Kathryn's Reviews > The Transition of H. P. Lovecraft: The Road to Madness

The Transition of H. P. Lovecraft by H.P. Lovecraft
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Nov 12, 10

bookshelves: 2010, 2000, reread-books
Read from November 08 to 11, 2010, read count: 2

First Recorded Reading: October 9, 2000


In my continuing quest for interesting bedtime reading, I have finished this cheerful volume of dark tales from H. P. Lovecraft. (I have three of these volumes, all with very creepy cover art by surreal artist John Jude Palencar; this volume, The Best of H. P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre by H. P. Lovecraft, Introduction by Robert Bloch, and The Dream Cycle of H. P. Lovecraft: Dreams of Terror and Death by H. P. Lovecraft, Introduction by Neil Gaiman. And I should note that I am apparently reading these volumes out of order, because this present book contains a lot of material from the author’s early work, before he became a master horror writer. But this volume is a very good one, with some great material, and I recommend it to those who love the craft of Lovecraft.

The book begins with five early tales, followed by a fragment of a story; then the collection swings into high gear, with such wonderful stories as “The White Ship”, “The Crawling Chaos” (no one could beat Lovecraft for great story names), “The Lurking Fear”, “Imprisoned with the Pharaohs” (ghost-written by Lovecraft for Harry Houdini, who claimed that the incident recorded had happened to him; since Houdini’s account turned out to be mostly fictitious, Lovecraft got to let his imagination loose on the story), “The Shunned House” (which makes no sense whatsoever, upon reflection, but is still a great story), and “Cool Air”.

The novella “At The Mountains of Madness” is in this collection; and besides being a story that tells us You Really Don’t Want To Know What Is At Antarctica, I wish that Professor Dyer could use his powers of interpreting mural art in terms of both time and space to more accessible art (like Egyptian murals). The collection ends with two short stories, one of which, “In The Walls of Eryx”, is an out-and-out science fiction story, set on the planet Venus.

I think this is a great collection of Lovecraft’s stories, and I look forward to re-reading The Dream Cycle of H. P. Lovecraft: Dreams of Terror and Death by H. P. Lovecraft, Introduction by Neil Gaiman as my bedtime reading for a week or so.
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11/08/2010 page 148
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