Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre - The Best of H. P. Lovecraft

By H.P. Lovecraft

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
teressa
This book is the best in the series of short story collections issued by DelRey books, and probably contains the best collection of classic HPL stories available today. Here you have the best and most revered stories from Lovecraft's prime period of creativity. You can clearly see how influential this work has been for all horror fiction that has been written since. Clive Barker and Stephen King are definitely fans, and even movies like "Poltergeist" and "Ghostbusters" are clearly inspired by Lovecraft. As usual with Lovecraft stories, it is often difficult to get through the heavy prose and obscure references, and reading the tales will take a lot of patience. But your patience will be rewarded by many classic short stories that will really get under your skin. Highlights of this book include "The Rats in the Walls" which really reminded me of the Poltergeist movie; the all-time occult masterpiece "The Call of Cthulhu"; the intriguiging "The Music of Erich Zann" which is surprisingly artistic and offbeat for Lovecraft; and "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" which covers not just the evil of supernatural creatures but also of small-town humans - a motif that is seen in many Stephen King stories.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
katherine saillard
In this one book there are 16 Lovecraft Stories. At least three of them are classics widely quoted and referred to by Lovecraft fans. In this tome you get "the Call of Cthulhu", "The Dunwich Horror", "the Shadow Over Innsmouth" plus 13 others. The three I name are easily worth the cover price alone. The rest are just icing.

If you are a fan of Lovecraft and do not own these stories, then this is the book to you. If you are interested in Lovecraft, and just want to test the waters, this is also the book for you.

Stories are from 7 to 50 pages long. Most clock in at around 30 pages. They are culled from the pages of various magazines they were originally published in. This is an excellent collection for the initiate.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
morteza karami
Perhaps the only thing one can malign this collection for is the exclusion of "At the Mountains of Madness," for it otherwise includes stories that have become among the most oft-cited of all of Lovecraft's work.

It's undoubtedly a MUST-HAVE of Lovecraft collection, and a superb way to introduce another person to the vast breadth of his work.

There are some other minor short stories that could have been added to the collection, but if one were to be left with but this volume alone, one would have a significant treasure indeed.

Perhaps one day we'll see a complete collection of the great masterworks in a single volume, but until then, this is a fine investment.

The foreword places much of the work within context very well.

The typesetting is a little small, but still legible, and the quality of the paper stands up for a good many years. I'm still using the one I picked up in 1989, and it'll still hold up to frequent page-turning without fear of it crumbling to dust. The spine and cover are sturdy enough to allow easy reading. It's a good edition. (Personally, I recommend buying it in a nice old used book store in person, but that's just me...)

It's a pity a complete annotated edition of this volume hasn't come out, but give it time, perhaps one day one shall.
A Collection Of Riveting Haunted House Mysteries - Ghostly Secrets Super Boxset :: The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft (Annotated Books) :: The Call of Cthulhu :: The H. P. Lovecraft Collection: Slip-cased Edition :: The Complete Works of H. P. Lovecraft Volume 1 - 70 Horror Short Stories
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ericson fp
This is a collection of some of the most classic and best written horror stories ever. Written by the master himself; H.P. Lovecraft.
My favourite: The Colour Out of Space; is about a meteour that falls and hits a town. The area around the crash begins to change, and so do the people living near it. Something is living in the well...but what? Very very scary. I couldn't drink my water for awhile after reading it.
The Call of Chuthulhu is probably his most well known story in hear. The very start of the Chuthulhu Mythos. The biggest fan fiction ever.
His stories are very ambient and usually have the discovery of some horrible, anicent, arcane, heretical thing of old; be it god or altars. Very scary stuff indeed.
If you want to read some horror that WILL scare you other than the latest pulp crap that some hack wrote in a week. Get this book. If only In the Mountains of Madness were in this collection. Then you would need no other.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
michael divic
H.P. Lovecraft was the best horror writer of this century. And by saying this, I do not feel I am going out on a limb.
Never before has an author impacted my thought as much as Lovecraft has. I constantly read his work and frequently talk about him to others. In fact, I even sport a few Lovecraft shirts around town. Obsessed? Yes, but for good cause.
As Ramsey Cambell said, Lovecraft can do something many other "master" authors can't: Infuse the reader with mindnumbing terror.
Maybe "mindnumbing" is a little bit of an overstatemnt, but terror isn't. Mixing a broad range of stories from tales of crazy scientists to genocide of ancient races, Lovecraft presents a very powerful and interesting philosophy (best summarized by earlier said Campbell): Man is luckilly ignorant of certain things, for if they knew them it would be death or insanity.
And this book shows just that. From "Call of Cthulhu" to "The Rats in the Walls", this book is sure to please anyone searching to own their first Lovecraft book or someone that wants to find out if the rumours of Lovecraft being a horror master are correct.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
brooke jean
At last I've found an affordable collection to introduce me to H. P. Lovecraft's works.
I've read other stories that people have compared to Lovecraft, so have always wanted to read his work.
It took me a while to get through this collection as some of the language threw me and I would have to reread a page or two to understand. Also, until the character names (especially the gods and such) stick in your head. it will be a little difficult to follow because you don't really remember what happened previously to them.
But eventually they do, and about midway through the collection I was enthralled. With such stories as Call Of The Cthulhu, Colour Out Of Space, Shadow Over Innsmouth, and others...I am dying to read more.
Thanks to Del Rey for publishing more Lovecraft collections...I'm off to get them now.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
seulky
HP Lovecraft is clearly the link between Edgar Allan Poe and the modern writer of fantastic horror fiction. While his style is derivative of Poe in its poetic brilliance, Lovecraft clearly developed a form of writing that was uniquely his own.

Lovecraft was adept at building his horrors - and our dread - to such a level that we feel temporary relief when the expected full disclosure is held in check. What then ensues is actually worse for the reader. That horror - which was only hinted at - is now deftly planted by Lovecraft in our mind. What follows is that the reader's imagination begins to build on the horror that Lovecraft suggests and one is left with an overall feeling of creepiness that is more horrible than it would have been had Lovecraft fully revealed the dreaded object!

While Lovecraft is the clear link between the 19th century authors of fantastic horror fiction and the modern horror writers (Stephen King and others have expressed his influence), there has been - as of this review - no writer that can match the imagination, poetic brilliance and creepiness that this strange little man from Providence, RI could evoke in the reader!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
emily craig
This is a compendium of (mostly) the best of Howard Phillips Lovecraft's work, collecting his most popular works into one bloodcurdling volume. The crown jewel, of course, is "The Call of Chtlutu", Lovecraft's best and most popular short story, but there are other great tales as well: The Dunwich Horror, In the Vault, The Shadow Over Innsmouth and The Thing on the Doorstep are just a few of the classics tales of otherworldly horror collected here. My only problem with this book is that it did not include Dagon, one of my all-time favorite Lovecraftian short stories, but this is just one out of many others that were included here. This book is great as an introduction to the master of the macabre or, for long-standing fans, a great collection of all their favorite Lovecraftian works. If you are at all interested in Lovecraft or horror in general, I highly recommend picking this one up.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kelly morrison
Having read virtually all published fiction Lovecraft wrote, I have come to name Lovecraft my favorite author above any other, (and that alone is a remark with quite some weight on itself, due the fact I have many favorite authors) not only because he was the one who inspired me to begin my own fiction writing, (not Mythos related, I hate "fan-fiction" or anything of the similar) but because my personal philosophy sympathizes with his own: The Universe, as vast as it is, is indifferent to the state of Humankind. Humanity could disappear tomorrow, and the Universe certainly would not change, either for good or bad. (although I have a twist for that) That, added to the fact that his writing is not only deep, but erudite and intriguing, makes up for my prototype of an excellent author.
Lovecraft had an interesting life as well, if you can, get any of the biographies the world has to offer, but above all, get S.T. Joshi's.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mohsen nejad
I can remember reading these stories ago when I was a teenager. I can still the thrill of horror that Lovecraft created out of whole cloth. He weaves his tales so skillfully that the reader--this reader, anyway--began to be just a little suspicious that Lovecraft had some special knowledge, fortunately hidden from most of us--knowledge that ancient, foul and malign things were literally crawling under our feet.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
barb nakashima
He is the one who started it all (okay, Poe did, on folklorists before him), but all seem to stem from here. This is a good collection, with all the greats like the rats in the walls, cthulhu, innsmouth, dunwich, etc. But I find that after reading so many of them that they become redundant after a while... it is just another town with another person or group of people worshipping the nameless old ones and going insane, and near escape and a brief glimpse of the old ones as they pass or are seen in the waves or are wherever. We don't really see any of it, and it is supposed to make us go crazy, but it doesn't except to annoy me slightly by not knowing what is going on. But then I am more a student of history, I want more depth, I want to get into Lovecraft's head and learn all of the things that fly through his head in his sleep. If I wanted it all left up to my imagination then I would make it up myslef from scratch. If you have a story, then put it out there, if not, then develop it more.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nikkip
In order to truly grasp Lovecraft, you should pick up the two companions to this book, the "Dreams" book, and the "Road to Madness" book (they all have similiarly styled covers).
Most of the stories here are incredible, despite a few lesser ones ("The Outsider," etc).
Others have a stunning amount of depth. "Dreams in the Witch-House is an exciting display of madness, dream-working, and a haunted, decrepit manor.
"Rats in the Walls" is a particularly terrifying piece about the origins of humanity which invokes many interesting settings: desolate caverns, a rotting mansion, etc.
"In the Vault" is a classic piece of Poe-esque psyschological horror that none should miss.
This is fantastic collection.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rcs105
The first Lovecraft story I read was "The Call of Cthulu", when I was around eight. I hardly understood it, but it gave me very vivid nightmares. Now I can better comprehend these tales, and they still frighten me. Mr.Lovecraft had view on the world that was introverted, almost nihilistic. I can relate, I'm pretty introverted myself. His settings always reflect an isolated theme, sometimes to the point of literary claustrophobia. Well,I can't say a lot more on this book,save that a great soundtrack is Metallica's "Ride the Lightning", which features an instrumental ode to our nigh-omnipotent buddy,Cthulu. So give this book a read and you'll surely love these nightmarish, macbre tales.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lennis
First published in 1963, then reissued in the 1980s with a Foreword by Robert Bloch, this was my first introduction to Lovecraft around 1987. You either "get" Lovecraft and appreciate his work, or you don't. This book collects some of his "greatest hits," but there are many other essential stories not found here: At the Mountains of Madness, Dagon, The Shunned House, Cool Air, Within the Walls of Eryx, and others.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mary kelly
I first read Lovecraft in 1982, when this book came out. I have been a lifelong fan ever since. I own many, many editions of Lovecraft, but this is the one I give as a gift when someone wants to experience Lovecraft for the first time. It's the best single-volume introduction ever printed. The selection of stories (more or less) mirrors _The Dunwich Horror and Others_, the classic Arkham House collection, but costs half as much, and presents a truly definitive selction of stories. The Michael Whelan cover illustration is not directly illustrative of any of Lovecraft's stories, but is metaphorical of many of them.
Hesitate no longer. If you want a Lovecraft book, buy this one, and probably _At the Mountains of Madness_.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kara specht
The Michael Whelan cover art is perhaps the best cover art on any Lovecraft book. Having read the paper version of all the HP Lovecraft Del Rey books, it's great to be able to have it on ebook format. There is more Cthulhu mythos work out there by dedicated fans and authors of HP.Also "The Dreams in the Witchhouse" is perhaps one of the best macabre haunting/extradimensional stories ever.ESPRIT DE CORPSE- Horror Stories from the Wrong Side of the Grave
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
michael lewis
For anyone just getting into H. P. Lovecraft, this book is a treasure trove. Nearly all of the Cthulhu mythos stories are here, and I defy anyone to read these dark and provocative tales without shuddering, and casting an occasional glance into cobwebbed corners. In "Supernatural Horror in Literature," Lovecraft stated that, "the oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown...." Lovecraft's stories are a consummation of this belief. Having read Poe and Hawthorne, Verne and Wells, it is my firm conviction that H. P. Lovecraft's work has yet to garner the acclaim it merits. This is H. P. Lovecraft at his purple, florid, hideous best. Enjoy!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
hugo t
This book is absorbing reading. The first part of the book has some general horror fiction, but then the stories in the second half of the book are part of Lovecraft's works known as the "Cthulu Mythos". Very very scary stuff. Not scary in a shocking way, but rather in a creepy, get-under-your-skin, eerie kind of way. This may have something to do with the fact that many of the demons and entities in his book were borrowed from mythology and occult sources. Creepy scary stuff. I couldn't put it down. This is neat stuff to read every year around Halloween (while listening to Metallica's "The Thing That Should Not Be") when you feel the urge to scare yourself silly.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
art miles
If you don't know about HP Lovecraft or aren't all that familiar with his work, immediately click the add to cart button at the top right of your screen.

The man was one of the most creative and influential writers to effect Western Popular Fiction in the last 150 years. If you care at all about fiction or literature (and why would you possibly be reading this if you didn't), then this is a body of work that you should have, at the least, a working knowledge of and this is, excluding At The Mouth of Madness, a great compilation of that body of work.

The Call of Cthulhu, The Dunwich Horror, The Whisperer in Darkness, The Shadow Over Innsmouth and the Shadow Out of Time are well worth the cover price alone. Everything else is just a happy conciliation prize.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sienna
There is a select group of authors whose names have become adjectives: "Dickensian," "Borgesian," "Kafkaesque," etc. Well, H.P. Lovecraft is one of this elite crew, If you want to know the definition of "Lovecraftian," check out "The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre." This book brings together 16 masterful tales, together with an introduction by Robert Bloch.
It is perhaps too limiting to simply define Lovecraft as a horror writer; his stories also demonstrate elements of fantasy, science fiction, satire, and "local color" fiction. You'll get all these "flavors" in this collection. And along the way you'll encounter strange monsters, weird cults, forbidden books of the blackest magic, snippets of an unknown language, and a disturbing warp in the fabric of space and time.
Many of these stories, while standing alone as compelling pieces of fiction, also work together towards creating Lovecraft's own personal mythos. Thus, certain elements turn up in multiple stories: Miskatonic University, Cthulhu, and the feared Necronomicon.
Lovecraft is a master of complex, collage-like texts that incorporate references to people, institutions and periodicals, both real and imaginary. His style has an unsettling way of warping the reader's grip on reality. In many stories there is a sense that Lovecraft is satirizing the world of academia (some of his narrators and other characters are college professors, or otherwise connected to academia). If you have not yet entered the weird, wondrous world of H.P. Lovecraft, check out this collection. Also recommended: Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness and Other Tales of Terror."
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
eduardo taylor
This book is a compilation of short horror stories by one of the foremost horror writers of all time, H.P. Lovecraft. When I first began reading this book I was enthralled. The stories are incredible! They all create an atmosphere of suspense and evil that no one else I have ever read can compare. However, after reading on, I found that the tone and style of the stories was the same throughout, and eventually I "burned out" and found the last few stories somewhat boring. It wasn't just the tone of the stories that was repetitive, but many of the stories have carbon-copied characters and villians as well. I recommend this book to any fan of the horror genre or anyone who wants to write horror; you can learn a lot about scenes, characters, and tone from these stories. I would recommend, though, that you read them one at a time with a long break between to keep them "fresh"
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
christine von boeckman
This book was what started my interest in HPL, and it still holds up. It starts out with a quick story exemplifying why HPL is great ("The Rats in the Walls") and continues to impress, with "The Shadow of Innsmouth" probably being the best one. I've since read all of HPL's work, and still think that the stories in this compilation hold up as his best. The only exception is "The Outsider," which is a steaming pile of turd masquerading as a story. Skip that one, and read the rest.

Most reviews here argue that this book is incomplete because "At the Moutains of Madness" is not included, but I was never a fan of that novella. It kind of ruins the mysterious occult aspect of the other Cthulhu Mythos stories and turns it into a sci/fi story. Only read it after you've read the stuff in this collection.

Lovecraft is not for everyone, and yes he can be repetitive (how many stories involve an aristocratic New Englander writing a letter about an indescribable horror and Cyclopean architecture?). Also, if you tried to describe the plot of these stories to a friend, it would sound like a really cheesy B-movie - there's a reason why every attempt to make a live action version of his work has failed. His strength is in his prose and the way he slowly brings in vague information about the mythology. We rarely see the "Old Ones," but we hear a lot of strange rumors and signs, and ominous passages from musty old books. By reading all of his stories, you gather a vague impression that SOME kind of dangerous and mysterious force is out there, but you aren't exactly sure what it is.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
derrith
HP Lovecraft is a pure and simple master. He describes of fears we can't even define but feel exist. He exploits of weakness with a word's strength. His tales of horror are magnificently crafted and intelligently thought out. And this book showcases some of his best work. There really is only one way to describe this book...and that is for you to read it for yourself. My personal favorites are "The Call of Cthulhu" and "The Rats in the Wall". This is a must buy if you love horror novels. Enjoy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sphilange
... quote from my favourite Lovecraft story "The Whisperer in Darkness" showing that, although this lengthy story abounds with obscure Cthulhu mythology name-dropping, learned hints at forbidden folklore and similar highly academic stuff the atmospheric horror created by visions of darkened Vermont hillsides and rumours of shapes of unspeakable origin operating about them is in my opinion the most effective Lovecraft has done - when in fact, the only tangible elements of horror are a few, more or less fresh, clawprints in the neighbourhood, a phonograph record of voices in the wood praising a certain "Black Goat" a black stone and a steel container used for transmitting human brains into outer space - but these, indeed, are awful enough. Curiously, no screams are emitted, neither in the darkened woods of frightful conference nor near the end when the steel container begins to speak by itself - such shrieks would attract the attention of the Things anyway ... all in reverent tribute to English-Welsh author Arthur Machen, master of horror settings whether out in the wild or in the city, whose influence is especially apparent also in "The Dunwich Horror" and "The Thing on the Doorstep".
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
phillip
I'm a big fan of H.P. Lovecraft's work. I am writing specifically to warn prospective buyers -- some of the customer reviews for this book, were actually written about a DIFFERENT, LARGER, BETTER Lovecraft collection. This book here contains six stories -- The Whisperer in Darkness, The Call of Cthulhu, The Thing on the Doorstep, The Colour Out of Space, The Shadow Over Innsmouth and The Shadow Out of Time. Check the "search this book" function and look at the table of contents.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
saidja
Wishing to break away from the typical sci-fi/fantasy/action junk that I had become bored of, I somehow determined that I didn't know enough of horror...and I'm not talking Anne Rice here. Attracted at first by the superb cover art, I was slowly, but surely, converted. Initially, I wasn't that impressed. Sure, some of the stories had some very interesting concepts and physical descriptions to mull over (it's hard to imagine someone not fascinated by the mighty city of R'lyeh), but mostly I was singularly bored. Still, I was determined to give the thing a shot and I'm glad I did. Over time, the stories began to work their insidious magic on me as my imagination ran wild and I learned the patience and motivation to tackle some of the more complex tales. I heartily recommend this volume to anyone out there looking to get into something out of the ordinary. I have since read just about every Lovecraft tale and this single book contains all of the best, with the exception of the previously mentioned "Mountains of Madness". I am extremely glad that I picked this thing out of the shelf at Barnes and Nobles, where it had undoubtedly been neglected for who knows how long.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
patty gourneau
I got this book because I'm interested in the roots of popular horror fiction. This stuff is much more subliminal, much more suggestive than the modern day, in your face type of horror writing. It's like the convergence of country and blues that formed rock and roll, if you read it you see where it's going. But this stuff is the best, the original, usually set in places where there isn't electricity. So when it gets dark there, it really gets dark. A great compilation by the master of creeping suspense and the monster in the shadows.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
tara sladky paul
The work of H.P Lovecraft always makes me wish one thing: that the "beings hidious beyond description" would just rise up and take over! That way we could finally put a rest to all these arrogant, racist academics who have nothing better to do that poke their noses in other peoples (admittedly strange) business. Another thing I dislike (as hinted above) is Lovecraft's CONSTANT use of the literary cop-out that is "it was horrible beyond description." DESCRIBE IT ANYWAY!! This phrase, or something like it pops up in nearly every story in this volume. To begin with, from what I can tell, they aren't all THAT horrible. Just kind of fishy. Secondly, it cheating. I gave this book 3 stars because its still fun, even if it does get on your nerves initially.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ljiljana
This is possibly one of the best selections of Lovecraft's work. The Call of Cthulhu, The Colour out of Space, and others. This volume includes most of his most-detailed and complex stories. Not just his simple falsh-frights, but the involved stories made to set the mind spinning.

If you're a Lovecraft fan, then odds are you already own these stories (search inside for the table of contents. You shouldn't see any unfamiliar titles), if you haven't ever read Lovecraft's work, then this is probably the best place to start since his more abstract works are pretty hard to enjoy unless you've already been corrupted by his work.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
edvin
I'd always been curious about Lovecraft's works and the Cthulu mythos but I never got the chance to pick up an anthology of his stories until a few months ago when I borrowed this book from a friend. It was so much better than what a lot of people associate it with. I expected it to be all monsters and nastiness but all of the stories I read were not horror movie-esque like I expected.

The mass cultural depiction of Lovecraft's works and the Cthulu Mythos is drastically different from the truth of how fantastic and... noir they are, the children of Rod Serling's Twilight Zone and Edgar Allen Poe.

Lovecraft was thirty years and more ahead of his time. He is truly the Edgar Allen Poe of the 20th century, his works associated with nasty, gross-out horror when they are in truth full of mystery, suspense, and macabre.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
abril albarr n
When I studied American Literature in college, never once did I come across the name of HP and that is a shame. The first I heard of HP was a television slightly based on his stories and he wasn't the author but he was a character (as himself) in the show. I love short stories and I was exposed to E. A. Poe early on but once I discovered HP Lovecraft it as like finding a treasure.
This is a great first book as an introductory to Lovecraft works. You definitely get the feeling that Lovecraft tapped into other worlds, dimensions and realms. You are drawn in from the very first story, The Rats in the Wall, through the Call of the Cthulhu to the last The Shadow Out of Time.
This collection is not for the fane of heart as the you can imagine, smell and feel everything in every word. H. P. Lovecraft is the reason we should beware of what goes bump in the night.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lauren kehn
H P Lovecraft is classified as a horror writer, but I would not put him in that category so readily. He did make some chilling tales, but then, so did humour writer Terry Pratchett on multiple occasions. The ones featuring nightmarish Nyarlathotep were especially chilling. But most of his tales were not very scary. They were enjoyable, well written (for the most part), and featured excellent monsters, a must in these kinds of stories. But they uusually weren't scary.
H P lovecraft's writing style was unique. He enjoyed using adjetives like "eldritch" and "quamous". "Cylclopean" was a big favorite. Words like "horror", "horrifying", and "horrible" all occured many times in a single page. And, once per story, the phrase "The thing cannot be described" or a similar sentence occurs. usually right before an excellent description of the thing, too. Sometimes, long after it was described, multiple times.
The description of his writing style makes it sound like I don't like it, but in fact, I think it's part of the reason everybody enjoys his work so. That, and his well thought out and believable history of the universe. (There actually is a popular opinion that Cthulhu not only exists, but is running for president in 2004. There's another one saying he's already won the election.)
And now, the stories. I recommend not reading them in any particular order, but I'll put them in the order I read them in.
The Call of Cthulhu: The first of the Cthulhu Mythos. A absolutely fabulous tale about an evil elder God beneath the seas. Features one of the best climaxes I've seen. Cthulhu is a great monster.
The Dunwich Horror: When I first read this story, I didn't like it much, and when I reread it later, I loved it. An evil warlock is out to do some evil with Yog Sothoth, pretty fun, really.
The Outsider: Simple story, predictable, But not particularily horrible. 'Bout average.
The Shadow Over Innsmouth: While it's pretty obvious what's so strange about Innsmouth long before they reveal it, this is a great example of Lovecraft. The escape from Innsmouth had me on the edge of my toenails.
Pickman's Model: The main attraction here is Lovecraft's fantastic descriptions of the paintings. After initially saying they can't be described, he proceeds to describe them richly and wonderfully. Recommended.
The Haunter of the Dark: I didn't like this one much at all. While I thought the idea of the Trapezohedron was interesting, and what it was used for, but the story felt weak for the most part.
Dreams in the Witch House: Wonderful. A student at Miskatonic University takes up lodgings a the home of the witch Keziah, and when his studies turn towards the space time continuum, Keziah, her ratlike familiar, and Nyarlathotep come to haunt his dreams.
The Whisperer in the Darkness: Another good one. Most of the story is told through letters between two correspondents, adding a chilling feel, and while he's not mentioned out loud, the prescence of Nyarlathotep is implied, adding, as I mentioned earlier, a fearful prescence to the story.
The Colour Out of Space: A starnge meteorite plagues a New England farm. This one is tremendously good, and is not to be missed. It's hard to really describe this one, so you'll just have to read it.
The Silver Key: Features Randolph Carter, a depressed man who used to escape through fantastic dreams, but no longer has them. This story didn't really impress me, although Randolph was a nice diversion from the usual fearful professors of Lovecraft's stories.
The Music of Erich Zann: Weird, weird, weird. A mute, deaf musician plays unusual songs which cause a young man to question him. Worth reading.
In the Vault: I simply did not like this one. If I have to say something positive about this one, it manages to be both utterly confusing and insanely predictable. Not an easy task.
The Shadow out of Time: Ah. This one is amazing. A man's head is switched with the mind of an alien race from the distant past. The very history of Earth is described in minute detail. A predictable ending, but otherwise perfect.
The Thing on the Doorstep: This one blends a lot of Lovecraft's ideals. Innsmouth, switched minds, nameless horrors, etc. I suppose that's about it, really.
The Picture in the House: A simple tale, seems like something that'd easily be converted into a five minute movie. It's okay.
The Rats in the Walls: Very good. A man's inherited home has a dark secret within. Another that's hard to say much about. You'll just have to read it.
As a note of warning, H P Lovecraft was racist, and his views are reflected in these stories. I ecommend that you just ignore it. It's not that bad.
Overall, this is a fine introduction to the universe of H P Lovecraft. Purists say that Del Rey doesn't do him justice, but I'm not exactly a purist yet, so I don't mind.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rayne
The book is called Bloodcurdling Tales Of horror and the Macabre. I love the way he put all his science fiction/horror stories together. I thought that it was a good book, but the words were pretty hard to read for a high school student. I thought that these stories were very scary. I got chills when I read "Rats in the walls". I thought that it was a very good story because it stimulated my imagination. I wouldn't recommend this book to parents or young children. For one who loves horror, that feeling of creepiness will really like his book. I would recommend this book to anybody who loves to read horror or whoever likes. I would not recommend this for a bedtime story at all. This book is the scariest that I have ever read. READ THIS BOOK IF YOU LIKE HORROR and ACTION! The settings were cool once you picture them. H.P. Lovecraft writes in old-fashioned style. I liked the story "The Picture On The Wall". The last story "The Shadow Out Of Time" was a good story for the end of the book, because it makes you want to read more H.P. Lovecraft stories. The worst part of this book is when they are describing the moments when the narrator feels all these fears he has when he encounters a person or thing! The author doesn't name his character all he does is say how they look. The best part of it all is when he gives you all the details of the stories.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
artur
If, when people speak of writing for the lowest common denominator, you are the person they're writing for, or if your idea of great fiction is the stuff that appeals to your basest emotions of lust, blood and action in the most shallow, contrived, and superficial manner possible, then this book is not for you, unless of course you're trying to atone for your literary sins. With the exception of "The Dunwich Horror" and "The Thing on the Doorstep", this collection of stories is among the greatest _literary_ outputs of horror fiction...Lovecraft has been called wordy, long, boring...but if you are truly an intelligent reader, you will, at the very least, realise that even if personally you don't like Lovecraft, this volume is still something extremely special, and very rare in the modern era. Lovecraft writes leisurely at first, he builds up the atmosphere convincingly, establishes a sense of not just the surroundings, but of cosmic outerness, and then slowly, he begins to shatter the reader's preconceptions about the nature of the universe, gradually building, actually describing and intimating the very nature and detail of the violation of natural law, until you can sense it, feel the cosmic forces pushing against you, and the final climax opens the gateway to the outer realms fully. Lovecraft does not write about people, and he does not write what was in his time pulp junk and which in our time is considered great writing; his task was to describe and reveal cosmic forces and outer hideousness, and his style reflects this, and fully complements his ideological position. If you find yourself best captivated by something deeper than Koontz or King, and are a sensitive mind, open to a world where anthropocentrism is dead and morality is a local phenomenon, where vast forces are depicted crushing down upon those who unwittingly have become aware of their presence....then this book is for you.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
carlos
Rarely does an author inspire such humility in his readers. Lovecraft is universally heralded as a member of the pantheon of horror deities of the English language, yet along with sheer terror, Lovecraft evokes in those who read his tales a feeling of humbleness. He portrays mankind as the weakest race to ever dominate the earth, using his Great Old Ones to enforce the fact that there are greater things in the universe than our simple species. The maddening of characters who encountered mere rumours and inklings at the existence of the Old Ones testifies to the fact that as a race, mankind is extraordinarily simple and insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Possessing a thoroughly horrifying, yet amazingly keen, insight into man's darkest fears, Lovecraft's stories manage to stir up our greatest fear: That we are not the only beings to ever rule this earth, and we will not be the last.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amanda b
The works of H.P. Lovecraft are among the best horror writings ever written. His works inspired hundreds of modern authors, some of the most famous being Clive Barker, Robert Bloch, and Stephen King. I think that anyone with any interest in horror literature should check into the works of H.P. Lovecraft, because he was one of the original founders of the horror genre. Without him, the genre probably would never have reached the popularity that it has achieved
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
siara
Although, I will admit there are some boring stories or parts of stories, but that is true in most books. Even if you despise what he writes about, or if you simply don't understand alot of it (i needed a dictionary for about half the words), one must admit he has been one of the number one influences of horror writers today. His style is incredible- although I certainly would not label him as a novice, he- in my opinion- is more of a genious than an author.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
juank
This book contains 16 of Lovecraft's best works, though you will find a few equally good or even better stories in the other 2 Del Rey compilations.
Lovecraft has a unique writing style that separates him from most other horror writers I have read, a tenaciously descriptive style with lots of rare old syllables. Most of the horrors are either dimly described or not described at all, leaving a lot up to the reader's imagination, in line with Lovecraft's famous sentence: "The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown." What we can't see certainly does scare us!
Some of the best known stories like "The Call of Cthulhu" and "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" are essentials, and my 4 personal favourites "The Shadow Out of Time", "The Whisperer in Darkness", "The Rats in the Walls", and of course Lovecraft's own favourite: "The Colour Out of Space".
Highly recommended! If you like it get the other 2 books in the series, or one of the Arkham House hardbacks if available.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brian o blivion
I tell all my friends to read H.P. Lovecraft's stories and this is the collection I tell them to start with because it is certainly among the best collections and fairly priced. The other book I am currently recommending to friends is the affectionate parody 'Rastus Reilly or Dashiell Hammett Charles Dickens H.P. Lovecraft and Laurel and Hardy on Acid.' This novel is a must for all lovers of funny things and Lovecraft fans. Anyone who takes a serious interest in Lovecraft will enjoy his letters published by Arkham House publishers as well.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
beth kelley
This is a really good compilation of Lovecraft's works. It is not "the best," and is certainly in /no way/ official, but is a core set of great Lovecraftian stories.

On the official side:
I noticed the oddity in this book when I first received it as a gift: The cover image is pixelated and the Arial-font is too dark of a color that it gets lost in the image. While reading through it this week, I noticed it is riddled with errors, like using 1 for I, 0 for O, and random periods and capitalization.
This leads me to believe the text was ripped from another website unofficially published through CreateSpace. (Poking around leads me to believe Sacred-Texts.com was the origin of this text). These errors are intentional, and used to catch when people copy the text without permission. Very similar to maps that have mistakes and nonexistent towns to catch copyright violators (Google: "Agloe, NY" and "trap street").

Also, the lack of a date and "legalese-looking" copyright page tipped me off.
Good collection, but not official (and possibly not legal).

I would suggest the Del Ray published version of this title, as it has more stories and is official.
-Alexander Kramer
(Seattle Whispers)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
satori
This is a great introduction to Lovecraft if you're new to him, with the caveat that it omits what I think is his greatest single work: "At the Mountains of Madness," a long short story. If you've never read any Lovecraft, that story is the perfect place to start and will give you an idea of why Lovecraft is so adored, as well as the kind of stuff he does.

But the pieces collected herein fairly represent Lovecraft's best short fiction, with that regrettable exception.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
anna carlock
I read lots and lots of horror. I like to jump
from author to author, and from one book to the
next. But, the one author that I always come
back to is Lovecraft. I will get on a binge of
his work for months on end. I never hold on to
any of his books longer than a year, though, due
to the fact that I loan them out and never see
them again!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
deasy
Normally I don't read this type of book, but being a big fan of the "Alone in the Dark" series of computer games, I had to read it. It is spooky in a way that today's books aren't. He writes using very old-fashioned language that really give a distinct feel to his works, which are all set in the late 19th century. He can describe the worlds of his stories in a way that makes you feel like you are there. His stories have a feel all their own in a style you won't find in any of today's books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
karianne
What can I say about Lovecraft that hasn't been said before? He's the first and real master of Gothic horror. Forget Stephen King, forget Clive Barker, forget 'em all cept for maybe Edgar Allen Poe himself. Lovecraft gets better as the years go by--his archaic language only adds to the layers of creepiness.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alena
This collection gives a pretty good sample of Lovecraft's work, from the "cyclopean horrors" of the Cthulu mythos to the "eldritch terror" of New England. If you have heard of Lovecraft but aren't familiar with his style, this is the best book to pick up. The other collections are more for hardcore fans.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
darth onix
Sadly, I didn't have time to read every story in this book, but the ones I did read convinced me that H.P. Lovecraft is an insane genius. I've never been one to shy away from terror or gore, but I was enthralled with Lovecraft's formal and scholarly way of writing; he has elevated horror from popcorn entertainment to what it should be: art. Some stories in particular took my breath away. I loved the shudder-inducing ending to "The Thing on the Doorstep," and "The Shadow out of Time" is, without a doubt, one of the best short stories ever written; I was gasping for breath by the climax. I strongly recommend Lovecraft, though not to those who scare easily. In the meantime, I've been searching for more of his work. Lots more.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jimmy
Howard Phillips Lovecraft is truly the Master of Horror. His writings surpass the genius of Poe, and the dread terror evoked by his words leaves King far behind. Lovecraft preys upon the deepest fears of mankind... eldrich horrors of unfathomable evil. Enter the world of Lovecraft, but check your sanity at the door. "Ia, ia Yog-Sothoth!"
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
krzysztof gabaja
One porblem with H.P. Lovecraft is his writing style. Coming from a time when the style of the day was much more staunch and stuffy, he didn't imbune his stories with the snappy punch of modern fiction. Consequentally, the impact of his tales are lost and the conclusions of his stories come across as anti-climaxes. More importantly, I don't find his fiction scary by one inch. I can read this book from cover to cover and still sleep very soundly, thank-you. Perhaps I'm jaded, but as a horror author, he doesn't impress me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
overleaf books
Lovecraft & Poe. Whether you call H.P. Lovecraft's writing horror, science fiction, or speculative fiction, he creates an atmosphere of dread and anxiety like no one except Edgar Allan Poe. This is a marvellous collection of Lovecaft's best work.
Get this book and let your imagination take flight.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kaveh
With so many Lovecraft books in print, its hard for a neophyte to know which one to get. Well, this one is it. Has just about all the really great stories one could want. Although ALL of his writing is amazing, I'd say this one book would be the ideal intro for a new reader.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ryadh
These stories aren't so much horror as they are disturbing. You're not going to be shaking in terror, but rather more along the lines of saying "ugh".

Some might be turned off by Lovecraft's long winded way of storytelling and even with me, it took time to read the stories because I just couldn't get into them.

One review I read told of Lovecraft took too much describing the mundane while, when it came to horror, copped out. There is some truth, but it isn't as bad as one may think.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
miss ginny tea
H.P. Lovecraft is the Baudelaire of American short prose. His short stories are luridly gothic tidbits, the dark chocolates of early 20th century American literature. The punchlines of his stories are the mutterings of madness, the shrieks of tortured souls, the rasping whispers of a last, dying breath. They are delightfully melodramatic, the eerie and expert concoctions of a master of the ghost story, told amid shadowy ruins and in sinister, deserted alleyways. They are about things that creep and lurk in the darkness and the damp, the things of gruesome nightmare imagination.

This particular collection of short stories is an assortment of Lovecraft's best--the truffles, so to speak.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
geir
Great book here. Go by the comments that are left before mine. This many people can't be wrong. However, some find Lovecraft's work hard to read. Just take your time. The only thing that would have made this better would have been if it included "At The Mountains of Madness". Even so the stories are a nice collection. Call of Cthulhu and The Outsider are my favorites.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ujjyini
Lovecraft is the "non-stuffy" equivalent of early twentieth-century american horror/bizarre writing. Not to say that he beats the same drum as Poe, but he also isn't so over-hyped. Want a good WEIRD read? Check out one of his collections.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
christina gross
Most Lovecraft fans I know think that this book is the best for the beginner. I don't claim to be an expert, but this is the book I was started on and, after reading more of the man's work, I think that it really does give you a good feel for the "Cthulhu Mythos".
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
johnette
There's not much to say about Lovecraft and his work, and of its quality. What I feel to urge those starting the book is to take it slow, not trying to read it all at once. I personally felt the experience growing quite boring after the first five or six stories in a row. The rich and retro style of Lovecraft's is rather enjoyable if not abused...then it just gets dull and almost annoying. So I advise this anthology, but I'd advise to read it in more takes.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
o malley
This is a 1000 words summary due to this site�s restrictions. The complete text (many times longer and more articulate and more clear) is available for discussion at (website).
Over the past few weeks I have read most of Lovecraft�s works, and some essays about him, and here are my first margin notes.
To summarise it all: Lovecraft is another nice piece of old, nasty anti-rationalist, anticapitalist and antiscientific ideology smuggled through vaguely �new science� references.
Lovecraft stories are unbelievably tedious.
They are made up of few, recurring metaphors and boring repetition of patterns:
1) No plot other than the gradual (=pedagogic) discovery of a mysterious, hidden, static and pre-existing truth by one character.
The main character in Lovecraft�s stories doesn't ever DO anything: occasionally he will kill somebody (or eat him), but most of the time the only business or art in which Lovecraft's human characters are involved in is: GOING MAD;
2) "Horror", "terror"; "terror", "horror"; "undefinable terror" and "unthinkable horror"; "horrific unspeakable" and "terror with no name"; no metaphor, no synonyms, no images; total literary monotony and the lack of development; see later for the philosophical implications;
3) no plot, but a �logical� coup-de-theatre: �I finally realised� or �I suddenly understood something that is better not known�.
And the guy will never tell what it is! He will never name �the thing� ("name" in proper terms. Calling it "Zhulhuhtathothep" is not naming). Suspect: he has no way of telling what "it" is, not because the author has �too much� of a "feverish" imagination, but because he has none. He lacks �imagination� because his �imagination� is really escape from mind (not a great way to create ideas and things).
The refusal to create is indeed one of Lovecraft's explicit premises: the author doesn�t really imagine anything: he dreams his stories: one hell of a devolution of responsibility to �another� mind, of which the author is the servant and the mere instrument ("master" mind versus "servant" mind: hu-ho: Plato, starting to show his ugly head).
Lovecraft is in fact the translation into images of a stale philosophy.
Lovecraft is: somebody who learned Plato through comic books, the "spirit of the times" and lazy teachers.
Isn�t it cheap �Plato-cliffnotes-for-dummies� (something like the Nietzsche-for-Soldiers of Nazi memory), to go on for two decades writing about �another reality�, �otherworldly�, which "is not perceptible" through earthly, human, knowledge? And to rant about this knowledge belonging to "pre-human Gods" who speak in tongues or through hieroglyphs? Gods who interfere with human minds only through priests (demons, Nyarlathoteps, you name them), or through dreams, intoxication or mystic experiences?
Isn�t this the oldest and cheapest way of bankrupting reason in the history of the Western thought: i.e., Plato�s creation of a world forever beyond this world as a model for this world (as later updated in anti-enlightenment form by Kant and his followers)?
* LOVECRAFT AND HORROR
The most interesting issue is the relation between Lovecraft�s adolescent Platonism and his easy recourse to �terror�.
Lovecraft writes in the �20s and �30s. Not the most banal decades in recent history, as far as the coexistence of horror, terror and magnificent advancements in science and technology is concerned.
For all his adolescent self-pity, Lovecraft was never an outsider: he is one hundred per cent mainstream, he is a perfect example of the worst cultural tendencies of the decades in which he wrote his stories: irrationalism, mysticism, cult of evil, belief in the necessity of evil, hence therapeutic indulgence, intoxication, fascination for primitive art and cults.
Well, after those two decades this cultural debacle certainly helped the reaction of better-trained, less whiny, more muscular and more focused irrationalists: Hitler and Stalin.
Whose irrationalism and Platonic political dream thrived on the damage caused by the cultural �climate� of the second and third decade of the XX century. Which our academia still consider a Golden Era of Western thought. While it was actually a resurgence of the Middle Ages.
Those decades indeed left behind them a legacy of �terror�, �horror�, �bestiality� and �non-human nightmares�.
The horror and bestiality, which Lovecraft so morbidly describes, are not �from other universes�. They were human, all too human.
They were the concrete products of human thought, following the old, old, old philosophical paths that Lovecraft chose to follow too.
The horror and terror of the XX Century were the products of the most complete application ever of Platonism to economics and politics. Man had never been so completely subject to (using Lovecraft�s terms) �perfect� and �perfectly abstract�, "disembodied", "otherworldly" ideas; man�s will had never been so thoroughly sacrificed to "another mind's" "omniscient" and arbitrary planning. Man�s body had never been so massively starved and burnt in sacrifice to higher ideals and to the �common destiny of humanity before evil�.
Read everywhere from Arendt to Wiesel to Bettelheim about daily "life" in the "concentrationary universe": you�ll find the same accounts of a universe of �guilt without crime�, of �terror without reason or cause�, of �absence of a reason for good and evil", of "arbitrary punishment for no sin", of �reduction of men to non-human, beastly status by the arbitrary whims of beastly, omnipotent Gods�.
Well, Lovecraft thought that �horror which is unintelligible to the victim� (quote from Arendt on the camps) is the perpetual condition of the universe; that cannibalism pre-exists humanity; that hatred of man pre-exists humanity, the mind of man and his reason.
And he thought that the "omnipotent, evil, cannibal, beastly" but "omniscient" Gods are "eternal", and that they are there to stay forever. Beyond life.
Lovecraft�s books describe, and the XX Century totalitarians created, a universe made of power+irrationality. Or better: power+�another reason�; �absolute, godly authority� plus a �superior non-human reason�.
That was called "Plato�s Republic� 2400 years ago, and �ideological war� in the XX Century.
In this sense, Lovecraft was one of most active intellectual militants of the XX Century. �Lonely writer� my foot: he was the worst kind of collectivist militant: a metaphysical one.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
susan levin
This is a great collection of HP Lovecraft's work. It includes many of his more cult-popular tales including "The Call of Cthulu". It is a bit incomplete, with a seemingly disjointed selection of tales which jump from one Lovecraft Cycle to the next. These include the Dream-Cycle and some snippets of the Cthulu Mythos. If you're thinking of reading HP Lovecraft but aren't sure if you'll like it then consider this as your "Silver Key"......hehehehehehehe
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
norma
For anyone seeking either a great introduction to the mastery that is Lovecraft, or simply a volume of favorite stories, this book is exactly what you need. As a new Lovecraft reader myself, with the eventual intention of collecting all his works, this collection was perfect for me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
celine y
When I was fifteen I borrowed this book from a friend of mine. It changed my life. I had never before and never again felt such terror from reading. It was the book that made me want to become a writer. Of course, that dream quickly ended when I realized that I had no talent!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rachel lubert
Lovecraft was one of the most amazing and creative writers of horror, and his legacy continues today. This collection features some of his best pieces, and should be considered a "must read" for fans just becoming aquainted with this master of psychological horror.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alan butler
This book, in my opinion, has the greatest HP Lovecraft stories ever prduced by the great author. It contains many stories as well as an in depth analysis of his works and beliefs untill death. I suggest this to anyone who truely wants to be scared and have their sanity tested!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
dian achdiani
It's hard to fathom why I like Lovecraft, His unadulterated racism is appalling, his views on social class is repugnant. According to Lovecraft the unwashed ethnic seething lower-classes are dangerous and evil, plotting the overthrow of all the W.A.S.Ps in America. It's with some satisfaction I found out later that Lovecraft spent his last few years of life in abject poverty. He was not a good writer, and that is being kind. I like to call him the "Ed Wood", of Horror. He is considered America's greatest bad writer.

One of Lovecraft's worst faults is his incessant effort to work up the expectations of the reader by sprinkling his stories with such adjectives as 'horrible,' 'terrible,' 'frightful,' 'awesome,' 'eerie,' 'weird,' 'forbidden,' 'unhallowed,' 'unholy,' 'blasphemous,' 'hellish,' and 'infernal.' Surely one of the primary rules for writing an effective tale of horror is never to use any of these words--especially if you are going, at the end, to produce an invisible whistling octopus.

The protagonists in his stories are exactly the same, and when I say exactly the same, I mean it. All of them are stuffy, upper class crust that have been thrown into a unimaginable horrible situation and are all insane or nearly insane by the end of the story, usually at the beginning. There is not an alpha-male hero to be found here, all are introverts incapable of little, if any action. One of the most annoying aspects of Lovecraft's stories is that he glosses over juicy parts. How many times do you have to read some variation of "It was too horrible to describe" before you get bored? There is something to be said for the suspense of horror that is unseen, but describing events as to horrible to
mention is about as subtle as a sledge hammer.

For all of this I still enjoyed Lovecraft's stories that drew me in as a kid. There is a style and originality about his universe that is undeniable. His stories are hit and miss. When he is on, he is on, but when one of his stories misses, they miss badly and your left saying to yourself, "Is that it, is that the end of the story? WTF?" Lovecraft is without a doubt the most influential horror writer since Poe, he is to me, the Tolkien of Horror. His Cthulu monster was adapted to D&D just like Tolkien's cast of creatures. Does Mindflayer ring a bell? Yes, that was Lovecraft. To be writing this stuff in 1919 was just amazing, there was no one like him at the time. His influence on books, film, video & board games is uncountable and continues to grow today. To be sure, he wasn't Fitzgerald or Hemmingway, but he was a refreshing, weird enigma during his time and remains one today for teens to soak up on lonely dark nights.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
michele rosenthal
H.P Lovecraft scares me worse than any Stephan King novel. His combinations of graphic descriptions, eerie settings, odd circumstances, and unique characters come together to scare the reader on a whole new level.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
emily w
Although I am not certain whether this book became blase through age or imitation, the end result is the same: Lovecraft is rather boring. Every story seems familiar--even his description lacks vibrance or grasp. Sorry to vitiate what is obviously such a cult figure, but an injection of reality was needed among this stash of awed reviews. Read absolutely critically, I would think him a novice. Spend your money on Poe.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
judy
H.P. Lovecraft is by far the worst author I've ever heard of. His stories are ten times longer than needed. He spends fifty pages telling you what the grass looked like but one or two telling you about the climax of the story. He uses literary cop-outs like "It was indescribable" "unimaginable" and "beyond description". He is by far the worst writer ever. DO NOT BUY OR READ!!!!

And to anyone who thinks that lovecraft leaves it up to you to imagine what something looks like, you shouldn't need to ever buy any book. By your lodgic you could just read the back of the book in the store and "imagine" everything else. People buy books like this so they can see things threw the authors imagination, not so they can make things up themselves.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
stephanie griffin
I've been searching for a collection of Lovecraft's works to read and this is the one to own. He is a god of horror and rightfully is the inspiration to many modern horror greats. E. A. Poe is nothing compared to this man's work, mainly because the language he uses is closer to the middle and lower classes of the time and doesn't try to sound too sophisticated like Poe and his use of 'big and fancy words' that do nothing but secure him in our modern day literature class and not entertain.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tentoumushi
What can I say, this is the best of H.P. Lovecraft. Stories include: "The Call of Cthulu", "The Shadow over insmouth", "Dagon", and many other favorites. I would definitly recomend this book for any fan of H.P. Lovecraft.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
kirsten rewey
HP is proof that great plot ideas and great titles do not make a good read. Sorry to say but this was for the most part tediously told and long-winded. Perhaps it takes an acquired taste, or is so antiquated that it can never appeal to the modern reader. However, Poe still enthralls, so I don't agree with the comparison.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
houari sabirin
I have been a fan of horror movies and video games for quite some time, but reading was not typically my thing, however, I decided to check out a horror story or two and Lovecraft was recommended. This was my first and last Lovecraft purchase and I will explain why.
I have read 11 of the 16 stories and at the end of most of them I was fairly irritated that I had spent the time reading such a story. Some of the plot lines are ridiculously laughable: an invisible monster, an unseen force that is afraid of the light, fish people, a "rat-like being" named Brown Jenkin (weird name for a lame creature), and many many more. I was never scared while reading these stories and whenever I thought something horrifying would happen there was only sheer disappointment.
"The Shadow Over Innsmouth" was my favorite of the stories, however, it fell flat on its face in the last pages. There were some creepy happenings like when the hotel door was being tried with a key and the like, but the climax, the immortal terror of the deep that was so incredibly horrifying was....FISH PEOPLE. You read it right, how can anyone be afraid of fish people? It's absurd. Finally, just when you think things would get interesting, the main character faints in the middle of the night, thereby cutting the story short as if Lovecraft simply got too tired of writing it. This brings me to my next point.
Lovecraft is creative, yet uncreative at the same time. To be sure some of his descriptions are very intricate, but there are times when it is SO detailed that I cannot comprehend what he is trying to describe ("dreams in the witch house" for example, the starfish headed things, I couldn't put it together). On the other hand, sometimes he leaves out so much detail that the subject cannot possibly be found scary, a strong example of this is "Pickman's Model". The creatures said to make the main character scream are only described as being hunched over, canine like, and having half-hoven feet. A lot of the descriptions he uses constantly are that creatures of settings are made up of geometry not of this world, or they would not possibly be comprehended, or some other adjective that makes it utterly impossible to recreate the story in your head. This is irritating because how can you be scarred of something that you can't even picture like a gas (Colour from outer space), and invisible monster (Dunwich Horror), or so many of the others. The plots also have lapses in logical thought, for example, in the "Dream in the Witch House" the main character kicks Brown Jenkin down a cliff, yet in the next page the creature is right behind him, and on the NEXT page it is down at the bottom of the cliff again, it doesn't add up. Most of Lovecraft's stories spend most of the time building up to a climax, however, said climax is only a sentence or two long and you are left feeling cheated. A strong example of this is in "Call of Cthulu" where the sailors discover the tomb of the elder god and awaken it. Cthulu is obviously an important Lovecraft "character" so you would expect it would be a large part of this story, but you would be wrong. Cthulu kills around 4 sailors in one sentence with flabby claws and it is unexplained how it does so. I waited the entire story to read about how it ate them or ripped them apart or something, but when it really counted Lovecraft was devoid of description. Finally the creature chases the remaining two sailors on their ship and, get this, gets sealed back in the tomb because they run into its head with the boat. The one story where Cthulu actually appears and it is only for half a page, how ridiculous.
Please heed this warning and look past the majority of 5 star rating, Lovecraftian fanatics.
Please Rate Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre - The Best of H. P. Lovecraft
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