The Call of Cthulhu
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The Call of Cthulhu

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  10,313 ratings  ·  388 reviews
One of the feature stories of the Cthulhu Mythos, H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Call of Cthulhu” is a harrowing tale of the weakness of the human mind when confronted by powers and intelligences from beyond our world.
Paperback, 46 pages
Published July 7th 2010 by Prohyptikon Publishing Inc. (first published 1926)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Stephen
This here, folks, is the most impressive image of Cthulhu that I’ve come across:
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He just looks so damn regal, this eldritch, malevolent entity that appears part octopus kraken, part dragon, part human caricature…the so called "mountain who walks."

Yes, I admit that I’m a Lovecraft/Cthulhu mythos junkie. I can’t help it. I think his stories are just amazing.

Depending on which HPL story I’ve most recently consumed, I vacillate regarding what is my absolute favorite HPL tale, The Call of Cthulhu,...more
Jason
What’s great about a Lovecraftian horror story, besides the fact that his writing is eerily similar to that of Jason Morais, is that it can afford such a welcome reprieve from a weekend otherwise consumed by madness and violence, the kind of violence that disturbs the soul to its core.

“The Call of Cthulhu” is the story of a man who uncovers evidence of otherworldly beings residing in a state of hibernation deep beneath the surface of the Earth’s oceans. Though the image of Cthulhu¹ is by no mean...more
Cindy
First rule of Cthulhu: No one knows about Cthulhu.

Except, of course, all fans of SF/F should read the original Cthulu short story that is still inspiring storytellers today.

Cthulhu car badge
________________

"Johansen and his men were awed by the cosmic majesty of this dripping Babylon of elder daemons, and must have guessed without guidance that it was nothing of this or of any sane planet."

"The Thing cannot be described - there is no language for such abysms of shrieking and immemorial lunacy, such eldritch cont...more
Mimi
For those who enjoy rifling through old research notes, piecing together missing data, making sense of the big picture, and then being left hanging at the end.

I'm kidding, of course. The best part of any horror story is that it leaves you hanging. No explanation, no resolution, no sense of closure.

This story is told in a series of personal accounts in which the narrator pieces together what he thinks was the cause of his granduncle's mysterious sudden death, speculating that the late uncle's mys...more
Cathryn
Lovecraft's writing style is just not my cuppa and that's why I thought this was only OK. Even though this was a short story it felt like it took me forever to get through. I'm all for purple prose but Lovecraft describes things in 2 pages when he really only needed 2 sentences. Verbose is putting it mildly.

I always wanted to read this so that I would better understand what people were talking about when they mention Cthulhu. Now I do. Cthulhu is an interesting concept and I wanted to know more...more
Evan Leach
This superb short story is justly famous. The Call of Cthulhu is presented as a series of journal entries from the late Francis Thurston. Poor Franny, as the executor of his uncle’s estate, stumbles across some disturbing papers that lead him on a worldwide hunt for answers as to just what the hell this is:

squishy cthulhu

Hmmm perhaps this isn’t properly conveying the terror this story instills…let me try again:



That’s better! This story is pretty short so I don’t want to go much further into the plot. But it is...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Some years ago (like in the early '70s) I went on a binge reading everything I could get my hands on by Lovecraft. His unique brand of Horror (Cthulhu and otherwise) can really creep one out.

If you let Lovecraft into your head you may be in as much trouble as some of his protagonists.

I found the stories as good as ever though not as "invasive" to the head as they once were. If you haven't read Lovecraft (especially if you like psychological horror) he's not to be missed. Grab his collections up...more
smetchie
Can someone please tell me how to pronounce this?!?
Kedar
What is it that empowers writers with prose that penetrates the deepest mysteries to bring forth a bone-chilling story that plays on your mind? It can't be pure imagination, or is it? How is it that the author can write such intense, engaging, awe-inducing log of a mountainous monster-priest, which ironically makes you eagerly wait for the Thing to make an appearance?

"The Thing cannot be described, there is no language for such abysms of shrieking and immemorial lunacy, such eldritch contradicti...more
C.V. Madison
I was not impressed. For all the talk this particular book has gotten in my circles, it really wasn't very interesting a read. The description was interesting but I didn't find the book as anything monumental save for it being one of the first of its kind. The book was a quick read and allowed a glimpse into the world Lovecraft was trying to build, but taken on its own, it left me curious why it was so impressive to most of the genre. Perhaps taken with the other studies in the mythos I would be...more
Yani
Casi me había olvidado de lo perturbador que podía llegar a ser Lovecraft y estoy segura de que todavía me falta llegar a ese límite. La llamada de Cthulhu tal vez no me haya sorprendido del todo, pero me encantó y creo que tiene su fama de clásico del horror bien ganada. Es curioso (¿o alarmante?) lo vívido que parece algo irreal cuando está narrado de una forma tan minuciosa y directa al mismo tiempo.

El protagonista del cuento es interesantísimo porque oscila entre ser un investigador que se...more
Robo Pete




My second experience of Lovecraft (after At The Mountains of Madness) and equally enjoyable. So far I'm liking the fact that Lovecraft frames his stories in interesting ways - this in the form of pieces of a manuscript and ATMOM in a clipped journalistic style.

Easy to read through in an hour or so this gave some interesting insights into the Cthulhu Cult and I really enjoyed the way pieces of the mythology keyed into things I'd read in ATMOM. There's definitely a continuity and a coherent univer...more
Beth Flint
I felt disappointed in this story. I had heard so much about it, and many of my friends rave about Lovecraft. I just felt that the story would have been more fear-involking if it had been told from a first person account rather than from sources pieced together. It felt too inpersonal for me. Some of the descriptions were fantasic hense my overall disappointment
Jessica
Un relato muy corto, apenas poco mas de 100 paginas; debo admitir que durante su lectura no me dio miedo, sin embargo después de terminarlo, llevo varios días soñando con Cthulhu y vaya que no han sido sueños agradables (T__T); es increíble lo que me ha sugestionado esta historia, ahora entiendo porque Cthulhu es uno de esos seres de culto.

La historia esta narrada en tercera persona, por el sobrino de un profesor que acaba de fallecer, revisando todos los papeles que dejo su tío descubre informa...more
Stu
An interesting read; I understand how it has amassed its thoroughgoing reputation. In terms of narrative perspective, it is very much a snapshot in time, recounted largely by prewar anthropologists who, at the height of imperialist domination over the globe, were fully confident in their mastery of world culture and their epistemological suzerainty over what Kipling called “new-caught, sullen peoples, half devil and half child.” By my reckoning, Cthulhu is the embodiment of the primordial power...more
Elliot Schott
The works of Lovecraft are spectacular. You can see the influence they have on the great masters of horror in our time (Stephen King's short stories, John Carpenter's "The Thing"). I have great affinity for what he did, which was basically attempting to think of the kind of horror that comes from what humans do not know or fathom. Obviously, there is his Cthulhu Mythos, but for an example of his creative mental exercises at work, read "The Colour Out of Space," which essentially was an explorati...more
Ania
I wonder how much of Lilith's Brood by Octavia E. Butler was based on this book? I'd say quite a bit... Both stories feature squid-like beings from the stars who can control mankind (albeit through different means). Overall, not that impressed with this short story. For me it jumped around a lot quite frantically. I was hesitant weather it was 1 or 2 stars. Decided to stick with 1 as I didn't really like it in the end.
Andrea Blythe
After the mysterious death of his anthropologist uncle, a man goes looking into a mysterious and terrifying cult that worships Cthulhu, a tentacle headed creature with a scaly human-like body and massive wings.

This story was more readable than some of Lovecraft's other stories, but oh, my, the racism. The evil cult is followed by mostly African and other native cultures, along with mix-blooded people, which the narrator calls degenerates. It's very clear that white folk are the good guys and oth...more
DenaliViewer-2003
LOVED it! What a spine-chilling story! Beautiful prose, spooky engaging story. Reminded me—with its beautiful old writing style—of Frankenstein.

To my book club members: You should definitely read this one. It is a short story and is worth every minute.
To Lisa: Thanks for recommending this one!

Excerpt:
1) Only poetry or madness could do justice to the noises heard by Legrasse's men as they ploughed on through the black morass toward the red glare and muffled tom-toms. There are vocal qualities pec...more
Marts  (Thinker)
This review is nowhere close to detailed but just outlines the books chapters quite vaguely, in brief, the juicy stuff has been left out so you must read it........


"This manuscript found among the late Francis Wayland Thurston's papers tells of an array of accounts surrounding the Cthulhu cult. It starts with how he first discovered the papers from his dead granduncle and goes on to tells of others experiences and his own surrounding this.

In the first chapter 'Horror in Clay' he expounds on a...more
Nomad
This isn't exactly the edition that I read personally, but it's the only stand alone 'The Call of Cthulhu' story on goodreads.

Anyway, Lovecraft. I grew up in Rhode Island and at one point lived not far from where he once lived. He is part of the Rhode Island firmament. And G-d help you if one of his fans finds out you lived near one of his abodes. Prepare to be trapped while someone natters on and on about "The Old Ones". For me, Lovecraft has always been a way for my tiny homestate to bring in...more
Nick
Check out more reviews and SciFi/Fantasy fun at Lions and Men.


Cthulhu is written in the form of an old journal of a man named Francis Thurston. After his great uncle's death, Francis discovers that he has come to inherit a body of work that attempts to piece together mysteries surrounding mass hysteria and violent cults. Together with this information and his own investigation, Thurston describes the unspeakable horror that he uncovers.

The story is broken up into three parts. Part One, The Horro...more
أيمن عبد الرازق
قرأت عن لافكرافت قبل أن أقرأ له ، والفضل - كالعادة - للدكتور أحمد خالد توفيق
يقولون ان لافكرافت أصيب بمرض نادر جعل الكوابيس تأتي ليه بخيالات مفزعة .. وأثر ذلك على قصصه المليئة بالرعب والفظاعة
نداء كتولو هي قصة عن الكيانات القديمة التي تنتظر في (رايليا ) المدينة القديمة .. تنتظر عودة الكاهن كتولو الذي سينهض ليعزف تعويذته الغامضة كي ينهضوا ويستعيدوا سيطرتهم على الأرض التي حكموها قبل وجود الانسان بحضارات . وذلك من خلال النداءات التي يرسلها لأتباعه المهاويس
أعتقد أن لافكرافت كان يؤمن فعلا بوجود هذه الك...more
Dillwynia Peter
I had heard so much about Lovecraft & his horror stories & have finally managed to encounter 3 of them: The Call of Cthulhu; The Hound; and The Dunwich Horror.

I'm actually move impressed with WHO has read them of late, rather than how. The stories are in the style of Poe, and let's be honest re a million miles away from standard pulpy fantasy fiction on offer. For many, I can't imagine many understanding the polysybillic words used in every sentence; nor could I have imagined many dealin...more
Laura
I was keen on reading this story, as it is one of those titles that one hears about over the years and feels that should read at some point, to actually know what everyone else is talking about. However, I was rather disappointed in the story.

(view spoiler)...more
Gillian
"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity; and it was not meant that we should voyage far."

The two stars are for that opening, and that opening alone. Documentary style was a bore and as I kept on waiting for something to happen I thought that maybe I would care. I didn't.

Oh, and a note if you are supposedly uncovering some sort of big evil myste...more
Dave
Now I finally know what/who Cthulhu is.

Pretty good apocalypse-narrowly-avoided story. I'm always fascinated by stories from this time when these wealthy white men get turned on to some fact or strange occurrence take time out to gallivant around the world for a few years to investigate. Apparently they have all the time and money in the world to ferry between the continents not even sure that the person they're going to meet is still there.

Anyway. It's about a guy who has strange prophetic dream...more
The Treeman
I wish Lovecraft would have prefered to show us what the characters say and not just telling us what they say...

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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...
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 Transition of H. P. Lovecraft: The Road to Madness

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“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age.” 271 likes
“Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.
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