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The Book of Cthulhu 2 (The Book of Cthulhu #2)

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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  143 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Last year, Night Shade Books unleashed The Book of Cthulhu onto an unsuspecting world. Critically acclaimed as "the ultimate Cthulhu anthology" and "a 'must read' for fans of Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos," The Book of Cthulhu went where no collection of mythos tales had gone before: to the very edge of madness... and beyond.
For nearly a century, H. P. Lovecraft's tales of m...more
ebook, 439 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by Night Shade Books
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Doug
Somewhere early in the reading of this book, I became convinced I was going to end it with maybe a generous 2-star rating, but at no point could I point to the specific germ that grew into this conviction. There are, as is true of any mythos-centric anthology, stories that sat poorly with me. I wasn't particularly thrilled with "This Is How the World ends". "Hour of the Tortoise" felt like a good story that went too long while "The Hands that Reek and Smoke" read like abridged version of an exce...more
Ann Schwader
Disclaimer: I have a story in The Book of Cthulhu 2.

My rating isn't based on that fact, however, but on the rich diversity of this new box of Arkham chocolates. There's something here for every Lovecraftian, & some of the items are rather difficult to find elsewhere. Michael Chabon's story, for example, first appeared in The New Yorker back in 2001. I don't recall seeing Karl Edward Wagner's chilling "Sticks" anywhere else lately, either.

The variety of this anthology can't be overstated. Fan...more
Jason Allen
Ross E. Lockhart has dove through the depths of R'lyeh and collected some of the best treasures the ocean of Lovecraftian fiction has to offer.
The collection takes off with the lighter, more whimsical Shoggoth's Old Peculiar by Neil Gaiman and you'll feel whiplash at the end with jaw-dropping, tough-as-nails, Hand of Glory by Laird Barron. The middle of this anthology is packed with most--or maybe, arguably, all the best names from past to present currently dominating the Lovecraftian literary l...more
Katy
Feb 14, 2013 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Lovecraft, Cthulhu, monster mash-ups
Recommended to Katy by: NetGalley
Book Info: Genre: Lovecraftian Anthology/Dark Fantasy short stories
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of Lovecraft
Trigger Warnings: Murder, violence, death, black magic, etc.

My Thoughts: I have, below my disclosure, listed the names of the stories and given a hint as to what each is about. I have done my best to avoid major spoilers. It is very difficult to review an anthology, because each story is separate and requires a separate analysis if one wishes to do things properly, yet with s...more
Justin Steele
In 2011, Ross E. Lockhart, former editor at Night Shade Books, put together an amazing anthology of Lovecraft inspired stories titled The Book of Cthulhu. Weighing in at five hundred pages, this tome managed to collect some of the best Lovecraftian stories to be found, and even included a couple original tales. I’ll most likely be doing a review at some point, but if I may cut to the chase now it’s safe to say that it’s a brilliant anthology that should have a place in every Lovecraft fan’s libr...more
Drake Llywelyn
This is a stunning collection of Lovecraft inspired tales all centered around the infamous Cthulhu myth. The stories in this collection vary greatly in theme, tone, and atmosphere, but all pay homage to the great master of storytelling and world-building.

Some, like Neil Gaiman's addition "Shoggoth's Old Peculiar," make direct reference to Lovecraft and his mythos. Others, such as "Nor the Demons Down Under the Sea" by Caitlin R. Kiernan allude to the mysteries of the master with just as much ski...more
Orrin Grey
I'm only one of a pile of stories in this anthology, and most of the rest of them are classics, so I don't feel bad giving it five stars.

This, especially when combined with its predecessor, is an indispensable collection of some of the best fiction ever inspired by Lovecraft. This volume seems to have a slightly higher preponderance of tongue-in-cheek stories than the last, but both are sharp and exhaustive and full of great stories new and old. My story in this volume is sandwiched between tale...more
Amara
While there were a few stories in The Book of Cthulhu II that didn't appeal to me (Molly Tanzer's The Hour of the Tortoise and Laird Barron's Hand of Glory in particular), it also had some delights (Christopher Reynaga's I Only Am Escaped Alone to Tell Thee, Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette's Boojum, etc.). I definitely look forward to checking out The Book of Cthulhu next.

Full review to come at Amara's Eden. A copy of this book was provided free via Netgalley for the purpose of review.
Mike
Oct 24, 2012 Mike rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Horror or H. P. Lovecraft

This is going to be a long one so hang on for a bit and I'll let you know all about this book. I've been looking forward to this book for a long time. It's amazing that this book is nearly as good as the first one. This is a fun read, especially for the Halloween season. Fans of horror will wet themselves (for joy, not fear...well...maybe a little from fear) reading this collection.


One of the few problems I have (not with the book, per se) is that I've read so much Lovecraftian fiction, that a l

...more
Sam
Another home run from editor Ross E. Lockhart and his phenomenal line-up of authors. Nary a dud in the bunch, and some real eye-openers for me. I read Orrin Grey and Michael Chabon for the first time, as well as certain stories by familiar authors that were new to me (Neil Gaiman's "Shoggoth's Old Peculiar" and Fritz Leiber's "The Terror from the Depths"). Hard to pick my favorite, but I'd go with (unsurprisingly for me) Laird Barron's "Hand of Glory," the amazing noirish tale that closes out th...more
Donovan
It is very rare thing for me to read a sequel without having read the first book in a series. I like to read books sequentially...usually. And that is the great opportunity you have when you come across a collection of stories on one of your favourite themes, in this case the Cthulhu Mythos. But who can help themselves when they pick up a book just because the cover art is kewl and the title leaps out at them and then see that Neil Gaiman is the first author in this collection?!?!?!
I knew right...more
Helen
Meh.

It's always interesting, and hopefully fun, to see how another writer takes a famous character, idea, or style from another writer long dead. I do it myself, deconstructing fairy tales, fusing them into real life stories. And they can be good, make you see the story in a new light, make you understand something that the original writer would have never imagined. But they can also go horribly, horribly wrong.

And that's what happens, mostly, in this collection. Overblown, trying to hard to w...more
Logan
A rare 5 star anthology! BravFuckingVo. Looking forward to the 3rd installment, but keep it original, please, editor. No reprints, all interesting, and we'll be cool.
Ruth
Even better than the first collection, I think. Not all winners, but a good portion are an excellent mix of Weird/Horror/Lovecraftian.
Craig
*Goodreads First Reads advanced copy*

I found The Book of Cthulhu II to be an enjoyable read of 24 short stories inspired by H.P. Lovecraft. Most of the stories, most notably "Nor The Demons Down Under The Sea" by Caitlin R Kiernan, "Once More From The Top" by A. Scott Glancy, "The Terror From the Depths" by Fritz Leiber, to be quite captivating. I certainly enjoyed reading them and delving into their weird, macabre worlds.

The only reason I did not give the book either a 4 or 5 star review was d...more
Amanda
A first-rate themed anthology is hard to find. Oh, there are tons of them available, but too often editors seem to simply throw together a couple dozen stories that loosely fit the appropriate theme without giving thought to how well the stories fit with one another. Having suffered through many such anthologies, it came as a pleasant surprise to find Ross E. Lockhart’s The Book of Cthulhu II, a recent anthology from Night Shade Books which combines good storytelling with good editing.

There are...more
Alex
A collection of short stories involving the Lovecraft/Cthulhu Mythos, most written relatively recently. There are several famous writers who contributed including Neil Gaiman, Michael Chabon, and the amazing Fritz Leiber but the Book of Cthulhu II does have the standard problem of huge shifts in quality you get in collections like this.

This is a book of Cthulhu Mythos stories, not Lovecraft-style stories. All of the stories hinge on the Old Gods or their servants, but they aren't all gothic horr...more
Jordan
I’ve been on a bit of a Lovecraft kick lately, first reading the man himself, then Alan Moore’s disturbing homage. And it all got its impetus from The Book Of Cthulhu II, which I won via the Goodreads FirstReads program. I figured I should read the real thing before picking up either of the derivatives. Sad to say, I haven’t had any luck finding a copy of The Book Of Cthulhu I, but oh well. Most of these are authors I’d not heard of before, and all save a couple are ones I’d yet to sample. Kim N...more
Gabriel
The collection:

The first collection of Lovecraft inspired works edited by Ross E. Lockhart was amazing: Packed with punches both of the laughter and horror variety; magnificently edited with just enough stories grouped to give a flavor of different veins of gold other authors had struck in the Lovecraft Universe without overdoing it; balanced between the experimental, in terms of genre, and traditional; and all around good stuff. Does he do it again?

Well, yes and no.

The biggest and most obvious...more
Lori
Favorite stories:
Take Your Daughters to Work by Livia Llewellyn
The Big Fish by Kim Newman
Boojum by Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette
The Black Brat of Dunwich by Stanley C. Sargent
Quentin
Like all anthologies, it has stuff I liked and stuff I didn't, but the overall quality was quite good. All of the stories drew on Lovecraft's mythologies, or borrowed from his stylistic tropes. Some were quite direct, continuing the plots or characters of Lovecraft stories, while others simply used the mythology as a backdrop.

Highlights (for me) were:
"Shoggoth's Old Peculiar" by Neil Gaiman
"This is how the world ends" by John R. Fultz
"Rapture of the Deep" by Cody Goodfellow
"A Gentleman from Mex...more
Brian Sammons
More great Lovecraftian/Cthulhu Mythos stories from some solid authors of the biz. There were a few unnecessary old school reprints that anyone buying a book with "Cthulhu" in the title will probably already have (I would have preferred to have that space used for new stories) and there were a couple of stories that fell completely flat with me. However the vast majority of tales are absolute winners, so even with those two minor missteps, I can still highly and vigorously recommend this book to...more
Mark
Average rating for each story came out to 6.5. Here are my three favorite and least favorite of this volume.

TOP 3
The Drowning at Lake Henpin by Paul Tobin
This Is How The World Ends by John R. Fultz
Once More From The Top by A. Scott Glancy

BOTTOM 3
The Hour of the Tortoise by Molly Tanzer
A Gentelman From Mexico by Mark Samuels
I Only Am Escaped Alone To Tell Thee by Chris Reynaga
David Agranoff
Ross Lockheart has proven with this second collection that he has an eye for the best modern Lovecraftian horror, although a few of the pieces like Fritz Lieber are classics. Cody Goodfellow's rapture from the deep which I read when it was first in Dark Discoveries and The Michael Chabon stories were my favorites. Must read for Lovecratian mythos fans.
Sam
An OK collection, the only standouts being the yarns from Kiernan, Samuels, and Barron. Unfortunately, 3 stories do not a great anthology make. Recommended only if this would be someone's first experience reading Lovecraft-style fiction not from Lovecraft himself.
Kevin L


Very hit and miss. This is worth the price if you haven't read Sticks by Karl Edward Wagner.
Ed Williams
A well chosen selection of new takes on the Lovecraft mythos.
Cura
Cura marked it as to-read
Oct 20, 2014
Mason Garrison
Mason Garrison marked it as to-read
Oct 17, 2014
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Ross E. Lockhart is the Publisher/Editor in Chief of Word Horde. A lifelong fan of supernatural, fantastic, speculative, and weird fiction, Lockhart holds degrees in English from Sonoma State University (BA) and SFSU (MA). He is a veteran of small-press publishing, having edited scores of well-regarded novels of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Lockhart edited the acclaimed Lovecraftian antho...more
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