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The Mask of Cthulhu

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  787 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
2."The Return of Hastur"
3."The Whipporwills in the Hills"
4."Something in Wood"
5."The Sandwin Compact"
6."The House in the Valley"
7."The Seal of R'lyeh"

Cover Illustration: Bruce Pennington
Paperback, 175 pages
Published 1976 by Panther Books (first published 1958)
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(showing 1-30)
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Tim Pendry
Jun 29, 2008 Tim Pendry rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in pulp fiction
August Derleth saw himself as H.P. Lovecraft's natural heir, weaving his stories into the Cthulhu Mythos and incorporating the 'dreadful events in Innsmouth' and other incidents from the original corpus. At one moment, he suggests, in a fit of in-joke paranoia, that Lovecraft and others died young because they knew too much - a nice little conceit.

He has been much and rightly criticised on two grounds - for being derivative but, more seriously, for attenuating the raw cosmic horror of the origin
Me gusta August Derleth. Está claro que Derleth no es H.P. Lovecraft. Partiendo de ahí, los relatos de Derleth son muy disfrutables; pueden ser vistos como una ampliación al universo lovecraftiano, o simplemente como pastiches que abundan en esta temática. Muchos le achacan la explotación de la obra del Maestro de Providence, pero también hay que tener en cuenta que hizo todo lo posible, junto a Donald Wandrei, para que se publicase.

Derleth también acuñó el término de Mitos de Cthulhu y siguió p
A collection of Lovecraftian short stories by editor supremo August Derleth that seek to build on the Cthulhu Mythos in various ways. The general consensus among Lovecraft scholars is that these are a load of tosh, and while Derleth is indeed the inferior author, I think they're a lot of fun. The stories are as follows:

THE RETURN OF HASTUR - a man moves into the home of a deceased relative and uncovers a mysterious, water-filled subterranean tunnel and a library of ancient, evil texts. Business
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 30, 2008 Cathy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Die-hard Lovecraft fanatics
Shelves: horror
No one does Lovecraft like Lovecraft, alas. But since I've pretty much exhausted that well, I gave this a try. The stories get better as they go along -- these were written over a considerable timespan and you can see Derleth improve as a storyteller and prose stylist from piece to piece -- but he never quite gets the Lovecraftian atmosphere right. Partly, I think, it's because he's an over-explainer. Lovecraft's narrators stumble on ancient horrors and don't really know anything about them, but ...more
Alexander Draganov
May 26, 2015 Alexander Draganov rated it it was amazing
Yeah, yeah, I know, minds says that this is four stars maximum. But I was so, so happy to read new creepy stories about Cthulhu that managed to ignore that retcons which Derlecht did to Lovecraft's original creation. You know, Lovecraft's works give you an itching from the teases of cosmic horrors and ancient mysteries. Derleht give you the opportunity to scratch that itching. For that, he deserves five stars!
Mar 26, 2010 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
so derleth is clearly not lovecraft, but i still mostly enjoyed reading these stories..i don't really remember the first few all that well, as he tends to use the same story structure in each one..they all kinda blend together. However, The House In The Valley and The Seal of R'yleh both deviate enough from the formula to be compelling additions to the HPL mythos.
Jun 21, 2009 Charles rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Six Cthulhu mythos stories by August Derleth, and they aren't bad. Probably includes the best ones he did in the mythos. Includes "The Whippoorwills in the Hills," and "The Return of Hastur."

Pretty good stuff.
Jim Smith
Jan 08, 2017 Jim Smith rated it did not like it
Mediocre pastiches can potentially be impressive to new readers, but if you're familiar with the pastiched author's style you begin to see that this is not art, and the reader can perhaps visualise the author flicking through a Lovecraft story as he writes, cribbing arbitrarily an unintentional parody of that great author's style to create a jumble of gibberish purely for commercial purposes.

..but wait?

I can hear the piping of the whippoorwills outside and the gelatinous footsteps on the boards
Jan 13, 2014 Dru rated it did not like it
Shelves: horror
Just a point of clarification: The book "The Mask of Cthulhu" is actually a sub-book of "Quest for Cthulhu", both of which are a series of short stories inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's own stories. The breakdown is:

Quest for Cthulhu
1) The Mask of Cthulhu
A) The Return of Hastur
B) The Whippoorwills in the HIlls
C) Something in Wood
D) The Sandwin Compact
E) The House in the Valley
F) The Seal of R'lyeh
2) The Trail of Cthulhu
A) The House on Curwin Street
B) The Watcher from the Sky
C) The Gorge B
Greg Meyer
Sep 19, 2016 Greg Meyer rated it it was ok
Who let August Derleth touch Lovecraft's work? Who thought that was a good idea? Because it wasn't.
José Manuel Frías
Los mitos cosmogónicos de Cthulhu, que explicarían el origen de la creación desde un punto de vista muy singular, con extrañas entidades envueltas en violentas luchas intestinas por el control del universo, y con la Tierra como escenario del exilio de malvados seres, nació en la fecunda imaginación de H. P. Lovecraft.
Pero sus textos calaron tanto en sus lectores, que pronto vieron la luz diferentes discípulos que, tanto en vida del maestro como después de su fallecimiento, siguieron su senda y m
Zantaeus Glom
Feb 16, 2015 Zantaeus Glom rated it liked it
One thing you can say about this August Derleth fellow is that he enjoys the frequent use of the word 'conterminous'; and for that, I found his work rather endearing! 'The Mask of Cthulhu' is probably best enjoyed in small doses, since reading the whole collection in one voluminous bite reveals a distinct lack of variety in each fiendish tale of slumberous batrachian maleficence. These eldritch narratives, while stolid and well-written, do lack invention, and a modicum of dry wit would have adde ...more
Joe Kilmartin
Feb 17, 2015 Joe Kilmartin rated it it was ok
August Derleth is one (merely ONE) of the people responsible for preserving HP Lovecraft's legacy, and, apart from that doesn't belong in the same ranking whatsoever. Creating your own press to republish your hero's work to make him better remembered, then publishing your own, let's face it, fan fiction, in "collaboration" may have the end result of having that hero remembered but doesn't make one a great writer. Derleth is really an awful writer with really little ability beyond parroting the o ...more
Oct 03, 2016 Nick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ο Λάβκραφτ είναι ο άνθρωπος που δημιούργησε τη μυθολογία Κθούλου, αλλά ποτέ δεν την οργάνωσε. Ο άνθρωπος που το έκανε αυτό είναι ο Ντέρλεθ, ο οποίος συνέβαλε στην περαιτέρω διάδοση του έργου του. ο Ντέρλεθ όμως έγραψε και δικά του διηγήματα που ανήκουν στη μυθολογία Κθούλου και πέραν το ότι είναι πολύ κοντά στο στυλ του Λαβκραφτ κατάφερε να δώσει και το δικό του στίγμα. Απλά διαβάστε τις ιστορίες που περιέχονται στο συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο και θα καταλάβετε ότι πολλές σκηνές που περιγράφει έχουν επη ...more
J.w. Schnarr
Jul 10, 2013 J.w. Schnarr rated it liked it
A quick run down of every story in this collection:

I arrive at the house of some long dead/estranged/missing relative. The neighbours hate and fear the house, and don't trust me. When I poke around, I find the secret occult library with every book H.P. Lovecraft ever mentioned in his stories. Somebody/something dies, and all eyes turn to me. I know not why.

I have dreams about Cthulhu.

When I awaken, I find those dreams are real!!!!

The end.

Maybe I should have written ***SPOILER ALERT!!!*** across
Apr 21, 2014 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I enjoyed this book. None of the stories were outstanding, and many of the stories had a similar structure. The writing was serviceable, not outstanding, and not as ornate as Lovecraft. He has also combined Clark Ashton Smith's Elder Gods with Lovecraft's Mythos and tried to unify everything, but he tends to overuse the same beings over and over again without really adding anything new. But on the whole, these stories were fun, if uninspired, and I enjoyed reading this book. Just don't start the ...more
John Graves
Jan 22, 2015 John Graves rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished this little gem today. Although I know some Lovecraft purists might feel different. Derleth did a awesome job keeping the Mythos alive in the Lovecraft fashion. I once posted that The Lurker at the Threshold has to be the most important book of the mythos, Somehow Derleth kept that magic alive post Lovecraft. The Return of Hastur is based on notes that Derleth found writen by Lovecraft. The creepiness of the town of Innsmouth and the quest to raise the Old Ones kept me on edge. Can n ...more
Lars Hachmann
Allein für sich mögen einige der Geschichten ganz nett sein, leider aber nicht mehr. So auf einem Haufen und hintereinander gelesen hat es leider einen Lawinen-Effekt, wenn seltene Bücher und Gegenstände doch scheinbar an jeder Ecke verfügbar sind - das drückt die Stimmung doch schon sehr. Hingegen sind einige Aspekte echt stimmungsvoll inszeniert, aber es bleibt hinter den großen Vorbildern zurück.
Alles in allem: ganz nett, geht aber besser.
Nov 08, 2013 Edgar rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If someone read only one story from the whole Cthulhu mythos, and it was one of these, he'd feel he's witnessing some sort of inside joke that is making August Derleth laugh himself silly. Even I feel the same way. It's like reading someone's fan-fiction about a pop band you don't know. Not even much better than fan-fiction, really.
Timothy Boyd
Stories based on the writings of H. P. Lovecraft. I enjoyed these much more than the original works. Recommended
Liam Purcell
Mar 16, 2013 Liam Purcell rated it it was ok
Formulaic, repetitive, and lacking all of the mystery and weirdness which was the best thing about the Lovecraft stories Derleth is trying to copy.
Aug 07, 2008 Charles rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Slower moving than Lovecraft, but some of these tales are pretty good. These are, of course, Cthulhu stories written by August Derleth. "The Whippoorwills in the Hills" is the best known of tehse.
Aris rated it really liked it
Feb 22, 2016
Lord Jagged
Lord Jagged rated it really liked it
Jul 12, 2012
Bélver rated it liked it
Mar 10, 2014
Mik Parkin
Mik Parkin rated it liked it
Sep 21, 2015
Yung Luv
Yung Luv rated it it was amazing
Feb 05, 2015
Chris rated it liked it
Apr 19, 2013
Sameh rated it it was amazing
Feb 13, 2014
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August William Derleth was an American writer and anthologist. Though best remembered as the first publisher of the writings of H. P. Lovecraft, and for his own contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos genre of horror, Derleth was a leading American regional writer of his day, as well as prolific in several other genres, including historical fiction, poetry, detective fiction, science fiction, and biog ...more
More about August Derleth...

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