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Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales

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4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  5,629 ratings  ·  190 reviews
Originally written for the pulp magazines of the 1920s and 1930s, H. P. Lovecraft's astonishing tales blend elements of horror, science fiction, and cosmology that are as powerful today as they were when first published. This tome presents original versions of many of his most harrowing stories, including the complete Cthulhu Mythos cycle, in order of publication.
Hardcover, Commemorative Edition, first printing, 878 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Gollancz, Great Britain (first published 1930)
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Community Reviews

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Bennet
I never cease to be amazed by literary language, specifically words wrought in English, that being the only language in which I am fluent.
Wrought as in deftly formed and finished, or intently delineated, styled, ornamented, disturbed or excited, or shaped by hammering and beating. Though the works differ, all my favorite writers are crafters of this sort.

I periodically experience word cravings. I’ll search the shelves for something to satisfy, and indulge in words with a pleasure akin to savori...more
Branduno
It seriously took a publisher how much of a century to title a collection of Lovecraft's stories "Necronomicon"? Like seventy years? Did it really just not occur to anyone? Shouldn't the first collected volume of his stories have been called that? I blame August Derleth.

Speaking of whom, I don't believe this edition features the re-edited versions of the texts available in the Library of America edition of Lovecraft. Necronomicon includes the older editions as published by Derleth's Arkham House...more
Seán
The Necronomicon is pretty much the complete works of H.P Lovecraft. I cannot go into depth on all of his stories so I'll try to cover his stories as a hole if I can, but first. His writing style! Lovecraft's style is complex, when it comes to him there are two types of people, those who will hate the way he writes horror and those who will love the way he writes horror. Most of the time when he describes creatures he will give the basics of what it looks like, i.e, "Something very big, loud an...more
Samuel
A collection of Lovecraft, and what better collection is there? To reiterate and reflect the thoughts of countless individuals: this is essential supernatural horror. But, to put forward my own commentary, I shall endeavour:

The tales laid-out here are a trove of flawless narrative, impeccable originality and are told with such flair for language and charm; stories interweave, threads unravel and sanity is wholly drained throughout. Such keen attention to the progression of the stories, the hint...more
Ruby  Tombstone [Uncensored or Else]
Nov 29, 2011 Ruby Tombstone [Uncensored or Else] rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Weird folk like me
Recommended to Ruby by: Many many weird folk like me
NOTES ON THE STORIES
The Colour Out Of Space = WIN. And it's a stand-alone story. You don't need to know anything about the mythos for this one.
Pickman's Model = WIN. Another stand-alone story, without reference to the mythos. Actually very creepy.
The Shadow Over Innsmouth = WIN. A good introduction to the mythos, and a great introduction Lovecraft's story-telling. A perfectly crafted, perfectly creepy tale.
Alexis
New life goal:
to write a cult book about another book that doesn't exist.
Phantoms
The Color Out of Space is still the single scariest story ever written.
Pietro
"Necronomicon" is a collection of 36 tales and short stories by early-twentieth-century writer H.P. Lovecraft, whose Cthulhu mythos cycle is today widely known even outside reading circles.
The tales have been picked from different periods of Howard's life and are supposedly his best ones, although I reckon this is an entirely subjective matter and the editor's choice will differ from everyone else's.
Regardless of who chose them, to reduce so many different works to a single rating would be both...more
Kat  Hooper
There are sacraments of evil as well as of good about us, and we live and move to my belief in an unknown world, a place where there are caves and shadows and dwellers in twilight. It is possible that man may sometimes return on the track of evolution, and it is my belief that an awful lore is not yet dead.
—Arthur Machen (quoted as an introduction to “The Horror at Red Hook”)

Everyone must read a little Lovecraft and Blackstone Audio’s recently published edition of Necronomicon: The Best Weird Ta...more
Guy
Along with Eldritch Tales, The Necronomicon holds the complete works of HP Lovecraft in what are without doubt, the most beautifully bound editions of his works.

Being my favourite author of all time, the Necronomicon and Eldritch Tales would both receive 5 stars from me.

No one creates such a unique atmosphere as Lovecraft. A quote from the great man himself sums it up for me:

"If I could create an ideal world, it would be an England with the fire of the Elizabethans, the correct taste of the Geor...more
Rob
I liked this compilation of HP Lovecraft's short and medium-length fiction much more than Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos; the latter is lacking several stories that contain essential background for the Cthulhu universe (e.g., "The Dunwich Horror", "At the Mountains of Madness" and "A Shadow over Innsmouth"). It also contains some straight-up horror stories, but these don't compare to the tales of the Ancient Ones.
David
Technically, as I averaged out each specific story, the rating turned out to be a 3.5, but given Lovecraft's literary impact and some genuinely great tales of horror, I decided to boost it up to a four instead of downgrading it to a three. It was difficult to continue at certain times as Lovecraft's tales are often formulaic, following the same basic storytelling structure, but fortunately as it progressed the style became more varied. My favorites were: The Statement of Randolph Carter, The Cat...more
Andrew Fantasia
I suppose the two best words to describe my feelings on the work of the 20th century's most prolific horror writer are "mostly disappointing".

THE GOOD
I wasn't disappointed with everything. A bunch of stories stood out for me as being genuine, page-turning excitement: The Colour Out of Space, The Dunwich Horror, The Whisperer in Darkness, Dreams in the Witch House, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward were all outstanding pieces of spookery that still managed to give me...more
Miloš
Well, I thought that this book will be very, very good, but instead...
I was disappointed.
Joe
Under normal circumstances I am not one to goggle at commemorative editions of novels or stories. For me it is the content that counts the most, not the presentation. But this commemorative edition is just too good not to praise. As a collection of Lovecraft stories in general, commemorative or not, it is very complete. All the essential tales are here, including the Radolph Carter/Dream-Cycle tales, and the often overlooked Herbert West: Reanimator. To any Lovecraft virgin simply looking to fin...more
Siri
Aug 12, 2011 Siri added it
Influential writer in horror, fantasy and science fiction, sure. Inventor of the Cthulhu Mythos as well. And yet, as a prose writer, H.P. Lovecraft never really seemed to grasp what makes a story interesting, what creates tension, and makes you turn the pages of the book you're reading long after you should have put it down and gone to bed. The level of imagination and detail is impressive, but my greatest problem with Lovecraft is that he kills any tension there might have been by describing a...more
Martha Sockel
I can't add much to the other reviews, except that I agree! This 900-odd page volume contains all of Lovecraft's best stories. It is a black leather-effect hardcover and looks superb on my bookshelf and bedside table.

My one small gripe is that the stories are in alphabetical order, so the few stories that are in a series (i.e. the Silver Key stories) are not in order in the anthology. I, personally, would have preferred the stories in the order in which they were written, but it's a small niggl...more
Patrick Hudson
This is probably the best one-stop anthology of Lovecraft I've come across. It's a good selection but marred somewhat by sloppy proofreading. It's got all HPL's best stories, but it does go to show that his reputation rests on a handful of brilliant tales and a larger number of good to okay ones. Somewhat of a niggle, but I think I would have preferred a volume ordered by when written rather than when published - the development of HPL's ideas is a little blurred in by the ordering of the tales,...more
James Heslip
Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft: is a select collection of horror short stories, novellas and novels written by H. P. Lovecraft. Much like the works of Poe, Lovecraft’s stories have been immeasurably influential to our culture and media since their release. Students who read the works of Lovecraft will likely be influenced to read works of similar authors, such as Poe or W. W. Jacobs, or may simply become a fan of short stories in general. Themes of loss, horror and mental d...more
Bart Smilde
This book by H.P. Lovecraft is a combination of very weird, very twisted and disturbing stories. At times the writing style takes some getting used to.
It is definitely not cookie cutter material and sometimes its' hard to grasp the imagination behind some of the stories.
One thing that I found amusing however, and this not to scare away a crowd, I found several ties between some of the stories by H.P. Lovecraft and the game World of Warcraft.
The older gods that have always been present and semi-...more
Mordecai Wearie
I began this massive anthology several years ago and considering the 34 stories and novellas I thought it wise to read only 2 or 3 in between other books.
I'd read authors who cite him as a big influence and seen some movies based on his work but I was a total Lovecraft virgin.
I found it hugely entertaining and wildly (ludicrously?) imaginative.
However, about halfway through some of the themes and imagery began to feel like self parody and became unintentionally comical.
I laughed at some of it a...more
Corey
I had never read a single H.P. Lovecraft short-story but for some reason went all in with this tome. I'm glad I did! The guy had a way to inject a creepy, dank, almost off-putting vibe into the characters and settings of these truly, 'weird tales.' I enjoyed the fact that they often didn't end well for anyone involved.

The language was considered archaic, even in the 20's, but today evokes the perfect strange mood. His word choices are the perfect conveyance for his other worldly ideas.

Must read...more
Katsumi
Neil Gaiman once said that people should read Lovecraft because that is where the darkness started.

And he's not wrong.

This collection of short stories is a wonderful array of the strange, the very strange, and the "oh my god, what is that?!" It is wholly entertaining and original.

That said, these stories are just great and it is easy to see where the Twilight Zone, X-Files and Lost got their inspiration. Even on to expanded literature like Stephen King's The Mist and the amazing A Gathering of T...more
Sarah Welch
The classic horror. A book which has such vivid description of insanity driven by fear, it has pages upon pages detailing the horror one feels as they scrawl into their journal the stories of creatures from doom that watch you and lurk closer each passing day...

It is an epic book, packed full of tales of Cthulhu and Dagon and all manner of monsters awoken from the past, now rising to instill horror upon the world. If you find that you have a short attention span, and require shocking twists and...more
Lion Leonie
I seem to be the only person that hasn't really benefited from the experience of reading Lovecraft. His works are somewhat boring and spend 3/4 on the chase, instead of the arrival at the 'horrific thing that I can't even put in to words for sheer horror'. For the use of a horrible phrase, 'big swing, no ding' is the first thing that comes to my mind. I'm not sure I understand what all the fuss is about.
Jphollis
H.P. Lovecraft is the king of horror stories. Few have never heard of the Cthulu Mythos, and thsi man was the creator. I do NOT recommend reading if you are alone in a creaky, darkened house or if the gibbous moon outside reminds you of the eyes of some terror beyond human comprehension.
Eilleen
the book is gorgeous. the cover is creepy & the illustrations are masterful. everything adds to the stories of HP Lovecraft. then there are the stories themselves which are bound in a world of terror & madness, these are truly the best of his tales!
Michael O'Donnell
Most of Lovecraft's best known works are here including 'At the mountains of madness', 'Herbert West-reanimator', 'The Dunwich horror', 'The shadow over Innsmouth' and of course 'The call of Cthulhu', plus many more. As much tentacle action as you can take.
Priscilla
The Call of Cthulu

Initial thoughts:
1. Lot's of narrative. No dialogue at all. :|
2. Slow buildup of the plot.
3. Vivid and horrifying imagery.

3/5

Check out my video review here!

Citaran87
Very enjoyably style, some of the stories had great atmosphere and some good twists which really drew me in.

One negative for me was some of the stories have very similar themes, particularly his underground vault types.
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Apocalypse Whenever: Lovecraft for Dummies 50 103 Dec 24, 2011 06:34AM  
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9494
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...more
More about H.P. Lovecraft...
The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories At the Mountains of Madness and Other Tales of Terror At the Mountains of Madness The Call of Cthulhu

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“Wise men told him his simple fancies were inane and childish, and even more absurd because their actors persist in fancying them full of meaning and purpose as the blind cosmos grinds aimlessly on from nothing to something and from something back to nothing again, neither heeding nor knowing the wishes or existence of the minds that flicker for a second now and then in the darkness.” 7 likes
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