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The Road to Madness

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  7,340 ratings  ·  66 reviews
One of the most influential practitioners of American horror, H.P. Lovecraft inspired the work of Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Clive Barker. As he perfected his mastery of the macabre, his works developed fromseminal fragments into acknowledged masterpieces of terror. This volume traces his chilling career and includes:
IMPRISONED WITH THE PHARAOHS--Houdini seeks to reveal
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ebook, 0 pages
Published February 25th 2003 by Random House Publishing Group (first published October 1st 1996)
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Werner
May 30, 2008 Werner rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All fans of scary or macabre fiction
The selections in this volume are arranged chronologically, so that they show the progression, and gradual maturing, of Lovecraft's work, from early stories like "The Transition of Juan Romero" to his powerful later work like the novella At the Mountains of Madness. (This is the titular transition; the title and subtitle play on the names of both of these Lovecraft works, but aren't meant to imply that he ever went mad.) All of the material here effectively displays the same characteristics I no ...more
Steven
These are the Lovecraft stories I've read so far, just for my own personal record-keeping...

At the Mountains of Madness
Azathoth
Beyond the Wall of Sleep
Book
Call of Cthulhu
Case of Charles Dexter Ward
Cats of Ulthar
Celephaïs
Colour out of Space
Cool Air
Crawling Chaos
Dagon
Descendant
Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath
Dreams in the Witch House
Doom that Came to Sarnath
Dunwich Horror
Evil Clergyman
Ex Oblivione
Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family
Festival
From Beyond
Haunter of the Dark
He
Herbert
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Kevin Hinman
The Transition of H. P. Lovecraft is a fairly solid group of shorts, but isn't really recommended for those new to the macabre world of Lovecraft. The collection favors more obscure early pieces, which are interesting as curios for completests, but since they were written when H. P. was still sulking around school and listening to whatever the 1900s version of The Cure was, most of them are garbage.

The standout works are the wonderfully crafted Mountains of Madness, Herbert West: Re-animator, In
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Elizabeth
Reading Lovecraft is like having a horrific tale told to you by an english gentleman in a waist coat over tea in a parlor with a roaring fire. It's like sitting in front of the hearth in a large wing back chair while the storm rages outside. I now understand why Stephen King credits him as an inspiration. He has created richly detailed stories of all types of horror and mayhem and even dabbles in the realm of science fiction. Long before many others were dreaming up such things. I'm told that th ...more
Traummachine
3.5 stars (as a collection):
It's hard to rate a Lovecraft collection. He is pretty hit and miss, so most of his collections are probably mixed bags. But all of them I've read contain several stories that are Lovecraft at his best. So I guess the best thing to do is to briefly cover my faves so you can decide if this is a good collection for you to pick up. Keep in mind that some of these might seem cliche, but that's due to all the imitators. Only Poe and a handful of others were writing Horror
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Fiza Pathan
I must admit that this was the first time I actually came across the author H. P. Lovecraft. I found this book at the Strand Bookstall in Mumbai after it fell on my head as I was rummaging through a bookshelf containing some other great books on philosophy.

I was taken aback when I read on the back cover of the book that Lovecraft had inspired many of my own favourite authors of the macabre like Anne Rice, Stephen King & Clive Barker. As I poured over the stories at night UNDER my study tabl
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Hunter Duesing
What I like about thes collections of Lovecraft's work is that are themed in some way. The purpose of this collection is to track Lovecraft's evolution as a writer. As Neil Gaiman is quick to point out in his introduction, most of Lovecraft's early work (like 'The Beast in the Cave' for example) isn't very good, but it shows promise, and as this book proves, that promise was fulfilled as Lovecraft grew as a writer. If you are new to Lovecraft's short fiction, you'll probably want to start elsewh ...more
Amber
I am too biased to write a proper review. I love Lovecraft and usually feel the need to read something of his at least once a year. This was my last unread volume on the shelf and it's a collection of some of his earlier more obscure stories. Honestly his plotlines are frequently redundant because they are usually different branches of his own mythology, but the world he has created is so detailed, so macabre and and strangely gothic. I always find myself getting completely lost in it regardless ...more
Man Solo
Has the great story Under the Pyramid starring Harry Houdini
Jeff
I really enjoyed this book. There isn't much I can say about H.P. Lovecraft that hasn't already been said a bajillion times, but I can take a stab at it.

The Road to Madness is a collection of Lovecraft's stories, but it feels like the collection's quality is hit-or-miss. Some of the earlier works are there, and are fun to read, but when you look at some stories, they are clearly better than others. However, this does give a good insight into some of the progress that Lovecraft made as an author,
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Nicholas Griffith
You're almost obligated to read Lovecraft at some point if you're an avid reader. As the American father of horror he posthumously enjoys the same celebrity status as every eccentric way-paver. His accolades notwithstanding, I suspect it will be a long time before I ever pick up another of his books; his writing was to literature what J.J. Abrams' directing was to the last dozen episodes of Lost: forever arousing curiosity with nothing to show for it (though Abrams is plainly better at his craft ...more
Kathryn
First Recorded Reading: October 9, 2000


In my continuing quest for interesting bedtime reading, I have finished this cheerful volume of dark tales from H. P. Lovecraft. (I have three of these volumes, all with very creepy cover art by surreal artist John Jude Palencar; this volume, The Best of H. P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre by H. P. Lovecraft, Introduction by Robert Bloch, and The Dream Cycle of H. P. Lovecraft: Dreams of Terror and Death by H. P. Lovecraft, Introd
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Martin Gibbs
Purple


Purple is the word that comes to mind after reading this collection of stories from one of the original masters. I think of the purple void of nightmare and the purple prose that wends its way through these passages. The writing is terrific, dark, brooding, flowing—but sometimes you can fee strangled by it, wrapped in its stream.

The stories themselves are great, the masterpiece in my opinion being "At the Mountains of Madness." But, through all of the blocks of text, with all the deep desc
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Jonathan
Jul 30, 2009 Jonathan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovecraft fans
Shelves: general-fiction
What does it mean to be mad? One might define madness as the state wherein one can no longer distinguish between real, objective phenomena, as experienced empirically by the senses, from certain delusions of the mind; seeing ghosts, as it were. But surely the madman believes the phantasms of his mind to be quite real; this is why the objective standard of empiricism is indispensible. But what if one’s senses convey something which all one’s prior experience betrays as logically impossible? Does ...more
Farrah
here is the lovecraft quote which started it all, from "the outsider": "Unhappy is he to whom the memories of childhood bring only fear and sadness."

fucking magical. and now on to the collection at hand. i'll say this: as a collected edition of stories following in a chronological manner, i enjoyed witnessing lovecraft's genius unfold. while there is always a demon or monster in his stories, the ones in his early writing career, like the first one in this addition written when he was 14 years ol
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Athena
I had major animosity towards Lovecraft throughout the duration of this book. Now that I am finished I am more than overjoyed.
Lovecraft's writing is very intelligent, his settings are vivid, his creations are unique; and as the title implies, all of the stories lead to madness.
Despite the few positive traits this book possesses I didn't like it. I found that some of the tales dragged on painfully, despite their length. There were a few of interest,for example In the Walls of Eryx, which I real
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Mary Overton
Magnificent Jungian/Alchemical horror where narrators are driven mad by the impossibility of integrating The Other -- "At the Mountains of Madness" a vast, pre-human city in Antarctica destroyed by it's own creative genius; "The Horror at Red Hook" a white supremacist tale -- could be rewritten today about the tinderbox issue of illegal immigration; "In the Walls of Eryx" a grail quest that ends at an invisible labyrinth; "Herbert West -- Reanimator" (made into the most bizarrely comical horror ...more
Nicholas Beck
The Transition of H. P. Lovecraft was a fantastic example of the many different styles in which Lovecraft wrote his stories over the years. This contained a number of terrifically scary stories with tremendous settings outside the traditional New England location. Some of my favorites were At The Mountains Of Madness, In The Walls Of Eryx, Cool Air, The Lurking Fear, and Herbert West-Reanimator. This collection of stories took the reader to the ends of the earth, to other parts of the solar syst ...more
Ethan
This book contains some of Lovecraft's lesser-known and earlier work as well as a few famous pieces. Some of the earlier stories are only okay, but true Lovecraft fans will enjoy seeing how he progressed. Since this collection contains my all-time favorite Lovecraft story (or novella, actually), At the Mountains of Madness, I can't help but give it five stars. It also contains a few classics, like "Herbert West - Reanimator," and some interesting stories, like "Imprisoned with the Pharaohs" (gho ...more
Andrew Vrana
The third volume in Del Rey's epic Lovecraft collection effort figures to be the "everything else" book, but it is anything but. Here are collected all the greatest stories that didn't fit into the first two, including the renowned "At the Mountains of Madness," along with a few obscure and early tales that together show the evolution of the influential writer.
Alex Barclay
In high school, a friend of mine had a tattered copy of "The Road to Madness" that he let me borrow. Before then, I had been a big fan of Stephen King and Clive Barker, but it never occurred to me that there may be a writer more influential in my horror writing. That's when H.P. Lovecraft entered my life. Works out of this book, such as "At the Mountains of Madness", "The Horror at Red Hook", and "Herbert West, Reanimator", remain some of my favorites to this day. H.P. Lovecraft taught me to rea ...more
Liz
Not a good book for people who are new to Lovecraft. It follows his stories about Madness from early writings, up to a couple of his pinnacle pieces (namely At the Mountains of Madness). A better way to go would be a Best Of type of compilation. If you're already a lover of Lovecraft, it might be interesting to see the themes that he starts with in his early work, and later rounds out to create some of his masterpieces; and to see how his sense of narrative developed over time. But that wasn't w ...more
Lori
While Lovecraft doesn't hide his misogyny or his racism in his tales, overall his stories are the basis for many of the horror/fantasy writers of today and are still hair-raising to boot.

This collection has much of his earlier work (which shows in its poorer quality), but it does give the reader a much-needed appreciation for Lovecraft's development as a writer.

*Note: Those who complain about the beginnings of the sections of Re-Animator as re-hashes of previous sections should remember that it
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Marissa
The selection of stories here is ... questionable, I guess. There's some good and some not-so-good, and the stories don't seem to make a cohesive whole when taken as one book. And as I've said before about HPL collections, now that I have corrected texts, annotated editions, and the like, books like this are largely unnecessary. However, this is one of the few HPL collections I have which contains "In the Walls of Eryx," a much more "sci-fi"-y collaboration story, so I guess there's that. Also, ...more
krin
I enjoyed this collection of short stories and novellas by H.P. Lovecraft. My favorites included "Herbert West--Renanimator," "Imprisoned with the Pharoahs," and "At the Mountains of Madness." The first one I liked because of the way the narrator told the story - first a little bit, and then it repeats with more and more detail. I liked the second story because it was told from the point of view of Harry Houdini. And finally, I liked the third story because it was a good mix of discovery, advent ...more
Sean Chick
This is mostly a collection of early Lovecraft tales and those not connected directly to his cosmic horror mythos. The weakness with these stories is the bad prose transitions and dull characters who are merely there to observe horror which of course usually drives everyone mad. Lovecraft was never a master of creating compelling characters, but he learned over-time to have his narrators have a bit more personality and interaction with their world. As such signs of future greatness abound but th ...more
Dave
The Road to Madness covers Lovecraft's early work all the way to his later writings.
Though the author who wrote the introduction speaks of LC's early efforts as "promising," they're mainly not good.
The rest of the stories are a mixed bag. Some of the standouts are He, Herbert West-Reanimator, and In the Walls of Eryx. In the Mountains of Madness is supposed to be one of his best, but I think it drags on for too long and explicitly reveals too much to rank up there with his better ones.

I liked hi
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Ryan Szesny
Its a horror classic for a reason.
Irum Zahra
Just. Top. Class. God.!
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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
More about H.P. Lovecraft...
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