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Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales

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4.3  ·  Rating Details ·  8,547 Ratings  ·  363 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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Karsten Vestergaard It does not. On the other hand, that's is just about the only thing missing. It features a map over Arkham, illustrations and an informative…moreIt does not. On the other hand, that's is just about the only thing missing. It features a map over Arkham, illustrations and an informative afterword.(less)
Melanie Axelrod In regards to the typos, Lovecraft actually spelled certain words differently than the current accepted spelling, for instance he used "connexion"…moreIn regards to the typos, Lovecraft actually spelled certain words differently than the current accepted spelling, for instance he used "connexion" instead of "connection" and "shewed" instead of "showed".(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Olivier Delaye
Sep 23, 2016 Olivier Delaye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All right, with this one under my belt, I think I can safely say that I’ve read everything Lovecraft has ever written in his life. I will then skip introducing the author––who doesn’t need any introduction, anyway––and go through a rundown of some of my most beloved horror stories of his, which you can find in this collection.

THE OUTSIDER is my favorite Lovecraft story bar none. It is also one of his shortest. Written in the first-person narrative (as is often the case in his fiction), it tells
...more
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
Apr 23, 2009 Branduno rated it it was amazing
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
Alexis
May 01, 2013 Alexis rated it really liked it
New life goal:
to write a cult book about another book that doesn't exist.
David
Aug 27, 2015 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Elder Gods, Investigators, Cultists, prissy New England racists
The five star rating for this book is not because I think every story (or even most of them) were 5 stars, or because Lovecraft was a great writer (though I do think he was a better writer than he's often given credit for). It's because these stories are essential reading. Like him or hate him, Lovecraft casts a long, dark shadow over all of American fantasy and horror, and in fact, the stories are mostly pretty good, in a very dated way. Yes, Lovecraft wrote purple. Yes, his characterization is ...more
Andrew Fantasia
Nov 24, 2015 Andrew Fantasia rated it it was ok
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
David
Lovecraft has to be broken down into his constituent parts in order to be comprehensible.

1. Man
2. Mythographer
3. Writer

The man, by far, is easily the most reprehensible and unforgivable. This may take a little explanation for those unfamiliar with the man and the writer. Firstly, HPL believed in a crude Social Darwinism/Eugenics married to a virulent racism/xenophobia and a despicable classism. When reading Necronomicon or any of his works all of these elements become impossible to ignore and
...more
Kat  Hooper
Oct 28, 2014 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
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
Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance]
Nov 29, 2011 Ruby Tombstone [With A Vengeance] rated it really liked it
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.
Samuel
May 24, 2011 Samuel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
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
11811 (Eleven)
Apr 25, 2015 11811 (Eleven) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the best audio edition I've come across for Lovecraft. The quality is excellent but I'm dropping a star because there are no chapter titles. How can you have a short story collection without chapter titles?
Seán Downey
Dec 11, 2012 Seán Downey rated it really liked it
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
Christian Giovanni
I could not give this book five stars in good conscious, and I will explain why. It's no secret that Lovecraft was a deeply racist individual. Because children also browse Goodreads, I want parents to know that this compilation contains overt racist slurs and connotations. Of course, one can argue that this is just a product of the author's imagination. I respectfully disagree. Although, Lovecraft was a brilliant writer, the writer's overt hatred of other races sometimes poured out into his ...more
Bogdan
Nov 08, 2015 Bogdan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my kind of horror!

Lovecraft was a giant genius of this field!

He had a lot of groundbreaking ideeas.

The audio version was also astounding well made.



Phantoms
Feb 02, 2010 Phantoms rated it really liked it
The Color Out of Space is still the single scariest story ever written.
Julesmarie
Oct 21, 2016 Julesmarie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dagon 3 stars
Delightfully atmospheric short story. The narrator's horror at what he witnessed and his attempts to forget it or block it out serve to enhance the wonderfully vivid descriptions.

Herbert West: Reanimator 4 stars
Deliciously creepy and spectacularly disgusting. We follow the devolution of Herbert West, the quintessential mad scientist as told by his "closest friend" and "only confidential assistant." They begin trying to restore life to the dead, and Herbert West reaches some grot
...more
Mike
Aug 26, 2015 Mike rated it liked it
To review a collection of works by an author over the course of their entire literary career can be difficult, but it also allows for a more general review of their works. Thus we have Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales, a collection of works by famed horror writer H.P. Lovecraft.

At it's essence, Lovecraft writes about mankind's oldest fear, the fear of the unknown. Lovecraft's stories often center around the idea that the day-to-day experience of humanity is only a small fraction of reality, an
...more
Pietro
Sep 29, 2013 Pietro rated it liked it
"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
Melissa
Feb 09, 2016 Melissa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh boy. I really thought I was going to love this book, but it just didn't work for me at all. Being a total Stephen King addict, I've had cause over the past few years to look up certain Lovecraft stories on Uncle Steve's recommendation, and have always been intrigued. I expected the bizarre tales of creeping horrors to be right up my street, and decided to buy the audio version, having fond memories of dark winter walks accompanied by King's tales.

Perhaps part of the blame is my own, and I'll
...more
Kristen
Nov 06, 2014 Kristen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, audio, sci-fi
So, one big caveat about my rating: my copy of the audiobook decided to skip persistently for the last third of the book. That's 7 hours. I was going a little nutty by the end. However, it was enjoyable enough that I wanted to finish despite the awfulness of the Hoopla version. So I sat and paused and unpaused it for 7 hours.

That said, I'm not that into Cthulu. Nyarlethotep was way more interesting, and my favorite stories had little or nothing to do with the Elder Ones at all. They read like gh
...more
David
Sep 21, 2014 David rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Kat  Hooper
Aug 12, 2014 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
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
Jan 29, 2013 Guy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lovecraftian
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
King Ævil
Jul 31, 2015 King Ævil rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction, 2012
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.
Teatum
Apr 18, 2015 Teatum rated it it was amazing
I borrowed this from the library, and if we ever cross paths in a bookstore, I'm going to need to buy it. I got through a handful, including Dagon, The Call of Cthulhu, and The Colour out of Space. Creepy, especially if you have a good imagination. Masterful suspense. You need to read at least three stories.
Mike (the Paladin)
You know I picked this up because I'd been told it gathered the Cthulhu mythos stories. Actually we start off with some of his early horror work (Cool Air, The rats in the Walls, etc.). Later on we do get into the Cthulhu stories. These are (as always with Lovecraft) reliably horrific and very well written.

Enjoy.
C.J. Wright
Sep 06, 2016 C.J. Wright rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
Great stories in this collection. I have this on my Audible account and find them more atmospheric when listening to them than just reading them myself.
Jeroen
Sep 11, 2016 Jeroen rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I normally do not put illustrations in my reviews, but for Lovecraft's Necronomicon I will make an exception. Go ahead and look at it, it's amazing:



Painted by the artist Les Edwards, this is the first illustration you will come across when opening the Necronomicon, named after the fictional forbidden book written by the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred (a pseudonym Lovecraft used in his young years, by the way) which frequently reappears in Lovecraft's stories, and it gives you a good impression of the i
...more
Chrysten Lofton
May 07, 2016 Chrysten Lofton rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Old gothic horror fans, classic literature fans
Recommended to Chrysten by: Audible
No specific spoilers, but general descriptions of style and content ahead. Read at your own risk.

Reasons I didn't like Necronomicon that had nothing to do with the book itself:

Not a big fan of classic literature, I have to work very hard to enjoy it, if I even can. The entire pace of Necro was dull to me. I remained bored 89% of the time.

The audiobook readers did their best, and sometimes they sounded good, but I found their voices calm, soothing, and mildly dull.

I like heavy dialogue and charac
...more
Lorne
Jun 08, 2015 Lorne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hold-up-yo
Amidst a very busy year of reading for me in 2014, this emerged as far and away the best thing I read. Lovecraft completes owns and inhabits his writing style. Everything is extraordinarily detailed, almost suffocating in a way. It feels like he's trying to drown you in purple prose, which is completely enveloping. He has this crazy ability to make it feel like the walls are closing in on you while at the same time writing about these situations that are mind-expanding and dizzying. I've never ...more
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Apocalypse Whenever: Lovecraft for Dummies 50 109 Dec 24, 2011 06:34AM  
  • The Complete Chronicles of Conan
  • The Taint and Other Novellas
  • The Dunwich Cycle: Where the Old Gods Wait (Cthulhu Cycle Book, #9)
  • The Book of Cthulhu
  • Necronomicon: The Wanderings of Alhazred
  • The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana: A Guide to Lovecraftian Horror
  • Tales of Unease
  • Lovecraft Unbound
  • Shadows over Innsmouth
  • Books of Blood, Volumes 4-6
  • HG Wells Classic Collection I
  • A Season in Carcosa
  • Cthulhu 2000
  • The White People and Other Weird Stories
  • Dracula's Guest
  • An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia
  • Shotguns v. Cthulhu
  • The Mask of Cthulhu
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
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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.” 15 likes
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