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Necronomicon: The Best Weird Fiction

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WIKIPEDIA says: 'H.P. Lovecraft's reputation has grown tremendously over the decades, and he is now commonly regarded as one of the most important horror writers of the 20th century, exerting an influence that is widespread, though often indirect.' His tales of the tentacled Elder God Cthulhu and his pantheon of alien deities were initially written for the pulp magazines o WIKIPEDIA says: 'H.P. Lovecraft's reputation has grown tremendously over the decades, and he is now commonly regarded as one of the most important horror writers of the 20th century, exerting an influence that is widespread, though often indirect.' His tales of the tentacled Elder God Cthulhu and his pantheon of alien deities were initially written for the pulp magazines of the 1920s and '30s. These astonishing tales blend elements of horror, science fiction and cosmic terror that are as powerful today as they were when they were first published. THE NECRONOMICON collects together the very best of Lovecraft's tales of terror, including the complete Cthulhu Mythos cycle, just the way they were originally published. It will introduce a whole new generation of readers to Lovecraft's fiction, as well as being a must-buy for those fans who want all his work in a single, definitive volume.


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WIKIPEDIA says: 'H.P. Lovecraft's reputation has grown tremendously over the decades, and he is now commonly regarded as one of the most important horror writers of the 20th century, exerting an influence that is widespread, though often indirect.' His tales of the tentacled Elder God Cthulhu and his pantheon of alien deities were initially written for the pulp magazines o WIKIPEDIA says: 'H.P. Lovecraft's reputation has grown tremendously over the decades, and he is now commonly regarded as one of the most important horror writers of the 20th century, exerting an influence that is widespread, though often indirect.' His tales of the tentacled Elder God Cthulhu and his pantheon of alien deities were initially written for the pulp magazines of the 1920s and '30s. These astonishing tales blend elements of horror, science fiction and cosmic terror that are as powerful today as they were when they were first published. THE NECRONOMICON collects together the very best of Lovecraft's tales of terror, including the complete Cthulhu Mythos cycle, just the way they were originally published. It will introduce a whole new generation of readers to Lovecraft's fiction, as well as being a must-buy for those fans who want all his work in a single, definitive volume.

30 review for Necronomicon: The Best Weird Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Olivier Delaye

    All right, with this one under my belt, I think I can safely say that I’ve read everything Lovecraft has ever written in his life. I will then skip introducing the author––who doesn’t need any introduction, anyway––and go through a rundown of some of my most beloved horror stories of his, which you can find in this collection. THE OUTSIDER is my favorite Lovecraft story bar none. It is also one of his shortest. Written in the first-person narrative (as is often the case in his fiction), it tells All right, with this one under my belt, I think I can safely say that I’ve read everything Lovecraft has ever written in his life. I will then skip introducing the author––who doesn’t need any introduction, anyway––and go through a rundown of some of my most beloved horror stories of his, which you can find in this collection. THE OUTSIDER is my favorite Lovecraft story bar none. It is also one of his shortest. Written in the first-person narrative (as is often the case in his fiction), it tells of a man (or is it?) who, after having lived as a recluse for what seems like a very long time in his darkened and lifeless castle (or is it?), decides one day to go out into the world and explore. There ensues a series of discoveries––with a devastating although somewhat anticipated reveal––which will seal the narrator’s fate forever. As said, this story is super short but masterfully executed, woven around the themes of loneliness, abnormality and the afterlife. The prose is as it should given the genre––divinely gothic, deliciously verbose and darkly purple. All in all, a masterpiece. THE DREAMS IN THE WITCH-HOUSE is my second favorite and the only one that actually gave me goosebumps while reading it for the first time in bed at night. This story of a math student who decides to rent a room in a cursed house in which a witch and her hellish amalgam of a familiar are said to have lived is downright disturbing and creepy and just too well written for comfort. Which makes it yet another masterpiece in the Lovecraft canon. THE HAUNTER OF THE DARK is my third most beloved Lovecraft story and also the last one he ever wrote (that we know of). Eschewing the first person for the third limited, Lovecraft treats us to a chilling account of what the protagonist, Robert Blake, discovers when, driven by his penchant for the occult, he decides to go and explore a haunted church in the town of Providence, RI. Here again the writing is on point as Lovecraft knows better than anyone how to create an atmosphere of claustrophobia and paranoia, playing unashamedly with the fear of the unknown and impending doom. Deeply steeped in the Cthulhu mythos, this story is a prime example of how curiosity can kill a cat. THE CALL OF CTHULHU. Although not the first Lovecraft story to introduce an element of the Cthulhu mythos (that would be Dagon, also included in this collection), this one is the first to feature the foul-smelling, tentacle-wielding and potbellied deity in all its greasy and nasty glory. Written as an epistolary short story, it gives an account of the discovery of Cthulhu via a series of documents left behind by the great uncle of the narrator, Francis Wayland Thurston. Three words: groundbreaking, masterful, perfect. THE RATS IN THE WALLS is another gothic masterpiece recounting the tale of Delapore, an American who decides to cross the pond and move to England into his ancestral manor, the ill-fated Exham Priory. After restoring it, Delapore soon discovers that something isn’t quite right about the place and, prompted by scurrying noises in the walls, decides to investigate. Lovecraft juggles many balls in this one––the haunted house, genetic mutations, cannibalism, forbidden worships and eldritch (doesn’t Lovecraft just love this word?) cults, the inescapability of heredity, mental disorder, etc.––providing us with nail-biting scenes of exploration and horror, and tying it all together (albeit loosely) into his infamous Cthulhu mythos. Definitely a winner. THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH is yet another effective horror story set waist-deep in the Cthulhu mythos, and from what I’ve heard, a favorite of many Lovecraft aficionados. Told once again in the first person, the story is about a student (whose name is never revealed) who goes to the ruined seaside town of Innsmouth, Mass., for what he thinks will be a one-day trip. Lovecraft spares no words in describing the cursed town, and we soon understand that the nature of the curse boils down to an invasion of Innsmouth many years ago by the Deep Ones, an ancient people that came ashore from the bottom of the sea. From the town drunk with whom the narrator has a long (perhaps overlong?) conversation, we learn that the Deep Ones used to practice human sacrifices in Innsmouth and also did not hesitate to mate with local women, hence the fishy appearance of many of the inhabitants. The whole thing ends up with a big reveal, which for once isn’t as bad as one might expect for a Lovecraft story, and the author even gives us a long, very-well-written action scene toward the end, which is something rare enough to be mentioned and relished. I guess I could go on like this forever, as there are many other stories in this collection that are worth reading and rereading, but I will stop here for now. It’s late, and I think I heard something scurrying in the walls. Wonder what it is… OLIVIER DELAYE Author of the SEBASTEN OF ATLANTIS series The Forgotten Goddess

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paul E. Morph

    Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn... ulnagr Yuggoth Farnomi ilyaa... ch'yar ul'nyar shaggornyth... Iä Hastur cf'ayak'vulgtmm, vugtlagln vulgtmm... Hastur cf'tagn... mglw'nafh fhthagn-ngah cf'ayak 'vulgtmm vugtlag'n... ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthugha Fomalhaut n'gha-ghaa naf'lthagn...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear.” -H.P. Lovecraft This collection of weird fiction short stories and novellas is slightly inconsistent in terms of quality, but it contains so many genuinely original and thoroughly harrowing, sinister tales that, on the whole, I found it a highly enjoyable—and often exquisitely eerie—reading experience. That said, I’d really only recommend it for hardcore fans of Lovecraft; for everyone else, there are far better—by which I really mean far s “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear.” -H.P. Lovecraft This collection of weird fiction short stories and novellas is slightly inconsistent in terms of quality, but it contains so many genuinely original and thoroughly harrowing, sinister tales that, on the whole, I found it a highly enjoyable—and often exquisitely eerie—reading experience. That said, I’d really only recommend it for hardcore fans of Lovecraft; for everyone else, there are far better—by which I really mean far shorter—ways to get acquainted with him. At nearly 900 pages, this volume is better suited to those who’ve already explored his more famous stories, although you’ll find all of his most popular works here, too, and they are incredibly fun to revisit. If you’re also interested in delving deeper into his oeuvre, in dwelling amongst “all the snarling chaos and grinning fear that lurk behind life,” you will find much to savor here. Lovecraft was a very dark, very strange little monkey. List of Stories: Night-Gaunts Dagon The Statement of Randolph Carter The Doom The Came to Sarnath The Cats of Ulthar The Nameless City Herbert West - Reanimator* The Music of Erich Zann* The Lurking Fear* The Hound The Rats in the Walls* Under the Pyramids The Unnamable In the Vault* The Outsider The Horror at Red Hook The Colour Out of Space Pickman’s Model* The Call of Cthulhu* Cool Air The Shunned House The Silver Key The Dunwich Horror The Whisperer in Darkness The Strange High House in the Mist The Dreams in the Witch-House From Beyond Through the Gates of the Silver Key At the Mountains of Madness The Shadow Over Innsmouth* The Shadow Out of Time The Haunter of the Dark The Thing on the Doorstep The Case of Charles Dexter Ward The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath To a Dreamer Afterword: A Gentleman of Providence by Stephen Jones * = personal favorite

  4. 4 out of 5

    Branduno

    It seriously took a publisher how much of a century to title a collection of Lovecraft's stories "Necronomicon"? Like seventy years? Did it really just not occur to anyone? Shouldn't the first collected volume of his stories have been called that? I blame August Derleth. Speaking of whom, I don't believe this edition features the re-edited versions of the texts available in the Library of America edition of Lovecraft. Necronomicon includes the older editions as published by Derleth's Arkham House It seriously took a publisher how much of a century to title a collection of Lovecraft's stories "Necronomicon"? Like seventy years? Did it really just not occur to anyone? Shouldn't the first collected volume of his stories have been called that? I blame August Derleth. Speaking of whom, I don't believe this edition features the re-edited versions of the texts available in the Library of America edition of Lovecraft. Necronomicon includes the older editions as published by Derleth's Arkham House, featuring Derleth's... let's call them "bold typographical choices", including italicizing the second half of the final sentence in many stories to heighten tension and irritate me. Oh also! There's a rather nice map of Arkham, Massachusetts printed on the front and back endpapers. Admittedly it's very similar to the map accompanying the Arkham entry in The Dictionary of Imaginary Places, but never mind that. Endpaper maps! Whooooo. At least it's rather better than Necronomicon's other illustrations, which are for some reason the same three pictures of a shifty-lookin' guy, a pile of old books and papers, and a megalith, repeated fairly randomly at the first and last pages of many stories. Why not? Also it's bound really poorly, basically a paperbound book with hard boards, but this is true of virtually all hardcover editions published these days, which is lamentable but hardly unique to this book. I sound like I'm being pretty hard on Necronomicon, but I was totally pleased with it. I like having a single-volume hardcover edition of most of Lovecraft's stories with the single most appropriate title possible. Not all stories are included--notable omissions include "Nyarlathotep" and "Beyond the Wall of Sleep"--but it includes most important works, such as "The Call of Cthulhu", "At the Mountains of Madness", "The Whisperer in Darkness", "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath", and so on. That's really all I ask of a Necronomicon. Also the italics are kinda like eldritch alien text, yeah? Sure. *Edit* - Ok, looking back, there are more than just those three repeating illustrations. There are also pictures of some houses.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Fantasia

    I suppose the two best words to describe my feelings on the work of the 20th century's most prolific horror writer are "mostly disappointing". THE GOOD I wasn't disappointed with everything. A bunch of stories stood out for me as being genuine, page-turning excitement: The Colour Out of Space, The Dunwich Horror, The Whisperer in Darkness, Dreams in the Witch House, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward were all outstanding pieces of spookery that still managed to give me I suppose the two best words to describe my feelings on the work of the 20th century's most prolific horror writer are "mostly disappointing". THE GOOD I wasn't disappointed with everything. A bunch of stories stood out for me as being genuine, page-turning excitement: The Colour Out of Space, The Dunwich Horror, The Whisperer in Darkness, Dreams in the Witch House, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward were all outstanding pieces of spookery that still managed to give me chills nearly 100 years after the time of writing, and that is one heck of an accomplishment. THE BAD Maybe it's the generation gap, but I find it very hard to get accustomed to stories written with little or no dialogue. Wave after wave of endless paragraphs -broken only ever so slightly by the odd letter or telegram -is a tedious way to tell a story. This book contains 34 short stories, and by the end of the 4th one I was begging for some actual character work and dialogue, rather than: "And then I went here, and then this happened, and by the way here are some lovely descriptions of New England architecture for no particular reason". Every one of these stories -ESPECIALLY Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath -is less a work of prose and more of a steady ramble intermittently made all the more jarring when Lovecraft tosses in unwieldy words like "Shub-Niggurath" or "Ia Azathoth Ia Ia Yargoth Leng-Zok", because phrases like that add so much to the story. The horror itself works occasionally, and when it does it's friggin awesome! But 80% of the time it's a melodramatic mess. I totally understand the "Jaws" method of horror, wherein the less you see of the monster, the more effective it is. But in Lovecraft's case, not only do we barely ever glimpse his infamous creatures, but whenever we DO catch a fleeting glimpse our protagonists -who are narrating these encounters -faint. Every. Single. Time. Did people in the 1920s just...FAINT a lot? Was fainting a nation-wide epidemic back then, like polio, or selfies? People in these stories faint at the drop of a fucking hat. I saw a rat. Faint! I heard a scary noise. Faint! I think there might be a piece of carrot stuck between my teeth. Faint! As for the monsters themselves, like I said, they're barely, BARELY present. Lovecraft's imagination is strong enough to dream up so many fantastic terrors, yet he seems more keen on keeping them to himself. Even his protagonists are stingy with details; their accounts of the horrors they witnessed are usually along the lines of: "And then I saw something that was so frightening that I can't even describe how frightening it was because its frightening-quotient was utterly indescribable but trust me, it was really frightening, so you should totally faint now." Lovecraft is also wont to repeat himself. A LOT. Yes, Howard, I know Arkham has "gambrel roofs". I know Nyarlathotep is a "crawling chaos", and I know Abdul Al-Hazred was known to be a "Mad Arab". I know this because after the first several hundred times you brought it up, it happened to stick. In "At The Mountains of Madness", if I'd had a dollar for every time Lovecraft used the words "decadent" and"demoniac", I could have purchased a very big yacht, or a very small country. Considering that these stories are supposed to make up The Cthulu Mythos, I was a little miffed (to say the least) when I turned the final page and realized that I could only recall Cthulu's name popping up twice. TWICE, in 850 pages. And even then it was probably in some context like: "And I thought I saw Cthulu, but then I fainted." I guess I was just hoping for something grander. Maybe Arkham Horror spoiled me, but I bought this book expecting an intricate tapestry of characters scattered throughout the same town, slowly unravelling the ancient mysteries of some hitherto-unknown supernatural force encroaching upon them from beyond time & space, finally uniting in some epic conclusion that would pit man against monster. Kinda like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, except instead of robots & superheroes it would be cosmic octopus monsters & hard-boiled 1920s detectives, embarking on their own unique individual adventures before coming together Avengers-style for the final curtain. Unfortunately, neither the monsters nor the humans receive much characterization. As mentioned, the monsters exist not on the page but solely in Lovecraft's mind, and the humans are usually dull & interchangeable. A few of these heroes seemed like they were ABOUT to get interesting, but then a cool breeze blew through their windows, naturally causing them to faint. The cover of this book states that these are "the best weird tales of H.P. Lovecraft". Here's hoping I never have to read the worst.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

    New life goal: to write a cult book about another book that doesn't exist.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    Necronomicon: the Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft was my first taste of true classic horror—I mean I’ve read Poe, Irving, Shelley, etc. but for some reason I don’t think about classic horror when I think of those author’s stories. Lovecraft is the epitome of classic horror in my book. I haven’t read any of Algernon Blackwood’s spooky tales but from what I just read no one can beat Lovecraft. I finished reading Jane Austen’s seven large novels not too long ago, and I was astounded by her writi Necronomicon: the Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft was my first taste of true classic horror—I mean I’ve read Poe, Irving, Shelley, etc. but for some reason I don’t think about classic horror when I think of those author’s stories. Lovecraft is the epitome of classic horror in my book. I haven’t read any of Algernon Blackwood’s spooky tales but from what I just read no one can beat Lovecraft. I finished reading Jane Austen’s seven large novels not too long ago, and I was astounded by her writing ability. I think I just read someone who can not only rival her but top her. Lovecraft’s writing prose is one of the best of the classic writers I’ve read this year. The way he describes his monsters and establishes a creepy scene is definitely something worth studying if you’re a writer. If you didn’t know, the Necronomicon is a collection of his best works. They aren’t all of his works. There were a few stories that took a while before getting to the “good stuff” but most immediately drew you into the story. My favorite is Herbert West—Reanimator. Not only did it have a necromancy-like feel to it like Frankenstein, but Lovecraft went into how West began his studies in bringing the dead to life and it completely drew my interest! It was not only creepy but cool as F%#K! I also liked the Doom that Came to Sarnath, The Colour out of Space, and the Call of Cthulhu (to name a few!). If you love spooky tales and haven’t read Lovecraft I totally recommend that you do. You will not be disappointed! I’ve enjoyed reading these tales this past month and I really looked forward to my lunch hour at work because I could read my next Lovecraft story. I haven’t loved reading this much in a long time. I also loved some of the audiobooks. If I forgot my book at home I would listen to one on youtube. The first youtube page I listened to was Horror Babble (with readings by Ian Gordan). What. A. Treat!! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIvp... The next youtube page I came across that was just as good, if not better, was Horror Readings by G.M. Danielson. His introduction to each of the books is a bit much. I don't like the modern demonic horror stuff, but his readings are AMAZE-Ballz! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBw8... I hope you enjoy these stories just as much as I did! Don’t let the shadows bite!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jon Kevin Melhus

    If i was stranded on a little island with just one book, this would be it. The best horror stories ever written. Could also be used as a chair or a little table in this scenario. It's huge.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Irena

    Cyclopean. p. 454: Carter now spoke with the leaders int he soft language of cats, and learned that his ancient friendship with the species was well known and often spoken of in the places where cats congregate. He had not been unmarked in Ulthar when he passed through, and the sleek old cats had remembered how he petted them after they had attended to the hungry zoogs who looked evilly at a small black kitten. And they recalled, too, how he had welcomed the very little kitten who came to see hi Cyclopean. p. 454: Carter now spoke with the leaders int he soft language of cats, and learned that his ancient friendship with the species was well known and often spoken of in the places where cats congregate. He had not been unmarked in Ulthar when he passed through, and the sleek old cats had remembered how he petted them after they had attended to the hungry zoogs who looked evilly at a small black kitten. And they recalled, too, how he had welcomed the very little kitten who came to see him at the inn, and how he had given it a saucer of rich cream in the morning before he left. The grandfather of that very little kitten was the leader of the army now assembled, for he had seen the evil procession from a far hill and recognized the prisoner as a sworn friend of his kind on earth and in the land of dream. [The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath] What can I say, I've become a Lovecraft fan. While most Lovecraftian stories can be summed up to: "something unspeakably terrifying happened but it was so horrible that I cannot actually describe it", his ideas, weird universes and the beings within are unique. What seems cliche to us now is largely thanks to him (except maybe Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!). I stole the following from /r/lovecraft: "One time, this guy went to a place, and it was SO spooky. But, being a man of science, and of an inquisitive mind, he continued going to the spooky place, and damn was it spooky. Eventually, he became obsessed with the spooky place, and the locals, who know about but don't speak of spooky things, shunned him. Then he died under mysterious circumstances that everybody knew was because of the spooky thing, but nobody would admit." :'D Before Lovecraft, horror was about killers, kidnappers, ghosts - human faults and sins and divine (or other) punishment in the sense of you reap what you sow. Lovecraft instead creates a vision of a vast cosmos completely indifferent to humans, and their earthly bullsh*t, filled with forces before which we are helpless, which we cannot hope to understand, and which would destroy our minds if we only saw or knew. We could categorize him as a writer of cosmic horror. Obviously, he wrote a lot so not all stories fall under this category, but the best ones do. I recommend The Cats of Ulthar, The Shadow over Innsmouth, The Call of Cthulhu, The Outsider, The Thing on the Doorstep, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath and the Whisperer In Darkness. P.S. I listened to many of these stories on youtube, there's a fantastic channel who does readings of various horror writers: horrorbabble

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brendan Monroe

    H.P. Lovecraft has been on my list for years now. Horror fiction isn't usually my genre of choice, but I've heard people cite Lovecraft for so long that I felt a duty to read him and see what all the fuss is about. To be clear, after reading him I still don't understand what all the fuss is about. As far as Lovecraft's obvious (let's not kid ourselves) racism, it's my belief that it is possible to separate the art from the artist. I still watch Roman Polanski films decades after Polanski was accu H.P. Lovecraft has been on my list for years now. Horror fiction isn't usually my genre of choice, but I've heard people cite Lovecraft for so long that I felt a duty to read him and see what all the fuss is about. To be clear, after reading him I still don't understand what all the fuss is about. As far as Lovecraft's obvious (let's not kid ourselves) racism, it's my belief that it is possible to separate the art from the artist. I still watch Roman Polanski films decades after Polanski was accused and pled guilty to rape, I don't avoid Tom Cruise films because he's the foremost member of a psychotic cult (just because the films are usually supposed to be good), and the same with regard to other unsavory figures like Woody Allen and Mel Gibson. However, I do believe that with Lovecraft it's different. The man's racism is clearly evident in his stories. I wouldn't watch a Roman Polanski film in which the protagonist raped a 13-year-old, and the protagonists here often serve as mouthpieces for Lovecraft's racist views (and no, "he was a product of a racist society" does not and should not excuse him). There is no purpose, as far as I could tell, for any of the racism present in these stories. They don't advance the plots in any way and the overtly racist characters - like one who calls his dog "niggerman" - are not portrayed as villains. No, they're the good guys. Don't get me wrong, taking a stand against an obvious racist is much easier when you don't like any of his stories, and I don't like any of these stories. Not one - even though they're all so similar there might as well just be one. If someone could explain to me what literary merit H.P. Lovecraft has - other than merely serving to inspire Stephen King and other genre writers - I would be grateful. There is nothing the tiniest bit scary here (other than the aforementioned racism). When Lovecraft isn't ripping off better writers, like Mary Shelley - whose "Frankenstein" obviously served as inspiration for tales like "Herbert West: Reanimator" - Lovecraft is just writing about the same alien-like creatures who are rarely if ever seen but who cause the male protagonists to faint all the same. Once I'd gotten halfway through I just started skimming the remaining stories. I'm confident I didn't miss anything because I read them all in the first half. Overrated, repetitive, and boring are the three words that I'll associate with "Lovecraft" from here on. Oh, and racist. Don't waste your time.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ruby Tombstone [With A Vengeance]

    NOTES ON THE STORIES The Colour Out Of Space = WIN. And it's a stand-alone story. You don't need to know anything about the mythos for this one. Pickman's Model = WIN. Another stand-alone story, without reference to the mythos. Actually very creepy. The Shadow Over Innsmouth = WIN. A good introduction to the mythos, and a great introduction Lovecraft's story-telling. A perfectly crafted, perfectly creepy tale.

  12. 4 out of 5

    DayDreamer

    Not really my thing.

  13. 4 out of 5

    David

    Technically, as I averaged out each specific story, the rating turned out to be a 3.5, but given Lovecraft's literary impact and some genuinely great tales of horror, I decided to boost it up to a four instead of downgrading it to a three. It was difficult to continue at certain times as Lovecraft's tales are often formulaic, following the same basic storytelling structure, but fortunately as it progressed the style became more varied. My favorites were: The Statement of Randolph Carter, The Cat Technically, as I averaged out each specific story, the rating turned out to be a 3.5, but given Lovecraft's literary impact and some genuinely great tales of horror, I decided to boost it up to a four instead of downgrading it to a three. It was difficult to continue at certain times as Lovecraft's tales are often formulaic, following the same basic storytelling structure, but fortunately as it progressed the style became more varied. My favorites were: The Statement of Randolph Carter, The Cats of Ulthar, The Nameless City, Herbert West - Reanimator, The Lurking Fear, The Hound, The Outsider, The Color Out Of Space, Cool Air, The Dunwich Horror, The Whisperer in Darkness, The Strange High House in the Mist, From Beyond, At the Mountains of Madness, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, The Shadow Out of Time, and finally, the Thing on the Doorstep. The others were in my opinion either mediocre, or in some cases just plain awful. I'm still glad I read this collection, however, as I've always wanted to read Lovecraft's body of work.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Samuel

    A collection of Lovecraft, and what better collection is there? To reiterate and reflect the thoughts of countless individuals: this is essential supernatural horror. But, to put forward my own commentary, I shall endeavour: The tales laid-out here are a trove of flawless narrative, impeccable originality and are told with such flair for language and charm; stories interweave, threads unravel and sanity is wholly drained throughout. Such keen attention to the progression of the stories, the hint A collection of Lovecraft, and what better collection is there? To reiterate and reflect the thoughts of countless individuals: this is essential supernatural horror. But, to put forward my own commentary, I shall endeavour: The tales laid-out here are a trove of flawless narrative, impeccable originality and are told with such flair for language and charm; stories interweave, threads unravel and sanity is wholly drained throughout. Such keen attention to the progression of the stories, the hints of the grotesque therein and the pacing is paid that never is the sense of foreboding lost and never does the tentative withdrawal of information subtract from the unfolding hideousness. Lovecraft leads the imagination to places of grandiose terror that none other can parallel, of classic horror there is simply no better. There's a reason why Lovecraft is often cited as the master of the macabre, and this is it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Seán Downey

    The Necronomicon is pretty much the complete works of H.P Lovecraft. I cannot go into depth on all of his stories so I'll try to cover his stories as a hole if I can, but first. His writing style! Lovecraft's style is complex, when it comes to him there are two types of people, those who will hate the way he writes horror and those who will love the way he writes horror. Most of the time when he describes creatures he will give the basics of what it looks like, i.e, "Something very big, loud an The Necronomicon is pretty much the complete works of H.P Lovecraft. I cannot go into depth on all of his stories so I'll try to cover his stories as a hole if I can, but first. His writing style! Lovecraft's style is complex, when it comes to him there are two types of people, those who will hate the way he writes horror and those who will love the way he writes horror. Most of the time when he describes creatures he will give the basics of what it looks like, i.e, "Something very big, loud and terrifying" so that the reader will be able to picture their own version of the creature. Now I will talk about a number of stories: STORIES Famous for such names as, "Cthulhu, Dagon and The Old Ones" Lovecraft is responsible for some of the most terrifying creatures created in Horror literature and as such some of the most famous stories, mostly great but some really bad because Lovecraft can sometimes tend to not know what he want's to write about and how to write about what he wants to write about. If you enjoy Classic Horror and a dark gothic setting you will love This collection, but be warned, some stories should be left alone, I will not say which ones because its different for everyone. For me I despised one of his critically acclaimed stories while liking some of his lesser known work. So by all means buy this, it fits right into any horror readers book collection.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Žarko Milenković

    Najveća milost koja nam je data, po mom mišljenju je nesposobnost ljudskog uma da poveže sav svoj sadržaj. Živimo na tihom ostrvu neznanja u središtu crnog mora večnosti i nismo sazdani za duga putovanja. Nauka, sa svakom disciplinom koja vuče na svoju stranu, malo nam je štete nanela do sada; ali jednoga dana, zbrajanje rasparčanog znanja otkriće nam tako užasan uvid u stvarnost i našu zastrašujuću poziciju u njoj, da ćemo ili poludeti od tog otkrovenja ili pobeći od smrtonosnog svetla u mir i Najveća milost koja nam je data, po mom mišljenju je nesposobnost ljudskog uma da poveže sav svoj sadržaj. Živimo na tihom ostrvu neznanja u središtu crnog mora večnosti i nismo sazdani za duga putovanja. Nauka, sa svakom disciplinom koja vuče na svoju stranu, malo nam je štete nanela do sada; ali jednoga dana, zbrajanje rasparčanog znanja otkriće nam tako užasan uvid u stvarnost i našu zastrašujuću poziciju u njoj, da ćemo ili poludeti od tog otkrovenja ili pobeći od smrtonosnog svetla u mir i sigurnost novog mračnog doba. Zov Ktulua-Lovecraft

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    To review a collection of works by an author over the course of their entire literary career can be difficult, but it also allows for a more general review of their works. Thus we have Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales, a collection of works by famed horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. At it's essence, Lovecraft writes about mankind's oldest fear, the fear of the unknown. Lovecraft's stories often center around the idea that the day-to-day experience of humanity is only a small fraction of reality, an To review a collection of works by an author over the course of their entire literary career can be difficult, but it also allows for a more general review of their works. Thus we have Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales, a collection of works by famed horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. At it's essence, Lovecraft writes about mankind's oldest fear, the fear of the unknown. Lovecraft's stories often center around the idea that the day-to-day experience of humanity is only a small fraction of reality, and that there are material forces and entities that so bizarre that humans are often driven to madness when experiencing them due to our inability to comprehend them. In essence, the veil of reality to us is a psychological necessity and to pierce it is to invite horror. Those that do pierce this veil are often beset by tragedy either by having to combat a threat that is far too large to contain and / or by having to come to a realization that mankind (including themselves) are an insignificant part of a greater uncaring cosmos that doesn't know mankind exists and will not be impacted whatsoever by mankind's inevitable extinction. Lovecraft was also afraid of mixing with the "other" and represents his real disgust with "blood mixing" with inferiors and often displayed an incredibly (even for his time) racist view of humanity. This comes out in his descriptions of people that are not Anglo-Saxon in his stories and serves as the center of fears concerning mixing with alien beings, such as in Shadow Over Innsmouth. The repercussions being that any mixture outside the perceived "pure" would result in degeneracy and destruction. How have these themes held up over time? Well, that is difficult to say. Lovecraft wrote his stories in the 1920's - 1930's, during a time when physics was making great strides in Relativity and Quantum Mechanics that told the world that reality at the speed of light or on the sub-atomic level was completely different than what we [humanity] was used to. Advancements in science were tearing down the explanations provided by religion and societies were attempting to use these discoveries to shape social policy. Lovecraft's stories really spoke to an existential angst as it existed at the time. Today, Lovecraft's themes (at least to me) don't speak to that kind of angst any more. At least in the west, we've accepted that mankind is not the center of the universe and that there are no benevolent entities watching over us. In a world of increasing interconnection, the "other" holds much less fear than it did in the past. Routinely we deal with individuals from a variety of cultures and places, so his preoccupation with fearing those that were not Anglo-Saxon doesn't hold up well. So where can Lovecraft's works fit into our modern world? It can still speak to our fear of the unknown. In its essence, this is what Lovecraft really writes about. It is not a large monster named Cthulhu that we fear, but what it represents. In "Call of Cthulhu", Cthulhu is portrayed as a large entity with tentacles and prehensile wings, however it is not this that makes Cthulhu scary. It is the alien nature of Cthulhu that makes it a horror, as witnessed when the ship cuts into Cthulhu and it seems to just come back together. Cthulhu is completely alien to us and doesn't appear to be aware of our existence. In all honesty, Cthulhu doesn't seem to be aware of the cultists that worship it and probably wouldn't care if it was aware. This would imbue a human agency upon it and that is precisely what Cthulhu is not. It is not out of malice or love that any of the cosmic entities do things, for their ways are beyond our ability to grasp. If they cause harm, it is not to cause harm, but simply because they don't recognize our existence. We still live with this in today's world. Between ruling classes that don't seem to care about the majority of humanity, to a capitalist mode of production that doesn't seem to care about the resources depletion and misery caused by itself, humanity has real "monsters" that seem to exhibit some of these characteristics. In short, Lovecraft is a writer that should be read to see where certain themes and ideas arose from in science fiction. His writing style is sometimes hard to get through, but can provide a deep look into mankind's psyche.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mizuki

    This is my H P. Lovecraft's Dream Book! The book design is grand, it also contents most of Lovecraft's major short novels. I borrowed the book from library but I still totally want to own it!

  19. 4 out of 5

    C.J. Wright

    Great stories in this collection. I have this on my Audible account and find them more atmospheric when listening to them than just reading them myself.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Phantoms

    The Color Out of Space is still the single scariest story ever written.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Durrant

    While vacationing here in Santander, I began to feel "kindled out" and in desperate need to actually read a few pages on real paper. So I wandered into a local Spanish bookstore in search of English books and came across a single shelf of English novels whereon I spied a small collection of H.P. Lovecraft stories entitled "Necronomicon," which is actually formatted as an advanced reader for Spanish students studying English (and now I discover may only be a selection from a larger book by this t While vacationing here in Santander, I began to feel "kindled out" and in desperate need to actually read a few pages on real paper. So I wandered into a local Spanish bookstore in search of English books and came across a single shelf of English novels whereon I spied a small collection of H.P. Lovecraft stories entitled "Necronomicon," which is actually formatted as an advanced reader for Spanish students studying English (and now I discover may only be a selection from a larger book by this title). Okay. You certainly can learn a certain type of English in this book. Anyway, I've wanted to read a bit of Lovecraft for a good many years, so why not squeeze these very short stories between visits to the beautiful local beaches and tapas and beer downtown. Perhaps I should have waited until I was wintering in Scotland (which actually I have no plans to do) because I just didn't find any of these stories frightening. In fact a few of them, "In the Vault" and "The Beast in the Cave," actually struck me as rather funny . . . perhaps in a sort of creepy way. Oh well, I was somewhat intrigued by Lovecraft's world weariness and disgust that mundane reality is not terribly engaging and requires an alternative and equally "real" world of dreams. Moreover, I too have sometimes wished that mythic forces from long lost worlds could break through the surface of our frequently tedious lives bringing new, mysterious insights. But, I don't think that is likely to happen, at least not here in Santander. Somehow, I expected the great Lovecraft to scare me. Instead, I mostly smiled as I read, and then went downtown to eat more tapas.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pietro

    "Necronomicon" is a collection of 36 tales and short stories by early-twentieth-century writer H.P. Lovecraft, whose Cthulhu mythos cycle is today widely known even outside reading circles. The tales have been picked from different periods of Howard's life and are supposedly his best ones, although I reckon this is an entirely subjective matter and the editor's choice will differ from everyone else's. Regardless of who chose them, to reduce so many different works to a single rating would be both "Necronomicon" is a collection of 36 tales and short stories by early-twentieth-century writer H.P. Lovecraft, whose Cthulhu mythos cycle is today widely known even outside reading circles. The tales have been picked from different periods of Howard's life and are supposedly his best ones, although I reckon this is an entirely subjective matter and the editor's choice will differ from everyone else's. Regardless of who chose them, to reduce so many different works to a single rating would be both hard and unfair by and itself, and the fact that Lovecraft's production is so diverse and inconstant only makes it all the more problematic. The 3 stars are in fact just an average of my enjoyment of the book, which I admit varied greatly: a few stories I loved ("The cats of Ulthar", "The call of Cthulhu", "At the mountains of madness" are among them), others I liked, others still were "meh" and a handful were just painful to read ("The horror at Red Hook" is a prime example of those). Interestingly, I found that the things I liked and disliked were always pretty much the same, and it was simply their relative abundances that dictated whether or not I appreciated a particular tale. The main hook in all of the stories is the atmosphere: HPL was able to create some really evocative backgrounds for his horrors to take place in and his stories often ooze the sense of remoteness or isolation (either phisical or psychological) experienced by the protagonists. In "At the mountains of madness" in particular I felt the sense of exploring a long forgotten place and gradually discovering the dark truths it holds was extremely well conveyed. Lovecraft's imagination was really amazing and the variety and scope of his "Mythos" is a testament to that; the recurring "multi-dimensional-beings" theme is particularly impressive, coming from a man who lived in the first half of the previous century. Sadly, while the premises behind his works were almost always great, the same really cannot be said of his writing, which suffers from a number of issues and idiosyncrasies that are more than simply annoying. First and foremost among these is Howard's tendency toward giving extremely lenghty and detailed descriptions of the most irrelevant things (New England architecture in particular), only to switch to "vagueness mode" as soon as something important pops up. You'll get to know exactly how many broken gables there are in every house in Innsmouth, but 90% of the monstrous creatures in this book will be nothing more than "fiendish creatures of unspeakable horror" (He actually seems to mock himself for this in the short story "The unnamable"). This brings us to the second big issue of HP's writing: the adjectives. He LOVES adjectives. He loves them so much that he can't help putting at least 5 for every other word, and the more vague the better. In short: Horrendous eldritch abominations of the unknowable cyclopean abyss, Horrendous eldritch abominations of the unknowable cyclopean abyss EVERYWHERE. Slightly less annoying (but annoying nonetheless) is the use of certain stock-phrases, some of which appear constantly. For example: (insert random eldritch phenomenon here) reminded me of the works of (insert random opium-addicted artist's name here) and of the dreaded Necronomicon of the mad arab Abdul Alazhred. Is used AT LEAST once in every story. Lovecraft is often accused of being mysoginist and racist, but as I see it he's just the product of the society he grew up in as the various racist comments and such have more the feel of a man stating facts he's been taught, rather than him being deliberately spiteful or malicious. The leatherbound, illustrated edition is beautiful, although some of the illustrations are repeated too many times. Overall I'm satisfied with the book, but I could've done without some of the tales.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kat Hooper

    There are sacraments of evil as well as of good about us, and we live and move to my belief in an unknown world, a place where there are caves and shadows and dwellers in twilight. It is possible that man may sometimes return on the track of evolution, and it is my belief that an awful lore is not yet dead. —Arthur Machen (quoted as an introduction to “The Horror at Red Hook”) Everyone must read a little Lovecraft and Blackstone Audio’s recently published edition of Necronomicon: The Best Weird Ta There are sacraments of evil as well as of good about us, and we live and move to my belief in an unknown world, a place where there are caves and shadows and dwellers in twilight. It is possible that man may sometimes return on the track of evolution, and it is my belief that an awful lore is not yet dead. —Arthur Machen (quoted as an introduction to “The Horror at Red Hook”) Everyone must read a little Lovecraft and Blackstone Audio’s recently published edition of Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft is, in my opinion, the perfect way to do that. Like re-animated corpses, Lovecraft’s most popular stories from the 1920s and 1930s pulp magazines are brought back to life by some of the best readers in the business: Paul Michael Garcia, Bronson Pinchot, Stephen R. Thorne, Keith Szarabajka, ... Read More: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Guy

    Along with Eldritch Tales, The Necronomicon holds the complete works of HP Lovecraft in what are without doubt, the most beautifully bound editions of his works. Being my favourite author of all time, the Necronomicon and Eldritch Tales would both receive 5 stars from me. No one creates such a unique atmosphere as Lovecraft. A quote from the great man himself sums it up for me: "If I could create an ideal world, it would be an England with the fire of the Elizabethans, the correct taste of the Geor Along with Eldritch Tales, The Necronomicon holds the complete works of HP Lovecraft in what are without doubt, the most beautifully bound editions of his works. Being my favourite author of all time, the Necronomicon and Eldritch Tales would both receive 5 stars from me. No one creates such a unique atmosphere as Lovecraft. A quote from the great man himself sums it up for me: "If I could create an ideal world, it would be an England with the fire of the Elizabethans, the correct taste of the Georgians, and the refinement and pure ideals of the Victorians" Lovecraft creates a world that is so subtly unique it makes his stories all the more engaging - his universe is what steampunk dreams of being but fails at. Read it, read it, read it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    Necronomicon by H. P. Lovecraft is a short story collection presented in a beautiful tome format, featuring 36 tales of the weird and macabre. The book starts with shorter stories and progresses to much longer ones; the first is less than a page and the longest is 102 pages in length. There were several stories I thought were particularly well done and memorable. Herbert West - Reanimator is a dark tale which made me think of another classic horror (Frankenstein). Under The Pyramids is another wh Necronomicon by H. P. Lovecraft is a short story collection presented in a beautiful tome format, featuring 36 tales of the weird and macabre. The book starts with shorter stories and progresses to much longer ones; the first is less than a page and the longest is 102 pages in length. There were several stories I thought were particularly well done and memorable. Herbert West - Reanimator is a dark tale which made me think of another classic horror (Frankenstein). Under The Pyramids is another which was fun in a very dark way. In Summary: A beautiful book with some truly remarkable stories within it. You may not like all of them but there’s a good chance they’ll be a few that you will love. Recommended for Lovecraft fans.

  26. 5 out of 5

    King Ævil

    I liked this compilation of HP Lovecraft's short and medium-length fiction much more than Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos; the latter is lacking several stories that contain essential background for the Cthulhu universe (e.g., "The Dunwich Horror", "At the Mountains of Madness" and "A Shadow over Innsmouth"). It also contains some straight-up horror stories, but these don't compare to the tales of the Ancient Ones.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Teatum

    I borrowed this from the library, and if we ever cross paths in a bookstore, I'm going to need to buy it. I got through a handful, including Dagon, The Call of Cthulhu, and The Colour out of Space. Creepy, especially if you have a good imagination. Masterful suspense. You need to read at least three stories.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    You know I picked this up because I'd been told it gathered the Cthulhu mythos stories. Actually we start off with some of his early horror work (Cool Air, The rats in the Walls, etc.). Later on we do get into the Cthulhu stories. These are (as always with Lovecraft) reliably horrific and very well written. Enjoy.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Saga Norén

    Dios mío, van a estrenar en Marzo la adaptación Argentina de éste libro. 😱😱😰 Muy oscuro el audiolibro.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Miloš

    Well, I thought that this book will be very, very good, but instead... I was disappointed.

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