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Through the Gates of the Silver Key

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Author: H.P. Lovecraft
Co-author: E. Hoffman Price
Published: 1934
Language: English
Wordcount: 14,498 / 42 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 64.3
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 9,320
Added to site: 2010.05.22 27855
More Info:
Genres: Horror, Post-1930

ha had told him to stay? What was this key in his blouse pocket, where his little telescope - given him by his father on his ninth birthday, two months before - ought to be? Had he found it in the attic at home? Would it unlock the mystic pylon which his sharp eye had traced amidst the jagged rocks at the back of that inner cave behind the Snake Den on the hill? That was the place they always coupled with old Edmund Carter the wizard. People wouldn't go there, and nobody but him had ever noticed or squirmed through the root-choked fissure to that great black inner chamber with the pylon. Whose hands had carved that hint of a pylon out of the living rock? Old Wizard Edmund's - or others that he had conjured up and commanded?

That evening little Randolph ate supper with Uncle Chris and Aunt Martha in the old gambrel-roofed farm-house.

Next morning he was up early and out through the twisted-boughed apple orchard to the upper timber lot where the mouth of the Snake Den lurked black and forbidding a

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3.8 from 4 reviews: ****
Sardo Weems

A dabbler in the forbidden arts has disappeared, and several years later four men (I'm trying to remember an HPL story with a woman in it) gather to divide his estate. One guy is a swami who relates what really happened to the guy.

There is the usual Lovecraft ponderous yet indistinct descriptions, but at least the main character does go somewhere and do something, so the story has a real ending instead of something vaguely suggestive to conclude the story. Not a bad story, but slow getting started.

Paul Hatton

Started reading this after being disappointed at other Lovecraft tales and seeing the reviews given for this one. Have to say I was un-impressed. Same Lovecraft way of dragging things out and getting no-where. Gave up after the 3rd chapter. I think maybe that this author is really not for me :-(


This differed from some other H.P. Lovecraft stories I have read, where there are hints and evidence of ominous things but much is left to the imagination of the reader. The story telling here gets down to detail, with the main character having explicit encounters with unimaginable beings and situations. Very creative and highly recommended.


Finished this story just a few minutes ago and my jaw is still hanging. The concepts Lovecraft puts forth in this story are nothing short of genius. While his writing can certainly be classified as horror, it's also important for fellow sci fans to take well deserved notice of him. This story (written over 80 years ago, mind you) has quantum concepts, alternate realities, extradimensional entities, moments of revelation that rival and even exceed some of the best sci fi i have ever read - not to mention an exceptionally lucid, comprehensible, yet appropriately alien descriptive style that only the best of authors could pull off.

In my mind there is only one word for an author capable of creating something this amazing, let alone in the 20's and 30's when he was writing.




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