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Mysteries of the Worm: Twenty Cthulhu Mythos Tales by Robert Bloch (Call of Cthulhu Fiction)
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Mysteries of the Worm: Twenty Cthulhu Mythos Tales by Robert Bloch

(Call of Cthulhu Fiction)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  681 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Robert Bloch has become one with his fictional counterpart Ludvig Prinn: future generations of readers will know him as an eldritch name hovering over a body of nightmare texts. To know them will be to know him. And thus we have decided to release a new and expanded third edition of Robert Bloch’s Mysteries of the Worm. This collection contains four more Mythos tales–”The ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 30th 2000 by Chaosium (first published 1981)
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3.99  · 
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 ·  681 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Mysteries of the Worm is a collection of short stories by Robert Bloch (Psycho) that involve the Lovecraft mythos. Being an avid fan of this mythos, I felt compelled to get as many perspectives from the authors involved as possible.

As with other collections, I will give my thoughts on the individual stories.

The Secret of the Tomb involves a man going into his ancestral burial vault to face his destiny. At only a few pages in length, it served to entertain me without getting old. Not too shabby.

Nancy Oakes
Feb 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Mysteries of the Worm made me think back to a lot of the strange Egyptian stories I couldn't get enough of as a kid and absolutely loved -- mummies returning for vengeance, strange curses that fell on people who opened tombs, etc. While not all of Bloch's writing in this volume consist of his Egyptian tales, the book as a whole left me with inner squeals of delight. Sure, there are some pieces that are not so hot, but overall, this is a great read.

Robert Bloch was not just the author of Psycho,
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autographed, horror
Technically not all of Robert Bloch's Cthulhu Mythos stories. There's about 5 or 6 missing that were added in a later version of this book. However these are the cream of the crop and a must for any Lovecraft enthusiasts out there. Bloch was the youngest of the Lovecraftian Circle and these stories could almost be called fan fiction. For the most part the tales were written in the late 30s. for the magazine Weird Tales.They represent a young developing writer who would later leave his Lovecrafti ...more
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
One of my reading goals is to read as much of the material from the original Weird Tales magazines as possible, especially the "big name" authors. I enjoy these old stories from the "Unique Magazine," even when they're not masterpieces they're fun and have a certain charm.

And speaking of "not masterpieces," that's the case with many stories here, there's a lot of early work here, and one can see Bloch improve as he goes along. Some of these stories, especially the early ones can run together a b
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
All right. If you must read stories inspired by Lovecraft do yourself a favor and read some by people who understand what they're doing. In a fair and just world, nobody should need any introduction to Robert Bloch. His tales are excellent, creepy, and leave a lasting impression. And although he never achieved the popularity of a KING, Bloch still resides in the penthouse while the other belongs in the basement.
Ekel Adolf
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Judging by the average level of horror and dread, Robert Bloch might be best author of Mythos stories beside Lovecraft himself, one of his biggest contributions being the enrichment of the Nyarlathotep lore by means of adding elements from egyptian mythology. Since this is an anthology spanning more than 20 years, the quality of the stories differs. While some are "decent" (Fane of the Black Pharaoh, others, like Notebook Found in a Deserted House are amongst the best and most chilling tales eve ...more
Joel Hacker
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Weird fiction fans. Turn of the century fiction fans. Egyption fiction fans.
Robert Bloch wrote voluminously across a variety of fiction genres during his life. To many, he may be best known for writing Psycho as well as episodes of The Twilight Zone and Star Trek The Original Series. The latest version of this collection contains all (or at least the bulk) of his 'weird fiction' work, including the stories set in turn of the century Egypt discussed by H.P. Lovecraft and his lovecraftian mythos stories as well.
This was a second time around on some of these stories for me
Tony Calder
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: supernatural
One of the (many) slightly unusual things about HP Lovecraft was his willingness to share his creations with other authors. Not only was he willingly to, but he often invited others to come and play in his sandbox, which is one of the things that makes the Cthulhu Mythos such a rich tapestry, as each author would add to the overall mythology.

Robert Bloch started his writing career as a teenager, having been encouraged by Lovecraft to write weird fiction. And the first story of his accepted for p
Taneli Repo
Sep 10, 2018 rated it liked it
A collection of Cthulhu mythos tales by Robert Bloch. Not all of them are great - some are quite badly written. In general, the later stories are better than the earlier ones, as Bloch gradually finds his own voice instead if trying to imitate HPL’s writing style. Quite a few of the stories are familiar to Call of Cthulhu players, as they have been used as source material and inspiration for role playing game scenarios.

Recommended for HPL fans and nerds in general.
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Any reader who enjoys weird fiction should scarf down this collection. Robert Bloch was one of the greatest 20th Century authors. The editorial comments before each story are interesting as well.
Jaron | TheBookBaron
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mythos, owned, weird
This is great Lovecraftian pastiche writing.
Recommended reading for all fans of Lovecraft the Cthulhu Mythos.
East Bay J
Robert Bloch is best known for the 1959 novel, Psycho, which inspired the 1960 Hitchcock film and was inspired by the 1957 arrest of serial killer, Ed Gein and the discovery of the unusual contents of his home. Perhaps more interesting is that Bloch got his start in writing with encouragement from H. P. Lovecraft and eventual publication in Weird Tales in 1935 at the age of seventeen. What a way to come out swinging! By his own admission, he didn't properly begin to write until ten years later a ...more
Feb 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
The afterword to this by Bloch himself notes that he wished he had written many of these a decade later when he could do justice to the concepts he came up with. Unfortunately, I couldn't really disagree with him. He does not really have the creeping dread of Lovecraft or the Mythic sense of Ashton-Smith. Rather just incredibly formulaic.
Sep 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bathroom-buddy
The stories in this collection are certainly inconsistent, but that makes sense (and is admitted by the author in his afterword) because Bloch started writing mythos stories at the age of 17 as a young acolyte of HPL. So... the first several stories are definitely HPLite. However, they are charming, if not great. And they get much better as the collection continues, finishing up with several quite good stories. By the last story he even has a bit of a Hemingway thing going on (amusingly, he even ...more
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorite-reads
There are some truly well written stories in this book that gave me the shivers. They have also learned me what real horror should be and can be. There are also some really boring stories in there where you have to drag yourself along.

At some points the Bloch seems as if he wants to try and be the new age Lovecraft, which nobody will ever be. But then again he also writes truly good stories worthy to be added to the Lovecraftian cult mythos.

Overall there are more gems in this book than boring no
Joel Mitchell
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror-weird
This collection of short stories by Robert Bloch (best known for Psycho) show his skill at writing "Cthulhu Mythos" fiction. Unlike some other members of the original Lovecraft Circle, Bloch wrote stories that have the same feeling of atmospheric dread so often evoked by their mentor. I much prefer Bloch's vague, creepy Lovecraftian work to that of the more action-oriented Robert E. Howard, or more systematic August Derleth.

Some of the early stories in this book are definitely amateurish, since
Mar 21, 2010 rated it it was ok
Bloch's apologetic afterword (to the effect of 'I hope that you will be able to appreciate these for what they are, works of love') says it all. While it's interesting to learn about Bloch's role in Lovecraft's circle, and while Bloch is undoubtedly a capable writer, this is a depressing read. The material is tired, the plots are stock, the endings, if not entirely predictable, are a little too pat. It's a shame. Colorful concepts and interesting ideas are starved of oxygen in these sterile pulp ...more
Sep 22, 2011 rated it liked it
This was hard going - there is no other way to describe it to be honest - Born from the Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu role playing game this series of books has tried to collect together all the masses of mythos related stories and material in to one complete (or as close as can get with licensing agreements will allow) series of books.
The book therefore has a wide range of quality (both style and substance) and at times it painfully shows this. However if you are interested in the mythos and have
Coeruleo Luna
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
i need to track down this most recent version, as i can only assume 4 additional stories will only make the book that much better. robert bloch is one of the best ever horror writers, one of the few that actually give me the chills when i read their work, and his cthulhu mythos are very well done. he's an original member of the 'lovecraft circle' and it shows.
Jeff Wyonch
These are stories set in the Cthulhu mythos, and while a few of the later stories stand out, most were written by a very young Bloch. This is probably not the best introduction to his work, but if you're a Cthulhu fan, you'll love it all the way through.
Dean Madonia
Jan 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scanned
This is a must read for huge fans of HP Lovecraft. Apparently Bloch was insured by Lovecraft and was in communication with Him. They featured each other as characters in stories, getting killed in various ways!
J. Allen
May 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
A book for completists of Robert Bloch or Lovecraft Circle stories; two-thirds of the book is shallow pastiches of Lovecraft that don't have much to recommend them. Only after that do we get a handful that bear Bloch's own mature voice, and of those you can probably find most collected elsewhere.
Timothy Boyd
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
A collection of stories based on the writings of H.P. Lovecraft. These are, to me, only slightly better than the original Lovecraft stories. Just not a fan of his writings. Not recommended
My GOD! I had this book when I was an adolescent--a copy from Zebra Press. Owing to extent pressures, I had to get rid of it. Losing this is one of the 100 Great Regrets of my life.
Greg Meyer
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Some interesting images and scenes, though the stories as a whole are a bit anemic. Some classic Mythos contributions, so I can forgive it.
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Robert Albert Bloch was a prolific American writer. He was the son of Raphael "Ray" Bloch (1884, Chicago-1952, Chicago), a bank cashier, and his wife Stella Loeb (1880, Attica, Indiana-1944, Milwaukee, WI), a social worker, both of German-Jewish descent.

Bloch wrote hundreds of short stories and over twenty novels, usually crime fiction, science fiction, and, perhaps most influentially, horror fict

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