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Tales of H.P. Lovecraft

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  5,826 ratings  ·  307 reviews
When he died in 1937, destitute and emotionally and physically ruined. H.P. Lovecraft had no idea that he would come to be regarded as the godfather of the modern horror genre, nor that his work would influence an entire generation of writers, including Stephen King and Anne Rice. Now, at last, the most important tales of this distinctive American genious are gathered in o ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 19th 2000 by Ecco (first published 1935)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Chris
Let's first acknowledge that Lovecraft is a master of hooking the reader with the first sentence. A few of the best:

"I repeat to you, gentlemen, that your inquisition is fruitless."
- The Statement of Randolph Carter

"Of Herbert West, who was my friend in college and in after life, I can speak only with extreme terror."
- Herbert West - Reanimator

"I am forced into speech because men of science have refused to follow my advice without knowing why."
- At the Mountains of Madness

"It is true that I h
...more
jzhunagev
Weirder Than You Think
(A Book Review of Tales of H. P. Lovecraft edited
by Joyce Carol Oates)


Without a doubt Howard Philips Lovecraft, or more commonly known as H. P. Lovecraft, is one of the greatest writers the turbulent twentieth century ever produced. No one can refute that he is indeed the natural inheritor of the American horror tradition next to his literary hero, Edgar Allan Poe, to which Lovecraft is usually compared to. Peeking further into the life of H. P. Lovecraft, it seems — call
...more
Catherine Siemann
These stories are florid, overwritten, offensively racist/xenophobic. And they nearly all have the same basic plot.

But there's also an odd brilliance to them. They're less terrifying than I expected them to be, but they are fascinating with their revelations of elder beings and unimaginably alien architecture and geometry that's *wrong*. There's a sense of paranoia and of secret truths, and his world-building is very effective. I think my favorite parts were the exploration of the pre-prehistori
...more
Brittni
It’s tough to give a rating to an anthology, but I have to give five stars for Lovecraft’s style and subject difference. My quote book is mostly filled with his horrifyingly beautiful words now. He’s truly a one-of-a-kind writer, although his stories share large similarities: a logical protagonist, not given to superstitions, encountering something to shake his beliefs; otherworldly entities; a certain book called The Necronomicon; the struggle against madness after learning too much...

I didn’t
...more
Bennet
A genre typically known as gothic horror, but I prefer operatic. For sheer imaginative spectacle you can't beat it, not to mention there's no headier scary stuff. After tends to feel like I've been hyperventilating, all dizzying and chilling, even upon rereading.

This is a favored edition because I also like Oates's introduction/commentary, which begins:

"In writers like Henry James and Edith Wharton, the gothic tale may compensate a conventional, restrictive life; in others, notably Edgar Allen
...more
Kate
I took one of those quizzes online to see which famous author "I write like" (iwl.me) and it came back as H.P. Lovecraft. Having never read his works, I think now would be a good time to start.

Oh man, this book was excellent! H.P Lovecraft was way ahead of his time in his writing. He was bizarro before bizarro was even a genre and his horror is right on - creepy and kind of gorey, but excellently done. He kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next.

Even though I enjoy
...more
Woolrich13
How odd a man was Howard Phillips Lovecraft? He was an atheist and Darwinist who insisted on marrying his Jewish wife at a high Anglican church service. Also, he gave a spoken abstract analytical review praising Hitler's "Mein Kampf" to same Jewish wife as well as Lovecraft's then literary agent (also Jewish), who proceeded to more or less ignore him and say, "Oh, that's Howard!" However, this was during Lovecraft's more sociable phase, such as it was, when he had a very, very unhappy stay in Ne ...more
Sam
Lovecraft! Burdened by poor word choice, clumsy with narrative, and hampered by psycho-sexual and racial issues by the bucketful, an asexual aristocrat from Providence wrote some of the most genuinely disturbing stories in American literature. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but even if one doesn't enjoy his eldritch horrors from beyond the wall of sleep, they can at least appreciate how his stories represent a certain kind of paranoia: one that could have only been penned by an exceedingly well ...more
Dave Henry
While I have not read the vast majority of horror fiction available, I would still be willing to stake a claim that no other writer has written in the genre more effectively in the last hundred years than Howard Phillips Lovecraft.

He is almost definitely the most influential. Any modern horror author worth his salt would almost certainly cite Lovecraft as an enormous influence; his last name alone has entered the Lexicon as a descriptive; the adjective "Lovecraftian" calls to mind images and the
...more
Rob
There are two central recurring elements in Lovecraft's stories: the academic and the fear of miscegnation. The academic nature of his stories is what causes so many of them to bloat and become glacially slow reads, but at the same time it is essential to Lovecraft's idea of horror: an idea which does not fit into our mental world, which scares even when there is no immediate danger. In a way Lovecraft's stories can be seen even as an assault on academia, showing the limits of the pursuit of kno ...more
Amanda
Whenever I'm in the mood for a couple of sleepless nights spent listening for hell-beasts under my bed, I just wrap myself in a few blankets and settle in with my big book o' Lovecraft.
Greg Heaney
My acquaintance with Lovecraft felt much like one of his own stories, in retrospect. In reading what authors inspired my favorites, or lightly researching some famous novel, I occasionally heard his name come up. No one was ever specific about him, but he was always linked up with a foreboding sense of dread and terror. He remained a mystery to me.

That could not have kept up for long. After reading his stories, I realized that Lovecraftian influences have completely pervaded American culture. Ev
...more
Xavier Guillaume
May 24, 2012 Xavier Guillaume rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Poe fans, Stephen King fans, Joyce Carol Oates fans
This is my first time reading H.P. Lovecraft. I've always heard his name mentioned, particularly in reference to "The Call of Cthulhu," which is mentioned quite frequently in pop culture. I've seen Cthulhu stuffed animals, Cthulhu T-Shirts, and even World of Warcraft references H.P Lovecraft lore with their Ancient Ones. Anyway, I finally read his works, and I do have some mixed feelings about his writing style, but overall, I really liked this book.

Tales of H.P. Lovecraft is a general collectio
...more
Joe
H.P. Lovecraft: Xenophobic? Check. Clunky and awkward word choice? Check. Creator of freaky and bizarre worlds and one of my new favorite authors? Big check.

Man oh man, this was a feat! Over 800 pages of the craziest stuff i've ever read. I can see why this is the guy that gives Stephen King nightmares.

As far as I'm concerned there are three names in American horror: Poe, Lovecraft and King. Lovecraft was clearly damaged goods that had more hate and fear in his heart than anything resembling lov
...more
Shaun
4.5 stars

Though not a complete works, at over 800 pages this Library of America collection edited by Peter Straub incorporates 22 of Lovecraft's tales and is a great way to explore his writings.

In addition to his Poe-esque stories, which often include some element of the occult, Lovecraft also created his own mythology, incorporating ancient and often alien beings into Earth's history. As a result, many of the stories have common and repeating themes and a similar structure/storyline. Likewise,
...more
Bill Tucker
Xenophobic? Check! Racist? Again, check! Lovecraft had these faults, and many more besides, and I would venture to say that I wouldn't have much liked meeting the man, much less spending time with him. Insofar as his fiction is concerned, however, these shortcomings don't stop me from enjoying every word, and enjoy I did....literally every word.

The thing is, no other fiction harnesses the fear of the unknown as well as Lovecraft's. As horrific as his elder abominations are, they remain nebulous
...more
R. C.
I read a quarter of the tales in the book and only one (not a Cthulhu tale) particularly sticks with me a week later. They were entertaining, the style light and strong, but all too much alike. By the fifth or sixth tale, they had become predictable, and predictable horror just isn't scary. Also, I understand and agree with Lovecraft that the unknown is what truly terrifies us, but I would have been more scared by his stories had he used descriptors more visceral than, "unfathomable," "ineffable ...more
Phil Overeem
Damn, those tales were damned! After awhile, they began to resemble each other too closely, but I had been waiting to read "The Call of Cthulhu" for a long while and--the experience I must not speak of.
David
I've read a smidgen of Lovecraft here and there over the years, but thought to myself, why not crank through more?

It took a while, if only because this excellent collection of short story/novella length works didn't really lend itself to a straight read-through.

In part, that was because each "tale" is self-contained, and of adequate length to make for a nice little evening read. More significantly, I found myself with only so much tolerance for the Lovecraftian vernacular...after a while, I do f
...more
Acacia
I think my initial problem here is the constant comparison of Lovecraft to Poe (both in the intro to this book and by readers on Goodreads), which I think colored my expectations about what kind of stories I would be encountering. Poe is my absolute favorite author, so I'm a tough critic whenever any other author is compared with him. And while I can see where the similarities between the two exist, if Poe is your favorite, be warned that these stories probably will not live up to your expectati ...more
Briana
Actually, I didn't finish this. But I've read as much of it as I'm going to...YES, Alex, I read "The Call of Cthulhu"...It was okay. I like Lovecraft's style. The only story that really jumped out at me was the first one in this collection...I forget the title...but it actually sent a shiver down my spine when I finished it. And that's never happened before, not with Edgar Allen Poe or Frank Peretti or Charles Williams...of course, I read it really late at night while everyone was asleep. HOWEVE ...more
Alan
In many ways, the writing of H.P. Lovecraft is autobiography.

I don't mean that he believed in Cthulhu, or Nyarlathotep, or the Great Race that steals your body and casts your mind back to a vast, ancient, Cyclopean prison that serves as a library of all the knowledge of the cosmos, past, present and future. There are people who believe Lovecraft really believe in what he wrote about, or at least say they do, but that's not what I'm talking about. The writing of H.P. Lovecraft is autobiographical
...more
Ryan
Tales of H.P. Lovecraft
Written by Lovecraft, stories selected by Joyce Carol Oates and forward.
Read it in Paper-back and came in at 328 (not counting forward or 'reader's helper' at the end.

I won't go into any details of Lovecraft, or his unfortunate life. All of that is pretty well documented and can be found via a Wikki or Internet search. One thing that should be mentioned however is that he is considered the father of Weird Fiction, with a lot of authors claiming influential ties to his work
...more
Trenton Hayes
It pleases me that this edition exists. Poor Howard, who was poor and near destitute and who's entire life was the horrified contemplation of beauty and affluence slowly receding like a block of ice melting on a warm day, and whose literary career was characterized by little recognition and much hardship...and here he is joining the western canon, the heir to Poe. And much deserved.

This book has much of his best. The Mountains of Madness, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, The Shadow over Innsmout
...more
Jesse Lehrer
*note: this review is for the 838 page hardcover edition which features MANY more stories

This was the first time I read Lovecraft and holy shit, he is as amazingly unique, brilliant, and terrifying as people say. I must, however, note that several of the stories in this book are mediocre and that it has a 5 star rating simply because virtually all Lovecraft publications are released in collections and not as stand alones and those stories that are amazing deserve 10 stars, let alone 5!

Oddly enou
...more
Susanne
Sep 09, 2009 Susanne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like Poe, Twilight Zone, X-Files, and citizens of Arkham
I learned that Cthulhu is pronounced Khlul-hloo .
Two syllables. The u in the first syllable sounding like the u in full.

I've been pronouncing it K-thoo-loo (three syllables). Oops.

Also, knowing that Lovecraft's paranoid, delusional mother kept him isolated for years and convinced him he was ugly makes The Outsider truly poignant.

My favorite story in this book is The Thing On The Doorstep. Waaay creepy.

Lovecraft's favorite was The Colour Out Of Space.
Also very creepy.

In fact, if you sit and rea
...more
B. Jay
Love it! I can see why so many avent-gardes in the horror genre list Lovecraft as a huge influence. Although the formality of his writing and the consistancy of most stories being told in flashback form prohibit readers from diving in as deeply as one might like, Lovecraft's visions are genuinly terrifying. He was light years ahead of his time in terms of how he treated the subject material with deep seriousness, and created a whole world history (and future) in loving bits and pieces. Certain s ...more
Bre
Definately not for everyone but if you dig just plain weirdness and good old horror stories, this might be for you. I love Herbert West, which is partly the inspiration for King's Pet Semetary. Only thing I have to complain about this book is the cover. It's just...dull! Really, Lovecraft has such an epic imagination, so slap a picture of one of the "Old Ones" on the cover or something. If you read this book, you may never think of an octopus the same way again. (Shudders) Not to spoil anything, ...more
Vheissu
Masterful prose and idiosyncratic terror. Quote:
In the whole spectacle there was a persistent, pervasive hint of stupendous secrecy and potential revelation; as if these stark, nightmare spires marked the pylons of a frightful gateway into forbidden spheres of dream, and complex gulfs of remote time, space, and ultra-dimensionality. I could not help feeling that there were evil things--mountains of madness whose farther slopes looked out over some accursed ultimate abyss. That seething, half-lu
...more
velma
Quite creepy. Lots of tentacles. I think "The Colour Out of Space" was my favourite.

I didn't finish the one about the mountains. I got a third of the way into that one and I was like "okay ancient vegetable-creatures, scary mountains, I cannot read 100 pages of this expedition though"

I really enjoyed the fact that the stories intertwined. While each of these is creepy in its own right, the fact that a character from one story is referencing a town/incident/monster from another makes it extra unn
...more
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attn admin people: wrong author 2 41 Dec 04, 2007 07:10AM  
  • H.P. Lovecraft's Book of Horror
  • Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories
  • American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from Poe to the Pulps
  • The Selected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe
  • Four Novels of the 1960s
  • New Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos
  • The Haunted Dolls' House and Other Ghost Stories
  • Novels, 1956-1964
  • Tales and Sketches
  • Grimscribe: His Lives and Works
  • Goodbye, Columbus and Five Short Stories / Letting Go
  • The Book of Cthulhu
  • The White People and Other Weird Stories
  • Lovecraft Unbound
  • Chandler: Stories and Early Novels
  • Novels and Stories
  • Novels, 1936-1940
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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
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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“From even the greatest of horrors irony is seldom absent.” 1360 likes
“My searchlight expired, but still I ran. I heard voices, and yowls, and echoes, but above all there gently rose that impious, insidious scurrying, gently rising, rising as a stiff bloated corpse gently rises above an oily river that flows under endless onyx bridges to a black putrid sea. Something bumped into me - something soft and plump. It must have been the rats; the viscous, gelatinous, ravenous army that feast on the dead and the living...” 7 likes
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