent! Just the perfect amount of insanity, creep, wonder, and beauty, this piece. . . . 'The Tomb' tells of Jervas Dudley, a self-confessed day-dreamer. While still a child, he discovers the entrance to a mausoleum, belonging to the family Hyde, whose nearby family mansion had burnt down many years previously. The entrance to the mausoleum is padlocked and slightly ajar. Jervas attempts to break the padlock, but is unable. Dispirited, he takes to sleeping beside the tomb. Eventually, inspired by reading Plutarch's Lives, Dudley decides to patiently wait until it is his time to gain entrance to the tomb. One night, several years later, Jervas falls asleep once more beside the mausoleum. He awakes suddenly in the late afternoon, and believes that a light has been latterly extinguished from inside the tomb. Taking leave, he returns to his home, where he goes directly to the attic, to a rotten chest, and therein finds the key to the tomb. Once inside the mausoleum, Jervas discovers an empty coffin with the name of Jervas Hyde upon the plate. He begins, so he believes, to sleep in the empty coffin each night as its name matches his. He also develops a fear of thunder, and is aware that he is being spied upon, under his father's orders. One night, against his own better judgement, Jervas sets out for the tomb on an overcast night, a night threatening to storm. As he approaches the tomb, he sees the Hyde mansion restored to its former state there is a party in progress, to which he joins, abandoning his former quietude for blasphemous hedonism. During the party, lightning strikes the mansion, and it burns. Jervas loses consciousness, having imagined himself being burnt to ashes in the blaze. He is awoken, screaming and struggling, to find himself being held by two men, his father in attendance. A small antique box is discovered, having been unearthed by the recent storm. Inside is a porcelain miniature of a man, with the initials J.H. Jervas fancies its face to be the mirror image of his own. He begins jabbering that he has been sleeping inside the tomb. His father, saddened by his son's mental instability, tells him that he has been watched for some time and has never gone inside the tomb, and indeed, the padlock is rusted with age. Jervas is removed to a room with barred windows, presumed mad. He then asks his servant Hiram, who has remained faithful to him despite his current state, to explore the tomb a request which Hiram fulfils. After breaking the padlock and descending with a lantern into the murky depths, Hiram return to his master and informs him that there is, indeed, a coffin with a plate which reads 'Jervas' on it. Jervas then states that he has been promised to be buried in that vault and coffin when he dies and thus ends the previous narration.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    Unhinged psychology.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amy (Other Amy)

    It is surprising how many of Lovecraft's signature themes are already fully evident in this, his first horror story. The nature of madness and reality, an inherited curse, seeking after forbidden knowledge, and a fated demise are all here. The narrator is very reminiscent of Hildred Castaigne from Robert Chambers' "The Repairer of Reputations" (in The King in Yellow and Other Horror Stories), as well as many of Poe's madmen. However, Lovecraft adds an element; there is the strong suggestion that It is surprising how many of Lovecraft's signature themes are already fully evident in this, his first horror story. The nature of madness and reality, an inherited curse, seeking after forbidden knowledge, and a fated demise are all here. The narrator is very reminiscent of Hildred Castaigne from Robert Chambers' "The Repairer of Reputations" (in The King in Yellow and Other Horror Stories), as well as many of Poe's madmen. However, Lovecraft adds an element; there is the strong suggestion that Jervas' madness springs from a true apprehension: that of his actual lineage and ultimate place, shall we say, in the scheme of things. (Moved 2015 review to the individual work Sept. 2017 to make room to review the collection under its own entry.)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michael Sorbello

    A glimpse into a familiar theme that Lovecraft masters in his later works. The theme of the knowledge that comes from an isolated and curious protagonist. The danger of looking for secrets not meant to be discovered. Very eerie and vivid for such an early work.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    This one even creeped me out, and left me thinking about it long after it was finished. I like Lovecraft's way of leaving the reader guessing as to what is and is not real.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tanvika

    Not very frightening. Shadow of innsmouth dwells on horror; cult religion, delipadated cities, ugly folks, insane narrator etc very intricately.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    What a fascinating read. This was the first time that I've ever read a book by H.P. Lovecraft and I have to say, I'm pleasantly surprised. I tend not to delve into books by any author with much hope as, more often than not, my pedantic taste causes me to feel disillusioned very quickly. Although this is only a short-story, I was enraptured throughout. I wouldn't usually consider myself a fan of horror--I certainly don't like horror films--but this work has sparked my interest. I look forward to What a fascinating read. This was the first time that I've ever read a book by H.P. Lovecraft and I have to say, I'm pleasantly surprised. I tend not to delve into books by any author with much hope as, more often than not, my pedantic taste causes me to feel disillusioned very quickly. Although this is only a short-story, I was enraptured throughout. I wouldn't usually consider myself a fan of horror--I certainly don't like horror films--but this work has sparked my interest. I look forward to reading Lovecraft's remaining bibliography.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    From BBC Radio 4 Extra: The obsessive Jervas Dudley reveals how he came to be incarcerated in an asylum. HP Lovecraft's chilling tale read by Ryan McCluskey.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    Review to come Read for #Spookathon Read for Spooky setting Read for Spooky Word in the title "Tomb"

  16. 4 out of 5

    Will

    This has a lot of charm and is an excellent read. Can't wait to read the rest of Lovecraft!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I enjoyed this story, reminiscent of the first H. P. Lovecraft story I ever read, The Outsider.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gillyz

    I'm of the opinion that ANY kind obsession doesn't end up well. Now, can you imagine a day-dreamer guy who becomes obsessed with a tomb? Well, there you have it, a classic horror story with a supernatural scary atmosphere, I loved reading it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    delete

    “In relating the circumstances which have led to my confinement within this refuge for the demented, I am aware that my present position will create a natural doubt of the authenticity of my narrative” "The Tomb" is a short story of Jervas Dudley, an admitted day-dreamer, who’s opening lines immediately lay open the uncertainty about the tale and the narrator himself. Jervas spent his youth and adolescence in ancient and little known books, and exploring the fields and groves near his ancestral “In relating the circumstances which have led to my confinement within this refuge for the demented, I am aware that my present position will create a natural doubt of the authenticity of my narrative” "The Tomb" is a short story of Jervas Dudley, an admitted day-dreamer, who’s opening lines immediately lay open the uncertainty about the tale and the narrator himself. Jervas spent his youth and adolescence in ancient and little known books, and exploring the fields and groves near his ancestral home. It was down a singular wooded hollow that he discovers the entrance to a mausoleum, belonging to the family Hyde. The mausoleum padlocked though slightly ajar, intensifies his curiosity and he attempts to break the padlock, but to no avail. Dispirited, he takes to sleeping beside the tomb, and eventually decides to patiently wait until it is his time to gain entrance to the tomb. The Tomb is like many Lovecraft tales, revolving around the ambiguous blurred lines of fantasy and reality. Our protagonist Jervas a solitary dreamer, more fascinated with written works and imagination than anything in the dull mundane world about him. It may sound strange but as I read this story I could relate to Jervas. I too like to escape the real world and have spent a lot of time silently walking through old graveyards which hold so much peace for me. I would look at the gravestones and wonder who these people where. The visual storytelling of Lovecraft and the eloquence of his sentence structure is mesmerising, it is almost like you are seeing the world rather than reading it. It is an unsettling read with ambiguity between supernatural and insanity.

  20. 5 out of 5

    V

    Stephen King has said that he was inspired by Lovecraft on many occasions. Knowing that, I couldn't help but see some similarities in this short story and one particular novel by King. That also led me to wonder; Is Jarvis really just insane or did he, maybe, have a touch of the "shine". Could that be the reason his parents were so disturbed by his behavior and obsession with death and cemeteries, which he acknowledges, they tried to shelter him from as a child? Think about some opening lines of Stephen King has said that he was inspired by Lovecraft on many occasions. Knowing that, I couldn't help but see some similarities in this short story and one particular novel by King. That also led me to wonder; Is Jarvis really just insane or did he, maybe, have a touch of the "shine". Could that be the reason his parents were so disturbed by his behavior and obsession with death and cemeteries, which he acknowledges, they tried to shelter him from as a child? Think about some opening lines of the story... "It is an unfortunate fact that the bulk of humanity is too limited in its mental vision to weigh with patience and intelligence those isolated phenomena, seen and felt only by a psychologically sensitive few, which lie outside its common experience. Men of broader intellect know that there is no sharp distinction betwixt the real and the unreal; that all things appear as they do only by virtue of the delicate individual physical and mental media through which we are made conscious of them; but the prosaic materialism of the majority condemns as madness the flashes of super-sight which penetrate the common veil of obvious empiricism." I'm just asking; is it possible that Jarvis is a person who was sensitive to the unexplained, affected by its pull on him and THAT is what caused him to act insane rather than the reader just concluding that he is simply crazy? I really liked the story. I only have one complaint: it was too short of a short story!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jesse Rice

    Jervas Dudley is insane. If he's not insane, he's at least strongly quirky. This is a guy who has a morbid fascination with dead, so much so that he becomes obsessed with his ancestors' crypt and takes to sleeping in a coffin. Funny thing is that the coffin has his name on it. Jervas takes this to mean that this is his coffin, and this should become his tomb. That's where the crazy starts. The story is well written. There's some stuff that makes the reader wonder if anything Jervas says should be Jervas Dudley is insane. If he's not insane, he's at least strongly quirky. This is a guy who has a morbid fascination with dead, so much so that he becomes obsessed with his ancestors' crypt and takes to sleeping in a coffin. Funny thing is that the coffin has his name on it. Jervas takes this to mean that this is his coffin, and this should become his tomb. That's where the crazy starts. The story is well written. There's some stuff that makes the reader wonder if anything Jervas says should be taken point-blank, or if the guy is a completely unreliable narrator. The story, while in itself has little philosophy, does bring some interesting questions to my mind. Namely, what do we do with people like Jervas? Do we declare them insane? Do we try and force them to be interested in more politically correct topics? This story presents no answers, and the questions haunt me like a coffin with my name on it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Eye of Sauron

    This is probably Lovecraft's first good short story. It's a fascinating insight into the psychology of a disturbed individual, although it's not entirely clear whether he's mentally disturbed or actually disturbed by dead people. Either way, it's interesting, clear, and concise, and Lovecraft's tendency to awaken feelings of horror by calmly describing a man's thought processes is introduced here.

  23. 4 out of 5

    namekuseijin

    An early Lovecraft tale that already is as evocative and subtle as the master's best. I loved it for it subtlety, no weird monsters making a show. I've not read the kindle edition, but from an ePub containing most of his works already in the public domain.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    This story gave me chills. Midnight and in complete darkness, perfect atmosphere to read something of H.P Lovecraft

  25. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena

    Bizzare and creepy in the manner I completely adore.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Netanella

    The Tomb, for me, is a near perfect little horror story, full of all the fun themes I've grown to love in Lovecraft. Youthful isolation, desolate yet creepy New England location, ancient bloodline, madness. A narrator who's slightly twisted, and the twist, so to speak, in the narrator's psyche is revealed in a slow unraveling. As a young boy, our narrator kept to ancient books, legends, and the great outdoors. So odd was he as a youngster that his parents kept him away from churchyards and The Tomb, for me, is a near perfect little horror story, full of all the fun themes I've grown to love in Lovecraft. Youthful isolation, desolate yet creepy New England location, ancient bloodline, madness. A narrator who's slightly twisted, and the twist, so to speak, in the narrator's psyche is revealed in a slow unraveling. As a young boy, our narrator kept to ancient books, legends, and the great outdoors. So odd was he as a youngster that his parents kept him away from churchyards and gravesites. Until one day our young Jarvis stumbles upon a tomb. And then his whole world changes. Quickly becoming obsessed as only a character in a Lovecraft story can, Jarvis haunts the tomb at night. Over the course of time, his personality begins to change (and here I might add, somewhat for the better). I added a star to my rating for the awesome opening line, a line from Virgil's Aeneid, spoken by Aeneas' helmsman Polinurus, who is dead but doesn't want to cross the river Styx. Take me with you, he begs Aeneas, "Sedibus ut saltem placidis in morte quiescam." So that at least I might find a peaceful haven in death.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

    The third of Lovecraft's stories, the voice, story-telling, and writing of this story is significantly sharped as compared to the earliest two stories. In reading this, I could sense the influence of Poe in themes and choice of narrator. This story details the ramblings of a madman as he describes his descent to madness. Sounds like Poe, doesn't it. It also resembles very closely Lovecraft's later work, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. However it lacks the refinement and compelling story telling The third of Lovecraft's stories, the voice, story-telling, and writing of this story is significantly sharped as compared to the earliest two stories. In reading this, I could sense the influence of Poe in themes and choice of narrator. This story details the ramblings of a madman as he describes his descent to madness. Sounds like Poe, doesn't it. It also resembles very closely Lovecraft's later work, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. However it lacks the refinement and compelling story telling both of Poe and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. The narrator's explanation of his thoughts as a child makes him sound like an unusually precocious child. Though whether this is Lovecraft's own inability to write the thoughts of a ten year old or meant to be to convey a darker secret, I am not certain.

  28. 5 out of 5

    •Paige Hope•

    Lovecraft’s “The Tomb” is pure genius! What a suspenseful and chilling read! This story is mostly about madness, life, and death. The feeling of insanity in this story can be compared to other works of horror—it’s written quite a lot. However, it is still unique and interesting at the same time. The events are carried out with a precision that completely suits the ending. It must have taken so much thought to pull off a story this exact. I assume it must have required much darkness as well, Lovecraft’s “The Tomb” is pure genius! What a suspenseful and chilling read! This story is mostly about madness, life, and death. The feeling of insanity in this story can be compared to other works of horror—it’s written quite a lot. However, it is still unique and interesting at the same time. The events are carried out with a precision that completely suits the ending. It must have taken so much thought to pull off a story this exact. I assume it must have required much darkness as well, because this is not a light-hearted story. H.P. Lovecraft’s talent for creating stories is seen regardless of any scares that might come though!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    H.P. Lovecraft writes a short story from the perspective of wealthy, young, solitary Jervas Dudley who regularly visits the local Hyde family mausoleum of which he later makes the disputed claim to have slept in at night, to his father's saddened frustration. A surprise ending complicates the plot's veracity, and its usage invites multiple readings to understand the story. While some readers might be overwhelmed by the story's century-old vocabulary, other readers seeking a slowly unfolding H.P. Lovecraft writes a short story from the perspective of wealthy, young, solitary Jervas Dudley who regularly visits the local Hyde family mausoleum of which he later makes the disputed claim to have slept in at night, to his father's saddened frustration. A surprise ending complicates the plot's veracity, and its usage invites multiple readings to understand the story. While some readers might be overwhelmed by the story's century-old vocabulary, other readers seeking a slowly unfolding horror story about memory, history, transatlantic culture, and truth should be entertained.

  30. 4 out of 5

    JM

    The story starts with the narrator telling his story from the mental asylum. He's one of those typical HP Lovecraft protagonists with sickly dispositions and frail nerves, but a vivid imagination and a a lot of intellectual curiosity. So the dude explains how he became obsessed with the tomb of a certain family whose estate burned down and whose every scion is long dead. He ends up going into the tomb and fraternizing with the many undead family members living there and he's committed for becoming The story starts with the narrator telling his story from the mental asylum. He's one of those typical HP Lovecraft protagonists with sickly dispositions and frail nerves, but a vivid imagination and a a lot of intellectual curiosity. So the dude explains how he became obsessed with the tomb of a certain family whose estate burned down and whose every scion is long dead. He ends up going into the tomb and fraternizing with the many undead family members living there and he's committed for becoming weirder and weirder and telling people about this kind of thing.

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