Christian's Reviews > The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories by H.P. Lovecraft
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Mar 21, 15

it was amazing
Read in July, 2012

When I was a teenager I read through all the stories I could get my hands on written by the famed master of horror: H.P. Lovecraft. That was, after all, what a boy of my age and interests was supposed to do. Or so I thought. But as much as I read his works I just couldn't find myself liking him. I tried to give him a chance. Page after page. Story after story. But nope.

He was a bad writer. Stylistically he was terrible and his stories of 'cosmic terror' were just plain boring. Nothing ever happened. The stories were slow and the horror he described was always too vague and obscure and 'too horrific for even words to describe'. Those even were the actual words (or something like that) he sometimes used when describing something horrific: 'too horrific for even words to describe'. And I was like: "What the f**k? If you are so bad writer that you can't describe it with your own words why do you even bother writing about it?" So, for my part, Lovecraft and his reputation as a master of horror was a bit overstated. Although I did appreciate the fact that on almost every one of his stories the protagonist ended up mad.

This summer, after some years have passed from my teenage years, totally unaware and with the kind assistance of Alan Moore, I delved back into the world of H.P. Lovecraft once more. I borrowed from the library, just by a chance, a copy of "Yuggoth Cultures and Other Growths" written by, well, Alan Moore. Immediately as I started to read it I felt something familiar in the mood and the pictures on the pages. Something 'Lovecraftian'. Although I hadn't read Lovecraft for ages, and even disliked him, I felt the presence of Lovecraft all through those pages. One thing I didn't realise then, interestingly enough, was that the whole book was inspired by Lovecraft.

This time, however, I enjoyed and felt captivated. I even got some visual flashbacks from the stories I had read so long time ago. Which is pretty strange if I didn't even like the stories in the first place. Tells something about the writer I guess. The more I kept reading the more I felt enthralled with his world of 'cosmic terror'. The cosmic terror being the one thing I totally felt ridiculous about his stories before. But people change, grow up, evolve. For better or worse, I have no idea. But they do. And this must be the case with me as well.

So right away after I had finished the Yuggoth Cultures I went to the nearest book store and picked up the most alluring copy of Lovecraft's stories I could find. That was of course "The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories". So I bought it. Call of Cthulhu... Well, that was, after all, what a boy of my age and interests was supposed to do.

I started reading it right away. And from the very first story I was there. I was there in his bleak desolate world where humanity is only a tiny little speck in some insignificant lost corner of the universe while inhumanity is occupying a considerably larger area of the cosmos. And I was right there in his dark woods, strange old islands risen from the bottom of the sea and in his undergroung caverns beneath the eerie graveyards in the outskirts of the city of Arkham. I was there. And I could say that this time, despite his faults as a writer, which I too eagerly recognised in my teens, I felt what I could not feel before. That there are things words cannot describe. Or even should not. That there are things left for imagination. And things even beyond that. Things which, if faced with even in the slightest, may drive you mad.
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