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Dreams of Terror and Death

4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  4,495 ratings  ·  116 reviews
" Lovecraft's] dream fantasy works are as terrifying and haunting as his tales of horror and the macabre. A master craftsman, Lovecraft brings compelling visions of nightmarish fear, invisible worlds andthe demons of the unconscious. If one author truly represents the very best in American literary horror, it is H. P. Lovecraft."
--John Carpenter, Director of At the Mouth o
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Published February 25th 2003 by Random House Publishing Group (first published September 11th 1995)
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Let's be frank -- I love Lovecraft. The "Necronomicon" that you've heard referenced a zillion times is a fictional tome of his invention. He was writing in the 1930's, and his work is dated by its slow pacing, Poe-like vocabulary, and predictability (now that he's fathered the entire horror genre -- nearly every successful writer from Neil Gaiman to Stephen King cites him as an influence -- and its tropes are so recognizable to us). But Lovecraft's style is entirely singular, so much so that the ...more
If you think Lovecraft is all doom and madness, this compilation of stories is here to teach an important lesson: sometimes he's also writing about how cats can save someone from moon monsters. This collection of short stories is a well-selected look into the stories Lovecraft wrote set in and around the world of dreams. Only brushing the Cthulhu mythos, I found these other works to offer a more rounded view of the author and the universe he created. Included among the shorter stories are two no ...more
Aug 05, 2015 Leothefox rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anybody
Shelves: favorites
Twice I set out to read Randolph Carter's dream quest and twice I was snatched away... I first purchased this book way back in 2003, when I wasn't much of a reader. Fast forward to now and the third time was the charm.

This one took me a while, mostly because I had a lot of stress, had to move and such, but it was well worth it. Lovecraft's dream quest has some of his best stuff. In this collection there's loads of great shorts like “The Nameless City” and “Beyond the Wall of Sleep” some novel-l
David Stephens
As should be obvious from the title, this collection of Lovecraft stories focuses on dreams. In many of these tales, Lovecraft suggests that dreams are where truth actually lies as opposed to reality where it is often thought to be. He believes dreams are things "whose vaguely exciting and disquieting effect suggests possible minute glimpses into a sphere of mental existence no less important than physical life yet separated from that life by an all but impassable barrier." And most of the chara ...more
I need to get a couple of things up front, right off the bat.

(1) I have a great and abiding fondness for many of Lovecraft's stories; "Pickman's Model" is a longtime favourite, and "The Dunwich Horror" and "The Colour out of Space" and "The Cats of Ulthar" are part of my very early memories of horror fiction.

(2) Oh dear god the man was racist. The man was horrendously racist, and it's not all just the time period he was living in. The first story (as opposed to fragment) in this book is "oh dear
Maybe I'm jaded, but I just couldn't get into it. I liked Pickman's Model, and then I kind of bounced around, trying to find a story I could enjoy or be scared by. I got partway through the Dream Quest of Unknown Kadeth and just got bored to tears. I kept falling asleep. I just find other people's dreams really uninteresting. And I got distracted by the way he writes: every single noun has to have a hyperbolic adjective attached to it. Drove me nuts.

Go to for big laffs!
it's Lovecraft and all the surmise on his personal life and beliefs aside, this guy is twisted, dark, macabre(and you really don't get to use this word very often), and writes like no other and I love it. To all that have that streak of Cure listening, black wearing(and who doesn't in PDX), ruminations on a bleak death this is for you. I respectfully, religiously give this tome a read during the first storms of fall around Halloween. Not for the faint of heart.
Full disclosure: I have not read this entire collection. I previously read "The Dreams in the Witch-House", and I picked it up again to read "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward". This is horror in the tradition -- I'd say -- of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein": Science-driven, and written in a very 'literary' style that may challenge readers used to modern horror. Not an easy read, but very rewarding.
My first real foray into Lovecraft. While some of the stories are disposable, many are quite good and some are excellent (Pickman's Model, The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath, and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward stand out). I feel, after reading this, that my plans of living a hermetic life and indulging in strange pursuits are justified.
First, I am a long-time Lovecraft fan. For years I've dug his ability - despite his Poe-aping turgid prose - to convey something unique, the ripples of which are still felt in horror. The nameless, strange terrors that became his stock-in-trade are certainly unique, and forgive a lot of his faults. (Overlong work, repetitive pieces, and a lack of proper description - though this last is understandable as he was largely cribbing from nightmares.)


Ole HPL is racist.

And not just mildly.

He's a
Geert Daelemans
An excellent collection of stories of the macabre

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Bram Stoker's Dracula and Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are commonly seen as the cornerstones of modern horror. In my opinion Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) must to be added to this list, because horror wouldn't be the same without the influence of this phenomenal writer. One can say that Lovecraft brought the "Dark Monsters" into the genre, take for example the H.R.Gigger creature used in the
The more I read of Lovecraft, the more I like his work. I started out with a sort of "best hits" compilation book, which I reviewed on here, and if I weren't so blasted tired I would link to it, but basically, at the time, I didn't really get it. There was all this hype about how terrifying Lovecraft is, and Cthulhu kept popping up (not literally, thank goodness) in books I was reading, and I guess I was expecting something a bit more explicitly scary. I also suggested that the man get a thesaur ...more
East Bay J
To my mind, H. P. Lovecraft stands as one of the most singular and interesting writers of the 20th century. Just as interesting as his stories and writing style are his unusual life, voluminous letter writing and his circle of friends (Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, etc.). Most interesting, perhaps, was the pantheon of gods he created and the concept he wrote around that humanity are pawns, specks of dust in an unfeeling universe.

The Dream Cycle Of H. P. Lovecraft collects twenty five of
I love how Lovecraft wrote. Really. His word choice, his style, his rampant anglophilia, his imitable style that inspired so many of horror and fantasy's modern-day kings. You can tell the man's got serious talent -- and a truly terrifying imagination, my God -- and it's a right shame that he didn't get the recognition he deserved in his lifetime.

A collection of short stories just wasn't the best introduction to him for me. And it doesn't help that I read this in 30-page chunks spanning more th
This book was definitely amazing. Lovecraft was able to weave very frightening and amazing worlds, and the way the editor put them all together was indeed perfect. In some stories then end was rather predictable (because everyone wants to be like Lovecraft) but i still found myself excited to read them. I couldn't give this book 5 stars though because sometimes the difference in ages of writing was hard to grasp. It just seemed t draw on and on during some stories, and others went so fast i coul ...more
Zachary Moore
Lovecraft's dream cycle is part fantasy and part horror, some of the more Dunsanian stories surprised me quite a bit when I first read them as I was expecting a non-stop diet of monsters from Lovecraft. This collection contains the enormously imaginative "Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath" as well as one of favorite Lovecraft stories, "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" which to my mind was Lovecraft's most successful exploration of the theme of intelligences reaching back through time to claim a livi ...more
Lovecraft is best known as a master of horror, and while this collection contains a few stories of that sort, it's main focus is on his works of fantasy. While they can still be pretty creepy, Lovecraft's fantasy stories are often beautiful and moving as well. "Celephais" is a great example of this. It's a story about a man who has fallen on hard times and retreats into a world spun in his childhood dreams, where he is the king of a great and beautiful land called Ooth-Nargai. There are many mor ...more
As a collection of HPL dream stories, this kind of baffles me. Many of the "Dunsanian" and other dream-world stories are here, but why in the name of Azathoth is "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" here?! Randolph Carter is mentioned offhandedly once in the story, but there's really no reason to include it here, especially since it's quite long and takes up space that could have been filled with the rest of HPL's actual dream stories. Once again, since there are corrected texts and annotated editi ...more
Songfully or Horrifically Transcending the Mundane

Dreams of Terror and Death: The Dream Cycle of H. P. Lovecraft (1995) is a collection of three "dream fragments," 19 short stories, two novellas, and one collaboration story. Most of the works have thematic and or dramatic connections to dreams, and many take place in Lovecraft's "dreamlands." Most of the characters either pursue the ineffable too avidly ("with unsanctioned phrensy"), or dream beyond the toil and torpor of the "real" world. Eithe
Danielle Langlois
I will be honest to say that I didn't finish the book. I only got about a quarter way through it. I enjoyed maybe 3 stories out of the 8 or so that I read. Just found it really hard to get into and that I would have to re-read paragraphs over and over until I felt like "heard" What the author intended his audience to; Possibly because I found it hard to connect it with any area of my life. Maybe I will try it again another time but for now I am putting it to rest.
Kat  Hooper
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.

In the mood for some Eldritch horror? Feel like steeping yourself in Lovecraft’s frightening nihilistic dream worlds? Want to be read to by some of the world’s best story readers? Then give Blackstone Audio’s version of Dreams of Terror and Death: The Dream Cycle of H.P. Lovecraft a try. It collects Lovecraft’s entire Dream Cycle in 20 hours of high-quality audio narrated by some of my favorite readers including Robertson Dean, Simon Vance, Sean Runnette,
Fantasy Literature
In the mood for some Eldritch horror? Feel like steeping yourself in Lovecraft’s frightening nihilistic dream worlds? Want to be read to by some of the world’s best story readers? Then give Blackstone Audio’s version of Dreams of Terror and Death: The Dream Cycle of H.P. Lovecraft a try. It collects Lovecraft’s entire Dream Cycle in 20 hours of high-quality audio narrated by some of my favorite readers including Robertson Dean, Simon Vance, Sean Runnette, Elijah Alexander, Stefan Rudnicki, Brons ...more
J.M. Hushour
I seem to have developed a strange, nay cyclopean relationship with HP Lovecraft. Reading his stuff, I either love it or I hate. It's either "Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath" fucking brilliant (with an uncharacteristically good ending?!) or it's phenomenally bad (most of the rest of this collection). I get it. Really, I do. Lovey (Mrs. Howell?!) is really good at mythos-building, in fact the term is nigh undivorceable from his name. Yeah, all that Cthulhu stuff is fun and the weird creatures and h ...more
First Recorded Reading: October 4, 2000

Of these three short story collections of H. P. Lovecraft published by Del Rey (this one, The Best of H. P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre by H. P. Lovecraft, Introduction by Robert Bloch, and The Transition of H. P. Lovecraft: The Road to Madness by H. P. Lovecraft, Introduction by Barbara Hambly), I like this one the best, as the dream fiction always makes me wish that my dream world was more exciting than it is. So, it goes with
It is easy to see how Lovecraft blazed a trail for both fantasy and horror writers with his creativity and style. This compilation of short stories showcases both his strengths and shortcomings. He expands on themes and characters over multiple stories, which makes his work seem more whole and thought-out. He is quite imaginative for his day. However, he has a tendency to prevaricate when it comes to the actual horror or violence. The more explicit his stories are, the more successful they are, ...more
Jack Stovold
This is my first experience with Lovecraft. I've long wanted to try him out, and after doing some research, I decided to start with this volume before delving into the Cthulhu mythos (my philosophy, being as always to save the best for last). I plan to follow up with "Tales", which when combined with this apparently contains all the Lovecraft tales of any importance, and read the remainder on the Internet.
At first, I was frankly disappointed. A number of the stories near the beginning were very
Void lon iXaarii
Quite a great and interesting collection of Lovecraft works. Many of them give a surprising and fresh perspective to the Ctulhu universe explaining many things and giving a bigger perspective on the fictional universe. I was made curious to go back to Lovecraft because of the game Bloodborne, and indeed the links and relationships I now believe are many and deep. Very interesting atmosphere in both and they go great togehter.
Most of these tales were Required reading to play D&D with "the big boys" in my pre-teen years... many a nightmare as a result, too! Not this SPECIFIC Anthology, but would love to see how these rate on the "distract-me-from-pain-meter" THESE days. Many a stray cat was an alien arrived to save us in my imagination, too. These prepared me to devour many thousands of pages of Stephen King... scary stuff.
Craig a.k.a Meatstack
Didn't finish. But since it was a collection of short stories, I feel that I've sampled enough to call "Mission complete."

Here's the thing. I don't care for horror movies, books, stories, etc. Just never been my thing. In addition, his archaic writing style is also not really my favorite.

Those were the two strikes against this book.

In the "gaming" world and culture, you cannot swing a cat by the tail without hitting a Lovecraft reference. This was my reason for wanting to read these...I wanted
Andrew Vrana
A near-complete collection of Lovecraft's Dream Cycle. He may be known for his Cthulhu Mythos, but the Dream World universe these stories build is perhaps his greatest masterpiece.
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  • H.P. Lovecraft's Book of Horror
  • Tales of the Lovecraft Mythos
  • The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard
  • The Taint and Other Novellas (Cthulhu Collection)
  • The Dark Eidolon and Other Fantasies
  • The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana: A Guide to Lovecraftian Horror (Call of Cthulhu)
  • Grimscribe: His Lives and Works
  • The Children of Cthulhu: Chilling New Tales Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft
  • Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories
  • The Yellow Sign & Other Stories
  • The Three Impostors and Other Stories
  • Cthulhu 2000
  • Lovecraft Unbound
  • Black Wings: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror
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...
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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