31 Shots of Shock: #15 – ‘The Red Room’ by H. G. Wells

31 Shots of Shock *Title: The Red Room by H. G. Wells
Date Read: 15 October 2009
Available Online?: YES
Briefly: The narrator spends a night in the Red Room, reputed to haunted by an evil spirit.
Afterthoughts: Alas! I was expecting very great things from this story but I felt I never got it. Wells’ description of the three aged housekeepers is sublime and there is a brief highlight when the story reaches it’s climax, but I feel that Wells could have made a lot more of this story than he did.
Notable Quote: The man with the shade poured out a glassful with a shaking hand, that splashed half as much again on the deal table. A monstrous shadow of him crouched upon the wall, and mocked his action as he poured and drank. I must confess I had scarcely expected these grotesque custodians. There is, to my mind, something inhuman in senility, something crouching and atavistic; the human qualities seem to drop from old people insensibly day by day. The three of them made me feel uncomfortable with their gaunt silences, their bent carriage, their evident unfriendliness to me and to one another. And that night, perhaps, I was in the mood for uncomfortable impressions. I resolved to get away from their vague fore-shadowings of the evil things upstairs.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

*Story read as part of my 31 Shots of Shock reading challenge.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).