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The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre HP Lovecraft has yet to be surpassed as the twentieth century s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale Stephen King The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown HP LovecraftThis is the collection that true fans of horror fiction must have sixteen of HP Lovecraft s most horrifying visions, including The Call of Cthulu The first story in the infamous Cthulhu mythos a creature spawned in the stars brings a menace of unimaginable evil to threaten all mankindThe Dunwich Horror An evil man s desire to perform an unspeakable ritual leads him in search of the fabled text of The NecronomiconThe Colour Out of Space A horror from the skies far worse than any nuclear fallout transforms a man into a monsterThe Shadow Over Innsmouth Rising from the depths of the sea, an unspeakable horror engulfs a quiet New England townPlus twelve terrifying tales To the best of my recollection, this may have been my first reading of H.P Lovecraft Seems unlikely, I know What I found is that Lovecraft is as familiar as meat on a stick, seen at carnivals and malls everywhere I feel as though I know Lovecraft s work, for I ve read those who influenced him Edgar Allan Poe and Algernon Blackwood , and I ve read or seen films by multitude of writers influenced by him, such as Steven King and Brian Lumley, for example I wasn t aware until now that Lovecraf To the best of my recollection, this may have been my first reading of H.P Lovecraft Seems unlikely, I know What I found is that Lovecraft is as familiar as meat on a stick, seen at carnivals and malls everywhere I feel as though I know Lovecraft s work, for I ve read those who influenced him Edgar Allan Poe and Algernon Blackwood , and I ve read or seen films by multitude of writers influenced by him, such as Steven King and Brian Lumley, for example I wasn t aware until now that Lovecraft created the Cthulhu Mythos which you ll find in music, comic books, video games, and who knows what else in modern culture Lovecraft is everywhere shocking During my brief research, I discovered that a fictional book Lovecraft refers to often in his stories, The Necronomicon, is believed by some Christian fundamentalist groups to be a real book Amazing, isn t it, how writers imaginations can create generational uproars Therefore, although I have no memory of reading a Lovecraft story before this book, I probably have, either directly or indirectly, because I m a child of a culture with a deep thumbprint of Lovecraft upon it The collection of stories I ve read was put out by the Carlton Publishing Group, not by Createspace which has a cover by the same name, but of poorer quality and fewer stories, or so I m told So, be careful out there Here are the titles in the Prion copy Herbert Wesst ReanimatorThe Rats in the WallsThe Call of CthulhuTHe Dunwich HorrorThe Whisperer in the DarknessAt the Mountains of MadnessThe Shadow over InnsmouthThe Shadow Out of TimeThe Haunter of the DarkThe Case of Charles Dexter WardQuite a nice selection, as it turns out Most of Lovecraft s works are public domain, but, as expected, lots of legal wrangling went on after his death he died young Only 47 I loved that he was generous with his work, encouraging others to borrow from his stories, etc In fact, theI read about Lovecraft, theI would have liked to have known him Almost forgot that I was here to write a review Overall, I was enthralled, but the ideas are so ingrained, that they felt familiar rather than fresh I could accurately anticipate much of the plot and was only surprised two or three times in over 600 pages that is how deeply I ve been seeped in Lovecraft s influence The benefit of this was that it allowed me to think outside the plot I could ask myself, why is this or that so frightening What cosmology has Lovecraft created here Etc This led to explorations of Cosmicism, which is Lovecraft s philosophy from Wiki that there is no recognizable divine presence, such as a god, in the universe, and that humans are particularly insignificant in the larger scheme of intergalactic existence, and perhaps are just a small species projecting their own mental idolatries onto the vast cosmos, ever susceptible to being wiped from existence at any moment I see now why Lovecraft has such ardent supporters His philosophy resonates and can displace the notion of a man centric universe that requires a personal god with a notion that we don t know what the hell is out there I imagine, for that, Lovecraft was discredited and a bit feared Fear That is what we go to horror for, isn t it We love to fear without real danger, but Lovecraft doesn t let us off the hook so easily You are an insect, he says, and there are things that go slop and slurp in the shadows that will eventually destroy you, and you will never see or understand them That, folks, is cosmic horror, and it doesn t need gore to send chills Reading Lovecraft can be pretty amazing if you have courage, entertaining if viewed on merely a plot level, but quite disturbing, perhaps, if you are of a highly sensitive nature Reading it is your choice, of course, but Lovecraft has most likely worked his way in your psyche already I know, I knowthe diction is unnecessarily latinate and the prose is frequently overwrought, piling up the adjectives like shambling and eldritch to the point where certain passages are laugh out loud funny And yetLovecraft has fashioned from the New World s New England a land so very old, a world in touch with realities so alien, that Christianity albeit peripherally present is completely irrelevant, and mere sanity the best one can reasonably hope for depends upon a few I know, I knowthe diction is unnecessarily latinate and the prose is frequently overwrought, piling up the adjectives like shambling and eldritch to the point where certain passages are laugh out loud funny And yetLovecraft has fashioned from the New World s New England a land so very old, a world in touch with realities so alien, that Christianity albeit peripherally present is completely irrelevant, and mere sanity the best one can reasonably hope for depends upon a few ancient formulae and extraordinary personal luck The precisely imagined landscape convinces the reader, even though the prose often fails Lovecraft makes us believe in his world, and his world is genuinely terrifying Ph nglui mglw nafh Cthulhu R lyeh wgah nagl fhtagnTry saying that backward or forward, which is equally challenging.H.P Lovecraft is definitely the granddaddy of Cosmic Horror and Weird Fiction He is often mentioned in science fiction fantasy horror related websites and forums, not to mention myriad other kinds of websites Reading fans raving about his works and seeing the numerous fan arts online make many of us genre fiction enthusiasts want to start getting into his fiction to sPh nglui mglw nafh Cthulhu R lyeh wgah nagl fhtagnTry saying that backward or forward, which is equally challenging.H.P Lovecraft is definitely the granddaddy of Cosmic Horror and Weird Fiction He is often mentioned in science fiction fantasy horror related websites and forums, not to mention myriad other kinds of websites Reading fans raving about his works and seeing the numerous fan arts online make many of us genre fiction enthusiasts want to start getting into his fiction to see what the fuss is all about I suspect a lot of first time readers of Lovecraft are disappointed at what they find The way he goes about telling his stories is very idiosyncratic, he has a tendency to overwrite and is often ridiculously verbose This can be very disappointing and off putting if you choose the wrong story to start with and you were expecting a quick thrilling read This is where the unwieldy titled The Best of H.P Lovecraft Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre comes in This is a greatest hits type of anthology which is ideal for the uninitiated and of course fans who want their favorite stories all in one book It does not include the novellas At the Mountains of Madness and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, which is just as well as these are not so suitable starting places I think it is better to get used to and forgive the author s verbiage and appreciate the otherwise awesomeness of his stories.A lot of the stories tend to be supernatural sci fi hybrids with witches and wizards summoning aliens from another planet or dimension by magic Here is my quick run through of the stories in this collection Introduction by Robert Bloch Best known for Psycho, one of his prot g s A good intro to Lovecraft the man and his fiction Don t skip it The Rats in the Walls As your very first Lovecraft story his convoluted prose style may take a while to get used to The climax is spectacular but also a bit of a mess in the narrative department The story is great though, worth a reread later on The Picture in the HouseThe book that drips blood where the useless protagonist runs away just when things are heating up to a critical point, next time stay at home old chap Nice, short and atmospheric though The OutsiderA story of self discovery Great twist at the end Awesome in a most eldritch way Pickman s Model You are in for a treat with this one Classic Lovecraft, one of his most popular and enduring stories The colloquial writing style is rather unusual for Lovecraft I think Possibly his most accessible story and a great starting point for new readers In the VaultBreak a leg An amusing and rather inconsequential little story The Silver KeyTime traveling shenanigan featuring some Lovecraft s patented awful faux hillbilly dialog A Twilight Zone ish story The Music of Erich Zann Featuring a man who is attracted by weird music Next time just buy a Yoko Ono album Actually one of HPL s most popular stories Doesn t really do much for me, unfortunately The bloody protagonist does a runner again just when things are getting interesting The Call of Cthulhu The narrative is a little fragmented and the story is rather incohesive, but there is some tremendous world building going on in this story The creepy atmosphere is very well done and for once the monster actually shows up in all its glory HPL s monsters generally prefer to lurk and mess with your head This story is also often cited as evidence of his racism According to Robert Bloch Lovecraft did becomemellow and tolerant of foreigners after marriage The Dunwich HorrorThis is what newcomers to Lovecraft are probably looking for A great, thrilling and creepy tale That Wilbur Whateley reminds me of Damian in the Omen movies a bit to begin with He changes later on though not for the better of course The Whisperer in DarknessGives new meaning to the Kodak moment , talk about product placement A very creepy story featuring weird floating monstrosities and a whispery ET The Colour Out of SpaceThis Ladies and gentlemen This Lovecraft s best story IMO For a change, the story is pure sci fi, no chanting monks, witches, voodoo or Cthulhu The poor Gardners family literal disintegration thanks to a meteor falling on their farm will surely give you the heebie jeebies The Haunter of the DarkSet in Italy The story of a weird black church If you spot a copy of theNecronomiconby Mad Arab Abdul Alhazred in a church head for the exit immediately The Thing on the DoorstepThis also What a great body swap story, much better than Freaky Friday Featuring the eponymous Thing on the Doorstep whose catchphrase is Glub Brrrr The Shadow Over InnsmouthOh my Gawd A blasphemously amazing story of some very fishy folks Set mainly in the creepiest town ever Featuring a very cool twist The Dreams in the Witch HouseFeaturing a witch, a rat with a man s face and a sort of hyperspace bypass The narrative is a little rambling for my taste, but a great story is embedded in there The Shadow Out of TimeAnother story of involuntary body swap The Great Race aliens are almost benign by HPL s standard, unauthorized body swap notwithstanding It is a longish story 70 pages or so , it starts off very fascinating, but then Lovecraft goes into his rambling mode in the second half of the story an example of his overwriting Still a great story though, one that will stay with you Due to his verbiage, thin characters and appalling dialogs Lovecraft s dissenters often dismiss him as a bad writer IMO he was not bad as such, but his literary ambition exceeded his ability, or perhaps he is the most excellent bad writer of all time The thing about his writing is that while some of the stories will have you nodding off while wading through the long winded prose, but once you get to the end of the stories you realize that they are actually quite good Also when he is on top form, such as in The Colour Out of Spacewhere the narrative is very evocative and the story is just right, he is unbeatable.Notes The website Cthulhuchick has kindly put together a free e book of the Complete Works of H.P Lovecraft in several formats The download link is on the main front page.You can read any and all of Lovecraft s stories online at Dagonbytes.Download links for free Lovecraft audiobooks H P Lovecraft is a peculiar writer His stories are extremely predictable The first person narrator, a sober man of reason and science, will halfway through the story start noticing something odd about his surroundings It was almost as though horrifying revelation from the end of the story , but I knew that could not be the case And then, at the end, when all his reason has been denied, It was then I knew the terrible truth horrifying revelation that we all guessed thirty pages ago H P Lovecraft is a peculiar writer His stories are extremely predictable The first person narrator, a sober man of reason and science, will halfway through the story start noticing something odd about his surroundings It was almost as though horrifying revelation from the end of the story , but I knew that could not be the case And then, at the end, when all his reason has been denied, It was then I knew the terrible truth horrifying revelation that we all guessed thirty pages ago He also tends to use the same handful of adjectives over and over again ancient, blasphemous, and cyclopean occur faroften than is really necessary.But for all that, there is still some strange magical property to his writing A personal example the first time I read Lovecraft, I was visiting my sister on spring break I wanted something to read before going to bed, so I picked up The Best of H.P.L and started reading The Call of Cthulu Halfway through the story, I was thinking Wow, this is really kind of hack y and predictable I was starting to feel rather afraid, though what of I couldn t tell you Then, I went to sleep, and had scary effed up nightmares all night about undersea cities and evil giant monsters Which, I think, is rather the point of reading H P Lovecraft.He s not a terribly good writer, but his stories have a strange way of getting into your subconscious and taking root

  • Paperback
  • 406 pages
  • The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre
  • H.P. Lovecraft
  • English
  • 07 January 2018
  • 0345350804

About the Author: H.P. Lovecraft

Howard Phillips Lovecraft, of Providence, Rhode Island, was an American author of horror, fantasy and science fiction.Lovecraft s major inspiration and invention was cosmic horror life is incomprehensible to human minds and the universe is fundamentally alien Those who genuinely reason, like his protagonists, gamble with sanity Lovecraft has developed a cult following for his Cthulhu Mythos, a series of loosely interconnected fictions featuring a pantheon of human nullifying entities, as well as the Necronomicon, a fictional grimoire of magical rites and forbidden lore His works were deeply pessimistic and cynical, challenging the values of the Enlightenment, Romanticism and Christianity Lovecraft s protagonists usually achieve the mirror opposite of traditional gnosis and mysticism by momentarily glimpsing the horror of ultimate reality.Although Lovecraft s readership was limited during his life, his reputation has grown over the decades He is now commonly regarded as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th Century, exerting widespread and indirect influence, and frequently compared to Edgar Allan Poe Wikipedia


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