[Some spoilers included.]
"Herbert West--Reanimator" is a serialized story that ran between October 1921 to June 1922 in a publication called "Home Brew." It was written by H. P. Lovecraft, and it is the first of his stories I have ever read in my life. The reason for me picking this one first was because I am a super-fan of the 1985 film and its sequels. Another reason was because I felt a little jipped out of a mad scientist story after the incredibly disappointing "Frankenstein." Whatever the case may be, "Reanimator" ended up being one hell of a story!
The story is told by the assistant to the titular Herbert West as he attempts to quite literally cure death. He developed a reagent that can revitalize humans, but in order to get the formula correct, he needs a constant flow of "fresh" bodies. This necessity is what leads this story to sink into the realm of madness.
West comes across as a sociopath that is dedicated to his work. He seems to believe in what he is doing to the bitter end. The only reason his associate stays with him is because of the belief that this really has some strong scientific significance. The problem is that the reanimated humans always come back acting more like animals rather than people.
"Reanimator" morbidly crosses every line of comfortability that exists. It shows how far science can go without regulation, and ultimately, this one ends up a horrific failure. But I still really like and admire people like this. I don't think he was doing anything wrong. He never killed anyone. He was just trying to cure death. No big deal, right?
The Mad Scientist genre is one of my favorites. I adore these men who break free of the rules and regulations of the world and strike out on their own to discover the strange truths of the universe. Although evil, they have more ambition than most, and that makes them so very interesting.
I do recommend "Herbert West--Reanimator." It takes about an hour to read and I found it on Kindle for $.99. Worth every penny.
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