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The Call Of Cthulhu

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  11,975 ratings  ·  465 reviews
"The Call of Cthulhu" is one of H. P. Lovecraft's best-known stories. Written in the summer of 1926, it was first published in Weird Tales, February 1928. It is the only story written by Lovecraft in which the extraterrestrial entity Cthulhu himself makes a major appearance.
It is written in a documentary style, with three independent narratives linked together by the devi
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Published (first published 1926)
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This here, folks, is the most impressive image of Cthulhu that I’ve come across:
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,
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
Perhaps no story more defines H.P. Lovecraft’s eldritch hold on speculative fiction than The Call of Cthulhu.

Pronounced: Cthulhu.

First published in 1928, in Weird Tales magazine, this launched what is now known as the Cthulhu Mythos. It was here, as much as his earlier unspeakable horrors like Dagon and The Tomb and The Nameless City, that formed what is today known as Lovecraftian; but it was great Cthulhu that gave this sub-genre it’s definition and a face from which to leer down upon poor, lo
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
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
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
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
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
Can someone please tell me how to pronounce this?!?
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
Not quite as good as I remembered... and definitely not my favorite Lovecraft story. Still, it was worth rereading!
Carrie Vaughn
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
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
"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents"

This quote from early pages in the book summarizes the all the genres this story imbibes. Its an immensely enjoyable story with the way the mythos is dived into in the very first paragraph and everything else is an exploration of that idea. There is no direct fear inducing factor but it is implied through out the story. The fear of the creature exists in all of us the way the society
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
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
Just as great as the first time I read it. That didn't change.
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
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
Gabriel Souza

The writting... i'm speechless. Its perfect, spooky and incredible. Lovecraft has a fame and its not a joke. Everytime i heard a noise when i was reading this i shivered.

He grab your attention like nobody, its impossible to stop reading it. So magical, so disturbing and amazing. The descriptions of the city... the creatures... the cult... for the last time, amazing.

Go read it, now!
Duffy Pratt
Not as great, or disturbing, as I might have expected. But Lovecraft is great at setting mood, and he has a wonderful knack for the purplest of prose. In many ways, this story reminded me of Dracula -- the telling of it was so mediated -- a story within a story within another story. And I liked this aspect of it. And I liked that there was some description of this alternate cosmology, but no real attempt at an explanation.

As for the story itself, I would have liked more story. That may just be
I'm embarrassed to admit I've never read any Lovecraft before! This was a great primer into the Cthulhu mythos, but for people more well-versed in his world the "info-dumpiness" might not work very well. I thought there was still a creepy atmosphere present. Could have done with less references to "foreign mongrels" etc, though.
Ben Rowe
My first proper read of a Lovecraft story. Before I have dipped in but not engaged with the writing and not finished any. Less pulpy than I either remembered or expected but I still found I didnt engage fully or like completely the writing style although there were memorable turns of phrase and the sense of terror/ dread was very effectively managed and built up.

Not a huge fan of stories within stories within stories or the found manuscript type of story but they do work to slowly build up dread
Cwpper David
Llevo horas buscando imágenes de Cathulhu, pero no encuentro nada que le haga justicia. La mente de Lovecraft es una cosa insondable, definitivamente. Su pluma está cargada de erudición y elegancia, aunque también profana conceptos establecidos (como esa geometría imposible o su geología oblicua) para sobrecargar la historia de suspenso e incertidumbre. Hay cantidad de detalles, muy bien logrados, que se quedan contigo como lector. Y trucos narrativos geniales que han reutilizado autores posteri ...more
Hmm... I dunno what to make of this story, it just seemed like Lovecraft was saying, "hey, so at least one person (not to say I've limited it to just one person) goes insane and that madness, indubitably, leads to his death... there's a cult and murder and unholy visions... oh and an unspeakably terrifying monster, all shrouded by mystery... yes I've effectively created horror".

I liked that in the end it left me doubting as to whether it was all hearsay and contrived or legitimate, kind of like
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
This is a review of The Call of Cthulhu and a number of other Lovecraft stories that I have read. Genre-wise, they sit at the crossroads of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Lovecraft had a great imagination and creative mind, and was Poe's equal in terms of establishing a creepy atmosphere. On the other hand, his writing style can be a bit heavy-handed and cumbersome, which affected my enjoyment of his stories. He has the tendency to use obsolete, obscure, or lengthy adjectives--on the one ...more
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!

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
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
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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...
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 Case of Charles Dexter Ward

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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.” 301 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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