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The Book of Cthulhu

(The Book of Cthulhu #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  2,080 ratings  ·  133 reviews
The Cthulhu Mythos is one of the 20th century's most singularly recognizable literary creations. Initially created by H. P. Lovecraft and a group of his amorphous contemporaries (the so-called "Lovecraft Circle"), The Cthulhu Mythos story cycle has taken on a convoluted, cyclopean life of its own. Some of the most prodigious writers of the 20th century, and some of the mos ...more
Paperback, 529 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Night Shade Books
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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Jan 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Ross Lockhart’s Book of Cthulhu is the fourth collection of Lovecraft inspired fiction I’ve read since 2010. Whew! They are: Ellen Datlow’s Lovecraft Unbound; S.T. Joshi’s Black Wings, Darell Schweitzer’s Cthulhu’s Reign (which has a different focus than the other three), and Lockhart’s effort. They all have good stories in them, but there is also considerable paper spent on some so-so efforts. Datlow’s entry, to my mind, suffered from trying to limit her anthology by seeking to get beyond Love ...more
Erin the Avid Reader ⚜BFF's with the Cheshire Cat⚜
Was there something I missed with this compilation of stories? I see the large score it has and can only scratch my head in deep confusion.

I'm a huge Lovecraft fan but I found most of these stories god-awful. I feel like the only things I liked about this book was the very first tale and the fact that my hero, Cthulhu, is in the title.
Mar 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
A great collection filled to the brim with cosmic horror goodness. A couple of stories let it down, but for the most part this anthology rocked! A must for fans of Lovecraft or Cosmic Horror in general.
Paul Genesse
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing

The Book of Cthulhu ($15.99 Nightshade Books) edited by Ross E. Lockhart—overall rating—five stars—highly recommended for fans of H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, literary horror in general, and great writing.

27 stories inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, the author who created the Cthulhu mythos many years ago. If you haven’t read Lovecraft, or don’t know who he is, think of him this way: he’s the J.R.R. Tolkien of horror. His fiction is impressive and very readable today, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed his
Jun 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
As a whole:
If you look back through the books I've read, you will see Black Seas of Infinity and my review about the collection of Lovecraft stories in it. There is a great deal I enjoy about Lovecraft's work, but reading even that much (20 or so stories) begins to drag after a while. The unending terror meshing with a bit of monotony in just such a way that you feel threatened, but too weak to affect any response. It's a strange feeling and one that I didn't care for despite my enjoyment of par
usagi ☆ミ
Jul 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Ah, I know whenever I’m feeling down that Lovecraftian mythology will be there for me to pick me up out of my slump and scare the living hell out of me. Yeah, this anthology is that good – it made me feel better when I was cranky, and then it proceeded to give me nightmares. The feel-good anthology of the year? Definitely. But only if you like tentacles.

But out of all of the stories in here, the first by Caitlin R. Kiernan was my favorite. I’ve always loved her writing, and I kind of wish that t
Kory Callaway
Oct 03, 2011 rated it liked it
I read it and thought it was great... Then I read a whole lot more Lovecraftian fiction and discovered that while there are some very good stories in here there is also a good deal of work that I found to be uninteresting or tedious. However, it's worth picking up for the two stories original to this anthology, especially Laird Barron's "the Men from from Porlock." ...more
I had mixed feelings about this Anthology.

Some of the authors that I didn`t enjoyed are Caitlin R. Kiernan, Ramsey Campbell, Stross, or John Langan, and others.

I liked :
Silvia Moreno- Garcia - Flash Frame, year 2010, ****
W.H.Pugmire - Some buried Memory, 2011, ***
Michael Shea - Fat Face, 1987, ***
Kage Baker - Calamari Curls, year 2006, ***
Cherie Priest - Bad Sushi, 2006, ****
John Hornor Jacobs - The Dream of the Fisherman`s Wife, 2011, ****
Ann K. Schwader - Lost Stars, 2003, ***
Steve Duffy - The
May 12, 2012 marked it as to-read
I just read the first story in this collection. I picked it up at a friend's house and saw that there was a contribution from Caitlín R. Kiernan, so I read it while waiting. It was good. I noticed there were stories from a couple other authors I often enjoy, Cherie Priest and Tim Pratt, so I may see if the library has a copy. ...more
Mar 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
I think that for me the quintessential H. P. Lovecraft has always been The Dunwich Horror. I’m fairly certain that it was the first of his stories that I ever read and it evokes the strongest response. Oh to be young, again. While The Necronomicon is the key used to unlock the gates for the Great Old Ones, my recollection is that Cthulhu doesn’t appear (but Yog-Sothoth does). As the years went one I read more and more of his tales and got to know his pantheon better. Contemporaries made occasion ...more
Nov 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm really new to Cthulhu and H.P. Lovecraft. But I know what I love and I loved The Book of Cthulhu!! A friend introduced me to Lovecraft earlier this year and I started hunting for his books in used bookstores and at the library, so when I got the chance to read The Book of Cthulhu I couldn't wait to get started. And I was not disappointed on bit.

There are twenty seven stories in this anthology and there's something here for everyone! Being so new to Lovecraft, I did some research and from wha
Michael Brookes
Jan 30, 2016 rated it liked it
It's fair to say that I'm a huge Lovecraft fan and the Cthulhu mythos in particular. Here we have a collection of short stories based to varying degrees to that mythos and there's some well known writers here - which unfortunately leads to the first issue with the collection and that is that I'd read more than a few of these before in other anthologies.

The second issue is common to any collection and that is the varying quality of the stories. I didn't think any of them were bad, but some were t
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011, fiction, horror
An anthology of too many stories, most of which are are mediocre at best. There are some very good tales by T.E.D. Klein, Joe Lansdale, Thomas Ligotti, Ramsey Campbell, and Gene Wolfe, but this is hardly unexpected, and none of them are new. The final story in the collection is "The Men from Porlock" by Laird Barron, who I'd not read but had heard many good things about, and I was very thoroughly surprised at how much I enjoyed it -- and I believe it makes its premier in this anthology.

Lianne Burwell
Oct 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
I've been working my way through the HP Lovecraft Literary podcast, and their coverage of the complete Lovecraft oevre. And a side to this, I've been reading modern interpretations of Lovecraft's best-known creations.

The size of this anthology tells you just how many writers are following in Lovecraft's footsteps. I'd only read two of the stories before (one was in Cthulhu's Reign, an anthology I read a couple of months ago, and the other was in the Pseudopod podcast a couple of years ago)

The st
Oct 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a truly enjoyable collection of chilling tales in the tradition of the "Great Old One" himself. Most anthologies are an even balance of good and bad, but this collection is chock-full of gems. The only complaint is that some stories are just too short. Sit back, relax, but don't read this collection right before bed. ...more
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lovecraftian
I had been staring at this anthology for a long while every time I stepped into the local Chapters, and it was after some long thought that I picked it up.

I fluttered between 3 and 4 stars for this anthology for a couple reasons, and finally settled on four because in the end, this is a good anthology and anyone looking for good mythos tales will be sure to find them in this collection. The main reason I had debated on getting this book for so long, and the reason I had so many issues with rati
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was really surprised by this anthology. I've read a lot of Lovecraftian fiction over the years. The current trend to Locraftian "Weird fiction" has been a lot of fun, but often is more Weird than Mythos or Lovecraftian. The Book of Cthulhu hit squarely in the Lovecraftian end of things for me - just enough weird without sacrificing what made Lovecraft and his followers great. There's great examples of language use (Pugmire, Pulver and Barron - as always), Mythos stories (e.g., "The Doom that C ...more
Aug 28, 2011 rated it liked it
For an anthology that perports to be about Cthulhu, there sure was a lack of Cthulhu in this book. Sure, the stories took place within the mythos, but I don't remember many appearances by His Tentacliness himself.

The stories I enjoyed:
Caitlín R. Kiernan – Andromeda among the Stones
W. H. Pugmire – Some Buried Memory
Molly Tanzer – The Infernal History of the Ivybridge Twins
Elizabeth Bear – Shoggoths in Bloom
Cherie Priest – Bad Sushi
John Hornor Jacobs – The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife
Brian McNaug
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
This is an uncommonly strong anthology of recent(ish) Cthulhu Mythos stories. Anthologies of this nature often fall prey to Lovecraft pastiche, but for the most part the stories here offer fresh and imaginative takes on the source material and span a wide variety of time periods.

While the average quality is high, a number of stories stand out in particular. Although I had read it before, "A Colder War" by Charles Stross remains a masterful melding of Cold War paranoia with the Mythos. "The Men f
Ruediger Landmann
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
The Book of Cthulhu is an anthology of 27 short stories, each by a different author. The oldest tale in the collection dates from 1976, but 19 of them were first published since 2000.

To say that I enjoyed the collection would be an understatement. Anthologies are usually a hit-and-miss affair, and not every story is going to appeal to every reader. Yet, as I started out with The Book of Cthulhu, I found myself to be enjoying story after story after story. The only reason I have not rated this f
Jordan Anderson
Apr 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Getting an anthology is kind of like sticking your hand into a grab bag and not knowing what you are gonna get. In this respect, it makes it hard to give an honest review to them because, like that grab bag, you might get something good, something bad, or something that you could take or leave and not really care either way. It's also hard to judge an entire collection of stories truthfully because even if the subject matter is something you know, it could totally be ruined by the editors choice ...more
Dec 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, short-stories
With cosmic horror compilations, you go in hoping for a collection of unsettling, dark, nihilistic stories of creatures outside of your conception. Something that’s not just a monster with some tentacles and mythos stapled on, but gives you the feeling that our whole world is sliding in a direction you really don’t want.

Unfortunately, what you often get is a bunch of boilerplate creature-features with a side of squid (A Crawling Sky). Or worse still, a whole bunch of eldritch prose lapping tawdr
Stan James
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
A surprisingly meaty (and slimy/bloody/gooey) collection of stories using Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. Horror anthologies are notoriously uneven in my experience so I was pleasantly surprised at how solid this anthology is. While there is no singular standout story here there are also no outright clunkers that I was tempted to flip past. The weakest efforts are probably those that attempt to mimic Lovecraft's actual writing style, like Brian Lumley's "The Fairground Horror". People probably shoul ...more
Jeff Diamond
May 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
As with any compilation of short stories, The Book of Cthulhu is hit-or-miss. Fortunately, there are more hits than misses, although some of the stories are short and confusing. Some, namely by T.E.D. Klein, Brian Lumley and Ramsey Campbell offer intricate, involved stories with interesting characters. On the other hand, some authors seem more interested in trying to portray a Lovecraftian world at the expense of actual Lovecraftian horror. It's not enough to include tentacled monsters--there is ...more
Mar 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Too many reprints mar what could have been an enjoyable collection. At the present time, it seems ridiculous to me for someone to compile an anthology in such a specific area of interest as Lovecraftian horror/Cthulhu Mythos and include stories that have been published in other, earlier anthologies on the same topic, or even from other earlier anthologies as well as even earlier journals and magazines. I mean, you have a limited audience of a particularly dedicated fandom, and most of us will re ...more
Jan 25, 2014 rated it liked it
I have noticed lately that reading too much Cthulhu mythos at a time gets boring quite fast. But reading one or two short stories per evening works quite fine. Except when you find out that you've read some 4-5 of the stories before, but still. I also noticed that even though I remembered that I've read some stories before, I almost never remembered what happened at the end. I guess it was... too horrible to remember! *insert The Who on the background and sunglasses on me*

...Umm, yeah. Most of
Michael Sayler
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lovecraft and Weird Fiction Readers
Lockhart, an author and editor, compiles an impressive array of short stories into this anthology which is inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos by H.P. Lovecraft. The stories center on their character’s interaction with forces alien to mankind; often with disastrous results for the humans involved.

As befits the book’s title, many of the stories feature creatures or reference entities originally named in Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. Those works which don’t though still feature an aquatic theme which is
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The short story is not my favorite way to get my fiction. It's like snacking instead of having a meal for me. I need a longer text to get engrossed in the story -- as a general rule. As it happens, these stories, almost all of them, were suspenseful and just a little bit scary. Well, not scary, as I don't actually believe in the Great Old Ones, but I was worried about the characters. In this collection, the reader gets the opportunity to watch ordinary folks take on the minions of the Deep, to h ...more
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cosmic-horror
Modern writers put their own spin on the Cthulhu Mythos in this anthology. The results range from good to stellar. The highlights being from Caitlin Kiernan, Charles Stross, Joe Lansdale, Thomas Ligotti, Elizabeth Bear, and John Langan. Langan's "The Shallows" is fucked up and amazing. Highly recommended.

My only issue with this book has to do with "The Doom That Came to Innsmouth", specifically the rape scene at the end. It's unnecessary and the only purpose it serves is to highlight how evil th
Orrin Grey
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I actually read most of this some time back, and just forgot to put a review of it up here. This is, for my money, the best of the recent spate of mostly-reprint "inspired by Lovecraft" anthos that've come out, and maybe the best "inspired by Lovecraft" antho ever put together, and I'm not saying that just because I've got a story in the second volume. ...more
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Ross E. Lockhart is the Publisher/Editor in Chief of Word Horde. A lifelong fan of supernatural, fantastic, speculative, and weird fiction, Lockhart holds degrees in English from Sonoma State University (BA) and SFSU (MA). He is a veteran of small-press publishing, having edited scores of well-regarded novels of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Lockhart edited the acclaimed Lovecraftian antho ...more

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