I'm referring to Lovecraft's Herbert West–Reanimator, particularly the chapter where he succeeds in reanimating an intellectual being (since he just got him killed). I can't recall if this man actually died (it's been some time since I've read it). If that's the case, isn't this a bit odd? I mean, all the other reanimated creatures (which turned out to be monstrosities) lived until the very end.

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    I don't know if it's legal, but you can download a copy of the book here: manybooks.net/titles/lovecrafthother10Reanimator.html
    – Mr Lister
    Jan 15, 2013 at 18:31
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    There are some complications involving his copyrights post-1923 (but considered likely to be public domain now), but Herbert West–Reanimator was the last one published before 1923. This one scrapes by regardless ;)
    – Solemnity
    Jan 16, 2013 at 3:27
  • @Solemnity OK. I wasn't sure, because the book doesn't appear on the Project Gutenberg site while other Lovecraft work does. So I was wondering what the deal was with this site.
    – Mr Lister
    Jan 16, 2013 at 7:17

1 Answer 1


I don't think there is any logic to this. It's just for dramatic effect. The climax of the chapter is the "accusation from beyond the grave". If the revived man had lived on, West would presumably have had to kill him to stop him going to the police and this wouldn't have made a good ending to the story.

I suppose it's possible the man (Robert Leavitt) really might have had a weak heart and he suffered a heart attack due to the stress of revival. I've always assumed that West just made up the "weak heart" as part of the story to deceive his assistant, but I suppose West could have decided to kill Leavitt when he discovered Leavitt had a a weak heart. The reason would be that if Leavitt's death ever came to light everyone would assume it was a heart attack rather than murder.

  • So he was killed by West right?
    – libathos
    Jan 17, 2013 at 20:10
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    Leavitt was originally killed by West, which is why when he was revived he shouts "Help! Keep off, you cursed little tow-head fiend -- keep that damned needle away from me!". However after his revival I think he dies of "natural" consequences e.g. a heart attack. Jan 18, 2013 at 7:11
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    Ooh didn't realize why he shouted this,thanks!Ok my original question though is how all the monstrosities where able to endure the reanimation and the sane one couldn't?maybe it's because sane reanimation can't be done?
    – libathos
    Jan 18, 2013 at 8:16
  • The other revivals had damaged brains because West didn't get the preservative into them early enough. Presumably they didn't understand enough about their situation to be frightened - they just reacted like animals. Jan 18, 2013 at 8:30
  • ok so you mean that he got frightened so much and having a weak heart leavit died.Ok i got figured out now thank you so much!
    – libathos
    Jan 18, 2013 at 8:36

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