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The Doom That Came To Sarnath

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  2,756 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
H. P. (introduction by Lin Carter) (with Harry Houdini on Pharoahs) Lovecraft.

Contents: Imprisoned with the Pharoahs; The Other Gods; The Tree; The Tomb; Polaris; Beyond the Wall of Sleep; Memory; What the Moon Brings; Nyarlathotep; Ex Oblivione; The Cats of Ulthar; Hypnos; Nathicana; From Beyond; The Festival
Mass Market Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 1976 by Ballantine Books (first published June 1920)
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Bill  Kerwin

Although this early imitation of Dunsany—first published in the amateur journal The Scot in (1920)—reveals the Irish writer's influence in every line, it is also characteristically Lovecraft, a harbinger of greater things to come.

Written in ornate, mannered prose, the story itself is simple: the men who built the new city of Sarnath—a city destroyed ten thousand years ago—hate the old city of Ib, and therefore lay waste to it and kill every one of its inhabitants, preserving only the statue of B
Feb 08, 2017 Sr3yas rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars
"Wise men have interpreted dreams, and the gods have laughed."

Are you ready to embark upon a journey across Lovecraft's lands of fabled dreamworld?

Here is a map!

Anyone who has read enough Lovecraftian horrors would know that most of his stories could be classified under two prominent and interconnected themes /shared universe :

The Cthulhu Mythos, which revolves around the horrors of Great Old Ones &
Dream Cycle, where the central theme is an alternative dimension that can
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Mar 04, 2015 ᴥ Irena ᴥ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Ten thousand years ago in the land of Mnar there used to be a glorious city of Sarnath. It's gone now.
Before humans came the land of Mnar was the home of lake creatures, the beings of Ib. 'They worshipped a sea-green stone idol chiselled in the likeness of Bokrug, the great water-lizard; before which they danced horribly when the moon was gibbous.' When humans came they killed them all and destroyed their city of Ib. As a proof of their power they took their green idol to their city.
Bokrug There
Apr 03, 2016 Mizuki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is one of the better stories from Lovecraft's Dream Cycle. It reads like a dark fairy tale and the foreshadowing of the deadly curse is played out rather nicely, so 4 stars.
Ruby Hollyberry
Another Lovecraft fan is born! This has been the direct result of my falling head over heels for the books (the ones I have acquired, that being Silk, Threshold, Murder of Angels, Low Red Moon, Daughter of Hounds, The Red Tree, and Alabaster) of Caitlin R. Kiernan, who has been heavily influenced by Lovecraft in style as well as content and who is to my mind one of the most talented writers of the current day, and one with the most to say. I was not able to immediately procure more of her writin ...more
When I was a freshman in high school I found this book in the school library. It was my introduction to Lovecraft and his "eldritch" tales of shambling horrors from beyond the stars, haunted childhoods, and fantastical dreamworlds. I had never read anything like them. In some way he tapped an emotional vein of gothic nostalgia that has always been a part of my world view, giving it voice. While his writing is full of flaws (racism, no characterization whatsoever, hyperbolic adjectives ad infinit ...more
Oct 10, 2013 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovecraft fans, horror fans, sci fi fans
Recommended to Michael by: Serendipity
Lin Carter explains in the introduction that this book is a kind of collection of leftovers, stories that he would have liked to include in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, but couldn’t because of space. It seems to heavily emphasize Lovecraft’s early work, and there are considerable crossovers with other Del Rey releases, especially The Tomb and Other Tales. Carter makes much of Lovecraft’s influences, and especially his love for the poet known as Lord Dunsany, who is seen as the inspiration ...more
Mark R.
I love these Del Rey Lovecraft collections from the 70s. Cool artwork, not too long (usually around 180 - 250 pages), and of course, full of awesome H. P. Lovecraft stories. However, picking these at random hasn't quite worked for me, as I've read this collection of his early work twice now (2007, 2014) and still haven't read much of the Cthulu Mythos, for which he is most well-known. I'll be remedying that in the very near future.

"The Doom that Came to Sarnath" collects the excellent titular st
Oct 08, 2015 Harlan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This collection shows Lovecraft's early writing: his dream-like stories of ancient fantasy civilizations his more classical ghost stories, the ruin of a couple over-curious explorers. Some have great twists, but most pale in comparison to those of his later "Cthulhu Mythos" period: Mountains of Madness, Call of Cthulhu, Shadow of Innsmouth, Dunwich Horror, Color out of Space, to name my favorites. So I'd recommend the collection in "The Doom that Came to Sarnath" to a Lovecraft fan wanting to le ...more
Dan Henk
Dec 31, 2011 Dan Henk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think Lovecraft often gets a bad rap. People read that he influenced the modern greats, everyone form authors like Stephen King and Clive Barker, to movie makers like John Carpenter and Wes Craven, and then dive into his books expecting the same fare. He wrote for a different era. His mind-bending, first person surrealistic approach to a creeping, nameless horror stunned and fascinated huge segments of early century America. The America that read, that is, which wasn't nearly what it is today. ...more
José Monico
I couldn't get past the overly descriptive middle section of this story. Lovecraft has a way with engulfing a person into his enchantment. However, I think it was a bit overdone. While the Sarnath vividness was relished towards the end, perhaps it could have been been better composed? To be blunt, it got boring. It's obvious one is not supposed to know what are the geographical details of "Mnar", or "Ib"; or the personal stories of the great warriors, and many kings and nobles. But the informati ...more
Joshua L Shioshita
Another fantasy tale from Lovecraft. This one deals with revenge and curses. He loves to make descendants pay for the crimes of their ancestors which is pretty messed up. Apart from that though I'm just not a fantasy guy, and it's hard to get into it.
Baal Of
Sep 06, 2016 Baal Of rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, weird
A simple story of human eradication of another species, because they are other, the slow build of magnificent empire, and then their destruction by those they thought they had wiped out. Flowery language, and a very fairy-tale feeling in the opulence of the city.
Dec 26, 2010 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, scary
I found this collection particularly great. Lovecraft's sleeping/dreaming-centered stories are my favorites. They all have such a fantastic air of anonymous terror.
Sorin Toma
The answer to any question about Lovecraft:

"Because he hated Jews and foreigners".
Dec 26, 2016 Meg rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Anticolonialist in theory and a bit of modern historian jibing his past counterparts who died in their causes? In general, not a fan.
East Bay J
This book collects some of Lovecraft's "dream sequence" stories as well as some straight horror. Most of these predate "Call Of Cthulhu;" Lin Carter includes a chronology of the stories here and from the collection The Dream Quest Of Unknown Kadath, which I find interesting because you get a sense of Lovecraft's development as a writer.

Lots of good stuff here but the real standout for me was "Nyarlathotep." Lovecraft manages to convey a sense of terror in a (then) modern setting, telling of the
Jan 04, 2015 Marco rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Ten thousand years ago, in the remote Dreamlands region of Mnar, there was a vast lake, and on its shore stood the imperial city of men called Sarnath. Immemorial years before the building of Sarnath, however, the gray stone city of Ib overlooked the lake, peopled by beings who were green-skinned and flabby-lipped and bulging of eye and voiceless. It’s believed that lake and Ib and beings all came down from the moon one night. The beings worshipped the great water-lizard, Bokrug, and danced horr ...more
Aug 15, 2012 Ken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I put this collection of mostly earlier works by Lovecraft into the fantasy shelf because so many either take place in Lovecraft's fantasy world (The Other Gods, Doom that came to Sarnath, Cats of Ulthar, Quest of Iranon) or have a predominant element of fantasy but with a note of horror (Beyond the Wall of Sleep, Hypnos, Crawling Chaos, Polaris). The best story is probably The Festival, which really captures what a mythos Lovecraft story is all about: strange heritage, strange beings under the ...more
Gabriel C.
I really don't like Lin Carter's collections. I mean, I get it, he's super deep down the rabbit hole so he assumes you have whatever of Dunsany or Lovecraft is currently in print in 1970-whatever, and you only want obscura. But that means that these collections, if they're what survives, are full of the obscura and dance around the highest quality stuff. It also means that there is substantial overlap with other collections. I like those handsome hardcovers with the built in bookmark ribbons tha ...more
Jun 19, 2009 Katsumi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
H.P lovecraft writes great horror stories and this is no exception he's probably one of the great horror story writers along with the likes of Poe. This book is made up of creative writing and conjours up distorted images in your head from the suspense that builds up to the climax toward the end. H.P Lovecraft's books tend to focus on the Horror/Fantasy genre and is the kind of horror material that involves creatures of a new breed and not so much a typical thriller story for example. The doom t ...more
Dec 15, 2016 Wiedźma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
W skład antologii "Przyszła na Sarnath zagłada" wchodzą dwadzieścia trzy opowiadania. Obok historii ze sporą dawką grozy pojawiają się opowieści, gdzie sen miesza się z koszmarem, a bohaterowie wędrują przez Krainy Snów i zwiedzają tajemnicze i niebezpieczne miasta. Bez względu na charakter, każde opowiadanie zostało napisane pięknym, literackim językiem, którego próżno szukać we współczesnej prozie. Historiami, jakie wyszły spod pióra Lovecrafta po prostu się delektuje, czyta się powoli i podzi ...more
Tiago Pomella Lobo
If you are searching to expand your knowledge about the Cthulhu Mythos, this short tale is a good pick. If you, instead, are searching for the good old Lovecraft horror story, then I advice you to choose another one.
This story says a few words about Sarnath, a fallen city from millennia ago. How they fought the lizard-god adoring people, and how DOOM came to them years after. It is a good short and fast text, but do not expect horror. Just the feeling that something more lies in our world beside
Jun 30, 2011 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, thriller
Not Lovecraft's best, which is not to say it isn't worthwhile. This collection contains a lot of his earlier stuff that just doesn't have the same impact as his more famous, namely the Cthulhu mythos. Still, for die-hards it's entertaining; I found The Tomb, Beyond the Wall of Sleep, and In the Walls of Eryx as enjoyable as any of Lovecraft's more noteable works. Also there's something inarticuably delightful in reading a poem from a man normally as asexual as his monsters that contains the limr ...more
Sep 01, 2011 Kohl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the second book of short stories I read by Lovecraft and there is something so fascinating about them. This was a bunch of his earlier works and yet there is a distinct sense of unity in all his works as if he created his own world with the body of his work. As I said before in my first review of one of his books, he follows in the footsteps of Poe which means that his work often falls in the genera of Strange Fiction or the Macabre. I enjoyed reading these and now I will set them aside ...more
Jul 20, 2015 Juan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was my introduction into Lovecraft and it did not go as I had hoped. To my understanding this book is a collection of lessor known works that are said to not be his best. Maybe it is for those reasons that I could not get into the book very much. I had difficulty comprehending what was going on for the majority of the stories. The stories that I did understand, I really liked. Still as a whole this was probably not the best books to start with on Lovecraft. Luckily I have another book on my ...more
Apr 25, 2014 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
A lot of early Lovecraft stories and prose poems, and a little poetry. Most of these aren't among his best, but most have at least something that makes them worthwhile. The Festival is collected in this book as well, and it is one of the strongest stories in this volume. Some of the Dunsany influenced stories have beautiful prose, but are lacking in event. Lots of colour, not much action. Lord Dunsany does Dunsany much better than Lovecraft. Interesting collection to see how Lovecraft grew as a ...more
Aug 22, 2014 Randal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I bought this mostly because what's a collection if it doesn't have some Lovecraft?
It's not limited to the usual New England setting and is peripheral at best to the whole Cthulhu mythos (this is a compendium of early short stories). And let's face it, Lovecraft is the epitome of pulp fiction, but there are a couple of good stories here -- "The Quest of Iranon" is my favorite.
More for HPL completists than for general readers.
Feb 28, 2012 Colin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was nice to take a moment and read some Lovecraft - he informs so much of my favorite stuff. Obviously, early stuff like this doesn't necessarily represent his best work and he's still laying the foundation for his Cthulu Mythos in the stories that appear here. It's kind of like reading the Silmarillion to get a better understanding of the world that Tolkien's works live in (but more engaging - the Silmarillion's a dry history).
John Devlin
The Grandfather of Horror has some great ones. From the Mountains of Madness and Call of Cthulu to my fav. the Shadow over Innsmouth, Lovecraft paints a bleak picture of doom fated man left bereft and tiny against the the mighty expanse of huge, deathless space. Lots of interesting points could be made in the same vein of Shelly's Frankenstein, but regardless, the stories rock like a good death metal guitar solo.
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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 about H.P. Lovecraft...

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