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The Temple (H.P. Lovecraft Ebooks)

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The Temple, first published in 1925, is a short nautical story by the master of horror H.P. Lovecraft, with a World War I background.


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The Temple, first published in 1925, is a short nautical story by the master of horror H.P. Lovecraft, with a World War I background.

30 review for The Temple (H.P. Lovecraft Ebooks)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    What a creepy tale. A German submarine, unable to manouvre, steers towards the bottom of the sea. Its captain discovers an ancient town and is fascinated by this great old architecture he beholds. He seems to be lured into a vast temple and leaves the ship at the end of his air supply. Will he survive? What is with the mysterious carving of a head that went lost with his Lieutenant Klenze who already followed the call of the temple? Spine tingling, very well written diary of madness and terror. What a creepy tale. A German submarine, unable to manouvre, steers towards the bottom of the sea. Its captain discovers an ancient town and is fascinated by this great old architecture he beholds. He seems to be lured into a vast temple and leaves the ship at the end of his air supply. Will he survive? What is with the mysterious carving of a head that went lost with his Lieutenant Klenze who already followed the call of the temple? Spine tingling, very well written diary of madness and terror. A really good and haunting story, you feel like being part of it as a reader. Who built this city and why is it spotless after thousands of year in the sea? Highly recommended!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    “The Temple” (1920), first published in Weird Tales (September 1925), is presented to the reader as the text of a manuscript found in a bottle off the coast of Yucatan, an ocean adventure narrative composed by U-Boat Commander Karl Heinrich near the end of World War I. Like “Dagon,” (1917) it is one of Lovecraft’s early submerged city narratives, but it lacks “Dagon”’s poetic concentration and gains no narrative power from its length. I think, though, that this tale has been pummeled a bit too mu “The Temple” (1920), first published in Weird Tales (September 1925), is presented to the reader as the text of a manuscript found in a bottle off the coast of Yucatan, an ocean adventure narrative composed by U-Boat Commander Karl Heinrich near the end of World War I. Like “Dagon,” (1917) it is one of Lovecraft’s early submerged city narratives, but it lacks “Dagon”’s poetic concentration and gains no narrative power from its length. I think, though, that this tale has been pummeled a bit too much by its critics. True, the narrator is an irritating ubermensch, contemptuous of all things unGerman and convinced of the purity of his Teutonic iron will, but there is nevertheless considerable irony in his iron. His Teutonic will eventually collapses completely as he drifts to his watery death surrounded by the mysteriously glowing ruins of the ancient metropolis, but an even greater irony suffuses a statement he makes earlier in his explorations: On August 16 I effected an exit from the U-29, and laboriously made my way through the ruined and mud-choked streets to the ancient river. I found no skeletons or other human remains, but gleaned a wealth of archaeological lore from sculptures and coins. Of this I cannot now speak save to utter my awe at a culture in the full noon of glory when cave-dwellers roamed Europe and the Nile flowed unwatched to the sea. This man from what he thinks of as a superior culture realizes his ancestors were mere cavemmen when this culture was in “the full noon of glory," and he can say nothing “save to utter [his] awe.”

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mir

    This is a slightly unusual story for Lovecraft, in that it is set on a U-boat with German characters, and although some of his standard ruins-of-ancient-maybe-not-dead-races appear, the the horror elements are more reliant on the plight of the crew trapped in their foundering vehicle and their gradual loss of hope and sanity. The grim Prussian commander was a little stereotypical, but his stoicism made a pleasant change from the usual feeble hysteria of Lovecraft protagonists. No fainting in terr This is a slightly unusual story for Lovecraft, in that it is set on a U-boat with German characters, and although some of his standard ruins-of-ancient-maybe-not-dead-races appear, the the horror elements are more reliant on the plight of the crew trapped in their foundering vehicle and their gradual loss of hope and sanity. The grim Prussian commander was a little stereotypical, but his stoicism made a pleasant change from the usual feeble hysteria of Lovecraft protagonists. No fainting in terror this time! Face inexorable doom like a mensch.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Juho Pohjalainen

    Claustrophobic underwater horror. A major inspiration in some of my own earlier writings.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dante

    "I hold no fear". "I hold no fear".

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    More like 2.5 stars. Detestable protagonist, in the guise of a racist German submarine commander during WWI, and a story which could have been promising but doesn't deliver much suspense, horror or ultimately fulfillment. More like 2.5 stars. Detestable protagonist, in the guise of a racist German submarine commander during WWI, and a story which could have been promising but doesn't deliver much suspense, horror or ultimately fulfillment.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

    This one is a major creeper.

  8. 4 out of 5

    JL Shioshita

    Personally I love this story. The nautical element, the mysterious discovery at the bottom of the ocean, the weird relic...it could be a novel all its own but instead is a compacted, moody, short little tale that hints at much larger terrors but never fully brings them into light.

  9. 5 out of 5

    ᴥ Irena ᴥ

    3.5 'On August 20, 1917, I, Karl Heinrich, Graf von Altberg-Ehrenstein, Lieutenant-Commander in the Imperial German Navy and in charge of the submarine U-29, deposit this bottle and record in the Atlantic Ocean at a point to me unknown but probably about N. Latitude 20°, W. Longitude 35°, where my ship lies disabled on the ocean floor.' The Temple is a story of a World War I U-Boat and its end told by Karl Heinrich, Graf von Altberg-Ehrenstein, Lieutenant-Commander in the Imperial German Navy. Th 3.5 'On August 20, 1917, I, Karl Heinrich, Graf von Altberg-Ehrenstein, Lieutenant-Commander in the Imperial German Navy and in charge of the submarine U-29, deposit this bottle and record in the Atlantic Ocean at a point to me unknown but probably about N. Latitude 20°, W. Longitude 35°, where my ship lies disabled on the ocean floor.' The Temple is a story of a World War I U-Boat and its end told by Karl Heinrich, Graf von Altberg-Ehrenstein, Lieutenant-Commander in the Imperial German Navy. The Commander is not a likeable character. His chauvinistic attitude, first towards the enemies ('the English pig-dogs are waging upon the Fatherland'), then later towards his own men ('a superstitious Alsatian swine', 'paralysed and inefficient, as one might expect of a soft, womanish Rhinelander') makes him a very annoying character to put it mildly. Nobody seems German enough except him. After they sink an enemy ship, they find a dead man holding 'a very odd bit of ivory carved to represent a youth’s head crowned with laurel'. His second-in-command takes it and it marks the beginning of their end. The crew goes insane and he ends up alone in the bottom of the ocean. The searchlight beam reveals a city (could be R'lyeh) and it is the first time the man feels dread. I wish if the story were longer. Source

  10. 4 out of 5

    Baal Of

    Pretty decent story, with an intentionally detestable main character, at least I'm assuming Lovecraft meant for him to be perceived as an asshole. Nice portrayal of a gradual descent into madness of the entire crew, as their numbers declined due to suicide and murder. Pretty decent story, with an intentionally detestable main character, at least I'm assuming Lovecraft meant for him to be perceived as an asshole. Nice portrayal of a gradual descent into madness of the entire crew, as their numbers declined due to suicide and murder.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Saul the Heir of Isauldur

    Definitely more in the style that Lovecraft is famous for. Not quite of Eldritch proportions, but an interesting and tense story of a sailor. A good read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michael Hicks

    Written in 1920, H.P. Lovecraft's THE TEMPLE is an atmospheric short story that stands the test of time. The story is presented in the form of a journal entry from a German U-Boat officer during WWI documenting the final moments of the ship's damned voyage. After finding an ivory idol in the water and bringing it aboard, the crew descend into madness as the ship draws nearer to a lost underwater city. This audio presentation is terrific and wonderfully captures the isolation and moments of panic Written in 1920, H.P. Lovecraft's THE TEMPLE is an atmospheric short story that stands the test of time. The story is presented in the form of a journal entry from a German U-Boat officer during WWI documenting the final moments of the ship's damned voyage. After finding an ivory idol in the water and bringing it aboard, the crew descend into madness as the ship draws nearer to a lost underwater city. This audio presentation is terrific and wonderfully captures the isolation and moments of panic aboard the U-Boat. Rather than reading this as a straight-up narration, K. Anderson Yancy has produced here a full-fledged sonic experience with sound effects and a mild background score that never distract and serve the story perfectly. At only 45 minutes, THE TEMPLE is a great listening experience. This is my first listen to one of Yancy's "sonic movies," which harkens back to the days of radio drama, but it definitely will not be the last. Highly recommended. (Note: This audiobook was provided by the narrator at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com.)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This story really has the atmosphere of a cold, dark Hell. Being in the ocean, hundreds of miles from land, with a crazed and mutinous crew - I can see why Altberg has a firm hand. Then, once his U-boat sinks and fails to re-pressurize, the remainder of his crew lose themselves to insanity along with his last companion, Lieutenant Klenze. Alone and unable to resurface, Altberg hallucinates a glow coming from the temple. Knowing there is no hope for rescue, he goes to investigate. This is truly a This story really has the atmosphere of a cold, dark Hell. Being in the ocean, hundreds of miles from land, with a crazed and mutinous crew - I can see why Altberg has a firm hand. Then, once his U-boat sinks and fails to re-pressurize, the remainder of his crew lose themselves to insanity along with his last companion, Lieutenant Klenze. Alone and unable to resurface, Altberg hallucinates a glow coming from the temple. Knowing there is no hope for rescue, he goes to investigate. This is truly a creepy story. Isolation and superstition play a big role in this story and make this so worth the read. It's also nice that the narration is a "found manuscript" which gives a haunting feeling of hopelessness to an impending doomed circumstance.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Andrei Vasilachi

    "Though I knew that death was near, my curiosity was consuming" What a harrowing and claustrophobic tale! No doubt one of my favorites from Lovecraft. It's a story of a WWI German submarine crew "going mad" during one of their surveys. The story is a manuscript written by a lieutenant-commander in the Imperial German Navy, who encounters some paranormal events ("an aural delusion") in the depths of the North Atlantic Ocean: "Moreover, for the first time in my life I experienced the emotion of drea "Though I knew that death was near, my curiosity was consuming" What a harrowing and claustrophobic tale! No doubt one of my favorites from Lovecraft. It's a story of a WWI German submarine crew "going mad" during one of their surveys. The story is a manuscript written by a lieutenant-commander in the Imperial German Navy, who encounters some paranormal events ("an aural delusion") in the depths of the North Atlantic Ocean: "Moreover, for the first time in my life I experienced the emotion of dread. I began to realise how some of poor Klenze's moods had arisen, for as the temple drew me more and more, I feared its aqueous abysses with a blind and mounting terror. Returning to the submarine, I turned off the lights and sat thinking in the dark." Yet even in the midst of apparent madness, he tries to be rational and scientific (in an attempt to detach from his fear of the unknown?): "Psychologically my case is most interesting, and I regret that it cannot be observed scientifically by a competent German authority. Upon opening my eyes my first sensation was an overmastering desire to visit the rock temple; a desire which grew every instant, yet which I automatically sought to resist through some emotion of fear which operated in the reverse direction. Next there came to me the impression of light amidst the darkness of dead batteries, and I seemed to see a sort of phosphorescent glow in the water through the porthole which opened toward the temple. This arouses my curiosity, for I knew of no deep-sea organism capable of emitting such luminosity. But before I could investigate there came a third impression which because of its irrationality caused me to doubt the objectivity of anything my senses might record. It was an aural delusion; a sensation of rhythmic, melodic sound as of some wild yet beautiful chant or choral hymn, coming from the outside through the absolutely sound-proof hull of the U-29." In the end, even when he seems to have lost his mind, he still tries to explain the paranormal: "This daemoniac laughter which I hear as I write comes only from my own weakening brain." Beautifully written and an instant short-story classic.

  15. 5 out of 5

    José Monico

    I can officially say I've read enough of Lovecraft's early works to expect certain ideas and traits in his stories: xenophobia, conservatism and ancient lore (oh and more cats apparently-- goody). All three were on display here, in the longest short I've read of his works so far. Tales of madness are always a welcome for me; especially if they are fleshed out, but kept ambiguous. It's interesting to note that every man that came to his doom in this story was every bit as weak as all except Karl I can officially say I've read enough of Lovecraft's early works to expect certain ideas and traits in his stories: xenophobia, conservatism and ancient lore (oh and more cats apparently-- goody). All three were on display here, in the longest short I've read of his works so far. Tales of madness are always a welcome for me; especially if they are fleshed out, but kept ambiguous. It's interesting to note that every man that came to his doom in this story was every bit as weak as all except Karl(actually no, that's obvious). The state bred him well; and his patriotism is enduring and terrifyingly blinding. Perhaps blinding the reader as well? The tug, and pull of whatever ancient menace is slowly decaying his men seems do to it with ease. His own mind seems to be a force of reckoning against this unknown. And the story continues to assure us his will may bend, but won't break. But I felt otherwise; the menace is superb, and his "will" is nothing more than another rationalizing method. Nothing more than another form for the "thing" to manipulate the man. Likewise, these other "weaker" men rationalized in manners familiar to their own person (and were brought down in discrete fashions). Karl lost the fight long ago. God bless the Fatherland.

  16. 5 out of 5

    David Sven

    A short story set in 1917. A German submarine sinks a British Freighter and brings on board an artefact found on one of the dead sailors which appears to be cursed. The story is told in the first person by the Captain of the German Uboat who records the subsequent events in a log or letter in a bottle. I listened to this on the SFFAudio poscast. The audio narrator was a little hard to understand. The story itself was quite straightforward. The Uboat basically descends into madness with a hint of A short story set in 1917. A German submarine sinks a British Freighter and brings on board an artefact found on one of the dead sailors which appears to be cursed. The story is told in the first person by the Captain of the German Uboat who records the subsequent events in a log or letter in a bottle. I listened to this on the SFFAudio poscast. The audio narrator was a little hard to understand. The story itself was quite straightforward. The Uboat basically descends into madness with a hint of the supernatural. It’s kinda been done to death nowadays so ho hum. 3 stars.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michael Sorbello

    Not creepy so much as it is visually satisfying to read. This is Lovecraft’s interpretation of the discovery of Atlantis. There are some horror themes prevalent, but they are overshadowed by the strange and beckoning beauty of the mysterious underwater foundation. As much as I fear the sea, I almost wanted to take a dive to explore it myself.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Finooola

    Submarines are intrinsically creepy. Of course Lovecraft has a submarine story. I found it quite hilarious that Lovecraft of all people was presenting the main character in this one as a bit of a racist.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Seth

    A nautical, WWI era, brooding horror told by a German submariner who's vessel has been lost at sea. A nautical, WWI era, brooding horror told by a German submariner who's vessel has been lost at sea.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Netanella

    “He is calling! He is calling! I hear him! We must go!” "The Temple" is a creepy underwater tale about a German U-boat's encounter with an equally creepy underwater temple. In typical fashion, the tale is recounted from the ship's log entries made by the highly bigoted and patriotic captain. After the U-boat sinks a British ship, the crew discovers an artefact clutched in the hands of a drowned enemy. A carven image of a youth with a crown on this head, the creepy statue is taken on board by the “He is calling! He is calling! I hear him! We must go!” "The Temple" is a creepy underwater tale about a German U-boat's encounter with an equally creepy underwater temple. In typical fashion, the tale is recounted from the ship's log entries made by the highly bigoted and patriotic captain. After the U-boat sinks a British ship, the crew discovers an artefact clutched in the hands of a drowned enemy. A carven image of a youth with a crown on this head, the creepy statue is taken on board by the Germans. Over the course of the next few days, the crew slowly hear and see phantom images and begin to think that the U-boat is now cursed for having brought the image on board. The haunting underwater atmosphere builds slowly over the course of the story, and I was strongly reminded of some of the scenes from the video game "BioShock." For any fan of Lovecraft, or horror in general, this is recommended.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Hm...I wonder if this narrator is German (he certainly reminds us enough until I felt like going insane along with all the other characters in this short story). Anyway, this story hints at the existence of some great force found beneath the ocean (a.k.a., Cthulhu), perhaps the first one Lovecraft published.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tihana

    Very eerie and atmospheric, but the constant "Germany over all" proclamations of the main character were sometimes a bit over the top. I know that's the point and all, but some of the things he said just made me laugh with how silly they were. Very eerie and atmospheric, but the constant "Germany over all" proclamations of the main character were sometimes a bit over the top. I know that's the point and all, but some of the things he said just made me laugh with how silly they were.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Per

    https://archive.org/details/WeirdTale... https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Te... This short story is not the first publication of Lovecraft in Weird Tales as the Goodreads description says, but the eleventh; not counting collaborations and ghost writings. Dagon is the first. This one is prior to the Cthulhu Mythos, but it certainly has that vibe. One of the comments (#10) in the Lovecraft reread (link at the bottom) does a good job of showing how the story might be a retelling of one of the class https://archive.org/details/WeirdTale... https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Te... This short story is not the first publication of Lovecraft in Weird Tales as the Goodreads description says, but the eleventh; not counting collaborations and ghost writings. Dagon is the first. This one is prior to the Cthulhu Mythos, but it certainly has that vibe. One of the comments (#10) in the Lovecraft reread (link at the bottom) does a good job of showing how the story might be a retelling of one of the classic myths(*) of Dionysus. On August 20, 1917, I, Karl Heinrich, Graf von Altberg-Ehrenstein, Lieutenant-Commander in the Imperial German Navy and in charge of the submarine U-29, deposit this bottle and record in the Atlantic Ocean at a point to me unknown but probably about N. Latitude 20 degrees, W. Longitude 35 degrees, where my ship lies disabled on the ocean floor. I do so because of my desire to set certain unusual facts before the public; a thing I shall not in all probability survive to accomplish in person, since the circumstances surrounding me are as menacing as they are extraordinary, and involve not only the hopeless crippling of the U-29, but the impairment of my iron German will in a manner most disastrous. (*) http://www.gutenberg.org/files/348/34... https://www.tor.com/2014/09/02/hp-lov... Comment #10: https://www.tor.com/2014/09/02/hp-lov...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    4.5 Stars rounded up to 5 Stars.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Even better than I remembered! This is Lovecraft's first truly great story. The submarine is a great setting for a claustrophobic tale like this, and though the protagonist is drawn pretty broadly, the conflicts he faces are vivid and complicated. Favourite moments: The initial moment when they find the idol on the sailor's corpse and throw him back into the ocean, only to have him swim away under the water. The dead bodies in the water, wide-eyed and staring in through the portholes. The first sig Even better than I remembered! This is Lovecraft's first truly great story. The submarine is a great setting for a claustrophobic tale like this, and though the protagonist is drawn pretty broadly, the conflicts he faces are vivid and complicated. Favourite moments: The initial moment when they find the idol on the sailor's corpse and throw him back into the ocean, only to have him swim away under the water. The dead bodies in the water, wide-eyed and staring in through the portholes. The first sight of something geometric under the ocean; a spire popping up out of the murky depths. Being called to by the shape. "He is calling! He is calling! We must go!" The strangely human decision to keep descending, knowing there's no way they can survive, so choosing to embrace a horrible death in order to explore and know more. The impossible light and sounds that chime from the temple's doors, and the underwater flame that burns inside. The protagonist puts on his diving suit and enters the temple, telling himself over and over that the laughter he hears is just him losing his mind.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rita

    The first half was a snoozefest, with overly complex descriptions referring to the protagonist's love for his national identity and perceived superiority. The protagonist was meant to be a detestable character, we get it. Somewhere about 75% of the story, things take a turn for the better and this is where it gets a bit interesting. (view spoiler)[ There are too many unanswered questions though, like what is up with those strange dolphins? Were they formerly people of the lost city? Who was the The first half was a snoozefest, with overly complex descriptions referring to the protagonist's love for his national identity and perceived superiority. The protagonist was meant to be a detestable character, we get it. Somewhere about 75% of the story, things take a turn for the better and this is where it gets a bit interesting. (view spoiler)[ There are too many unanswered questions though, like what is up with those strange dolphins? Were they formerly people of the lost city? Who was the mysterious dead sailor who washed upon the hull of the submarine? Why did he have the ivory image with him? (hide spoiler)] For all the bravery of the protagonist, he willingly submitted to his fate. I was just hoping that we'd get a glimpse of what lied within that mysterious place. I was left waiting for the great mystery to unravel, but alas it ended in a dull anti-climax that left me thinking, "Wait, is that it?"

  27. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    A short read, as a lot of Lovecraft's early works were. A disease that seems to cause insanity overtakes a small ship, leaving almost all traces of it destroyed. The story is all that remains. It seems to be set in World War 1 from a German perspective. A very... patriotic German perspective. He mentioned being German far too many times to seem natural. The writing is very dry, casually informing the reader of a death much like a newspaper would. This gives off the impression that the main charact A short read, as a lot of Lovecraft's early works were. A disease that seems to cause insanity overtakes a small ship, leaving almost all traces of it destroyed. The story is all that remains. It seems to be set in World War 1 from a German perspective. A very... patriotic German perspective. He mentioned being German far too many times to seem natural. The writing is very dry, casually informing the reader of a death much like a newspaper would. This gives off the impression that the main character doesn't care, and in a few cases he seems downright pleased. The main character and a sick man descend to the bottom of the sea to look for Atlantis. Later, when all hope seems lost, Atlantis is the basis for some good old cosmic horror. Overall, it was a bit of a dull read with a some good lines and not much to be afraid of (unless the obituaries make you scream).

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amy Mills

    More like 2.5 stars. It's almost funny to have Lovecraft maligning a German office for his racism. * shakes head * Then there's the cartoonish, "Well, he's [sick|insubordinate|superstitious|etc.] so I must shoot him" attitude, contrasted with this ridiculously ironic line: "German lives are precious". So precious that he kills the rest of his crew himself. Okay, and assists one suicidal action. Uh huh. Sure. Very precious. So, yeah, unintentional dark humor in that. As for the actual story... it' More like 2.5 stars. It's almost funny to have Lovecraft maligning a German office for his racism. * shakes head * Then there's the cartoonish, "Well, he's [sick|insubordinate|superstitious|etc.] so I must shoot him" attitude, contrasted with this ridiculously ironic line: "German lives are precious". So precious that he kills the rest of his crew himself. Okay, and assists one suicidal action. Uh huh. Sure. Very precious. So, yeah, unintentional dark humor in that. As for the actual story... it's nothing particularly interesting. Cursed artifact brought on board submarine, submarine stops working, crew goes mad, submarine sinks toward mysterious sunken city, escorted by so-called dolphins who never surface for air. I mostly gave it 3 stars for the unintentional humor.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Call Me Schibboleth

    The short story: The Temple, is presented to the reader as a text of a manuscript found in a bottle off the coast of Yucatan, written by the the protagonist and narrator of the story "Karl Heinrich, Graf von Altberg-Ehrenstein, Lieutenant-Commander in the Imperial German Navy and in charge of the submarine U-29." "On August 20, 1917, I, Karl Heinrich, Graf von Altberg-Ehrenstein, Lieutenant-Commander in the Imperial German Navy and in charge of the submarine U-29, deposit this bottle and record i The short story: The Temple, is presented to the reader as a text of a manuscript found in a bottle off the coast of Yucatan, written by the the protagonist and narrator of the story "Karl Heinrich, Graf von Altberg-Ehrenstein, Lieutenant-Commander in the Imperial German Navy and in charge of the submarine U-29." "On August 20, 1917, I, Karl Heinrich, Graf von Altberg-Ehrenstein, Lieutenant-Commander in the Imperial German Navy and in charge of the submarine U-29, deposit this bottle and record in the Atlantic Ocean at a point to me unknown but probably about N. Latitude 20 degrees, W. Longitude 35 degrees, where my ship lies disabled on the ocean floor. I do so because of my desire to set certain unusual facts before the public; a thing I shall not in all probability survive to accomplish in person, since the circumstances surrounding me are as menacing as they are extraordinary, and involve not only the hopeless crippling of the U-29, but the impairment of my iron German will in a manner most disastrous." - The Temple(1920), by H.P. Lovecraft We get hints that something terrible must have happened to him and to his ship, we are hooked and want to know more. Karl Heinrich, Graf von Altberg-Ehrenstein is not a a likebale protagonist as you will soon find out. He is, one could say, a "stereotype"of a german-prussian Lieutenant-Commander of noble heritage. He is nationalisitic, arrogant and completely without mercy against his enemies and his crew. He is proud of his heritage and of his "iron german will". He hates his enemies and loves his fatherland ("the English pig-dogs are waging an unjust war upon the Fatherland" ), but dislikes other germans, who are not prussian like him(" paralysed and inefficient, as one might expect of a soft, womanish Rhinelander"). He opposes anykind of superstition and believes in reason and logic (" The Boatswain Muller, an elderly man who would have known better had he not been a superstitious Alsatian swine" ). He is one what we could call a "modern" man. A modern man with his arrogance in judging all other "older" civilizations as barbaric and superstitious. He will soon be confronted with a power that even his "iron german will" doesnt stand a chance against. After he and his crew sink an english enemy ship("British freighter Victory"), they find a young dead man holding a very strange figure of ivory(possibly an idol of an unknown god). Lieutenant Kienze ( the second in command) takes it on board and soon after that strange phenomena start to occur on the submarine. The crew reports of seeing dead bodies and hearing strange sounds. Slowly the "weak minded" of the crew start go insane and the Lieutenant-Commander decides to kill them to maintain order on the ship. Soon after that there is an explosion on the ship, which damages the submarine and kills the last ones of the crew (only Kienze and the Commander remain alive), so that there is no way of repairing it and it begins to sink. Their iron ship now turns into an iron coffin and sinks slowly towards certain death at the bottom of the ocean. His second in command, Lieutenant Kienze, loses his mind and begs the Commander to let him out of the submarine, which under such water pressure is certain death for Kienze without a diving suit, because someone is calling him (" "He is calling! He is calling! I hear him! We must go!"). The commander allows it. Now he remains the last one alive on the ship. As the submarine sinks the Lieutenant-Commander becomes more and more skeptical of his own experience, he doubts his senses and his mind, he tries to keep a cool head and maintain his iron german will. At the bottom of the ocean the searchlight beam of the sinking submarine reveals an ancient city of unknown origin, but its architecture intrigues and stuns the Lieutenant-Commander. A strange light comes out of the temple and the Lieutenant-Commander feels a strong urge to go and explore the temple, always doubting himself, if he allready has fallen into madness or not. He writes the manuscript (which are probably his last word to the world), puts on his diving suit and walks boldly up the steps into the temple. Likes – Dislikes: Themes, Plot I very much liked the story. Now what i like most is how well crafted the story is, and how many themes Lovecraft managed to put into this short tale, without it ever becoming confusing. : lost civilizations(atlantis-myth), the arrogance of the modern man over older civilizations, radical nationalism, decay of civilization, reason and will vs superstition and madness, the mysteries of the deep oceans. I read some of the reviews and people complained about the story being to short. I must say its has the exact appropriate length. The story has an open ending, and it leaves enough room for the readers imagination to fill in the blanks. Likes – Dislikes: Protagonist At first i very much disliked the Commander. He is a monster, even though he himself didn't see it, but his actions revealed him as such, there was no nobility in his actions. Lovecraft managed to get me to pay a bit of respect for him and maybe even to feel a bit of symphaty for him, thats probably because he himself did become a victim of the forces of nature and was facing certain death boldly. Recommendation So in summary: If you look for a short suspense-horror story in a claustrophobic setting(submarine) during WW1, madness, mysteries and lost civilizations. This story is for you. Note that this story contains strong language and portrays stereotypes. Remember this story was written after the first world war in the year 1920. (radical nationalism, superiority of the "german people" are a big part of it)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amy (Other Amy)

    This one is interesting, and the sense of humor is back. Set on a WWI German U-boat, the claustrophobia and paranoia of the captain serve to make his deep sea discovery actually somewhat creepy. (view spoiler)[The identification of the deluged ruin as Atlantis seems unchallenged by the story, which would have been improved if this had been another encounter with the deep sea aliens of "Dagon," but Lovecraft is still warming up at this point. (hide spoiler)] 4* (Moving 2015 review to separate work This one is interesting, and the sense of humor is back. Set on a WWI German U-boat, the claustrophobia and paranoia of the captain serve to make his deep sea discovery actually somewhat creepy. (view spoiler)[The identification of the deluged ruin as Atlantis seems unchallenged by the story, which would have been improved if this had been another encounter with the deep sea aliens of "Dagon," but Lovecraft is still warming up at this point. (hide spoiler)] 4* (Moving 2015 review to separate work to make room under collection for review, September 2017.)

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