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The H. P. Lovecraft Collection: Classic Tales of Cosmic Horror

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This collection of H. P. Lovecraft's work contains 71 stories by the master of weird fantasy and strange horror fiction. The stories include well-known gems such as 'The Call of Cthulhu', 'The Dunwich Horror' and 'The Case of Charles Dexter Ward' as well as lesser known works. The stories are in chronological order, thus allowing the reader to explore how Lovecraft's work This collection of H. P. Lovecraft's work contains 71 stories by the master of weird fantasy and strange horror fiction. The stories include well-known gems such as 'The Call of Cthulhu', 'The Dunwich Horror' and 'The Case of Charles Dexter Ward' as well as lesser known works. The stories are in chronological order, thus allowing the reader to explore how Lovecraft's work developed over the course of his writing career. It is the perfect introduction to the work of a writer who has influenced countless authors who have followed in his wake, such as Stephen King.


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This collection of H. P. Lovecraft's work contains 71 stories by the master of weird fantasy and strange horror fiction. The stories include well-known gems such as 'The Call of Cthulhu', 'The Dunwich Horror' and 'The Case of Charles Dexter Ward' as well as lesser known works. The stories are in chronological order, thus allowing the reader to explore how Lovecraft's work This collection of H. P. Lovecraft's work contains 71 stories by the master of weird fantasy and strange horror fiction. The stories include well-known gems such as 'The Call of Cthulhu', 'The Dunwich Horror' and 'The Case of Charles Dexter Ward' as well as lesser known works. The stories are in chronological order, thus allowing the reader to explore how Lovecraft's work developed over the course of his writing career. It is the perfect introduction to the work of a writer who has influenced countless authors who have followed in his wake, such as Stephen King.

30 review for The H. P. Lovecraft Collection: Classic Tales of Cosmic Horror

  1. 5 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'm going to read the whole of this book in 2019, 2020 2021, in order (most recently read at top.) 21/Sept/21: 41: The Descendant: Up next... 21/Sept/21: 40: In the Vault: In an echo of Procrustes and his bed, an undertaker falls afoul of vengeance from beyond the grave. 3 'Measure Your Coffin Correctly,' stars. 18/Sept/21: 39: He: A youthful poet seeks 'Wonderment,' in the alleys and byways of New York. Accepts a stranger as a guide and quickly finds himself within an ancient realm of otherworldly I'm going to read the whole of this book in 2019, 2020 2021, in order (most recently read at top.) 21/Sept/21: 41: The Descendant: Up next... 21/Sept/21: 40: In the Vault: In an echo of Procrustes and his bed, an undertaker falls afoul of vengeance from beyond the grave. 3 'Measure Your Coffin Correctly,' stars. 18/Sept/21: 39: He: A youthful poet seeks 'Wonderment,' in the alleys and byways of New York. Accepts a stranger as a guide and quickly finds himself within an ancient realm of otherworldly horrors. Barely escapes with his mind and body intact. Kinda dragged in spots, although the creature known as 'He,' was inventive. 3 'Beware Strangers in New York,' stars. 19/Jul/21: 38: The Horror at Red Hook: Daft Detective Imbroglio! Mad or just Maddening! "Well I chased the perp through an interdimensional portal to a place right out of a Hieronymus Bosch fever dream filled with diabolical entities. But I kept my mouth shut as who would ever believe me. It was better to just pretend I was temporarily mad." Detective Malone has a brush with a devil-worshipping cult which almost sends him mad. Slow to start, and not very gripping, but not horrible. 3 'Loathsome Cults in the Slums,' stars. 14/Jul/21: 37: The Shunned House: A haunted house tale that started very, very slowly, then hooked me in with awesome suspense, and a rare 'almost,' happy-ever-after for the narrator. 5 'Spooky Eldritch Cellar Dweller,' stars. 14/Jun/20: 36: The Festival: An ancient fishing village, masked guides, secret rites that predate humanity, loathsome indescribable squirming horrors in subterranean caverns. But was it only a nightmare? This one ticked all the boxes. 5 'Horrors! No! - It was real!' stars 12/Jun/20: 35: The Unnamable: The Unnamable remains unknown and underwhelming. 2 perplexed stars. (Geez, a 6 month break...) 12/Jan/20: 34: The Rats in the Walls: Elegantly written with little hints thrown here and there, but then it turns right on the end into unutterable horror... 5 stark raving mad stars. 08/Jan/20: 33: The Lurking Fear: Break out the shovels. Degenerate colonials have become loathsome abominable mole-rat-beast men rising from underground lairs to feast upon the surface dwellers. Kinda dragged in spots. 3 Morlock stars. That said ... HPL is really starting to illustrate the situation where someone has discovered something so horrifying that they wish they had never ever known about it - i.e. Ignorance is bliss. and there are terrific lines like 'I retain no distinct impression save of wild-armed titan trees, daemonic mutterings of thunder, and Charonian shadows athwart the low mounds that dotted and streaked the region.' - Now this left me with a vivid, visceral impression of someone running from a vast and overwhelming horror. Good writing here. I think that HPL is more visual than I'd previously given him credit for. 19/Dec/19: 32: The Hound: A cautionary tale upon the topic of avoiding charismatic young men named St. John, demonism, the Necronomicon, grave robbing, cursed jade amulets, stocking museums with artifacts stolen from graves, lonely moors, decrepit manors, solitude, dissipation, flocks of bats - and smoking (well actually not smoking...) - 3 stars under a livid sky. 19/Dec/19: 31: Azathoth: A vignette of modern alienation, of dreams chasing long lost vistas, where persistence is ultimately rewarded with gentle bliss. Lacks a story and who the frack was Azathoth?- 2 very short stars 17/Dec/19: 30. What the Moon Brings: It's the moon's fault, evil thing that it is, not the drugs, not the opiates, not the multi-colored imaginings of LSD, inspiring terror and suicide. 1 'drug-induced,' star. (fortunately this was short.) 16/Dec/19: 29. Hypnos: "Just what happened is unknown, ..." and shall remain that way. 3 unknowable stars (or perhaps zero, or an infinity...) - Beware sleep! 04/Feb/19: 28. Herbert West - Reanimator: Now the genius is revealed. Macabre horror at its best. Weird, wonderful, shocking, imaginative, powerful. 5 'unable to look away,' stars. 03/Feb/19: 27. The Music of Erich Zann: An out-of-work philosopher (is there any other sort?) discovers a mute with a musical bent for defending against eldritch horrors of a cosmic persuasion. A defense that is weakening... 5 'spooky,' stars. 03/Feb/19: 26. The Other Gods: A Hubris breeds Nemesis tale as Barzai the Wise does something quite foolish - and is never heard of again. 2 'just another over-reach tale masquerading as fantasy history guff...' stars. 03/Feb/19: 25. The Outsider: Self-awareness can be a horrible shock - especially if you are an uncanny, eldritch, apparition of horrific demeanor unfit for cultured company. Still, forgetfulness is a balm for such sorrowful knowledge - however it seems a tad disingenuous to claim loss of memory when talking about it! 3 'Red Pill,' stars. 01/Feb/19: 24. The Moon-Bog: (Thankfully, back amongst the contemporary fantasy) HPL's interpretation of the Sidhe of Ireland, defend a bog from being drained by a rich Irish/American and his northern Ireland laborers. Of course, everyone seems to have been uncannily transformed by eldritch powers of cosmic horror into fat and ugly frogs. 4 'Don't Mess with Nature,' stars. 01/Feb/19: 23. The Quest of Iranon: An immortal bard fruitlessly seeks an audience for the music 'wot 'e wrote.' - Remains an unknown. Humanity at fault for not having the wit and sensitivity to appreciate his art. Dies in quicksand watched by an ancient shepherd. 2 'suck it up princess,' stars. 31/Jan/19: 22. The Nameless City: A cautionary tale about exploring ancient cities built by elder reptilian races, at night, by yourself, with naught but a guttering torch. You also shouldn't leave your camel by itself at the front door. Next time - bring a stout rope - whoops, no next time... 3 ill-prepared stars. 30/Jan/19: 21. Ex Oblivione: Apparently drugs can unite you with the native infinity of crystal oblivion if that's what HPL discovered, I feel genuinely sorry for him. 4 illimitable stars living in the sad space between ecstasy and desolation. 29/Jan/19: 20. The Picture in the House: ... for there the dark elements of strength, solitude, grotesqueness, and ignorance combine to the perfection of the hideous. Nothing like a bit of back woods New England cannibalism on a cold, wet, and windy night. 4 hungry stars. 29/Jan/19: 19. Nyarlathotep: After a slow start, becomes an evocative, spooky, and relevant tale about how whole societies can be unhinged by a charismatic interloper. 4 inconceivable stars. 29/Jan/19: 18. From Beyond: Could've inspired a dozen B-Grade movies. It's often better not to see what is normally Unseen . 4 chilling stars. 29/Jan/19: 17. Celephais: Authorial wish fulfillment? A stark reminder of the distinction between harsh and unyielding reality, and dreams born of drug addiction? Possibly, 3 uncertain stars. 29/Jan/19: 16. The Street: One boring star. A disappointment after the previous story. You know - having at least one main character would be a good idea... 29/Jan/19: 15. Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family: Was the hilarious comedy of this work unintentional - I suspect so. Entertaining and gripping, I suspect this is HPL's best work to date. Some family secrets are best kept - well secret! 5 chuckling, mesmerized stars. 27/Jan/19: 14. The Temple: Echoing Stoker's 'log of the Demeter,' and Alien's 'the Nostromo,' a u-boat crew undergoes death by a thousand eldritch cuts. 4 salty cursed stars. 24/Jan/19: 13. The Cats of Ulthar: Reads like a fairy tale. Beware the vengeance of cats. 5 purring stars of contentment. 24/Jan/19: 12. The Tree: I don't understand??? Not rated. 24/Jan/19: 11. The Terrible Old Man: No country for easy victims. 4 'picking on the wrong guy' stars. 24/Jan/19: 10. The Statement of Randolph Carter: Mucking about with eldritch forces in deserted graveyards will get you DEAD! - Effective writing. 4 scary stars. 24/Jan/19: 9. The Doom that came to Sarnath: Hubris begets Nemesis - but told with too many words... 2 stars endured. 24/Jan/19: 8. The White Ship: A sad tale of taking opportunity for granted. 3 somber stars. 24/Jan/19: 7. The Transition of Juan Romero: An engaging story where what really happened remains a mystery. 4 eerie stars. 17/Jan/19: 6. Old Bugs: A real story in stark contrast to 'Memory,' - a cautionary tale against the demon drink. 4 'down-and-out,' stars. 17/Jan/19: 5. Memory: Forgettable and already forgotten - it might have been 1 star, who could say - what were we talking about again? 11/Jan/19: 4. Beyond the Wall of Sleep: 'Da da da ding ding ding...' goes the strumming banjo... Lovecraft obviously didn't like white-trash mountain folk a few decades before the movie 'Deliverance,' was produced. However, what happens when one of 'them,' starts seeing another world? Did Lovecraft invent the Tinfoil Hat? I think not - especially when a new star appears in the heavens to wreck vengeance upon a dreadful opponent. 3 new stars resonating with cosmic mindwaves. 11/Jan/19: 3. Polaris: Dreams, insanity, or visions? Guilt tied to a failed wish fulfillment for relevance for someone without relevance? A mercifully short tale of dreamy woe. 1 woeful star named Polaris... 09/Jan/19: 2. Dagon: Forgetfulness or death - great options?! As in 'The Call of Cthulhu,' something arises from an oceanic abyss as dark and deep as time itself. 3 slimy stars with a twist at the very end. 09/Jan/19: 1. The Tomb: Jervas Dudley, dreamer, visionary, and confined within a refuge for the demented. Key lesson. If you lie down with the dead, you'll wake up with ghosts. Which in Jervas' case appears to have been an improvement. Of course, whenever ghosts are at work, the dim past is reaching forward with cold, dead hands to seize the present. 3 1/2 shivering stars in a moonless, storm wracked night. ##################### Original Review Below. 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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Hiatt

    Lovecraft was quite a strange and curious man. Likewise, his stories are a swirl of strangeness. He was able to beautifully blend the worlds of horror and science fiction to create his own world of otherworldly, cosmic horror. This is most evident in his Cthulhu Mythos. 'The Call of Cthulhu' is the beginning of this mythos and one of Lovecraft's most finely crafted stories. Wonderfully strange, terrifying, and powerful! Another story of note is 'The Shunned House.' This story is based on a house Lovecraft was quite a strange and curious man. Likewise, his stories are a swirl of strangeness. He was able to beautifully blend the worlds of horror and science fiction to create his own world of otherworldly, cosmic horror. This is most evident in his Cthulhu Mythos. 'The Call of Cthulhu' is the beginning of this mythos and one of Lovecraft's most finely crafted stories. Wonderfully strange, terrifying, and powerful! Another story of note is 'The Shunned House.' This story is based on a house in Providence, Rhode Island as well as one in Elizabeth, New Jersey which reminded him of the latter. He had written in a letter the following: "On the northeast corner of Bridge Street and Elizabeth Avenue is a terrible old house—a hellish place where night-black deeds must have been done in the early seventeen-hundreds—with a blackish unpainted surface, unnaturally steep roof, and an outside flight of stairs leading to the second story, suffocatingly embowered in a tangle of ivy so dense that one cannot but imagine it accursed or corpse-fed. It reminded me of the Babbit House in Benefit Street…. Later its image came up again with renewed vividness, finally causing me to write a new horror story with its scene in Providence and with the Babbit House as its basis." One of my other favorites is 'The Dreams in the Witch's House.' Part of his Cthulhu Mythos, this is a story that explores Lovecraft's belief in cosmic indifference.

  6. 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.

  7. 4 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.

  8. 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 **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)]

  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. 4 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.

  11. 5 out of 5

    C.T. Phipps

    What can be said about the works of Howard Phillips Lovecraft? A author who could be frustrating, fascinating, purple in his prose, and amazing in his imagination. An author who manages to stand out in both offensive attitudes about race for his time and yet also imagines alien otherworldly kingdoms that remind us how insignificant human prejudices may be. As the author of CTHULHU ARMAGEDDON and a fan of countless pastiches of his work like TITUS CROW, ANDREW DORAN, THE INNSMOUTH LEGACY, HARRY S What can be said about the works of Howard Phillips Lovecraft? A author who could be frustrating, fascinating, purple in his prose, and amazing in his imagination. An author who manages to stand out in both offensive attitudes about race for his time and yet also imagines alien otherworldly kingdoms that remind us how insignificant human prejudices may be. As the author of CTHULHU ARMAGEDDON and a fan of countless pastiches of his work like TITUS CROW, ANDREW DORAN, THE INNSMOUTH LEGACY, HARRY STUBBS, and more--I owe HPL a lot. He helped change the cultural landscape of science fiction, fantasy, and horror by combining all three effortlessly. Some of his works are absolutely fantastic and others, well, I'll be honest, aren't great. No one bats a 1000. What are his best works? THE COLOUR OUT OF SPACE - Probably his best work and one of the all time greatest horror stories of all time. It's just such a crazy premise: an evil color. However, it's also weirdly accurate to the future as the discovery of radiation and colors just within the perception of the eye are amazing. THE DUNWICH HORROR - A parody of the Book of Revelations that also works as a pure "evil cult" and Antichrist story. THE WHISPERER IN THE DARKNESS - An encounter with body-stealing aliens that never gets old. THE CALL OF CTHULHU - Honestly, not one of my favorites but it gets props here for just being so damned influential. Not only did it create the Big C but it also formulated a lot of the ideas behind the mythos into a coherent mythology. COOL AIR - Well before vampires made it passe, a man laments the horrible price he's paid for immortality. THE CASE OF CHARLES DEXTER WARD - Not a very Lovecraftian story and I almost don't list it here but it's a solid piece of urban fantasy before the idea came out. There's an evil wizard at work and what has done with Charles Ward (or IS he Charles Ward?) THE SHADOW OVER INNSMOUTH - His most famous and most frequently adapted work for a reason. Yes, it's racist as frick but it's hidden racism versus, well, the Horror at Red Hook. AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS - An Antarctic expedition that formed the basis of PROMETHEUS but don't hold that against it. THE SILVER KEY and THE DREAMQUEST OF UNKNOWN KADATH - Two very strange stories that form the wonderful twisted high fantasy tale of Randolph Carter. It's also the basis for a lot of Stephen King's The Dark Tower. His scariest? THE UNNAMEABLE, THE THING ON THE DOORSTEP, and PICKMAN'S MODEL are just wonderful twist stories. Of the the three, I give Thing the most props because the discovery your spouse is not who you think they are is a very good "primal fear." THE STATEMENT OF RANDOLPH CARTER also is one I love for its ending even if it definitely requires the protagonists to have poked the bear a few more times than a properly sane occultist should. THE RATS IN THE WALLS also makes use of that wonderful question of, "What the hell is that noise?" His worst? THE HORROR AT RED HOOK - which doesn't feel Lovecraftian or all that scary. It also has all of the racism and is basically just a 20 page screed by a dirty cop about how he hates rich guys who hang around brown folk as well as host parties in their basement. HERBERT WEST - REANIMATOR - HPL agrees with me here. He did not like this work. I actually give this story props as it helped invent the cannibal zombie trope. The thing is that a lot of it is repetitive and consists of, "the protagonists resurrect some poor bastard then it goes berserk." The complete lack of character development or twists kind of hurt it even if I give props to the final fate of our enemy. I feel like the lurid B-movie really improved on the original serial. Basically, you should read all of HPL's work if you have the time. 9.5/10

  12. 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.

  13. 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.]

  14. 5 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.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alabaster

    It's hard to rate any writer's collection of prose since rounding up an average number would seem too harsh on the high points of the author’s career and too undeserving for her weaker works, a fact which is also true concerning the complete works of Lovecraft. Though not all of Lovecraft's stories felt fresh and although I found some of his stories drastically less interesting than others, his masterful approach to arrange all his work to form a single mythos and the way with every new story yo It's hard to rate any writer's collection of prose since rounding up an average number would seem too harsh on the high points of the author’s career and too undeserving for her weaker works, a fact which is also true concerning the complete works of Lovecraft. Though not all of Lovecraft's stories felt fresh and although I found some of his stories drastically less interesting than others, his masterful approach to arrange all his work to form a single mythos and the way with every new story you were given more clues and insights to see the bigger picture, was what made reading the whole collection entertaining. And about the racism... I have to say all the remarks and criticisms I’ve heard about Lovecraft’s racism before reading "The Rats in the Walls", “The Horror at Red Hook" and "The Call of Cthulhu", could not have prepared me for the nonchalant, hate-filled way he addressed his nonwhite characters.

  16. 5 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.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mark Smeltz

    I was prepared for the creepiness of his stories, but not the unexpectedly gorgeous prose. That said, you've got to knock AT LEAST one star off for unbridled racism. 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 I was prepared for the creepiness of his stories, but not the unexpectedly gorgeous prose. That said, you've got to knock AT LEAST one star off for unbridled racism. 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

  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. 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

    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.”

  20. 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.

  21. 5 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.

  22. 4 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.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Krentz

    I wound up not reading every novel and short story in the anthology, they grew very repetitive and I couldn't get past the unabashed racism that kept popping up (even though I knew to expect it). These stories are foundational to a genre, which was my motivation in reading them, but I can see why some of the characters and themes have been more influential and persistent rather than the specific stories themselves. I wound up not reading every novel and short story in the anthology, they grew very repetitive and I couldn't get past the unabashed racism that kept popping up (even though I knew to expect it). These stories are foundational to a genre, which was my motivation in reading them, but I can see why some of the characters and themes have been more influential and persistent rather than the specific stories themselves.

  24. 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. 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.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Marin Bratanov

    Executive summary: find and read a list of his best stuff, as this collection is otherwise very, very long and boring, even weak. Full version follows. While I understand the significance of his works, and the impact they have on the modern fiction and horror genres....I found this very hard to read, even boring at most times. I tried reading them all, and about a third in I gave up and googled which his best works are so I try to read those at least. I almost made it. There are two types of storie Executive summary: find and read a list of his best stuff, as this collection is otherwise very, very long and boring, even weak. Full version follows. While I understand the significance of his works, and the impact they have on the modern fiction and horror genres....I found this very hard to read, even boring at most times. I tried reading them all, and about a third in I gave up and googled which his best works are so I try to read those at least. I almost made it. There are two types of stories - someone experiences a great extrasensory/madness revelation and goes...well, mad; or somebody discovers that humans are a weak, young race that is, at best, a toy for elder races of unimaginable powers and age. Earlier works are of the former style, while later creations are mostly of the latter style. What I can say for sure is that his writing and style become much better as he ages, his later works are significantly better than the early ones. He finally gets to developing stories and (kind of) characters, which, it seems, is what I most care about in the books I read. Maybe its just my jaded 21st century mind, or that I've never been keen on the horror genre, but I fail to see the awesomeness in H.P.Lovecraft. The best feature I can find is that he (subtly or not so much) connects a lot of the stories, so a re-read would have value for a person who likes this type of fiction. I remember reading "The colour out of space" when I was a child (or perhaps in my early teens) and it did, indeed, give me some vague uneasiness and the feeling of some horror and fear. Its effect was much much weaker now that I am reading it 20 years later. Again, perhaps its my jaded brain, or that this type of stories simply is not for me. If you want to be scared by nameless horrors, though, totally go for it, and read it alone in a dark room.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Skylar Phelps

    This guys gets full marks for imagination in my book. What a pioneer of the weird! I, for one, love all things strange, artsy, or far out imagination-wise. And tentacles. I love tentacles. Let me be clear: if you suffer from writer’s block it’s probably because your story doesn’t have enough tentacles to keep you or your reader properly engaged. However, reading granddaddy Lovecraft’s collected works as a whole is really not that enjoyable. Here’s why: 1. The stories are all pretty much the same. This guys gets full marks for imagination in my book. What a pioneer of the weird! I, for one, love all things strange, artsy, or far out imagination-wise. And tentacles. I love tentacles. Let me be clear: if you suffer from writer’s block it’s probably because your story doesn’t have enough tentacles to keep you or your reader properly engaged. However, reading granddaddy Lovecraft’s collected works as a whole is really not that enjoyable. Here’s why: 1. The stories are all pretty much the same. Especially the endings 2. They’re not scary at all. The overkilled erudite prose destroys any suspense 3. Not only is the author’s xenophobia offensive, it gets pretty dang annoying after a while I have more complaints but I’ll leave it to my top three :) If you genuinely want to read Lovecraft, here are my three recommendations - The Music of Erich Zann, my favorite by far. Just read it. - The Dunwich Horror. My first of his and it really encapsulates Lovecraftian fiction. - The Call of Cthulhu. It’s his masterpiece. I love it, Lovecraft at his best. I could read it 100 times in my life and enjoy it every time.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tavi Florescu

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

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mindy (Naughty Book Snitch)

    Free http://amzn.to/2H3Kk91 Free http://amzn.to/2H3Kk91

  29. 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.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    I finally decided to read H.P. Lovecraft after years of laughing at how racist he was. I know he’s, like, a pioneer of horror fiction, so I figured i should read the actual writing, just to see if it’s worth the hype. Spoiler: it’s not. I read about half, including the ubiquitous Call of Cthulhu, and I’m not impressed. Aside from the casual racist “black and brown people are savages” that he mentions in pretty much every single story, he so heavily relies on “it was so bad I can’t even write abo I finally decided to read H.P. Lovecraft after years of laughing at how racist he was. I know he’s, like, a pioneer of horror fiction, so I figured i should read the actual writing, just to see if it’s worth the hype. Spoiler: it’s not. I read about half, including the ubiquitous Call of Cthulhu, and I’m not impressed. Aside from the casual racist “black and brown people are savages” that he mentions in pretty much every single story, he so heavily relies on “it was so bad I can’t even write about it so i won’t.” Maybe I’m just a skeptic but if you can’t even tell me how bad it was I’m gonna... read something else. I think what bothered me most is that his entire Mythos is based on anxiety about foreign religions. It’s so obvious that Lovecraft was a WASP. Brown and black people are savages; their religions are bad and Not Christian™, and the gods they worship are awful monsters that want to destroy the world. Idk. It just seemed to me like, “well if it’s not the Protestant Christian God, then these gods MUST be monsters, just like the gross brown people who worship them” 😒 If you want to read actual horror I’d suggest basically anyone else; at least R.L. Stein, even, actually described what it is you’re supposed to be scared of in the story. And also wasn’t racist. Tl;dr Lovecraft is racist and doesn’t even describe what you’re supposed to be scared of in his stories, which makes it fail p hard at being “horror” stories

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