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A Commonplace Book of the Weird: The Untold Stories of H.P. Lovecraft

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3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  129 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Upon his untimely death, H.P. Lovecraft, the early twentieth-century master of "weird fiction", left behind descriptions of 221 unwritten stories. Some were only a few ambiguous words long, others were complete plot outlines, and all of them died with their author. Now, 70 years later, writers from all over the country have come together to bring these untold stories to li ...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published October 18th 2010 by Commonplace Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Joey
Mar 22, 2014 Joey rated it it was ok
As mixed a bag as a bag can be. The Joseph Fink novella which ends the collection is excellent and there are a couple that are pretty good. The rest are either bad or entirely forgettable.
Maki
May 18, 2015 Maki rated it really liked it
The idea behind this anthology was fun - the authors who agreed to the project were given a randomized prompt from a list of unused (supposedly) Lovecraft story ideas. And looking at the list at the back of the book, it seems likely that the list was genuine, although a couple of them I recognized as actually used Lovecraft ideas - The Cats of Ulthar (which, granted, was never completed), Pickman's Model, and The Tomb, off the top of my head.*

*Went back and looked up the descriptions that had sp
...more
Ross Holmes
Aug 07, 2013 Ross Holmes rated it really liked it
As most people will tell you: this collection is hit-and-miss. But the "hits" are memorable enough for me to call this a good collection of stories.

Joseph Fink's novella "Relative Damnation" is the clear standout in my opinion, which should not be a surprise, given the writing talent he's already demonstrated in the Night Vale podcasts (and also the fact that he had more space to develop a story than any of the other writers). But "Levittown (36. Disintegration)" by Mark Farr stands out as the m
...more
Erik Waiss
Sep 15, 2014 Erik Waiss rated it really liked it
An interesting collection of tales based on a list of story ideas written by HP Lovecraft over several years. Only a handful are fleshed out and several were used by Lovecraft himself (the list is at the back of this book, each numbered and giving a few words up to several paragraphs of idea/plot).

These definitely had the lovecraft taint, though some include subject matter never found in his works in life. I would recommend this for any fan of Lovecraftian literature.

It certainly whets my appeti
...more
Tepintzin
Jul 04, 2014 Tepintzin rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
I wanted to love this book. I'm already a devoted listener of "Welcome to Night Vale" and this book is promoted at the end of every episode.

The premise is that each person received an unused idea from HP Lovecraft (he left a list) and wrote a story based on it. Unfortunately, the majority of the stories are surrealistic, overly-styled, and reminded me of a college literary magazine.

There are a couple of scary gems in the dross, including Fink's own story, which is the last in the collection, bu
...more
(a)lyss(a)
Jan 02, 2017 (a)lyss(a) rated it really liked it
"After a while, I'd throw it out, whatever it was, because it's importance - why I kept it around, why I tried to preserve it - was lost to me."

This book was between 3.5 and 4 stars for me.

The premise is fascinating - taking H.P. Lovecraft prompts and writing stories based on however the writer interprets it. Some stories are better than others and there's a wide range of prompts and styles. I think my biggest issue is that it could be longer, or some of the stories could be.

But overall it's a
...more
James Jandebeur
This is not a perfect book, even as such collections go. The four star rating is for a few reasons, mostly because I think the best stories in it deserve it. I also believe that most people that enjoy weird fiction will come away with at least a few gems, though what those gems are will vary and it may require some effort to get through the rest. Finally, while I did not give much weight to this, the concept is ambitious, and the fact that the ideas supposedly listed by Lovecraft (and regardless ...more
Seawood
Bookriot Read Harder Challenge 2015: Task 4, published by an indie press

Why I chose this book: been in the TBR pile ages, plus I LOVE Welcome To Night Vale and the Mythos, so it's a great way to support Commonplace Books & WNTV since I already have a t-shirt.

On Reading: Well. I do struggle with short stories in general, they are not my favourite style. So I knew I would have some issues from the outset. There are some first-class tales in here - Joseph Fink's is particularly good - but tbh t
...more
neko cam
Sep 20, 2016 neko cam rated it it was ok
It is sad that so few of these stories are worth reading, and that because of the chaff I cannot in good conscious recommend the collection just to get to the gems. What I will say is that the final entry, a short novel by Joseph Fink, is very good indeed and if there is some other way to read it I would definitely recommend doing so.
Christin
Jun 10, 2013 Christin rated it really liked it
Some are much (much) better than others but the ones that are good are really good. Unfortunately, the best one is the first one so it really raises the bar.

But that's my preference, your mileage may vary.
Becka Gibson
Oct 02, 2013 Becka Gibson rated it really liked it
as with all short story collections, the stories vary in quality, but here the quality is better than most. the contributors clearly put a lot of effort into their offerings, and always in the spirit of the Weird, slyly tipping their hats to Lovecraft, which I loved.
Louis Mynhardt
Jun 14, 2014 Louis Mynhardt rated it liked it
Great concept. Some of the stories I dis not get, but there were a few good ones too. The list of Lovecraft's ideas at the end of the book is something fantastic.
Theo
Aug 16, 2012 Theo rated it really liked it
A mixed bag, as is usually the case with multiple-author anthologies. Fantastic concept though, I'd love to see a second volume with more of the same.
Michael
Dec 30, 2013 Michael rated it liked it
A fantastic premise leads to a very, very mixed bag of stories.
Sophie
Sep 16, 2016 Sophie rated it really liked it
The stories were somewhat less creepy than I had imagined but they were indeed exciting and strange nonetheless. Jeffery Cranors story may be my favorite in this collection of stories and poems
Randi Winter
Randi Winter rated it really liked it
Dec 19, 2014
Nanny
Nanny rated it it was amazing
Feb 01, 2016
Paige Edrington
Paige Edrington rated it liked it
Jan 25, 2015
Danny O'hehir
Danny O'hehir rated it did not like it
Dec 18, 2015
Adam Martin
Adam Martin rated it liked it
Jun 21, 2016
Scott von Berg
Mar 11, 2015 Scott von Berg rated it liked it
A real mixed bag. Depending on the author... stuff can be great, or weak.

Fink's story is great.
Megan
Megan rated it it was amazing
Dec 21, 2016
Kimberly A. Geyer
Kimberly A. Geyer rated it liked it
Oct 01, 2015
Karoliina
Karoliina rated it really liked it
Sep 08, 2013
Indthu Selva
Indthu Selva rated it it was amazing
Feb 09, 2016
The Count is Alive
The Count is Alive rated it it was amazing
Jul 21, 2015
Diego Lopardo
Diego Lopardo rated it really liked it
Mar 02, 2016
Andrew Turcich
Andrew Turcich rated it it was amazing
Apr 22, 2014
Jake
Jake rated it really liked it
Aug 07, 2015
Michele
Michele rated it really liked it
Apr 06, 2015
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Joseph created and co-writes WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE. He is a writer and editor, and the co-owner of Commonplace Books. Awhile back he moved from California to Brooklyn. Subsequently, events unfolded.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
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“see, now, that it was wrong for me to curse your particular blood to a diseased eternity of suffering. In an attempt at magnanimity I extend an apology and retract my sanguinary execration.” 5 likes
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