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Great Tales of Horror

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,239 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
H.P. Lovecraft wrote horror stories like no other author before of after him. In the pages of Weird Tales and other pulp-fiction magazines of the 1920s and '30s, Lovecraft pioneered a new type of story that fused the thrills of supernatural horror with the visionary concepts of science fiction. His unique style of cosmic horror revolutionized the modern horror tale through ...more
Hardcover, 600 pages
Published 2012 by Fall River Press (first published 1991)
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Dawie I read this book from the first story to the end not skipping one( took me six months) , from what I have learned from it or may have made up my own…moreI read this book from the first story to the end not skipping one( took me six months) , from what I have learned from it or may have made up my own conclusion to the specific stories in this volume is that you need to pay attention to the dates.... In some way they are all related to one another. The stories that stood out for me were Rats in the walls, Mountains of madness, the thing on the doorstep and The lurking fear. Enjoy!(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Wilum Pugmire
May 26, 2013 Wilum Pugmire rated it it was amazing
This book collects all of the very best magnificent fiction of H. P. Lovecraft. Strangely, the constant complaint against the stories here at Goodreads is that they are all too similar, but this is absurd--none of these stories resemble each other. "The Colour out of Space" is as unique a tale as is "The Haunter of the Dark," with no similarities, except for excellence in the writing. Lovecraft's weird tales have depths that can never be completely plumbed, and thus one can return to his work ag ...more
Oct 23, 2012 Jenna rated it really liked it
Cthulhu thinks you are a dust mote.

I'm just kidding; Cthulhu doesn't think about you at all.

The joy of reading H.P. Lovecraft's fiction in one giant helping is the clear emergence of his mythology: namely, that from the perspective of the cosmos, the fleeting, cranky species known as homo sapien doesn't even register on the radar. Our mistake is not in believing in the existence in aliens, but believing that we are interesting enough to warrant abduction and extensive probing.

Lovecraft's fict
Julie Rylie
Mar 13, 2016 Julie Rylie is currently reading it
The Call of Cthulhu - read before

The Colour out of Space - read before

The Lurking Fear - about some evil inside a house that possessed one of the sons and destroyed the whole family

The Music of Erich Zann - Erich Zann plays music like a mad man at night without being able to stop, he is possessed by some dark force. The street where his house was cannot be found anymore and also not the building. I loved this story btw

Dagon Dagon is the beginning of the Cthulu imaginary <3 Dagon the fish god.
Oct 06, 2013 Schmacko rated it liked it
So much has been written about him, and I get that he redefined horror, adding several new mythologies. I don't feel the need to review this in depth.

I will only point out my specific opinion. My issue is that his writing style is florid and thick - not easy on the reader at all. He doesn't provide air, choosing a style with very little dialogue. Many sentences run on. He utilizes LOTS of passive sentences, with multiple dependent and independent clauses. I think he was trying to up the fear by
Carol Storm
May 05, 2015 Carol Storm rated it it was amazing
I've been a fan of H.P. Lovecraft since I was a teen, but I never bothered to buy a good hardcover edition of his works till I found this one at Barnes & Noble for about $7.99. It was a really good buy!

This edition has short classics like "Dagon" and "Cool Air," as well as full-length novella classics like "Shadow Over Innsmouth," "At The Mountains of Madness" and "The Dunwich Horror." The introduction outlines the greatness of this unusual author. Lovecraft can write old-fashioned horror (r
Feb 26, 2016 sanne_reads is currently reading it
The Call of Cthulhu: 4* Brr..
The Colour out of Space: 5* I'm scared
the Lurking fear: 4,5* I'm still scared
The music of Erich Zann: 3*
Dagon: 3*
Pickman's model: 3,5*
The Dunwich horror: 4*
The statement of Randolph Carter: 2,5*
In the vault: 3,5* Oh, the irony.
Brenda Ayala
Aug 22, 2015 Brenda Ayala marked it as to-read
Shelves: classics
Oh, if only the Cthulhu story was just a little longer!!! The one South Park episode where the BP oil spill releases Cthulhu is probably the most screen time he's ever gotten, and I can't wait for him to get more. Lovecraft's original story is dismally short compared to my expectation. Still fantastic, though. The creepiness factor is still evident.


Ooh, that second story was a good one. The movie Signs was the only thing that actually creeped me out a
Sarah Gibson
Wow, talk about overrated. Each short story has the exact same carbon copy protagonist and always follows the exact same setup; It's very boring, to say the least. There were a couple of ok stories at least, such as The Thing On The Doorstep, which is why I'm giving this two stars instead of just one. But overall these stories were just plain boring and repetitive. Worst of all, these short stories were supposed to be, at the very least, creepy, but this just did not do it for me. I suppose I ju ...more
Dec 30, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it
If you don't know anything about Lovecraft and his stories, look it up on Wikipedia. I'm only going to tell you what I thought of the book.
As a collection of short stories (Some could be called Novellas), this runs a whole range of quality.
Creepy. Fun. Disturbing. Silly. Dated. Timeless.

First you are going to have to suspend your disbelief about what we know in modern science. Even taking into account the fantasy elements, there is a lot that is just plain wrong and can't be explained away. (
Apr 05, 2016 Renee rated it really liked it
This was my first time reading any of Lovecraft’s work. His style of writing is very descriptive, often in first person and he can take a while to get the point. Although the stories are slow at times and repetitive I found myself liking them more and more the further I read. The stand outs for me were: The Music of Erich Zann, Cool Air, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, Herbert West - Reanimator and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. Definitely a great book for fans of horror to have in their collection ...more
Mar 31, 2016 Dawie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
Here are the stories in this volume:
(*, Stories I count as among my favourites)

The Call of Cthulhu*
The Colour out of Space
The Lurking Fear*
The Music of Erich Zann*
Pickman's Model
The Dunwich Horror
The Statement of Randolph Carter
In the Vault
Cool Air
The Thing on the Doorstep
The Dreams in the Witch House
The Shadow over Innsmouth*
At the Mountains of Madness*
Herbert West-Reanimator
The Rats in the Walls*
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
The Whisperer In Darkness
The Haunter of the Dark
The Shadow out
Benjamin Atkinson
I am a late-bloomer when it comes to experiencing H.P. Lovecraft. You know you are in the hands of a master when you realize you have been reading about his original ideas in many other genres by many different authors. I would put him in a class with Mary Shelley and Edgar Allen Poe; he is that good, and like Poe almost all of his best work is either a short story or a novella. Rather than buy the plethora of short story collections thinking you are saving money, just fork over the twenty-five ...more
Nov 05, 2013 Catherine rated it it was ok
I read this collection of tales one by one over the course of the last few months; usually one short story each night before bed. Despite my personal enjoyment of Lovecraft's lasting influence on the horror genre as a whole, I do feel obligated to be truthful about what others can expect from his work.

Frankly, if you have read one Lovecraft tale, then you have read them all. There is little to no variation in the core makeup of each and every single story. There never fails to be a male scholar
Paula Cappa
This collection of Lovecraft's stories is a good one for Lovecraft fans and those who are discovering or rediscovering Lovecraft. My favorite is Music of Erich Zann which is an eerie story about the supernatural power of music. My preference is the non-mythos stories like The Thing on the Doorstep (which is murder and magic) Cool Air, and In the Vault. Cosmic creatures and the Great Old Ones are what most Lovecraft fans love to gobble up. But I honestly think that the mythos Cthulhu stories have ...more
May 26, 2014 Tom rated it really liked it
If you have never traveled in the world of H.P. Lovecraft then you owe it to yourself to explore. At the very least travel to Arkham, Massachusetts and visit Miskatonic University's library to read the Necronomicon.

On a serious note, H.P. Lovecraft was gifted with the ability to paint vivid pictures and tell fanciful stories that truly ensnare the reader. While this collection is not an all encompassing one, it is a great way to dip one's toes into the dark waters that is H.P. Lovecraft's world.
Oct 18, 2012 Connieb is currently reading it
The Call of Cthulhu
The Colour out of Space
The Lurking Fear
The Music of Erich Zann
Pickman's Model
The Dunwich Horror
The Statement of Randolph Carter
In the Vault
Cool Air
The Thing on the Doorstep
The Dreams in the Witch House
The Shadow over Innsmouth
At the Mountains of Madness
Herbert West-Reanimator
The Rats in the Walls
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
The Whisperer In Darkness
The Haunter of the Dark
The Shadow out of Time
Apr 22, 2015 Kededra rated it really liked it
My biggest revelation after plowing through the 1000 some-off pages horror- Lovecraft has a wicked sense of humour.

You might miss it if you're too focused on the slime, misshapen plants and things-man-was-not-meant-to-know.
Nov 13, 2014 James rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Darn! I thought I was going to really like this. The only trouble I've found is that the book is so difficult to follow sometimes as it was written almost a century ago. I love the stories but they are soooo confusing sometimes. Loved the Reanimator. My favorite by far. I would only reccomend it for someone who is really ready to lose some serious productivity.
Sep 25, 2014 Chris rated it it was amazing
This compilation of Lovecraft's works was my first introduction to him. I was inspired to read it due to always hearing his name whispered as an influence by creators of many of my favorite novels and movies, and I am glad I did! I love reading classics of all genres, and I instantly saw what makes Lovecraft the all time classic horror author. Read just a few of his works and you will be either hooked or repulsed, I feel there is probably little middle ground when it comes to a reader's reaction ...more
Aug 02, 2015 Emptyvessel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came away with a great respect for the author. It is to the collection I give 4 stars, with difficulty.
Jan 16, 2016 Anna rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, male-authors
I got this book for Christmas, and from there I read the stories one or two at a time, out of order. I found it to be a really fun way to both wrap up my reading last year and starting my reading this year.

Highlights for me include "The Color Out of Space", "Dreams in the Witch House", and "The Shadow Over Innsmouth". Like with any short story collection, there were some disappointments. Overall, however, I would say I enjoyed a majority of these stories.

The only one I didn't finish was "The Cas
Joel Lantz
Jun 05, 2013 Joel Lantz rated it it was amazing
Certainly no easy read, it was well worth the effort. Nobody writes horror like this any more.
James Norton
Dec 18, 2014 James Norton rated it really liked it
I always feel the need to put a giant caveat into any endorsement of Lovecraft - the guy had serious, serious problems with race and gender, among other things. But his horror is brilliant - always starting in the realm of concrete, luminously described science before corrupting into something nightmarish. Without Lovecraft, we wouldn't have Steven King, or Ghostbuster, or Fringe, so the world owes the guy a real debt. His themes are few (and repetitive), so this book gets a bit exhausting, but ...more
Manny Perez
Nov 15, 2015 Manny Perez rated it it was amazing
I love love love Lovecraft!
Cassidy Queerface
Oct 05, 2014 Cassidy Queerface rated it really liked it
I think I really like Lovecraft. But sometimes he gets on my nerves. Really gets on my nerves. His novellas involving the mythology he created (called the Cthulu mythology even though I only found a couple references to him in this collection,) is brilliant. I'm fascinated with the creatures. And Shadow Over Innsmouth and At the Mountains of Madness were two of the finest stories I've ever read. I adore that his themes of the Necronomicon, Arkam, Miskatonic University, and Innsmouth are all weav ...more
Jesse Zellmer
This book and all of Lovecraft's body of work takes a healthy fear of the unknown and certain sense of peculiarity to read. I've always considered him a cult (occult?) author, and like any other cult phenomena his stories are either loved or hated. It might be hard for me to do, but I ascribe to a little bit of each end of the polarized spectrum. On one hand he created and revolutionized the idea of interconnected stories; a skill which found a cozy spot in anthology horror. The stories work due ...more
Feb 16, 2015 Myles rated it liked it
Great Tales of Horror collects the twenty most popular or important stories/novellas of H.P. Lovecraft. Each story is headed with a brief caption detailing where and when it was written, where published and Lovecraft's own feelings on the piece and its inspiration, where available.

I knew Lovecraft almost solely by reputation. I'd seen the Cthulhu plushies and Halloween costumes, and a friend has been hosting Arkham Horror game nights for untold millennia, but I had never read anything until one
David Burke
Jun 25, 2014 David Burke rated it really liked it
I have very little experience with Lovecraft, but I know what an influence his work has been on 20th Century Horror, and I have been more and more intrigued to explore his works. This volume has about 20 of his stories, and from the looks, they are the most famous ones. I am excited!

5/13 I am now 1/3rd of the way through this collection of stories. I hope to be done by the end of May, but I am not a fast reader, and Lovecraft doesn't really allow you to skim. That's one thing I am consistently n
Apr 13, 2013 Lee rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A whole range of novels, novellas, and short stories, all set in the same shared multiverse, impassionately overlooked by immeasurably old gods, and based around a city and its satellite towns in New England? It's not hard to see why Lovecraft is considered a major influence on Stephen King.

Having twenty of Lovecraft's works here in one place is both a blessing and a curse for his writing. As noted above, his fiction does take place in a shared universe and oftentimes the action occurs in or aro
Dec 23, 2015 greyskiesoflondon rated it really liked it
So. I'm kind new to his works because my knowledge of horror tales and such was limited to poe and Shelley. I did read that h.p Lovecraft basically created the genre for horror authors and well..they are right. it's great literature. all these stories are pretty short but they leave you just with the right amount of fear, anticipation and desire to find out more. his writing style is almost poetic and I really enjoyed it. I will make sure to check out some of his other works! recommended to the ...more
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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 about H.P. Lovecraft...

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