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The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories
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The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories

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4.24  ·  Rating details ·  29,325 Ratings  ·  982 Reviews
This collection spans Lovecraft’s literary career, and charts the development of his ‘cosmicist’ philosophy; the belief that behind the veil of our blinkered everyday lives lies another reality, too terrible for the human mind to comprehend. In stories written in the gothic tradition, narrators recount their descent into madness and despair. Through their investigations in ...more
Paperback, 420 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by Penguin Classics (first published 1926)
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Bill  Kerwin
Jan 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing

This, the first of three volumes of Lovecraft tales edited by S.T. Joshi, is--as are the other two--chronological, featuring a selection of tales from the earliest to the very last. (An odd organizational principle for a complete tales, but I suppose Joshi did this so most of the best tales wouldn't be found in the last two volumes.)

Every Lovecraft fan should purchase all three volumes, but—if you must confine yourself to one only—I would suggest this one as the best to buy, since it contains m
...more
Josh
Aug 26, 2011 rated it did not like it

I am largely underwhelmed by this “master of horror.” I find the writing simply dull, repetitive, anti-climactic, and that it uses the same tricks over and over and over again. I am not horrified by the stories, or at least not by any intended reasons. The narration, pacing, and lazy writing wreck whatever interest I had in the premises of the stories had, such as the twist to Arthur Jermyn and The Color Out of Space. (Such potential, OH WHY?!)


I admit my strong reaction to these stories is due t

...more
Jacob
October 2011

"Pfft, whatever. You're not so scary, Mr. Lovecraft. You're quaint and silly, is all. It's not like...wait. Wait. What? What's this? This is--it's--oh. Oh, god. Oh, dear god, no. No. NOOAAAAUUUUGGGGGHHHHHH--"

I live in a somewhat-old farmhouse in rural Wisconsin, and it's a great place to read Lovecraft now that we've taken care of the bat problem. Couldn't do anything about the coyotes out in the fields, but that was part of the charm.

It's been a few months since I read this collect
...more
Keith
Aug 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
My life sort of changed a little bit this year when, for no reason at all, I decided to give Lovecraft a go. I picked up the three Penguin editions of his work that (I believe) gather almost all the stories he published in his lifetime, and have not been disappointed. Which probably deserves a qualifier -- I went into his ouvre with a certain expectation of what I would find, and found exactly that and more so. His faults as a writer (and, okay, as a human being) are unavoidable, but seriously? ...more
Scott
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
"Gentle reader - what I saw that night was so horrifyingly horrible, such a cavalcade of horrid, horrific horror, that I cannot describe its horrendousness to you. I pen these words whilst I foam at the mouth in a padded cell."

That is what almost all of The Call of Chthulu and Other Weird Stories felt like to me - a terrified narrator recounts a scarring encounter with an evil force as overwhelmingly powerful as it is vague. And I mean vague- trying to get a feel for the nature and appearance of
...more
Shivam Chaturvedi
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
And I'd be very interested to know what it was that Mr Lovecraft was in the habit of smoking while writing these stories. Very, very interested.


Lovecraft while writing this book - Yo, I got the best stuff in town! *Fistbump*


Me while reading this book - Should have never dropped this much acid at one go. Never..


Cthulhu in the meanwhile - Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn....Damn it bro, this stuff is strong; I dont even what I am talkin' about
Keely
"Even death may die.."

American author H.P Lovecraft is such a prominent and prolific horror writer that a subgenre of horror was even named after him. Lovecraftian horror involves "the cosmic horror of the unknown and the unknowable more than gore or other elements of shock". With this mind, I was quite excited to read this anthology which collected his finest eighteen short stories throughout the years. This paperback edition I own even includes a great introductory essay to the life and ti
...more
Anthony Vacca
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book of Lovecraft’s fiction, the first of three nearly definitive collections published by Penguin, offers a career-spanning selection of short and long stories that wades new readers through the shallow waters of his early weird fiction before abandoning them in the deeps of his later tales of cosmic chaos and flesh turned traitorous. It’s all here: undead entities and invasive alien civilizations with a profound indifference toward the human condition; prissy narrators who fancy themselve ...more
Dan Henk
Dec 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I think Lovecraft often gets a bad rap. People read that he influenced the modern greats, everyone from authors like Stephen King and Clive Barker, to movie makers like John Carpenter and Wes Craven, and then dive into his books expecting the same fare. He wrote for a different era. His mind-bending, first person surrealistic approach to a creeping, nameless horror stunned and fascinated huge segments of early century America. The America that read, that is, which wasn't nearly what it is today. ...more
Juushika
Sep 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: status-owned
As one of the three Penguin Classic Lovecraft anthologies, The Call of Cthulhu collects the stories that lead up to and include the Cthulhu Mythos, arranged in chronological order with introduction and explanatory notes for each story from the anthologizer, S.T. Joshi. Joshi does an exceptional job selecting stories that create a coherent narrative through Lovecraft's early work, developing themes, and final strong stories; his annotations are interesting and useful both to the casual and studio ...more
Lou
May 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Call of Cthulhu
This novella is a work of sinister genius a writing prose so well done. These works of Lovecraft form a Genisis of Horror writing and supernatural which have inspired many writers Stephen King one of many.

"Octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature, I shall not be unfaithful to the spirit of the thing. A pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque and scaly body with rudimentary wings;"
"There were legends of a hidden lake unglimpsed by mortal sight, in which dwelt a huge, fo
...more
Brenda Bauer
Feb 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow, reading through some of the reviews here, I'm astonished to see so much negative criticism. A lot of that criticism seems to focus on Lovecraft's use of arcane language. Should I be worried that I don't find it arcane at all?

What Lovecraft does so brilliantly is to attempt to describe a truly alien horror - not like Star Trek aliens who are only men with knobby foreheads, but forces which do not reference the human at all. That's not a easy task, but Lovecraft, along with Blackwood ("The Wi
...more
Fables&Wren
WrensReads Review:

I love the creeps, gore and the all-around horror in books. I watch American Horror Story religiously, I live by the code of The Slayers that Joss Whedon laid out for us in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I research serial killers and studies of their psychological states and look forward to the month of October all year round. So as someone who would rather watch a scary movie or go through a museum filled to the tip of mass murder and corruption than go on some overly-dramatic, rom
...more
Daniel Ionson
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
HP Lovecraft's short stories show a masterful skill in setting mood with his dark prose. Unexpectedly, however, Call of C ended up being 'meh' compared to his other stories.
Chris
As I write this, the hour draws later, every minute, every second casting my life further into the black, frozen abyss of the Past and bringing me one more step closer to the illimitable void that is my inevitable death. I can only pray that the sweet oblivion of sleep is able to scour away the memory of the horrors I have endured, of the horrors that I have perpetrated. And if there is a God, and if He is merciful, he will allow me the privilege of perishing before I wake so that I may not see ...more
Tony DiTerlizzi
Jul 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'm never going to Antarctica. Ever.
Kristina
You may not know it, but the writings of H.P. Lovecraft influenced much of the modern horror and science fiction you enjoy today. In fact, the other day I read a New Yorker review of Netflix’s series Stranger Things (if you have Netflix, or have a friend with Netflix, watch this show. It’s so freaking good) and what author was mentioned as having influenced Stranger Things? Why, H.P. Lovecraft, of course; specifically his story “The Colour Out of Space.” I read The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weir ...more
Michelle Curie
"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 the infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far."

For a long time, Lovecraft himself seemed to be a bit of a myth to me. Until recently, I have never read anything written by him and yet a disconcerting amount of pop culture I've consumed in my life (may that be a TV show such as Stranger Things or ev
...more
Caro M.
While I thoroughly enjoyed these scary tales Lovecraft built on the foundation of his own nightmares and neuroses, I couldn’t not notice and not get seriously annoyed with obvious racism, xenophobia and misogyny of his views. It puts his works on a bit lower level among other classics of horror than they could be to me. And 'tis a great pity, because these are extremely powerful and fascinating visions and ideas, fathering too many works of literature and cinema to this day and I am sure future ...more
Cat  (cat-thecatlady)
as a big old timey horror fan, I can appreciate the new things Lovecraft brought to the table. and they're great. the prose-poetry writing is beautiful, the stories are scary and the backstories of the monsters are amazing.

but it's 2016 and I can't ignore the racism... and it's too much and literally towards everyone that isn't white... I couldn't tune that out.

so, as much as I loved some of the spooky stuff, I can't really appreciate them as much as I want to

full review here: https://catshelf.w
...more
Anna
Apr 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: america
Говард Лавкрафт - открытие месяца (дальнейшие чтения покажут, может и года). Вот честно, я довольна предвзято отношусь к жанру "ужасов", ибо кажется, что ничем особым они не отличаются от Кинга или детских подостковых ужастиков. Зря я так думала.
Совершенно неожиданно, без предупреждения, мне принесли маленькую книжечку в мягкой обложке уже названного автора. И возвращаясь домой (а ехать долго), решилась хотя бы одну повесть попробовать на вкус. В итоге, подъезжая к дому, дочитывала "Зов Ктулху
...more
Adam
Sep 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
While it's not a full collection of all of Lovecraft's best work, this book does provide a career-spanning survey of this master of horror. The footnotes and commentary provide considerable context-- bordering on too much for the casual reader, but valuable for the more scholarly approach. For instance, reading on my own, I would not have recognized the shift in Lovecraft's early writing, where the weird elements are unexplained and pre-pre-historic, to the later stories where they arrive from o ...more
Eric
Oct 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sci-fi and horror fans
This review is solely on 'The Call of Cthulu', the only story I've read in the collection so far.

When I saw the South Park Coon and Friends trilogy last year, which heavily featured Cthulu, I knew it was time for me to read the source material behind this cultural phenomenon. I was first shocked that H.P. Lovecraft's masterwork, which has made him such a legend, was so short. And considering it was from 1928, it didn't seem very dated, which was also a surprise.

The story is presented as a manus
...more
Brad Hodson
Sep 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Horror fans
Any horror fan worth his salt should read Lovecraft. "The Call of Cthulhu" is a cornerstone of weird fiction and cosmic horror alike.

However, if you're only a casual horror fan, I'd skip Lovecraft. While his ideas were groundbreaking and the horrors presented in his fiction will truly give you nightmares, Lovecraft was not a great writer. His stories are stilted and repetitive, his dialogue is weak and unnatural, and his characters are two-dimensional products of the xenophobia he was renowned
...more
Jamie
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The worst.

Purple prose. Necronomicon. OMG there's is something weird and I don't know what it is but I'm going to write a letter and then die/go insane.

Repeat ad infinitum.

Maybe if I were a high school kid with an unlimited supply of weed. But I doubt it.
Andy
May 26, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, short-stories
I picked this up after enjoying Mountains of Madness and feeling there was an H.P shaped hole in my shelves. Hmmm. Maybe not.

I enjoyed aspects of the stories collected but it's a pretty long slog if read without a break. I started last year, put it aside for almost as long and recently finished it so I can put it to bed.

He certainly has vision, the sheer imagination and depth of his colliding worlds and creatures, the cultures and civilisations, the depictions; it's impressive and unlike most ot
...more
Kat  Hooper
Sep 19, 2012 rated it liked it
"In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming."

Ask any writer of horror, fantasy, or weird fiction who their influences were and H.P. Lovecraft’s name is almost sure to come up, especially if they’re over the age of 50. For this reason alone, all true fans of these genres must experience H.P. Lovecraft’s work for themselves. Think of it as “required reading.” Even if you don’t read horror or weird tales, Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos pops up regularly in fantasy literature, games, television
...more
Saga Norén
Ésta historia, narrada a modo de bitácora, nos relata hechos con muchas descripciones desde el suspenso y el terror como géneros predominantes. Las menciones a los países nórdicos, como Noruega, Groenlandia e Islandia nos invita a situarnos en esos gélidos paisajes para el hombre, como las frías aguas del Océano Atlántico Norte, y mencionando el antiguo nombre de Oslo (Christiania) y la posterior aparición del monstruo, detallada con mucha precisión dándonos una sensación de miedo al imaginarlo. ...more
Romi || Romi Reads
I'm so glad I finally pushed myself to read this collection of short stories by H.P. Lovecraft. Some of the stories were hard to get through, but most of them really had me hooked and made me fall in love with Lovecraft's work. I understand why Lovecraft is considered as a canonical author - his horror and sci-fi stories are truly one of a kind! I love the grotesque and spacious images that are being described and all of the stories are so very mysterious! You know something's lurking in the dar ...more
[Name Redacted]
Highlights:

Dagon (1919) (Brief, but glorious!)
Nyarlathotep (1920) (A wonderful poem, playing with Egyptian themes)
The Picture in the House (1924)
The Outsider (1921)
The Rats in the Walls (1924)
The Colour Out of Space (1927)
The Whisperer in Darkness (1931)
The Shadow over Innsmouth (1936) (My all time favorite!)
The Haunter of the Dark (1936)
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10,785 followers
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 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 the infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.” 668 likes
“In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulu waits dreaming” 137 likes
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