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The Quest of Iranon

(Dream Cycle)

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  514 ratings  ·  45 reviews
H. P. Lovecraft was one of the greatest horror writers of all time. His seminal work appeared in the pages of legendary Weird Tales and has influenced countless writer of the macabre. This is one of those stories.
ebook, 9 pages
Published February 10th 2014 by Start Publishing LLC (first published July 1935)
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Average rating 3.50  · 
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Bill Kerwin
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was ok

“The Quest of Iranon,” an early fantasy in the style of Lord Dunsany, was not published until fourteen years after its composition in the magazine Galleon of 1935. It tells of the wandering bard and prince-in-exile Iranon, who sings of his home city of Aira, a city his hearers do not know and have not heard of, and how he seeks to find Aira through his wanderings. Iranon eventually achieves this quest, but with disastrous consequences.

This is not a bad story, really, but, although it is a good
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Iranon a wandering singer is trying to find his way back to Aira, his hometown, he left many years ago. When forced to work in Teloth he wanders on with a young man to a town Oonai. There his travel companion dies after some years and Iranon moves on. Will Iranon ever reach his destination? A very poetic story with deeper philosophical meaning. Recommended!
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
May 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, horror
A heartbreaking story of a never-ending search for perfection and a place where people appreciate beauty, song and art.
A beautiful, young singer Iranon spends his time singing and searching for a great city of Aira, where he was a prince.

The language is at times tedious, but the story is not bad. If you manage to get through the language, you'll get a wonderful bitter-sweet story. I liked it.
Sep 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written in the style of an ancient and exotic legend. Like many stories in his dream mythos, this contains a central character earnestly searching for a way into the world of dreams. Unusually - maybe uniquely! - for Lovecraft, this world can't be found, where generally the world of dreams turns out to be all too real, sometimes horribly real. This initially stumped me, but I think the take home message is one in common with many of his other books: a life without dreams where we can't rise ...more
Jon Swanson
Feb 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
First bit of Lovecraft I've ever read, was almost disappointed by the lack of tentacles and mind rending horrors.

It is a good short story, oddly poignant.
Sep 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is it with Lovecraft writing stories about people wandering into dark cities? In this one, at least, the prince goes back to his own home. This story feels like reading a Greek or Roman myth, as you can see with many of Lovecraft's stories. His writing is certainly inspired by old mythology. It follows a quest-type journey, as Iranon hopes to returns home after going through other cities which are not as beautiful as his city.
Salam Almahi
First Lovecraft!
Whimsical. Sad. Hear-wrenching.
Andrew Leon
Jun 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hannah Froncek
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an odd little bit of Lovecraft.
It may be one of his Dunsanian works, but it's still very easy to detect the helplessness that Lovecraft so often puts in his stories. This is an outline of a boy who dared to try and follow his dreams and wishes, but was crushed by the weight of the world.
This was a beautiful, sad story.
Iranon is almost representative of youth and innocence, deluding himself into believing he really was a prince, and aching for all of the things he couldn't have.
For a
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Another extremely boring story about how the protagonist is a superman from another world and other people are fools who cannot understand his greatness (basically what Lovecraft considered himself to be). Boring as hell, and extremely egoistic. Lovecraft's horror fiction was excellent, but his dream cycle quests were products of superiority complex.
Apr 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2012, kindle
Less of a horror story and more of a mythical adventure, following traditional lines.

Lovecraft weaves the worlds and cities so well, and this is no exception.

Iranon's quest seems so simple, yet leaves the reader in no doubt that striving for such things does not reward you.

In the tradition of all great tragedies, the ending seems very fitting.
Jakk Makk
It struck me how similar the Dreamlands are to the worlds of Dr. Suess. Especially the place names, the impossible angles of the architecture (R'Lyeh), and the mad proportions of his abominations. :) Lovecraft also had a treasure fetish, though not to Gygaxian extremes. A beautiful tale, perhaps about the dissatisfied nature of the ego.
J L Shioshita
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this one; I liked how he played with a concept of madness, or even reincarnation which was kept unknown to the reader until the very end.
Feb 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not typical Lovecraft style, one of his Dunsanian stories, but it was beautiful. For those who don't love the Cthulu mythos tales, this might warm them to Lovecraft.
Ryan McKenzie
A short story about an unappreciated artist trying to find his place. Very personal for Lovecraft I imagine. The story doesn't end on a high note...
Oct 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
H.P. Lovecraft writes (either a metaphysical horror story or) a short fantasy story as an omniscient narrator who recounts the life of traveling storyteller Iranon and his lifelong search for his city "Aira". A surprise ending complicates the plot's conclusion, and its usage invites multiple readings to understand the story. While some readers might be overwhelmed by the story's century-old language, other readers seeking a tale about meaning-making through storytelling (or history) or the ...more
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must be the only person on Earth who actually prefers Lovecraft's otherworldly fantasies to his urban horrors. But here we are. This one isn't quite as transcendent as "Till A the Seas" but still a fun little story. Lovecraft had a wonderful way of crafting bizarre unknown histories in a manner devoid of tedium, a talent fully displayed here.
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Together with The Outsider, quite possibly the saddest Lovecraft story I've read yet. I've still got a lot more to go. Would recommend if you like his overall Dunsanian imitations. I, for one, love his Dream Cycle, I always want to go visit the fantastical places in those stories
Chris Hall
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy (Other Amy)
Want. To. Choke. Iranon. Even though he's like (view spoiler).

(Moved 2015 review to the individual work Sept. 2017 to make room to review the collection under its own entry. This one annoyed me enough to prove very memorable.)
Alexander Collas
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: great
This is by far the best story I have read by lovecraft yet. Most of his stories are little more than rambling thoughts. The Quest of Iranon had a purpose, a plot, a meaning and most importantly a beginning and an end.
Alex Mutton
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the dreamlands continues to open up an interconnection with the cities and locations of previous short stories, it opens up questions to me about activity of the Dreamers of Dreamland and it's outer God who travels it.
Austin Wright
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A more dreamy and adventurous style of Lovecraft! This short story is quite similar to "The White Ship", and the annotations believe that Lovecraft is critiquing Protestant work-ethic.
Amy Mills
Odd, not-quite-Dreamlands, effort. Clearly Dunsanian. I mostly found it tedious.
John Yelverton
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is not the typical H.P. Lovecraft tale, but is rather a sad and whimsical tale of seeking what can never be found.
Baal Of
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
Flowery language, mythical dreamlike narrative, abrupt ending. Yep, it's some Lovecraft.
Sarah Morgan Sandquist
from lovecraft's phase of Dunsany impressions. love imagistic prose but without the ring of true style.
Benjamin Stahl
I enjoyed this story. Sad rather than simply depressing, which is surprising for Lovecraft.
Apr 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Lovecraft's stories can be divided in two categories: the ones that deals with cosmic horrors, and the one set in the fantastic Dreamlands. This short story falls into the second category. While, as all the dreamland stories, it is very slow paced, and overly Dunsanian, its conclusion is quite intriguing. I would no say more to avoid spoilers.
It is the story of Iranon, an artist that cannot age, looking for his lost home, Aira, the fabulous city where his father was king. For long years he has
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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

Other books in the series

Dream Cycle (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Polaris
  • The White Ship
  • The Doom That Came to Sarnath
  • The Cats of Ulthar
  • Celephaïs
  • Ex Oblivione
  • The Other Gods
  • What the Moon Brings
  • The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath
  • The Silver Key
“Wherefore do ye toil; is it not that ye may live and be happy? And if ye toil only that ye may toil more, when shall happiness find you? Ye toil to live, but is not life made of beauty and song? And if ye suffer no singers among you, where shall be the fruits of your toil? Toil without song is like a weary journey without an end. Were not death more pleasing?” 0 likes
“But most of the men of Teloth yawned, and some laughed and some went away to sleep; for Iranon told nothing useful, singing only his memories, his dreams, and his hopes.” 0 likes
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