The Colour Out of Space Review


H.P. Lovecraft is a renowned horror author, and in the 1920s and 1930s wrote many short stories and novellas that are still widely read today. One of his shorter and less famous works is his short story The Colour Out of Space. This short story tells of a rural New England community in which a strange object falls out of space. Scientists from a nearby city decide to investigate and are deeply compelled by the inexplicable color and properties of the object. However, they eventually lose interest. But the family whose farm the object landed on is plagued by other worldly horrors. 

The story is from a very interesting perspective that helps it stand out to the reader. It follows an inspector who is inspecting the land for a new site to build a dam to provide water for the nearby city. The inspector surveys the area and focuses on a weird clearing where everything is dead. He then passes a well at the abandoned house in the clearing and sees an odd color. He hurries back to town, because he knows he would never want to be in a place like that at night. He starts asking questions about the area around the farm; however, nobody wants to discuss it. The only consistent thing he hears is a warning not to listen to the ramblings of Ammi Pierce. The surveyor then heads to Ammi’s place expecting to find a crazy old man, but he finds an old guy who seems to be highly educated. Ammi was a close friend of the family, and knew a lot about the events that lead up to the desolation of the clearing. That is how the narrator/surveyor finds out the tale he relates to the reader, and then after hearing the tale he goes back home and immediately resigns from his job on the project for the dam because he never wants to set foot in that area ever again.

Lovecraft is known for taking a new approach to horror. At the time, horror was mostly made up of ghosts, werewolves, vampires and the like, but Lovecraft made his monsters other worldly, and beyond the comprehension of people. You get to follow characters so terrified that it is as if they are not even able to think about how terrifying what they are experiencing. This mystery adds a depth to the horror that can make it scary, but not over the top as some more modern horror is. If someone is interested in getting into Lovecraft’s work this would be a solid choice as a starter.