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H. P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction

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Written between the years 1917 and 1935, this collection features Lovecraft's trademark fantastical creatures and supernatural thrills, as well as many horrific and cautionary science-fiction themes, that have influenced some of today's writers and filmmakers, including Stephen King, Alan Moore, F. Paul Wilson, Guillermo del Toro, and Neil Gaiman. Included in this volume a Written between the years 1917 and 1935, this collection features Lovecraft's trademark fantastical creatures and supernatural thrills, as well as many horrific and cautionary science-fiction themes, that have influenced some of today's writers and filmmakers, including Stephen King, Alan Moore, F. Paul Wilson, Guillermo del Toro, and Neil Gaiman. Included in this volume are The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, "The Call of Cthulhu," "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath," "At the Mountains of Madness," "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," "The Colour Out of Space," "The Dunwich Horror," and many more hair-raising tales.


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Written between the years 1917 and 1935, this collection features Lovecraft's trademark fantastical creatures and supernatural thrills, as well as many horrific and cautionary science-fiction themes, that have influenced some of today's writers and filmmakers, including Stephen King, Alan Moore, F. Paul Wilson, Guillermo del Toro, and Neil Gaiman. Included in this volume a Written between the years 1917 and 1935, this collection features Lovecraft's trademark fantastical creatures and supernatural thrills, as well as many horrific and cautionary science-fiction themes, that have influenced some of today's writers and filmmakers, including Stephen King, Alan Moore, F. Paul Wilson, Guillermo del Toro, and Neil Gaiman. Included in this volume are The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, "The Call of Cthulhu," "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath," "At the Mountains of Madness," "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," "The Colour Out of Space," "The Dunwich Horror," and many more hair-raising tales.

30 review for H. P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Evgeny

    Review updated on May 17, 2017... yet again. As the title says this is complete work from the classic of horror genre. It is difficult to review a book with 62 different stories in it as they are quite diverse. The general idea in the majority of the stories is the forbidden knowledge. Some of the things are not meant to be known to the mankind, and meddling with them will lead to madness in the best case, or unleashing a great evil in the worst. Having said that, I need to mention that H.P.Lovec Review updated on May 17, 2017... yet again. As the title says this is complete work from the classic of horror genre. It is difficult to review a book with 62 different stories in it as they are quite diverse. The general idea in the majority of the stories is the forbidden knowledge. Some of the things are not meant to be known to the mankind, and meddling with them will lead to madness in the best case, or unleashing a great evil in the worst. Having said that, I need to mention that H.P.Lovecraft was quite diverse in his writings. His novella The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath is pure fantasy in the style of Lord Dunsany while another novella At the Mountains of Madness is pure sci-fi which most probably inspired John W. Campbell to write Who Goes There? which in turn was the base for a horror/sci-fi movie The Thing. Other than these two novellas - both of which are excellent - I need to mention The Call of Cthulhu as one of the best example of his horror works. Actually, the majority of his work is good, and it is hard to pick up the best examples. Lovecraft's influence on modern culture cannot be underestimated. He created such commonly used terms as Chtulhu (an entity of unspeakable evil), Necronomicon (a book with dark and forbidden knowledge), Arkham (a mysterious city in New England with dark lore), and countless others. Lovecraft's imagination runs really wild in his writings. My minor complains would be the following. Lovecraft never uses dialog in his stories which is kind of unusual for a modern reader; he just gives a review of what was said. His use of vernacular language can be annoying as well; the only one who was able to pull it off successfully was Mark Twain in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Still its uses are far and between and are not too distracting. All in all, this is a book from the classic of genre deserving a 5 star rating. Lovecraft's works do not have copyright protection, so this book was created by a kind soul and can be freely and legally downloaded from http://cthulhuchick.com/free-complete... in practically any format imaginable. Oh yeah, I almost forgot:

  2. 4 out of 5

    Graeme Rodaughan

    I've only finished the 'The Call of Cthulhu' - reasonably entertaining and I'm up for more - however the key word is 'Quaint.' The language style is so old world (code word for turgid) as to affect the narrative power of the story. I.e. the writing absolutely gets in the way of the reading. I would normally DNF a book written with this style. However, you can see things that would have been quite innovative at the time, such as landscapes that do not obey normal geometry, the concept of cosmic hor I've only finished the 'The Call of Cthulhu' - reasonably entertaining and I'm up for more - however the key word is 'Quaint.' The language style is so old world (code word for turgid) as to affect the narrative power of the story. I.e. the writing absolutely gets in the way of the reading. I would normally DNF a book written with this style. However, you can see things that would have been quite innovative at the time, such as landscapes that do not obey normal geometry, the concept of cosmic horrors and an indifferent universe. I'm parking the rest of the stories for now. I'll no doubt re-open this book in the future and read some more. Why 4 stars - 'The Call of Cthulhu' got into my head and gnawed away at me - there is something about the story that get's under your skin. Enough to inspire me to write fan fiction for the very first time at the link below. Re-Imagining the ending of 'The Call of Cthulhu.'

  3. 4 out of 5

    knig

    A little daunted by the prolific proclivities of Lovecraft, I decided to cherry pick. General consensus pointed out the following five tales as being the cream of the crop: 1. The Dragon 2. The Outsider 3. The Lurking Fear 4. The call of Cthulu 5. The Colour of outerspace And, from my GR friend Bennet I picked up on ‘The thing on the doorstep’ which otherwise gets few mentions but turned out to be my favourite of the bunch. Then I stopped, because GR Chris told me too. And, because Lovecraft simply ca A little daunted by the prolific proclivities of Lovecraft, I decided to cherry pick. General consensus pointed out the following five tales as being the cream of the crop: 1. The Dragon 2. The Outsider 3. The Lurking Fear 4. The call of Cthulu 5. The Colour of outerspace And, from my GR friend Bennet I picked up on ‘The thing on the doorstep’ which otherwise gets few mentions but turned out to be my favourite of the bunch. Then I stopped, because GR Chris told me too. And, because Lovecraft simply can’t be read in one sitting. Or, in summer. The similar tone of his stories, the atmosphere he creates can get samey if consumed in one glut. Pacing must surely be the key here. The rest to be revisited piecemeal, in darkest winter, with mulled wine and bundled under goose-down. Fire crackling in an open hearth optional . OK I only say this because burning real fires where I live is forbidden. Our fireplaces are now only elaborate conversation pieces. (which is an actual new compound word I learned last weekend at a National Trust Property and have been dying to plug into use somewhere). (Ok, I may have actually used it 100 times this week. People around me tell me to shut up, in order to protect the public). What the hell, whilst I’m at it, here is a conversational piece: The idea is that if you’re an 18c toff having dinner at the Manor, this cornucopia would hang in front. As every body has done the Grand Tour , this painting is your opening conversation gambit with the partner to your left, whom you haven’t met before. Just for the record, this has nothing to do with Lovecraft. Although, he might have liked it: he seems fond of travel. The stories, then: verbose, vague, and full of people losing their minds over indescribable horrors. My personal preference was for an actual description of the object of horror, which Lovecraft only indulges sporadically. But when he does, it was definitely edge of the seat stuff. The Lurking Fear and The thing on the Doorstep particularly stand out, despite bringing dated concepts to the table. Its to Lovecraft’s credit that he kept me bated even though I knew what was coming: the horror genre has come a long way since 1920. The call of Cthulu was overlong and tedious, can’t see why it keeps getting voted up on the charts. To be savoured intermittently for full effect.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    Disclosure: I picked up a free copy formatted for Nook on CthulhuChick.com. You can pick up a Kindle copy at the same place. Synopsis: The Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft contains all the original stories which Lovecraft wrote as an adult. It begins in 1917 with “The Tomb” and ends in 1935 with his last original work “The Haunter of the Dark.” The book is ordered chronologically by the date the story was written. Because Lovecraft was a terrible businessman and left no heirs to his intellectual Disclosure: I picked up a free copy formatted for Nook on CthulhuChick.com. You can pick up a Kindle copy at the same place. Synopsis: The Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft contains all the original stories which Lovecraft wrote as an adult. It begins in 1917 with “The Tomb” and ends in 1935 with his last original work “The Haunter of the Dark.” The book is ordered chronologically by the date the story was written. Because Lovecraft was a terrible businessman and left no heirs to his intellectual property, all of his works are already in the public domain. Collaborations or revisions are not included because some of those works may still be under the co-author’s copyright. The book includes: The Tomb (1917) Dagon (1917) Polaris (1918) Beyond the Wall of Sleep (1919) Memory (1919) Old Bugs (1919) The Transition of Juan Romero (1919) The White Ship (1919) The Doom That Came to Sarnath (1919) The Statement of Randolph Carter (1919) The Terrible Old Man (1920) The Tree (1920) The Cats of Ulthar (1920) The Temple (1920) Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family (1920) The Street (1920) Celephaïs (1920) From Beyond (1920) Nyarlathotep (1920) The Picture in the House (1920) Ex Oblivione (1921) The Nameless City (1921) The Quest of Iranon (1921) The Moon-Bog (1921) The Outsider (1921) The Other Gods (1921) The Music of Erich Zann (1921) Herbert West — Reanimator (1922) Hypnos (1922) What the Moon Brings (1922) Azathoth (1922) The Hound (1922) The Lurking Fear (1922) The Rats in the Walls (1923) The Unnamable (1923) The Festival (1923) The Shunned House (1924) The Horror at Red Hook (1925) He (1925) In the Vault (1925) The Descendant (1926) Cool Air (1926) The Call of Cthulhu (1926) Pickman’s Model (1926) The Silver Key (1926) The Strange High House in the Mist (1926) The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (1927) The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (1927) The Colour Out of Space (1927) The Very Old Folk (1927) The Thing in the Moonlight (1927) The History of the Necronomicon (1927) Ibid (1928) The Dunwich Horror (1928) The Whisperer in Darkness (1930) At the Mountains of Madness (1931) The Shadow Over Innsmouth (1931) The Dreams in the Witch House (1932) The Thing on the Doorstep (1933) The Evil Clergyman (1933) The Book (1933) The Shadow out of Time (1934) The Haunter of the Dark (1935) My Thoughts: What a long, strange journey it has been! While I could normally read a book this length in a few days, I actually spent almost 7 months reading this omnibus in bits and pieces. While I enjoyed the Lovecraftian lore I had heard, I had never really counted myself as a fan, per se; however, after having read the complete works of this amazing writer, I think I can honestly say that I am, indeed, a fan. While it is true that Lovecraft was a racist, he was only aping the attitude of his time and place and history, and I think to judge him by modern standards is not useful when admiring his overall work. He was a man with a unique vision and voice, and that should be honored. He saw into vast and ancient places, and what he saw... well, it scared the crap out of him. But he kept looking, writing, and letting us know. I admire that. If you enjoy modern bizarro works, then pay heed to the master. Lovecraft.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Larry Kollar

    A complete collection of H.P. Lovecraft's solo works (no collaborations), arranged by date. It's a huge work, no doubt. My only gripe about the stories is that Lovecraft was overfond of a narrative style. If dialogue were water, I'd have died of thirst. And yet, the best of them read like a confession whispered through the cell door bars of an insane asylum. One thing that surprised me was that Cthulhu was a prominent character in only one story… and from that has been built a massive edifice of f A complete collection of H.P. Lovecraft's solo works (no collaborations), arranged by date. It's a huge work, no doubt. My only gripe about the stories is that Lovecraft was overfond of a narrative style. If dialogue were water, I'd have died of thirst. And yet, the best of them read like a confession whispered through the cell door bars of an insane asylum. One thing that surprised me was that Cthulhu was a prominent character in only one story… and from that has been built a massive edifice of fan fiction and the like. Get this book. It's free, and it's an excellent reference work.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    First of all, if I was rating the work that Ruth at cthulhuchick.com has done in compiling this collection, I'd give it a full 5 stars. She did an excellent job creating the e-book. I had some very good memories of reading Lovecraft, and most of the stories still hold up well. What I could not get over though was the blatant racism. I realize that it was written in a different time, but it left me unable to fully appreciate the stories. It was great to finally read the full Cthulhu mythos in order First of all, if I was rating the work that Ruth at cthulhuchick.com has done in compiling this collection, I'd give it a full 5 stars. She did an excellent job creating the e-book. I had some very good memories of reading Lovecraft, and most of the stories still hold up well. What I could not get over though was the blatant racism. I realize that it was written in a different time, but it left me unable to fully appreciate the stories. It was great to finally read the full Cthulhu mythos in order and to see it develop. It was interesting to read the originals that have influenced so many writers after. All in all this book left me with mixed feelings. I'm glad I read it, but I don't think I'll ever read it again.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amy (Other Amy)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. **Review Under Construction** ****************************************************************************** November 1, 2015: Full disclosure, I don't really like Lovecraft. I love Poe, but Lovecraft did not impress me when I sampled him a few years ago. However, as with The Turn of the Screw , I feel I should read Lovecraft just to catch all the allusions, especially since I have recently fallen in love with the work of a writer of the self-proclaimed New Weird (Jeff VanderMeer), as it seems th **Review Under Construction** ****************************************************************************** November 1, 2015: Full disclosure, I don't really like Lovecraft. I love Poe, but Lovecraft did not impress me when I sampled him a few years ago. However, as with The Turn of the Screw , I feel I should read Lovecraft just to catch all the allusions, especially since I have recently fallen in love with the work of a writer of the self-proclaimed New Weird (Jeff VanderMeer), as it seems that would make Lovecraft the old weird. In any case, if I chip away at this I might be able to finish it relatively painlessly. I know if I don't review stories as I go, I won't have any idea what to say once I'm finished, so here we go. (Update 2017: And now I have moved all my reviews to the individual works, which I will link back here, as I have hit the character limit trying to review it all in one place.) ★★☆☆☆ The Tomb (1917): ★★☆☆☆ Dagon (1917): ★★☆☆☆ Polaris (1918): ★☆☆☆☆ Beyond the Wall of Sleep (1919): ★★☆☆☆ Memory (1919): ★☆☆☆☆ Old Bugs (1919): ★☆☆☆☆ The Transition of Juan Romero (1919): ★★★☆☆ The White Ship (1919): ★★★☆☆ The Doom That Came to Sarnath (1919): ★★★☆☆ The Statement of Randolph Carter (1919): ★★★☆☆ The Terrible Old Man (1920): ★☆☆☆☆ The Tree (1920): ★☆☆☆☆ The Cats of Ulthar (1920): ★★★★☆ The Temple (1920): ★★☆☆☆ Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family (1920): ★☆☆☆☆ The Street (1920): ★★★★★ Celephaïs (1920): ★★★★☆ From Beyond (1920): ★☆☆☆☆ Nyarlathotep (1920): ★★☆☆☆ The Picture in the House (1920): ★★☆☆☆ Ex Oblivione (1921): ★★☆☆☆ The Nameless City (1921): ★☆☆☆☆ The Quest of Iranon (1921): ★★☆☆☆ The Moon-Bog (1921): ★★★☆☆ The Outsider (1921): ★★☆☆☆ The Other Gods (1921): ★★☆☆☆ The Music of Erich Zann (1921): (Hmmm. I've read almost half the works and only 15% of the book? I know the later stories are novellas, but sheesh.) ★★★☆☆ Herbert West — Reanimator (1922): ★★★☆☆ Hypnos (1922): ★★☆☆☆ What the Moon Brings (1922): ★★☆☆☆ Azathoth (1922): ★★★☆☆ The Hound (1922): ★★☆☆☆ The Lurking Fear (1922): (Oh, hey, I've hit 20%. I was starting to think I was reading inside of some kind of space-time anomaly.) ★★☆☆☆ The Rats in the Walls (1923): ★★★☆☆ The Unnamable (1923): ★★☆☆☆ The Festival (1923): ★★★★☆ The Shunned House (1924): (Folks, it actually took me a year to read the previous story. Kept falling asleep during the opening section. The rest was some kind of awesome, though.) ★☆☆☆☆ The Horror at Red Hook (1925): ★☆☆☆☆ He (1925): ★☆☆☆☆ In the Vault (1925): (31%! I shouldn't complain after taking a year long break, but good grief!) No rating. The Descendant (1926): Fragment; judging by the set up, I'm glad. ★★☆☆☆ Cool Air (1926): ★★☆☆☆ The Call of Cthulhu (1926): ★★☆☆☆ Pickman’s Model (1926): ★★★★☆ The Silver Key (1926): (And now to figure out how to do the rest of this review since Goodreads thinks I shouldn't write a novel to review one.) ★★☆☆☆ The Strange High House in the Mist (1926): ★★☆☆☆ The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (1927): ★★★★☆ The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (1927): ★★★☆☆ The Colour Out of Space (1927): ★☆☆☆☆ The Very Old Folk (1927): ★★★★☆ The Thing in the Moonlight (1927): ★★★★☆ The History of the Necronomicon (1927): ★★☆☆☆ Ibid (1928): ★★☆☆☆ The Dunwich Horror (1928): ★★★★☆ The Whisperer in Darkness (1930): ★★★★★ At the Mountains of Madness (1931): Quite suddenly Lovecraft redeems himself. ★★★☆☆ The Shadow Over Innsmouth (1931): You've heard of this one, right? It's probably better than I'm giving it credit for. The previous story is a tough act to follow. ★★★★☆ The Dreams in the Witch House (1932): Witchcraft meets weird science. Loved. ★★★☆☆ The Thing on the Doorstep (1933): Loved everything but the sexism. (And no, I am not talking about the fact that sorcery types need male brains.) ★★★★☆ The Evil Clergyman (1933): A different kind of haunting. Loved. ★★★☆☆ The Book (1933): What I wanted a history of the Necronomicon to be. Why oh why couldn't he have finished this one? And now (September 21, 2017) I am about to start his penultimate story. I'm almost sad. At the same time, freedom is so close! ★★★☆☆ The Shadow out of Time (1934): Sequel to At the Mountains of Madness but not as good. ★★★★★ The Haunter of the Dark (1935): His last is his best. September 23, 2017: And now I'm finally done, and I really am sad. More thoughts to come. Regarding the World Fantasy issue, since that came up while I was reading this collection: (view spoiler)[I have no idea why they were using a bust of Lovecraft as the award to begin with. Lovecraft does not represent fantasy as a genre at all. But since they went that road, I'm glad they dropped it. Maybe they will come up with something that is not tied to a particular person or subgenre in the future. (hide spoiler)] Regarding racism (trigger warning for foul mouthed bigotry): (view spoiler)[I had a flickering moment where I thought that Lovecraft had some self awareness and might even be parodying extreme racial sentiments, but I was wrong. Just in case anyone doubts that, a taste from his letters (to AEP Gamwell in February 1925): Of course they can’t let niggers use the beach at a Southern resort – can you imagine sensitive persons bathing near a pack of greasy chimpanzees? The only thing that makes life endurable where blacks abound is the Jim Crow principle, & I wish they’’d apply it in N.Y. both to niggers & to the more Asiatic type of puffy, rat-faced Jew. Either stow ‘em out of sight or kill ‘em off – anything so that a white man may walk along the streets without shuddering nausea. I have read and enjoyed the literary stylings of many racists; inclusion or exclusion in the canon is not the point here. Rather, Lovecraft's absolute horror at people who did not share his particular hue of skin or had physical features of a norm other than his own (including southern European groups such as Italians) is directly on point to the understanding and interpretation of his works. Any coherent review of his output as a whole needs to take this underlying theme into account directly. (hide spoiler)]

  8. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Thomas

    I've been working on reading through these short stories and novellas for the past 9 months, taking my time with them and making sure I didn't rush through them too quickly. I also didn't want to get burned out on them. There are a total of 63 works in this complete collection, presented in the order in which they were written (not necessarily the same as the order of publication). There are no collaborations here, just the total body of work that HP Lovecraft produced on his own. As with any col I've been working on reading through these short stories and novellas for the past 9 months, taking my time with them and making sure I didn't rush through them too quickly. I also didn't want to get burned out on them. There are a total of 63 works in this complete collection, presented in the order in which they were written (not necessarily the same as the order of publication). There are no collaborations here, just the total body of work that HP Lovecraft produced on his own. As with any collection of so many stories, their quality ran the gamut from merely OK to masterpiece. It was very interesting to read them in order; I could see how he developed as a writer and I could also better understand how the Cthulho mythos evolved and expanded. There is, of course, no doubt about the great impact this author has had on horror fiction specifically, and the larger speculative fiction genres in general. That alone would grant this collection 5 stars. I granted 4 stars due to my overall enjoyment of the collection. The vast majority of the author's work reflects his preferred narrative style and I think only one or two stories here contain any substantial dialogue. For me that cut down on the enjoyability factor quite a bit but I do recognize the era in which these were written. My favorites include: The Tomb, The Statement of Randolph Carter, The Rats in the Walls, The Call of Cthulu, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, The Dunwich Horror, At the Mountains of Madness, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, and The Shadow Out of Time. A note on the e-book itself: first of all...it's free! It's also put together very well, with a linked-in table of contents which allows you to jump directly to any story. And at the end of each story there is another link back to the TOC. That certainly makes it easy to navigate. The formatting is spot-on and, unlike many e-books I read, I didn't find a single misspelled word. I also appreciated the TOC listing the date each story was written, to assist in understanding what was going on in the author's life at that time. In fact before I read each story, I looked up the Wikipedia entry for it so as to absorb what sort of demons Lovecraft was fighting at the time, what likely influenced the story, and where and when it was ultimately published. It's also fun to see all the popular references in today's culture that reflect characters, places, etc. from Lovecraft's works. A long but worthwhile journey.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Leo Robertson

    read a decent selection of it :) pretty great! Something being Euclidean or not is significantly less scary than he imagines haha

  10. 5 out of 5

    Batgrl (Book Data Kept Elsewhere)

    Best ebook version of Lovecraft with contents linked such that you can easily hop to the story you need. Other Lovecraft compilations on Amazon (at the time I bought this) don't have that linked contents, and you don't want to have to page through an entire book of this size just to get to one story. Also worth the purchase because it was given away free (and you can still find it) - but I'd urge you to kick some money over to the woman who did the formatting (CthulhuChick), it's worth it. As for Best ebook version of Lovecraft with contents linked such that you can easily hop to the story you need. Other Lovecraft compilations on Amazon (at the time I bought this) don't have that linked contents, and you don't want to have to page through an entire book of this size just to get to one story. Also worth the purchase because it was given away free (and you can still find it) - but I'd urge you to kick some money over to the woman who did the formatting (CthulhuChick), it's worth it. As for the stories themselves? Possibly an acquired taste. Some are much better than others, and Lovecraft does have certain tropes he uses again and again - narrator faints when the horror appears (it's just too horrific!), something is indescribable (usually a horror), and words like eldritch and non-euclidian appear repeatedly, etc. But there's something fun and occasionally creepy in Lovecraft's stories that really is charming, and I often enjoy his over the top descriptions and bizarre scenes. Not so much enjoyment for the racism and xenophobia - which I never shy away from warning people does pop up in Lovecraft and which I really hate. I can't say he's the only author from his time period that has this dis-likable trait, and I'm of two minds about it. I'd rather avoid authors like this - yet at the same time, the words are there, and he's not the only one spewing this sort of thing - and I think we're better off not forgetting that this sort of writing was common. (I can't say that Lovecraft is the most disturbingly casually racist content I've read, but that certainly doesn't excuse it.) I don't think it's the kind of thing we should forget, and it should be held up as an example of what we don't want to go back to. Another author with racism that I found disturbing: G. K. Chesterton, in one of his Father Brown stories. [I went into a longer discussion of race and Lovecraft here, when I was trying to explain why some people are attracted to Lovecraft in spite of these issues, and why it's problematic to toss out literature with these issues. Short version: there's a lot of lit with this issue.]

  11. 4 out of 5

    Molly Ison

    I am rating this as an entire book, rather than an opinion of the author in general or of any given stories. And that may be the main problem I had with this book, or the main problem I have as a reader. When I get a book, I like to read it cover to cover. I don't like to quit books that I've started. So I read every story. If you don't have my compulsions, this would be a good reference book to HP Lovecraft. As a complete collection, one quickly discovers that Lovecraft is quite repetitive, bot I am rating this as an entire book, rather than an opinion of the author in general or of any given stories. And that may be the main problem I had with this book, or the main problem I have as a reader. When I get a book, I like to read it cover to cover. I don't like to quit books that I've started. So I read every story. If you don't have my compulsions, this would be a good reference book to HP Lovecraft. As a complete collection, one quickly discovers that Lovecraft is quite repetitive, both with story ideas and favorite words. He really loves phosphorescence. And inbred, mutated New Englanders. It's my opinion that 96.8% of readers would be better off getting an edited collection of maybe 10 of Lovecraft's best stories and realizing that the rest are more of the same.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    Last year I read "Tales," the H.P. Lovecraft collection put together by the Library of America. That was my first exposure to Lovecraft and it was fantastic. It included most of his best known and longer works. I figured the stories they had excluded were probably the best of the best. Were they? Well, for the most part, yes. But there are some gems out there. With that being said, here's my review of the rest of Lovecraft's writing: The Tomb: Lovecraft's first published work. A creepy tale of a Last year I read "Tales," the H.P. Lovecraft collection put together by the Library of America. That was my first exposure to Lovecraft and it was fantastic. It included most of his best known and longer works. I figured the stories they had excluded were probably the best of the best. Were they? Well, for the most part, yes. But there are some gems out there. With that being said, here's my review of the rest of Lovecraft's writing: The Tomb: Lovecraft's first published work. A creepy tale of a man really, really, really wanting to get into a tomb. I read it as a strange metaphor for Lovecraft's sexual appetites. Dagon: Great pre-cursor to "The Shadow Over Innsmouth." Sailor in a life raft comes upon a strange, mysterious continent that has come up from unimaginable depths from an incalculable time. Fantastic setting of the mood and a cool ending. Beyond the Wall of Sleep: The first of Lovecraft's sleep stories I've ever read. Basically a drunk bum has a secret dream life where he's waging an epic war against an interdimensional evil. Subtle and dark ending. Old Bugs: Lovecraft was a notorious teetotaler and wrote this as a warning to his friends about the dangers of alcohol. Heavy-handed and ridiculous don't even begin to describe this one. The Transition of Juan Romero: A mysterious native american working on a Southwest mine sees something he shouldn't (needs to?) see and pays the price. The White Ship: Another dream story. A young lighthouse keeper goes on a White Ship (Hey, that's the name of the story!) and travels to many enchanted dream lands. Fairly silly. Maybe it's just because hearing about someone's dream is never, EVER, interesting. The Doom That Came to Sarnath: Sarnath, a Rome-like empire, gets its comeuppance because of sins of its past. Some creepy parts, but the ending is hardly a twist with a story name like that. Still, some great visuals. Just imagining the bottomless lake next to the city with no water that comes in or goes out was fun to imagine. Another pre-cursor to "The Shadow Over Innsmouth." The Terrible Old Man: The only crime story that I've ever read by Lovecraft. Short and sweet. Three no good thieves try to rob the titular character and meet a bad end. Come on guys, you knew he was terrible! The Tree: Interesting story. Basically an extremely subtle version of "Amadeus." That's the great thing about a Lovecraft story, if somebody needs their just desserts, by Cthulhu, they get it! The Cats of Ulthar: Lovecraft loved cats. This was a cautionary tale about what happened to a couple who liked to kill cats. Guess what happens to them? The Temple: My absolute favorite of all the new stories I read in this collection. WWI German submarine runs afoul of some ancient Atlantean spirits. One of the only times I can remember the main character of a Lovecraft story not just being a thinly veiled version of himself. The main character is a stern German captain who is a one of a kind who will stick with me a long time. Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family: Ahh racism. It's been present in a lot of these stories. I didn't point it out because it usually isn't a huge distraction but in this case the whole point of the story depends on the reader being racist! Spoiler alert: Arthur finds out his ancestors are African...gorillas...and he doesn't take it well. This one made me cringe. The Street: Even more racism. A street in New England seems many generations come and go. First, the strong, good, and moral colonists and then later dirty, foreign immigrants. The street eventually takes matters into its own hands to ethnically cleanse itself from the immigrants. I'd have been fine with this except the COLONISTS WERE IMMIGRANTS TOO! Make native american's the first people on the street and you'd have my attention. Celephais: Main character (Lovecraft) escapes to the dream world and becomes their king! Yeesh, enough with the dreams. From Beyond: A fantastic story! Mad scientist creates a machine that allows contact between other dimensions. Spoiler alert! It doesn't end well because he ignored Lovecraft's number one rule: Don't explore anything because you won't like what you find and what you find will freaking hate you! Nyarlathotep: Weird Egyptian reenters modern society and proceeds to drive everyone that sees his "show" flipping insane. Lovecraft really imagined that the mind was a fragile thing. Everyone is always fainting or going insane from shock. The Picture in the House: A real standout story. Researcher gets caught in the middle of no where in a storm and has to seek shelter in an ominous house. The images this one congers are breathtaking. The ending is as good as it gets. The Nameless City: A precursor to "At the Mountains of Madness." The exploration of a cursed, ancient, deserted city. The narrator goes to lengths that boggle the mind. Really, you crawl through a tight, underground passage with no light, by yourself, on purpose?! You don't think maybe you should turn around? The Quest of Iranon: Lovecraft's "you-can't-go-home-again" tale. Pretty good story. In this version, not only can't you go home, you were maybe never there in the first place. The Moon-bog: This reminded me a little of "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell." Being enchanted isn't always a good thing. When you locals tell you not to drain a bog, don't drain it. I mean, who even thinks to try and drain a bog!? The Other Gods: A classic man goes in search of the face of God story. I honestly didn't see the ending coming. Shocking mix of genre that Lovecraft would go on to use to great effect. Hypnos: A story with super gay undertones (overtones?). After their meet cute, two hetero-lifemates go on a dream quest together and get burned when they get a little too cocky. The Hound: Wonderful story. The two main characters are so bored with life that the only activity that brings them joy is grave robbing. They have an entire man cave full of treasure and corpses. These are the creepiest main characters in all of Lovecraft, and that's really saying something. Not only that, there's awesome werewolf/vampire action! This has something for the whole family! The Unnamable: The most "meta" Lovecraft ever got. An author of horror stories sitting around debating the merits of horror while sitting on top of an ancient crypt at dusk. As funny as it is frightening! The Festival: Weird as hell. Young man return to home town to go to a mysterious festival. I have no idea what was happening here. In the Vault: Great short nugget of awesome! Drunk and lazy undertaker gets himself locked in a crypt with a bunch of folks who are dead...OR ARE THEY! Dun, Dun, Daaaaaaaaaaa! Cool twist ending to boot. The Descendant: Super short start of what could ultimately be a cool story but just kind of peters out. The Silver Key: Lovecraft's whining story about most people being too stupid and ethnic to understand true artists. Look, I get that you weren't appreciated in your day, but come on! The Strange High House in the Mist: This as a great visual: An ancient house on a high cliff that no one can get two that only has one door that opens to a sheer cliff drop off that is frequently covered in a thick mist. Unfortunately, the rest of the story doesn't deliver on this intriguing setting. The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath: The worst Lovecraft I've ever read. Super long boring dream-quest. Literally this guys dream. It's got everything: Racism, moon cats, devils, racism, misconceptions of basic science, and racism. Go ahead and skip this one. The Very Old Folk: The very poorly written and boring story. The Evil Clergyman: Cursed time-loop! CURSED TIME LOOP! The Book: Spoiler: It's the Necronomicon. There, I saved you 3 minutes. I love Lovecraft, but after reading all these I can't rate his complete works move than 3 stars. He has so many 5 star stories but way too many that I'd put at 1 star or less. My advice, seek out the best Lovecraft and read the rest only if you're a completist. I am now obsessed with him so I had no choice and enjoyed the hell out of it, but wouldn't recommend this massive undertaking to the casual reader. My recommendations: Dagon, The Temple, From Beyond, The Picture in the House, The Other Gods, The Hound, The Outsider, The Music of Erich Zann, Herbert West - Reanimator, The Lurking Fear, The Rats in the Walls, The Call of Cthulhu, Pickman's Model, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, The Color Out of Space, The Dunwich Horror (my favorite), The Whisperer in Darkness, At the Mountains of Madness, The Shadow Over Innsmouth (a close 2nd), The Dreams in the Witch House, The Haunter of the Dark. Pick any of these, but leave the lights on. You have been warned.

  13. 4 out of 5

    D.M. Dutcher

    The complete works of a master at the price of 99 cents. A steal at ten times the price. Seriously, if you have a Kindle, get this. It's formatted near perfectly for an insane amount of content, and the stories are arranged by date so you get the entire feel of Lovecraft's work. There's a lot of repetition if you try and read the entire thing, but you can trace the development of the Mythos, and appreciate all the self-referencing each of his works has. If you've just read Dream-Quest of Unknown The complete works of a master at the price of 99 cents. A steal at ten times the price. Seriously, if you have a Kindle, get this. It's formatted near perfectly for an insane amount of content, and the stories are arranged by date so you get the entire feel of Lovecraft's work. There's a lot of repetition if you try and read the entire thing, but you can trace the development of the Mythos, and appreciate all the self-referencing each of his works has. If you've just read Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, you soon realize that Randolph Carter and Kadath itself are woven into and influenced by many other stories. The Pickman line, too. You can even catch the little nods to Clark Ashton Smith, Lord Dunsany,and Robert Chambers, which make the Mythos a bit more meta than you'd think. You also can get a full idea of his themes. The fear of degenerating into something subhuman, of isolation causing degeneration, and science being powerless: these recur a lot. The supernatural is not something you tamper with at all. But even if you don't plan on reading it all, you get all of Lovecraft's famous works in one handy package at a criminally low price. Lovecraft ages well, too: he's quite readable even now. Buy this, put it on your Kindle, turn the lights down low and pop in the Silent Hill soundtrack. Try not to be afraid.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sera

    I read the half of the stories, mesmerized by Lovecraft's style and atmosphere but I need to have a break and get away from this eeriness for a while. When it comes to Lovecraft, everyone mentions 'the Call of Ktulu' but there is more to it although I felt reading the same creepy adventures of the same character from different times for most of the stories. One thing that bugs me and makes me have mixed feelings is his racist approach to non-Europeans. Most foreigners are malicious and unreliabl I read the half of the stories, mesmerized by Lovecraft's style and atmosphere but I need to have a break and get away from this eeriness for a while. When it comes to Lovecraft, everyone mentions 'the Call of Ktulu' but there is more to it although I felt reading the same creepy adventures of the same character from different times for most of the stories. One thing that bugs me and makes me have mixed feelings is his racist approach to non-Europeans. Most foreigners are malicious and unreliable. Hell no, thanks. I need less typical strangers that protagonists have to face.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    I was prepared for the creepiness of his stories, but not the unexpectedly gorgeous prose. Some favorites: The Quest of Iranon The Music of Erich Zann The Silver Key The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rajiv

    In one word: amazing. It took me over a year to make my way through all the stories, but in the end, I feel it was worth it. Lovecraft is a difficult writer to get into. His early work is honestly subpar although there are flashes of brilliance ("Dagon" comes to mind). The later stories are absolutely mindblowing, especially the Mythos stories. What I loved most about Lovecraft is his boundless imagination. Very few writers have been able to depict aliens as something truly alien. His conception In one word: amazing. It took me over a year to make my way through all the stories, but in the end, I feel it was worth it. Lovecraft is a difficult writer to get into. His early work is honestly subpar although there are flashes of brilliance ("Dagon" comes to mind). The later stories are absolutely mindblowing, especially the Mythos stories. What I loved most about Lovecraft is his boundless imagination. Very few writers have been able to depict aliens as something truly alien. His conception of alien life is very dissimilar from humanity. The aliens in his stories don't share the same plane of reality, they don't adhere to our aesthetics, and they think in a vastly different way which we can't fathom. His idea of space travel is also very interesting. He melds mysticism with science in a way I've seen no other writer do till now. More importantly, his idea of cosmic horror is something that truly shakes a person down to the core. The view that we, as humanity, are nothing but insignificant ants in the vastness of cosmos is truly horrifying. There's also the fact that some of the alien races are so advanced in terms of evolution that they are now godlike to us (Cthulhu comes to mind). I have a lot more to say about Lovecraft, but I'll leave you with this highly relevant quote by him that concisely conveys the argument of his work: “The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.”

  17. 5 out of 5

    celle

    Lovecraft, as always, comes with a gigantic disclaimer. The racism, the misogyny, or just plain malice of Lovecraft are sometimes hard to deal with, and probably enough to make many people put down his stories (including me, more than a few times) but at the same time, they are a really good read. Especially in the genre. Lovecraft was an a******, but he was also a pretty decent writer of the weird tales. Or something.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

    A classic! All of Lovecraft's fiction in one place and in chronological order. His works are wonderfully creepy and redolent with science and folklore. What makes them even more creepy is the realism he places in them. Just enough for you to wonder "what if?". I just love this stuff.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tavi Florescu

    Weird, but tempting. Reminds me of E. A. Poe, but from another world, the world of Cthulhu.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    .

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mandie (Naughty Book Snitch)

    Free http://amzn.to/2H3Kk91

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    It was great aside from some of the racism. Some of the stories were a little bit too short or went on a little too long.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Julio Biason

    I'll spoil my impressions of this book with two phrases, which will surely make some Lovecraft fans really angry: 1. Lovecraft loved to write, but not tell stories. 2. Lovecraft got paid by the word, and he really liked the money. But before you come with pitchforks and torches to get me, let me explain the whole affair. First off, the first story of the book is "At the Mountains of Madness" (because all stories are in their alphabetical order) and it really rubbed me in the wrong way: It does a goo I'll spoil my impressions of this book with two phrases, which will surely make some Lovecraft fans really angry: 1. Lovecraft loved to write, but not tell stories. 2. Lovecraft got paid by the word, and he really liked the money. But before you come with pitchforks and torches to get me, let me explain the whole affair. First off, the first story of the book is "At the Mountains of Madness" (because all stories are in their alphabetical order) and it really rubbed me in the wrong way: It does a good job setting the ambient for the story but when it reaches its crux, it starts to dragging down and the story pace goes really really slow, because at this point, Lovecraft decides that almost all -- if not all -- substantives must have a proper adjective. This doesn't help the pace at all. It's like a murder scene, when the murderer appears behind the poor girl and slowly walks towards her, except he's on the other side of the house and the whole thing is in slow motion. At the end, you start to hope that the murderer runs and kills the girl already, because the suspense is already over and the thing is already dragging itself out. "But that's just ONE story!" you may cry. I agree with you in that, except the pattern appears everywhere. "Nameless sound", "sinister with latent horror", "clock's abnormal ticking". It goes on and on and on, apparently trying to scare you with adjectives instead of the story itself. There are so many of those dragging the pace down that I felt asleep more than once reading the book. Yes, you read it right: A book about horror stories put me to sleep. Also, it was the first time in my whole life that I got tired of reading; no, I didn't got mentally exhausted, I didn't get physically tired; I got tired of reading. It was the opposite of what I felt when I finished reading "Lord of the Rings": When the story ended, I wanted to read more; with Lovecraft, I wanted to read less. Also, in general, Lovecraft managed to create his own little universe where his stories float around. Most authors would get this universe and expand it further and further, but Lovecraft manages to make the incredible feature of never expanding the universe, to the point that more stories actually diminish the universe instead of expanding it. Not only the stories are not superb, but the editing leaves a lot to be desired. There are two or three stories written by Lovecraft in his childhood/early teens, which seem to be added to tell that Lovecraft loved to write since the early ages, but they are put without any editing or even grammatical checking, which does more harm to the author than help him. Not that all stories are bad, some are good. But they are drowned in the world of stories that go nowhere that they are the exception instead of the rule. In the end, you can think of this: You have heard about "Necronomicon", you probably heard about "Cthulu", you may have heard about the "Old Ones" -- and that's probably it. Of about 2000 pages of stories and a lot more words, only 4 got beyond Lovecraft stories.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Leonardo

    It has been almost twenty years since I last ready Lovecraft on a regular basis, so I was quite concerned that my earlier fascination with his work had been a "phase" (it's not like I ever gave up on sci-fi and fantasy literature), but the months that I devoted to these complete works (a labour of love by Cthulhu Chick http://arkhamarchivist.com/) has been like getting in touch with a dear old friend and finding that he/she is even deeper than your remembered. This may sound odd, in view of Love It has been almost twenty years since I last ready Lovecraft on a regular basis, so I was quite concerned that my earlier fascination with his work had been a "phase" (it's not like I ever gave up on sci-fi and fantasy literature), but the months that I devoted to these complete works (a labour of love by Cthulhu Chick http://arkhamarchivist.com/) has been like getting in touch with a dear old friend and finding that he/she is even deeper than your remembered. This may sound odd, in view of Lovecraft's recurring theme, the key element of his later work --of mankind's incapacity to understand (and stand) a cruel and brutal universe where we are basically irrelevant, a minor and feeble species, in an universe of eldritch creatures and amorphous and evil gods--, but, read as a whole, Lovecraft's devotion to his writing is also a strange, but fitting tribute to the heroic (if ultimately doomed) battle against entropy that all his major characters fight, whether it's scientists, artists, or dreamers, and regardless if are travelling in unexplored regions of the Earth, or in Lovecraft´s own weird, uncanny version of New England, or even the lands of dreams. From the earlier shorter oniric tales that are heavily indebted to Dunsany and other writers, to the much longer stories and novelettas in which the Cthulhu Mythos are explored with a furious passion, Lovecraft's literary evolution is a definitive proof that he was far more than a mere writer of cheap thrills and purple prose and that, on the contrary, he was and remains one of the 20th century literary voices, a true master of his craft.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Steve Goble

    This Kindle edition is great. Well done, ChthulhuChick.com. I run hot and cold on Lovecraft. His protagonists are dull and mostly interchangeable. He avoids dialogue like mice avoid cats. He loves antiquated words. He tells stories obliquely, often through the voice of someone relaying things that purportedly happened to someone else. On the other hand, his vision of horror is more applicable to real life than the vampires, werewolves and ghosts of old -- it is a better metaphor for the doom we al This Kindle edition is great. Well done, ChthulhuChick.com. I run hot and cold on Lovecraft. His protagonists are dull and mostly interchangeable. He avoids dialogue like mice avoid cats. He loves antiquated words. He tells stories obliquely, often through the voice of someone relaying things that purportedly happened to someone else. On the other hand, his vision of horror is more applicable to real life than the vampires, werewolves and ghosts of old -- it is a better metaphor for the doom we all fear. Vampires, werewolves, etc. can be dealt with, if you have smarts and pluck. There is not much you can do about Cthulhu. Some of these stories are readable and effective, others are thought to enjoy. I like "The Call of Cthulhu," "The Silver Key," "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" and "At The Mountains of Madness." I cannot abide "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kaddath." I give this book four stars, mostly because the good stuff is memorable and because I do like Lovecraft's ideas and his influence. The sheer volume of stories is good, too; if you like weird fiction there is a lot of it here.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    Probably one of the best indexed versions of H.P. Lovecraft's works, this has every story he's even written, except for Imprisoned With The Pharaohs. As a complete collection, this is indeed as good as it gets. It has some of his best known stories (At the Mountains of Madness, Herbert West — Reanimator, The Dreams in the Witch House) and some of the harder to find stories (In the Walls of Eryx, Through the Gates of the Silver Key, The White Ship). So, while previously you may have had to get a Probably one of the best indexed versions of H.P. Lovecraft's works, this has every story he's even written, except for Imprisoned With The Pharaohs. As a complete collection, this is indeed as good as it gets. It has some of his best known stories (At the Mountains of Madness, Herbert West — Reanimator, The Dreams in the Witch House) and some of the harder to find stories (In the Walls of Eryx, Through the Gates of the Silver Key, The White Ship). So, while previously you may have had to get a half dozen different collections, this is all one faithful collection. Very well done as an inclusive collection, the stories are well compiled and largely error free. The formatting is good as well, and not just a quick "copy" of the text. This was done professionally, and done well. So, if you are looking for a complete collection of stories, this is about one of the best you can find.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Palindrome Mordnilap

    In defence of the early stories, I've read "The Tomb" and "Dagon" and enjoyed both. I agree that stories like "The Dunwich Horror" (for example) are superior, but that's no reason to write off the early works. The image of the immense, slippery fish-god wrapping its arms around the stone monolith and the dark simplicity with which Lovecraft writes "I think I went mad then." gave me a shudder. I shall continue with interest. UPDATE: "Polaris" was very good indeed, and once again demonstrates what g In defence of the early stories, I've read "The Tomb" and "Dagon" and enjoyed both. I agree that stories like "The Dunwich Horror" (for example) are superior, but that's no reason to write off the early works. The image of the immense, slippery fish-god wrapping its arms around the stone monolith and the dark simplicity with which Lovecraft writes "I think I went mad then." gave me a shudder. I shall continue with interest. UPDATE: "Polaris" was very good indeed, and once again demonstrates what gems there are to be found amongst the early stories.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anne Michaud

    I can't finish one of his stories. I'm guessing something's wrong with me since he's considered a classic horror writer, but man his stuff is boring, voiceless and not even that weird. How am I supposed to care? Everything's written with a distance, not only from the action, but from the characters involved. Arg.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alex Andrasik

    I finished this a few days ago and feel like it deserves some words. Some minor spoilers are possible! Just to get it out of the way, yes, Lovecraft has more than a few moments of awful racism, and his female characters are pretty much non-existent. There's not much excuse for this; Lovecraft's personal racism and sexism are well-documented. It's really an unfortunate intrusion of a retrograde authorial perspective. I try to get past it by just thinking of it as part of the narrators' biases; the I finished this a few days ago and feel like it deserves some words. Some minor spoilers are possible! Just to get it out of the way, yes, Lovecraft has more than a few moments of awful racism, and his female characters are pretty much non-existent. There's not much excuse for this; Lovecraft's personal racism and sexism are well-documented. It's really an unfortunate intrusion of a retrograde authorial perspective. I try to get past it by just thinking of it as part of the narrators' biases; they all tend to be jerks anyway. We could also talk a lot about Lovecraft's failings as a writer, but I don't want to dwell so much on that; I prefer to discuss the pros and cons of individual stories, what works and what doesn't within the conceits Lovecraft sets up within and between narratives. Suffice it to say that HPL's style is dated and idiosyncratic and quite unlike anything else I've ever read, even while I can see his fingerprints on much of the horror that comes after. Overall, this collection was a success in what I was looking for: creepy, bizarre, macabre tales to undergird my enjoyment of the Halloween season. Make no mistake that Lovecraft deserves his place in the firmament as master of the ‘weird fiction’ subgenre, and that his obvious world view of a cosmos devoid of empathy for paltry human life is not only frightening, but also deeply philosophically unsettling. For me, anyway. I may make a tradition of reading a few of these, Lovecraft's longer works, each October... For now, a few words about some of longer works in this collection, including those I liked and those I very much did not like. The Call of Cthulhu There’s a reason why this is Lovecraft’s best remembered, best loved tale, and why it has spawned Cults of Cthulhu who actually worship at the alter of the jiggly, octopoid horror. This is a triumph of the building of a certain ineffable atmosphere of dread and uneasiness. This is also the best of Lovecraft’s stories with a global reach, encompassing subplots (if you want to call them that) that stretch from New England to the Bayou to the South Pacific and beyond. I think it would make an awesome movie, tracing the narrator as his investigations reveal layers of cultish activity and previous clueless inquiries, piecing them together as each new narrative introduces interesting characters and scenarios to the screen, the timeline doubling back upon itself as new details of Cthulhu’s awakening arise… I also love this story for its crystallization of what I see as an overlooked theme in Lovecraft’s work, that of the differences between the poetic and the scientific mind. In HPL’s stories, the hero is often a rational, sober, scientific man who has difficulty believing, at first, in the strange circumstances around him—while the poetic or artistic minds, often those of young, ‘antiquarian’ men, are not only quick to grasp the situation, but often act as a conduit for the horrors of the past, the cosmos, or both. Also, Cthulhu is horrific, as is the dirge, “In his house at R’lyeh, Cthulhu waits dreaming.” What in the squamous name of indescribable horrors could a thing like that be dreaming…? The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath This seems to be a popular work, and while I can’t deny its rollicking, fun quality, I ultimately found it to be one of the less enjoyable pieces in the collection. For one thing, it’s interminable. For another, while it is cool that it weaves together a lot of the lore and creature-features of previous stories—from within the Dream mythos and beyond—Lovecraft ends up diluting them through over-exposure. This story falls shortly after “Pickman’s Model,” in which we are introduced to dreamworld ghouls as an unmitigated horror—but here we find them to be ugly but virtuous allies, having accepted Pickman as one of them, and with the narrator occasionally “shuddering in dismay at their horrible visages” or some such, as if to remind readers that these are meant to be avatars of supreme menace with whom circumstance has forced an alliance, not loyal and endearing lapdogs. Don’t get me started on the night-ghasts. Thus is the trouble with over-exposure. Skip this entry if you’d rather Lovecraft’s creepers stay creepy, my friend. Herbert West: Re-Animator On the other end of the spectrum, here’s a story that is considered to be Lovecraft’s worst, but which I enjoyed immensely. Certainly the constraints of the publisher show through, with each chapter, having been published serially, commencing with a recap of the story so far. It’s clunky. The story itself can be accurately described as a bit of workmanlike Frankensteinia. But it’s so much fun, everyone, because the action is legitimately freaky, frightening, and ghastly. West’s passionless obsession with restoring mechanical life—more than implying his sense of the essential mechanistic, soulless nature even of natural life—is chilling in its frankness. The prospect of a reanimated experiment escaping captivity and haunting the night is bone-chattering. And the fact that almost each chapter ends with another ghoul potentially joining the ranks of the near-mindless, undead and angry will have you looking over your shoulder. In retrospect I can see the marks of satire in this piece, the last refuge of a writer churning out crap for a paycheck when he’d rather be doing something a little more serious. I may be in the minority, but I think this story is serious enough. (How it stacks up to the cult classic movie adaptation, I have no idea. Too scary.) At the Mountains of Madness and The Shadow Out of Time Lovecraft’s stories suffer when they get too far away from the ghoulish little world he so potently curated in benighted Arkham, Mass. These two stories, though among his most celebrated, are in that category. Throughout the ill-advised explorations of antarctic plateaux and immemorially-lost alien underworlds of “Madness,” I found myself longing for the ordorous, gambrel-roofed, Necronomicon-dotted districts of New England. Same for “Shadow,” which seemed a Xerox of its predecessor, its action shifted slightly to the Australian outback. Interesting concepts in both—particularly the latter’s depiction of, er, huge cone-shaped time-traveling aliens meddling with human minds—and some genuine scares. Just a little too ponderous for me, and not enough Arkham-n-environs. The Horror at Red Hook HPL lived in Red Hook, Brooklyn for a time during his marriage. If you want to see his xenophobia and racism condensed into a single story of alien cults and child-killing and maybe get some sort of catharsis out of it, here’s your tale. I find Lovecraft’s feelings bizarre and inexcusable, but I prefer to think of them as the result of a singularly sensitive mind coming into contact with a century it wasn’t prepared for, and creating an allegory of outsiders to try and cope with it. Helps it all go down a bit easier. The Case of Charles Dexter Ward Many of HPL’s stories involve the gibber-inducing cosmic menace of such humanity-ignoring entities as Azathoth, the blind Idiot-God, or the mysterious and ineffable Nyarlathotep, or the aforementioned screeching, outsized madness of Cthulhu, or various subordinate alien races in a variety of evolutionarily questionable body-shapes. But other times the threats are less remote, and intertwined with the history of an America that strikes a lot closer to home. Such is the case of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, in which one of those antiquarian characters I mentioned comes under the influence of a lingering, malevolent spirit out of early US history, providing a creepy and interesting meditation on the sins of the forefathers being visited on the sensitive, poetic, and innocently unsuspecting succeeding generations. Thank goodness there are those sober scientific types to recognize what’s going on, after a suitable reign of terror has been allowed to descend. The moral: don’t take creepy paintings of your ancestors home with you, and for Azathoth’s sake, don’t let your kid go off on European excursions alone! The Colour Out of Space, The Dunwich Horror, The Whisperer in Darkness and The Shadow Over Innsmouth These four stories form a nice core of New England-based monster mysteries that stand as well on their own as well as they connect to each other and the larger Cthulhu mythos. I don’t want to say to much about them, but they all have my highest recommendation. There’s a distinct Body Snatcher/War of the Worlds vibe insofar as they feature essentially normal, salt of the earth folks contending with menaces beyond their reasonable experience. (Also, fish-people.) There are a few shorter stories that fit well with these four, but I’ll leave it to the brave reader to discover them! In closing, I’d just like to recommend that anyone with an interest in the macabre give Lovecraft a chance, even if you find yourself somewhat slow to warm to him. Set his prejudices aside, if you can, and if not, think of them as fascinating social eccentricities of a strange, harmless man. Settle in to the fact that you’ll usually be able to tell where his stories are going within the first few pages. The fun is in taking the journey with the clueless narrators, and wandering through a moody world of Cyclopean terrors, and letting Lovecraft shew you the accursed, unnameable delights of indescribably antedeluvian, decadently fungous madness!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Imyra De souza

    Não acredito, depois de ANOS, finalmente terminei de ler esse livro. Na verdade, é mais do que um livro, são as obras completas de Lovecraft. Então tem livros e contos que ele escrevem, inclusive alguns com algumas pessoas. Aqui, eu me arrependi um pouco de ter colocado essa edição ao invés de ir adicionando cada um dos livros ou contos, porque acho que ficaria até mais legal, fazer uma resenha de cada um dos trabalhos. Mas agora já foi. Talvez eu volte em um ou outro livro e escreva a resenha d Não acredito, depois de ANOS, finalmente terminei de ler esse livro. Na verdade, é mais do que um livro, são as obras completas de Lovecraft. Então tem livros e contos que ele escrevem, inclusive alguns com algumas pessoas. Aqui, eu me arrependi um pouco de ter colocado essa edição ao invés de ir adicionando cada um dos livros ou contos, porque acho que ficaria até mais legal, fazer uma resenha de cada um dos trabalhos. Mas agora já foi. Talvez eu volte em um ou outro livro e escreva a resenha dele mais para frente. Essa resenha é sobre as obras completas. Como está marcado, eu gostei. Estamos falando das obras completas, então tem coisas muito boas, coisas medianas e coisas ruins. Os livros e contos clássicos são realmente bons e valem muito a pena: "The Call of Chutulhu" é fantástico, "At the mountains of Madness" também. Gostei do "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward", "Dunwitch Horror", "Shadows over Innsmouth", entre outros. Alguns contos você sente um pouco daquele terror gótico do Poe, em outros, você vê uma história quase sci-fi. Aconselho a quem quer ler Lovecraft a não ler tudo de uma vez, um depois do outro. Se você faz isso, a escrita dele fica bem menos efetiva (você não tem mais aquele sentimento de suspense ou surpresa), começa a ficar bem repetitivo, inclusive vários adjetivos são usados até você enjoar. No meu caso, ele era meu autor entre livros, ou seja, ele foi intercalado entre as outras leituras que fiz ao longo dos anos. Outra coisa que deixa meio repetitivo é o que ele tenta fazer nos finais das histórias em geral: deixar o último parágrafo com o último horror como se fosse uma revelação (depois de algumas histórias, realmente não é) e isso vai ficando bem batido. E basicamente em Lovecraft, como personagem da história, você tem poucas opções: você termina totalmente louco, morto ou, na melhor das hipóteses, com cicatrizes mentais terríveis. No final, foi bem interessante ter lido.

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