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The Taint and Other Novellas (Best Mythos Tales #1)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  420 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews

A collection of thrilling tales from H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos by one of horror's biggest legends. This volume contains the very best of Brian Lumley's Mythos novellas.

Table of Contents

The Horror at Oakdeene
Born of the Winds
The Fairground Horror
The Taint
Rising with Surtsey
Lord of the Worms
The House of the Temple

Hardcover, signed limited to 1500 unnumbered copies, 279 pages
Published November 1st 2007 by Subterranean Press (first published October 31st 2007)
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Perdido Street Station by China MiévilleAmerican Gods by Neil GaimanThe Scar by China MiévilleNeverwhere by Neil GaimanTagged by Joseph M. Chiron
Best Weird Fiction Books
109th out of 411 books — 474 voters
The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories by H.P. LovecraftTales of the Cthulhu Mythos by H.P. LovecraftThe Dreams in the Witch House and Other Weird Stories by H.P. LovecraftThe Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories by H.P. LovecraftNecronomicon by H.P. Lovecraft
Best of the Cthulhu Mythos
140th out of 157 books — 98 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Tim Pendry
Jun 27, 2009 Tim Pendry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
The prolific Brian Lumley, a stalwart of British horror, has collected what his publisher calls his best Cthulhu Mythos tales in the first volume of what appears to be a series.

Where does it stand in the Lovecraftian canon? Well, it mostly stands as a worthy successor to Derleth, if you take the Mythos not to be the starting point for great literature but as a universe for pulp exploitation. In this volume at least, Lumley largely concentrates on tales of horrors associated with the ocean and, i
H Hunt
Nov 22, 2013 H Hunt rated it really liked it
Even though ive read 3 of these tales before in other anthology's it was still great & very satisfying. I so enjoy Brian Lumley with his Lovecraftian overtone's coloring these work's. My favorite's are "Born of the Wind's", "Lord of the Worm's" & "The House of the Temple". This is a wonderful read & you can be assured it deliver's, I really enjoyed this book- Holly=+=
Mar 17, 2012 Clint rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
There's already a much better review of this on the website, and since I agree with most of what he says, I'm just going to leave this short and with minimal comments. As some others have said, the title story was the best, and it was the latest as well, which shows that Brian Lumley had gotten much better as a writer over the years in my opinion. But Brian Lumley at his purplest worst is still a barrel of monkeys, but I'm kind of a Lumley fanboy. And the Kindle has opened up great new realms of ...more
May 04, 2016 Joshua rated it really liked it
A rather split compilation of several of Lumley's novellas within the scope of the Cycle of Cthulhu Myth. About half of them are pure pastiche; channeling Lovecraft so precisely that I thought I might have been reading August Derleth. That said, Lumley is a great writer and one of my favorite in the field, so he's a pleasure to read even when the pastiche prose are purple. Lumley's introductions to each novella (exclusive to this gorgeous Subterranean Press edition) help soften the blow a bit in ...more
Riju Ganguly
Aug 03, 2012 Riju Ganguly rated it really liked it
Despite getting the impression from all the pre-publishing hypes and reviews that this book would contain the longer stories of "Cthulhu Mythos" by Brian Lumley, actual reading of the stories resulted in me being pleasantly surprised. The stories in this book are more properly describable as 'Lovecraftian', since they succed in invoking the feeling of cosmic horror without going through the hackneyed themes, words and damnable incantations! The best story in this book is undoubtedly, "The ...more
Apr 19, 2013 Andrew rated it liked it
I came across the work of Brian Lumley when I received a free copy of his Necroscope series - I loved it and from that day forward to have to read all he releases ( or at least try to with the number of rare and expensive collectable books he now publishes ).
anyway along with his major works are a whole raft of shorter fiction from short stories to novellas. This book is a collection of the latter and great as they are (he has written some cracking Cthulhu mythos books) there is only so much ma
Ade Couper
Mar 17, 2012 Ade Couper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Or , for an alternative title, "Lumley does Lovecraft" - & does it very well....!

I've reviewed HP on here , & said that , although his ideas are good , he went on a bit.....well , these novellas are some of Brian Lumley's work in the mythos - & he has picked up the ball & ran with it . There isn't a duff tale in the collection , but the 2 standout stories for me were "Lord of the Worms" (an early tale of Titus Crow) , & "The House of the Temple" (dark deeds in the Pentland Hi
Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance]
Health Warning: If your taint resembles the one on this cover, you should seek medical assistance immediately.
Dec 28, 2014 Andy rated it really liked it
This is a pretty good collection of Lovecraftian and Lovecraft-influenced fiction. The author himself admits that much of the work here is uneven, some stories are much better than others, but a few rise to some pretty high levels in my opinion. Lumley doesn't really frighten except in a few rare instances, these are just well-written mythos tales that are steeped in great atmosphere.

The Horror At Oakdeene - Decent story, I like the setting and feel of it, but Lumley is right, this is pure imita
Nov 21, 2008 Joshua rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 15, 2013 Cale rated it liked it
This collection of short stories and novellas highlights one of the weaknesses of the Cthulhu style story - they are very formulaic. Almost every one of the 7-8 stories here follows a similar pattern, and reading them over several weeks just highlighted that similarity.

That being said, Lumley does write better than Lovecraft did, and the stories were in general entertaining, even if they weren't amazingly original. Lumley explores avenues of the mythos a little different than the norm, and the s
Jeannie Sloan
Apr 23, 2010 Jeannie Sloan rated it really liked it
Born of the Winds really is a lovely story and more than makes up for the otherwise mediocre stories in this book.I know that this is a Mythos book but a little less using of the same old tomes in the stories would be more interesting.I like his work though but does he have to talk about him being in the service so much?It gets a little repetitive in the intros.
I would give this book a solid 3 1/2 though.If you can't get enough Mythos stuff this is right up your ally.
Jan 08, 2011 Wil rated it really liked it
I think read with the right perspective this can be an enjoyable read. The almost corny and quaint melodrama is to me very appealing but I can understand how it might turn off some people. Some of the stories were better than others naturally but I think I enjoyed the title story the least. In all I'm glad to have discovered this author (took a while I know) and I will regard him as reliable as Silverberg... not exactly earth shattering but always dependably enjoyable.
Jan 11, 2014 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good collection of stories, and Brian Lumley has a good style. This is definitely worth a rummage, either in a shop or along your bookshelf, as the reward in reading it is found in building on the Mythos.

The Titus Crow story is rather interesting, though most of them have something to hook you with.
The Artificer
Mar 14, 2015 The Artificer rated it it was amazing
An excellent collection of later Mythos fiction, one I'd heartily recommend to anyone who is craving more Lovecraftian Horror. Brian Lumley is easily one of the strongest Mythos writers since Robert Bloch.

I checked out this particular copy from my local library, but I will very shortly be buying it to add to my permanent Mythos collection.
Ian Robinson
Jul 16, 2016 Ian Robinson rated it really liked it
A remarkably good series of Lovecraftian weird fiction, with the added interest of many being set in my local region. As such, there is a normalcy to the feel of the stories that, when the darkness and madness creeps in, feels particularly affecting.
Nick Iuppa
Dec 17, 2013 Nick Iuppa rated it it was amazing
I love this stuff. Mr. Lumley captures the spirit of Lovecraft and his dark watery monsters. His tone is almost Victorian-spooky, dark, mesmerizing.
Paul McNamee
Good stuff from Lumley, but mostly early stories that have pastiche feel not unlike Derleth.

"Born of the Winds", "The Taint" and "Lord of the Worms" are the standouts here.
Jun 30, 2015 s.Harvester rated it really liked it
A good read if you're already in to Lovecraft. Focuses on Cthulhu/sea mythos, but a few other oddities.
T. M
T. M rated it it was amazing
Sep 18, 2014
Sam rated it it was ok
May 04, 2015
Frieda rated it it was amazing
May 10, 2012
Robert rated it it was amazing
Jul 21, 2013
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Nov 18, 2013
Patrick.G.P rated it it was amazing
Mar 16, 2016
Kenton Schassberger
Kenton Schassberger rated it liked it
May 09, 2011
Jason Bright
Jason Bright rated it it was amazing
Jan 25, 2016
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Apr 21, 2011
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Nov 24, 2014
Joseph Sciarrone
Joseph Sciarrone rated it really liked it
Jul 30, 2014
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Brian Lumley was born near Newcastle. In 22 years as a Military Policeman he served in many of the Cold War hotspots, including Berlin, as well as Cyprus in partition days. He reached the rank of Sergeant-Major before retiring to Devon to write full-time, and his work was first published in 1970. The vampire series, 'Necroscope', has been translated into ten languages and sold over a million ...more
More about Brian Lumley...

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