The Road to Madness Paperback – Oct 1 1996
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"There is a melancholy, operatic grandeur in Lovecraft's most passionate work," writes Joyce Carol Oates in The New York Review of Books, "... a curious elegiac poetry of unspeakable loss, of adolescent despair, and an existential loneliness so pervasive that it lingers in the reader's memory, like a dream, long after the rudiments of Lovecraftian plot have faded." Del Rey has reprinted Lovecraft's stories in three large-format paperbacks. This third volume collects one poem, one story fragment, and 26 tales not included in the first two, including "Herbert West--Reanimator," "The Lurking Fear," "Dagon," "The Unnameable," and the classic short novel "At the Mountains of Madness." Introduction by Barbara Hambly. Beautiful cover art by surrealist John Jude Palencar.
From Publishers Weekly
H.P. Lovecraft. Del Rey, $10 (384p) ISBN 0-345-38422-9 Lovecraft's transformation from beginner to master horror writer is the theme behind this collection of macabre tales, the third in a Del Rey trilogy of Lovecraft's work. It certainly succeeds in this design, making it both easy and informative to follow his development. But the works included here range from abysmal to excellent, with most occupying the weaker end of the range. Certain selections show Lovecraft at his gripping and imaginative best?particularly the important novella, "At the Mountains of Madness," which deals with dreadful life encountered in the Antarctic wasteland (creatures who were "above all doubt the originals of the fiendish elder myths which thing like the Pnakotic Manuscripts and the Necronomicon affrightedly hint about."). But earlier works are less impressive. The first five stories, labeled "early tales" by their author, are among the few youthful writings that Lovecraft preserved. Three show the promise of talent to come, but the inclusion here of the xenophobic tract, "The Street," is barely justifiable. Beyond these, there are many one-note and predictable tales, often additionally marred by grotesque racism. It clearly took Lovecraft a while to develop the subtlety required for suspenseful storytelling. Editorial remarks beyond the existing one-page introduction could have added much, as would dating of the pieces. Serious Lovecraft fans, however, will not want to miss this collection, if only for the few gems included and later tales that bear on the Cthulhu mythos.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
A true master of the macabre.
My only complaint about the writings of H.P. Lovecraft would be that many of his stories are of a similar nature and theme. Irregardless of this I found most of his stories to be extremely impressive works of fantasy and horror.
H.P. Lovecraft is a true past master. If you like anything that has ever dealt with horror, fantasy, or sci-fi, then you would be doing yourself a great disservice to not read a collection of Lovecraft stories at least once in your life.
I was very, very impressed by my first encounter with Lovecraft's work. I will read more of his material before my life is over.
End of original review.
I am very pleased with my original review and have re-reviewed it to properly put it under my correct name and Amazon.com identity.
The only thing new that I would like to add to this re-review would be this: the last story in this collection is called "At The Mountains of Madness." This story is hands down the best horror story I have ever read in my entire life. Nothing I have read since has equaled it, and nothing ever will. I consider it a profound pleasure that back in 1999 I read a horror story that will stand for the rest of my life as the greatest horror story I have ever read.
Providence recluse and Grandmaster of Horror H.P. Lovecraft, while proving handy at mastering all three of the aforementioned timeless old chestnuts, suggests there is a fourth category: Man versus Thing.
Any connoiseur of the frenzied scribblings of old Adbul Al-Hazred in the Necronomicon will find this second Del Rey collection indispensable as 1) a grimoire chock-full of searingly useful material on the recondite pursuits of those lovable, tentacled beings we know and love as the Elder Gods---mind your manners, sonny boy, they were devouring souls and mastering the Time-Space Quanitplex back when your ancestors were hobnobbing with euglena and paramecium; and 2)Scaring yourself silly.
Man versus Thing, indeed.
Lovecraft was a God among insects, a true literary Giant in the Earth, and the potent, vicious, soul-unhinging madness flowing from his deliciously warped mind is astonishing. Lovecraft took the great disillusionment that stemmed from the Great War and ratcheted it up to the next step, pounding the final nail in the coffin of scientific positivism, and his horror is Cosmic; therein lies his peculiar brilliance. Lovecraft is more than purpled prose and tentacles, in that he has created a world peopled with bloodless, bookish men of science and set them up against uncaring stellar horrors, leaving them with no appeal to God or Goodness. The crucifix won't help you against the horror bubbling out of *that* particular crypt, my good man!Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Here you have it! The lot of the H.P. Lovecraft stories that were later adapted into horror films. As such, it is the most interesting of the series of 3 books by Del Ray. Read morePublished on Nov. 9 2003 by Joseph Johnson
lovecraft's work, perhaps more so than any other writer of his time or any other time, reflects the horror at the center of existence and the unseen forces which work to disrupt... Read morePublished on Feb. 5 2003 by J from NY
I highly recomend this book. It combines classic lovecraft stories (such as "At the Mountains of Madness") with some of his lesser known classics (like "The Shunned House" and "The... Read morePublished on July 25 2002 by Amazon Customer
I haven't had this specific volume in hand, but I happen to own a set of pocket size paperbacks of Lovecraft's works also published by Del Rey (and still available). Read morePublished on Feb. 16 2002
This collection of stories by H.P. Lovecraft apparently was put together for hardcore collectors, but it does have many treasures for those who are just beginning to discover his... Read morePublished on Aug. 25 2001 by doomsdayer520
Many of Lovecraft's villains and heroes, which he so smoothly incorporates into his tales, are none other than scholars who are dangerously treading the realms of forbidden... Read morePublished on Aug. 19 2001 by Scott Woolsoncroft
this first book in a planned tetrology scores high. Mostly, I suppose, because it's true Lovecraft, no latter day additions. Read morePublished on July 8 2001 by brownacres