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The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories Paperback – Oct 1 1999
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From Library Journal
Together, these books offer 30 "weird stories" by our nation's greatest horror writer. In addition to the title piece, Cthulhu includes "Rats in the Walls," "Herbert West Reanimator" (the basis of several fun B movies), and "The Haunter of the Dark." The Thing sports such standards as "The Dunwich Horror," "Pickman's Model," and "Beyond the Wall of Sleep." These corrected texts present the definitive versions of each tale. Each volume also contains notes and an introduction by scholar S.T. Joshi.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
I think it is beyond doubt that H. P. Lovecraft has yet to be surpassed as the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale -- Stephen King --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I had heard a lot about the types of stories that Lovecraft wrote, but I wasn't really prepared for how creepy they would be. A lot of them really shouldn't be as shocking as they are, but somehow Lovecraft gets away with it. He likes to use a lot of frivolous language and has the tendency to take short cuts by saying that the various creatures and entities are too frightening, too complicated, or too alien for the human mind to comprehend. While I'm usually the first person to roll my eyes at this sort of literary cop-out, I was completely enthralled by its use here. Lovecraft's command of language is precise and effective. The monsters and Gods that he describes truly seem fearsome and unnerving.
The actual plots of these stories seem to be vaguely repetitive. Since this is the first collection of Lovecraft that I have read, I'm not sure if these is indicative of his work in general, but it is certainly apparent that many of these stories follow the same basic structure. I didn't really find this to be a problem though. There are enough major differences in the stories that they don't all seem to blend together, despite their commonalities.Read more ›
Despite, for me, the poor structure of the stories and the weakness of their endings, I find it impossible to criticise Lovecraft's imaginativeness. These are very creative stories. It is commonly believed that Poe showed great psychological insight in his stories, but what does Lovecraft use as the trigger for his imagination? Is it a dread of science - an irrational fear? I'm not at all sure that I know and perhaps this adds to the intrigue of these stories.
I also enjoyed the notes to these stories with their historic and critical insights. (Although what this statement means puzzled both my wife and I: 'The seemingly straightforward story of an explorer ....... appears more complex than it seems.')
More interesting, though, than his scenarios or style is the world view which inspired them. "Was I tottering on the brink of cosmic horrors beyond man's power to bear?" asks the narrator of 'The Call of Cthulhu' - a sentiment no doubt shared by many tired souls living through the godless pandemonium of the early twentieth century. While more 'serious' writers like T. S. Eliot responded to the apparent end of civilization with a sparse modernism and renewed religiosity, Lovecraft embraced a 'mechanistic materialism' which emphasizes man's ultimate cosmic insignificance. His monsters might not frighten you, but in tale after tale it is this which is most chilling.
Arranged in the order in which they were written - and supplemented by a solid Introduction, suggestions for further reading, and very detailed notes - S. T. Joshi's Penguin edition (like its companion, 'The Thing on the Doorstep') is a useful volume for those wanting to taste Lovecraft's mad genius, witness its development, and learn something about the man and his place in history.
Most recent customer reviews
beautifully bound book with good paperback material for the cover.
The stories inside are haunting and beautiful and if you are new the Lovecraft this is where you should... Read more
This was the first Lovecraft book I ever read. In keeping with Penguin's tradition of scholarly presentations of literary masterpieces, this volume begins with an essay by Joshi... Read morePublished on June 18 2004 by Beeblebrox
H.P. Lovecraft is without a doubt one of the best fiction writers of the 20th century. It's no surprise his writing techniques and stories still enthrall people today. Read morePublished on April 17 2004 by John Pennant
Lovecraft is one of those writers you either love or hate. Some of it is just personal preference. For example, Lovecraft's prose is a baroque and complex. Read morePublished on March 15 2003
Its interesting reading those who critise HP for being a bit dull. In my most humble opinion, HP LOvecraft is a true horror writer. Read morePublished on Dec 10 2002 by DeathfromAFar
What do Howard Phillips Lovecraft and Norman Rockwell have in common in 2002? Both artists are being newly appraised and embraced by the same establishments that officially shunned... Read morePublished on Nov. 21 2002 by The Wingchair Critic
But "weird" really does describe most of these stories. I remember liking these a lot more when I was younger. Read morePublished on Nov. 17 2002 by Ensio N Mikkola
This is undoubtedly one of the best books of all time. I've gotten little or no sleep the last few nights (but then I'm a nervous, jumpy person to begin with). Read morePublished on Nov. 11 2002 by Ben Zimmerman
I found it interesting that most of the stories by H.P. Lovecraft (at least in this volume) seem to take place within the same strange world. Read morePublished on Sept. 20 2002 by Slade Simon
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