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The Dream Cycle of H.P. Lovecraft: Dreams of Terror and Death

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  6,543 ratings  ·  179 reviews
This volume collects, for the first time, the entire Dream Cycle created by H. P. Lovecraft, the master of twentieth-century horror, including some of his most fantastic tales:

THE DOOM THAT CAME TO SARNATH--Hate, genocide, and a deadly curse.
THE NAMELESS CITY--Death lies beneath the shifting sands, in a story linking the Dream Cycle with the legendary Cthulhu Mythos.
Paperback, 387 pages
Published February 25th 2003 by Del Rey (first published 1934)
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 ·  6,543 ratings  ·  179 reviews

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Jul 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Morgan is caught in an endless dream involving an eerie landscape and an old railway car. What are the two persons, one of them the conductor, doing there? This short story has a creepy atmosphere but overall it lacks a bit of action. Well written as usual this story was nothing special to me. Okay!
Jul 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
Let's be frank -- I love Lovecraft. The "Necronomicon" that you've heard referenced a zillion times is a fictional tome of his invention. He was writing in the 1930's, and his work is dated by its slow pacing, Poe-like vocabulary, and predictability (now that he's fathered the entire horror genre -- nearly every successful writer from Neil Gaiman to Stephen King cites him as an influence -- and its tropes are so recognizable to us). But Lovecraft's style is entirely singular, so much so that the ...more
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Oct 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
The Thing in the Moonlight is based on Lovecraft's letter where he describes his dream.
An unnamed narrator tells a story of an illiterate man (Morgan) who starts writing someone else's dream. The man from that dream introduces himself as Howard Phillips.
'My name is Howard Phillips. I live at 66 College Street, in Providence, Rhode Island. On November 24, 1927—for I know not even what the year may be now—, I fell asleep and dreamed, since when I have been unable to awaken.'
The dreamworld where
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection had some good stories, bad stories, and weird Lord Dunsayian stories. Then again everyone's perceptions of the stories will be different. And that is a good thing.
May 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anybody
Shelves: favorites
Twice I set out to read Randolph Carter's dream quest and twice I was snatched away... I first purchased this book way back in 2003, when I wasn't much of a reader. Fast forward to now and the third time was the charm.

This one took me a while, mostly because I had a lot of stress, had to move and such, but it was well worth it. Lovecraft's dream quest has some of his best stuff. In this collection there's loads of great shorts like “The Nameless City” and “Beyond the Wall of Sleep” some novel-l
Jan 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If you think Lovecraft is all doom and madness, this compilation of stories is here to teach an important lesson: sometimes he's also writing about how cats can save someone from moon monsters. This collection of short stories is a well-selected look into the stories Lovecraft wrote set in and around the world of dreams. Only brushing the Cthulhu mythos, I found these other works to offer a more rounded view of the author and the universe he created. Included among the shorter stories are two no ...more
I need to get a couple of things up front, right off the bat.

(1) I have a great and abiding fondness for many of Lovecraft's stories; "Pickman's Model" is a longtime favourite, and "The Dunwich Horror" and "The Colour out of Space" and "The Cats of Ulthar" are part of my very early memories of horror fiction.

(2) Oh dear god the man was racist. The man was horrendously racist, and it's not all just the time period he was living in. The first story (as opposed to fragment) in this book is "oh dear
David Stephens
May 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
As should be obvious from the title, this collection of Lovecraft stories focuses on dreams. In many of these tales, Lovecraft suggests that dreams are where truth actually lies as opposed to reality where it is often thought to be. He believes dreams are things "whose vaguely exciting and disquieting effect suggests possible minute glimpses into a sphere of mental existence no less important than physical life yet separated from that life by an all but impassable barrier." And most of the chara ...more
Sep 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lovecraft
As a collection of HPL dream stories, this kind of baffles me. Many of the "Dunsanian" and other dream-world stories are here, but why in the name of Azathoth is "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" here?! Randolph Carter is mentioned offhandedly once in the story, but there's really no reason to include it here, especially since it's quite long and takes up space that could have been filled with the rest of HPL's actual dream stories. Once again, since there are corrected texts and annotated editi ...more
Dec 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
First, I am a long-time Lovecraft fan. For years I've dug his ability - despite his Poe-aping turgid prose - to convey something unique, the ripples of which are still felt in horror. The nameless, strange terrors that became his stock-in-trade are certainly unique, and forgive a lot of his faults. (Overlong work, repetitive pieces, and a lack of proper description - though this last is understandable as he was largely cribbing from nightmares.)


Ole HPL is racist.

And not just mildly.

He's a
Sep 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
it's Lovecraft and all the surmise on his personal life and beliefs aside, this guy is twisted, dark, macabre(and you really don't get to use this word very often), and writes like no other and I love it. To all that have that streak of Cure listening, black wearing(and who doesn't in PDX), ruminations on a bleak death this is for you. I respectfully, religiously give this tome a read during the first storms of fall around Halloween. Not for the faint of heart.
May 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
Maybe I'm jaded, but I just couldn't get into it. I liked Pickman's Model, and then I kind of bounced around, trying to find a story I could enjoy or be scared by. I got partway through the Dream Quest of Unknown Kadeth and just got bored to tears. I kept falling asleep. I just find other people's dreams really uninteresting. And I got distracted by the way he writes: every single noun has to have a hyperbolic adjective attached to it. Drove me nuts.

Go to for big laffs!
Fred Klein
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Full disclosure: I have not read this entire collection. I previously read "The Dreams in the Witch-House", and I picked it up again to read "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward". This is horror in the tradition -- I'd say -- of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein": Science-driven, and written in a very 'literary' style that may challenge readers used to modern horror. Not an easy read, but very rewarding.
Sep 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
My first real foray into Lovecraft. While some of the stories are disposable, many are quite good and some are excellent (Pickman's Model, The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath, and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward stand out). I feel, after reading this, that my plans of living a hermetic life and indulging in strange pursuits are justified.
Edward Taylor
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
The second most inspiring series of Lovecraftian work after the Cthulhu Mythos itself, the Dream Cycle includes "The Silver Key, Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath, and Through the Gates of the Silver Key" to name a few and connects all the tales of locations mentioned or written in relation to the four regions of the Dreamlands. Highly recommended for those who want to see the "softer" side of HPL where the good guys sometimes win or stay sane long enough to make a difference.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found most of the stories very interesting but it was frustrating when they where uncompleted or finished abruptly.
East Bay J
Feb 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
To my mind, H. P. Lovecraft stands as one of the most singular and interesting writers of the 20th century. Just as interesting as his stories and writing style are his unusual life, voluminous letter writing and his circle of friends (Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, etc.). Most interesting, perhaps, was the pantheon of gods he created and the concept he wrote around that humanity are pawns, specks of dust in an unfeeling universe.

The Dream Cycle Of H. P. Lovecraft collects twenty five of
Geert Daelemans
Sep 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, classics
An excellent collection of stories of the macabre

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Bram Stoker's Dracula and Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are commonly seen as the cornerstones of modern horror. In my opinion Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) must to be added to this list, because horror wouldn't be the same without the influence of this phenomenal writer. One can say that Lovecraft brought the "Dark Monsters" into the genre, take for example the H.R.Gigger creature used in the
I love how Lovecraft wrote. Really. His word choice, his style, his rampant anglophilia, his imitable style that inspired so many of horror and fantasy's modern-day kings. You can tell the man's got serious talent -- and a truly terrifying imagination, my God -- and it's a right shame that he didn't get the recognition he deserved in his lifetime.

A collection of short stories just wasn't the best introduction to him for me. And it doesn't help that I read this in 30-page chunks spanning more th
Mar 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, fantasy
This book was definitely amazing. Lovecraft was able to weave very frightening and amazing worlds, and the way the editor put them all together was indeed perfect. In some stories then end was rather predictable (because everyone wants to be like Lovecraft) but i still found myself excited to read them. I couldn't give this book 5 stars though because sometimes the difference in ages of writing was hard to grasp. It just seemed t draw on and on during some stories, and others went so fast i coul ...more
Zachary Moore
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Lovecraft's dream cycle is part fantasy and part horror, some of the more Dunsanian stories surprised me quite a bit when I first read them as I was expecting a non-stop diet of monsters from Lovecraft. This collection contains the enormously imaginative "Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath" as well as one of favorite Lovecraft stories, "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" which to my mind was Lovecraft's most successful exploration of the theme of intelligences reaching back through time to claim a livi ...more
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Lovecraft is best known as a master of horror, and while this collection contains a few stories of that sort, it's main focus is on his works of fantasy. While they can still be pretty creepy, Lovecraft's fantasy stories are often beautiful and moving as well. "Celephais" is a great example of this. It's a story about a man who has fallen on hard times and retreats into a world spun in his childhood dreams, where he is the king of a great and beautiful land called Ooth-Nargai. There are many mor ...more
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
I will be honest to say that I didn't finish the book. I only got about a quarter way through it. I enjoyed maybe 3 stories out of the 8 or so that I read. Just found it really hard to get into and that I would have to re-read paragraphs over and over until I felt like "heard" What the author intended his audience to; Possibly because I found it hard to connect it with any area of my life. Maybe I will try it again another time but for now I am putting it to rest.
Michael Brooks
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Dream Cycle remains one of my favorite stories of all time, (by Lovecraft or otherwise). The adventure and way it ties in other stories really makes it feel like a backbone of sorts within the Lovecraft mythos.
Aug 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
If you're into dreams and completely insanely horrifying imagery, look no further.
Marts  (Thinker)
Dec 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Description of a strange dream in which the narrator falls asleep, is unable to wake, and has to 'travel through a strange land'...
Mar 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Short & sweet... 3.5 Stars! ...more
Paul Spence
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book begins with a section entitled "Three Fragments," in which is printed "Azathoth," "The Descendant," and "The Thing in the Moonlight." A note following ye latter fragment notes: "As discovered by editor/historian S. T. Joshi, the central portion of this fragment was taken from a letter Lovecraft wrote to Donald Wandrei. Opening and closing paragraphs were added by J. Chapman Miske." It was actually Schultz who made this discovery, I believe. As S. T. describes the situation in H. P. LOVE ...more
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, horror
Songfully or Horrifically Transcending the Mundane

Dreams of Terror and Death: The Dream Cycle of H. P. Lovecraft (1995) is a collection of three "dream fragments," 19 short stories, two novellas, and one collaboration story. Most of the works have thematic and or dramatic connections to dreams, and many take place in Lovecraft's "dreamlands." Most of the characters either pursue the ineffable too avidly ("with unsanctioned phrensy"), or dream beyond the toil and torpor of the "real" world. Eithe
Bryan Whitehead
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2002
This is an odd assemblage of three different sorts of works by the legendary horror author. The first is the most obviously suggested by the title: Lovecraft wrote a number of stories centered around the connection between terra cognita and a parallel world called the Dreamlands. In these tales protagonists leave the earthly plane and journey either in a fantasy realm that reeks of the influence of Lord Dunsany or in indescribable vistas vaguely evocative of the part of 2001 that’s fun to watch ...more
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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

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