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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 Into The Unexplained, They Tug At The Thin Threads That Separate Our World From Another Of Indescribable Horror Great God I Never Dreamed Of THIS Screams Occultist Harley Warren In The Statement Of Randolph Carter , As He Begs His Companion To Bury Him Alive Another Early Piece, The Outsider A Tragic And Emotive Evocation Of Loneliness And Desolation Follows A Man S Escape From His Castle In A Desperate Search For Human Contact, But The Loathsome Truth He Discovers Destroys His MindIn Later Tales, Such As The Iconic The Call Of Cthulhu And The Whisperer In Darkness , Lovecraft Reaches Into The Cosmos, Bridging The Divide Between Horror And Science Fiction The Extra Terrestrial Gods And Cursed Histories That Would Emerge From These Stories Now Form The Cornerstones Of Lovecraft S Unique Mythology The Cthulhu Mythos This Fictional Universe, Built In Large Part By His Friend And Most Ardent Supporter August Derleth, Has In The Years Since Been Reimagined In Myriad Forms, And Continues To Act As A Haunted Playground For Countless Illustrators, Fans And AuthorsThis Edition, Based On Its Sister Limited Edition, Marries Lovecraft S Best Known Fiction With Two Modern Masters Of The Macabre, The Acclaimed Artist Dan Hillier And Author Alan Moore In His Beautifully Crafted New Preface, Moore Finds Lovecraft At Once At Odds With And Integral To The Time In Which He Lived The Improbable Embodiment Of An Estranged World In Transition Yet, Despite His Prejudices And Parochialisms, He Possessed A Voice And A Perspective Both Unique In Modern LiteratureHillier S Six Mesmerising, Portal Like Illustrations Embrace The Alien Realities That Lurk Among The Gambrel Roofs Of Lovecraft S Landscapes By Splicing Victorian Portraits And Lithographs With Cosmic And Lovecraftian Symbolism, Each Piece Like The Stories Themselves Pulls Apart The Familiar To Reveal What Lies BeneathThe Edition Itself Shimmers With Lovecraft S Unknown Colours , Bound In Purple And Greens Akin To Both The Ocean Depths And Mysteries From Outer Space The Cover Is Embossed With A Mystical Design By Hillier, While A Monstrous Eye Stares Blankly From The Slipcase


10 thoughts on “The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories

  1. says:

    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 many of the best and most characteristic tales Among my favorites are the early Dagon which foreshadows the Cthulhu mythos , The Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family first appearance of the Lovecraft theme of genetic pollution , Nyarlathotep a perfectly realized early prose poem , The Picture in the House a tale of cannibalism narrated by a degenerate old New Englander , The Outsider Lovecraft s first masterpiece, written in the style of Poe , The Rats in the Walls an English gothic, involving a literal descent into an ancient world of horrors , The Festival an underappreciated dream journey through an old New England town, worthy of Ligotti , The Call of Cthulhu a masterly use of many narrative points of view , The Colour Out of Space the tale of a mysterious meteor, perhaps Lovecraft s best use of description , The Shadow Over Innsmouth the secret behind the degenerate denizens of a small New England port, perhaps Lovecraft s best sustained longer work , and The Haunter of the Dark H.P s last story, featuring a haunted description of his native Providence and the best concluding sentence in horror fiction.Also included The Statement of Randolph Carter, Celephais, Herbert West Reanimator , Cool Air, The Hound, He , and The Whisperer in Darkness all of which are of interest and the excellent introduction and helpful notes of the great scholar of horror S.T Joshi particularly good at revealing the connections between Lovecraft s life and his fiction All in all, this is a fine collection, certainly the best of the excellent series of three.


  2. says:

    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 to the huge hype I ve heard around them and the high expectations I had starting them After reading some of his most famous works Call of Cthulhu, Call of Cthulhu, and don t forget, Call of Cthulhu I am completely lost to why they ve achieved the memetic status they re at now Before actually reading anything, I was always delighted to see the occasional CTHULHU fish emblem on the back of a car or a creative homage to the famed monster on DeviantArt, and I was eager to become a loyal member of the fanbase, but it just wasn t for me.

    Here are some notes I jotted down while reading Lovecraft makes random misspellings in an attempt to sound archaic Shewn , co rdinated , re mbarked , etc Admittedly this only happens once every couple pages, but it s still distracting Every protagonist is exactly the same It was very horrible but my own scientific curiosity for the horrible made me very curious as to what lay forward Sometimes the narrators are completely unnecessary, with an obvious case of this being in The Call of Cthulhu, where the narrator summarizes other people s actions or journal entries, when it would have been much effective to just show the journal entries or articles themselves There are lazy attempts at shewing horrific things He will write what is basically a wordy version of And it was so horrible and I could never describe it without going crazy dead and I really don t want to bring those memories back in my mind so yeah just trust me it was horrible When he does describe actual horror, it s not very horrific And I looked out the window and saw a bunch of weird people chanting and dancing to this big black pyramid and I screamed loudly for what seemed to be an hour in sheer horrible terror Lovecraft uses description of people that human beings do not and should not use The narrator of Cool Air describes Dr Mu oz as being high bred In He, the narrator describes the titular pronoun as bearing the marks of a lineage and refinement The Call of Cthulhu describes tribal peoples as being mix blooded This is just creepy, as most humans do not describe others the same way you would describe a dog This technique would be effective if it was coming out of the mouth of a character who was meant to be portrayed as inhuman or emotionless, but no, it s coming out of the narrator we re supposed to identify with Physical improbabilities are rampant In The Rats in the Walls, there s an enormous lair complete with bottomless ravines underneath an old manor Uh, why Enormous mile high structures will be completely unnoticed in the wild by the world around them, which I find highly unlikely for the 1920 s setting The pacing is distractingly inconsistent While Lovecraft will never miss an opportunity to describe the scenery and archaic architecture at length, long voyages and passages of time will be handwaved with a few words mid sentence.However, I would recommend this edition of the book for someone who wants to start with Lovecraft even after reading all of this review It has every story of his I ve heard anyone talk about, the painting on the cover is cool, and Penguin crams all 420 pages into a surprisingly thin width The Explanatory Notes at the end are in depth, and well researched They don t always add to one s understanding of the story Cool Air has a note about a fold out couch Lovecraft kept in his study While definitely not necessary for getting the full effect of the stories, they re interesting to read and I m glad they re included.Please leave comments I want to see if I m not alone in my opinion, or if I just don t get it P Super exaggeration time I drove around the old toun while calling my well bred Negro acquaintance with my iPhewn when I heard a sound that struck me as being from an ancient cosmic terror of terrible horrors buried deep within the crevice of time and the darkest corners of the recurring nightmares of humankind undernaeth the horrors of Old New Yoark Although I can t pinpoint exactly why I came to this conclusi n but it was of such disturbance to my psyche that I am to leap out of this window in 5 4 3 2 2012 UPDATE No, I still haven t read any Lovecraft since writing this review But here are some extra thoughts for clarification I am completely familiar with the kind of horror Lovecraft aims for, and that his fans love him for I do love this style of horror unspeakable, unseen, ancient, and cosmic , and I love it when it s envoked but Lovecraft was unable to envoke it for me My main problem with Lovecraft and most horror out there is that his stories feel like stories about his narrators getting scared, without myself feeling an iota of involvement I find that literature is an extremely difficult medium for horror, as it takes an extreme, almost poetic ability to be able to write the perfect description, atmosphere, or even single sentence that begins to spook the reader not just the author s characters It s not impossible, it s just hard I can get myself into an intense horrified scizophrenic state before I begin reading, and enjoy the stories much , but why should I I went into this author with an open mind, and I wasn t convinced I shouldn t have to perform well what if this was happening to me exercises or stay awake until four in the morning and convince myself there s a murderer behind me to get myself in the mood to properly enjoy horror.


  3. says:

    October 2011 Pfft, whatever You re not so scary, Mr Lovecraft You re quaint and silly, is all It s not likewait 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 collection, but I still think about it from time to time A few nights ago, while trying to fall asleep, my mind wandered a bit to the story The Rats in the Walls, specifically the part where they open the vault and discover the tunnel dug from beneath and I felt the same chill I got when I first read it.And then I heard the scratching, coming from the walls The mice are coming back.It s going to be a long winter.


  4. says:

    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 so His faults as a writer and, okay, as a human being are unavoidable, but seriously The was a grown man who couldn t keep a job and lived with his mom, and these stories still drip like an oil over the soul No fiction you have ever read will leave you as inexplicably raw as this stuff will I say inexplicably so as not to discount the many books that offend in obvious ways It s partly because of their sheer paranoia and despair, and partly and this is why it s worth it because there is something secret and true here Not necessarily true in the people are really taken over by evil mermen way, or the ghost dog actually chasing you beneath the desert tombs way, but true in that Lovecraft s stories essentially discuss humanity the way I dissected cats in twelfth grade science from a distance, with vague moral discomfort made worse when lain parallel with a guilty need to poke around in foreign guts.


  5. says:

    October spooky read 10 Yup, the good old classic And like most classics, it has quite a few flaws, mercifully balanced with enough imagination and silliness that one can still enjoy these short stories despite some truly off putting elements.I would lie if I pretended this book was easy to review, or to recommend People usually either love or hate Lovecraft I can see why, and his work is definitely not for everyone If you can t laugh at affected, excessively florid prose, don t even bother If you like the idea of sentient oozing green goo, step right up But seriously his thing was the ineffable, so you need to use your own imagination to make his stories creepy All he will do is hint at what could possibly be lurking in shadows, or what those cultists might be summoning, and the rest is up to you Most of his mysterious stories remain unsolved, and that can both frustrating and very creepy, but people who need their horror spelled out for them will not get into it This is for those of us who love ideas like books with a mind of their own, geographies that will dive a man mad, strange not quite humanoid creatures, secret forgotten cults worshiping strange and ancient gods.Also, given his incredible influence over horror, weird, fantasy, science fiction and pop culture see In The Mountains of Madness , this little collection is a must read if only because it is so seminal You don t have to like the guy, but knowing what inspired the greatest minds of genre literature and cinema is very interesting at least, to nerds like me It can definitely be a challenging read, both because of the style, repetition of a few tropes, and of course, the occasional unsavory descriptions But when they are good, Lovecraft s stories are truly wonderful, atmospheric and spooky He created a world of dark menace, filled with truly alien entities whose motivations the human mind simply cannot grasp, and that world has spread like a virus into the mind of so many other writers and artists This collection, edited by S.T Joshi, is the perfect place to start for Lovecraft newbies Joshi carefully selected stories that are loosely connected to each other, provided a great introduction that will inform the reader about Lovecraft s theories on writing and on horror, and includes notes about each story But on the first read, my advice is to ignore the academic analysis and just dive in Have a cocktail and read it aloud to yourself or to a willing friend , as theatrically as you can The Statement of Randolph Carter remains a weird stand out for me, as does the title story obviously , but I also really love The Whisperer in Darkness adapted into a fantastic movie by the H.P Lovecraft Historical Society in 2011 and The Shadow Over Innsmouth While this tome includes a few weaker stories, they all introduce important items over the Lovecratian Universe, like the town of Arkham, Massachusetts and it s infamous Miskatonic University, the Necronomicon is mentioned in several tales and obviously, the Old Ones and their eon old cult, which can be found in isolated areas all over the globe First time readers and novices should definitely start here.A flawed must read, if only to satisfy your intellectual curiosity about what this whole Cthulhu business is about I agree that other writers built on his groundwork and wrote better written and interesting stories, but the twisted root of one of my favorite genres is well worth the detour 4 and a half stars.


  6. says:

    They had come from the stars, and had brought Their images with Them.Despite Lovecraft s social and xenophobic failings, his intellectual imagination is deserving of merit You cannot help but be inspired and desire to crawl into the void of his seething mindscapes I want to believe in the eldritch manifestations he brings into light My favorites in this collection Dagon, The Festival, The Call of Cthulhu, The Colour Out of Space, and The Whisperer in Darkness I choose weird stories because they suit my inclination best one of my strongest and most persistent wishes being to achieve, momentarily, the illusion of some strange suspension or violation of the galling limitations of time, space, and natural law which forever imprison us and frustrate our curiosity about the infinite cosmic spaces beyond the radius of our sight and analysis H P Lovecraft


  7. says:

    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 the evil forces in Lovecraft s stories is a little like wearing dark glasses while trying to spot a green dog in a forest on a foggy night I thought I would love Lovecraft I genuinely dig some of the mythos that has built up around his work I have and love Fantasy Flight s Eldritch Horror boardgame, and have played and enjoyed Arkham Horror Further, I was keen to explore the early years of the horror genre and experience writing that has influenced later authors such as Richard Matheson and Stephen King I went into this book knowing that some of these stories may not have aged well, but I expected to enjoy them far than I did In all truth several of the stories in this collection were downright hard going, and it was only respect for Lovecraft s influence that kept me slogging forward on the months long journey between other books that it took for me to knock this one off.These days writers are told to show, not tell, but Lovecraft is the king of telling, resisting every temptation to show the reader anything much at all, in favour of repeated extended circumlocutions around the awfulness or terror induced by seeing something that is so awful that it cannot be described Monsters are so horrifying as to be beyond description Horrifying artifacts are so horrifying as to beyond description Ancient rituals are you get the gist As a storytelling technique this might work once, but it is a common feature in many of the stories in this collection and I grew very, very tired of the paucity of description.I don t need to see a knife slowly cutting through someone s carotid artery in all its bloody detail, but for goodness sake, at least show me what sort of knife it is, and the approximate appearance of the person it is going to be used on.In saying all of that I did enjoy visiting some of the locations I ve seen in Lovecraft based games, such as Arkham and the Miskatonic university I enjoyed some of the stories, such as The Colour From Space, and really liked The Shadow over Innsmouth a story with a bit description and action than many of Lovecraft s other works I can t recommend this collection as a whole but if you re interested in tackling it I strongly recommend reading each story separately over a longer period of time Read too closely together their similar tone and style can become grating, and Lovecraft s writing tics can quickly become dull.


  8. says:

    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


  9. says:

    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 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 times of Lovecraft, as well as explanatory notes that serve as expansions of ideas taken from his stories a glossary that also offers insights to his writing process, influence and conceptualization Frankly, I think The Call of Cthulu and Other Weird Stories is a fascinating though difficult read.I have my reservations both in reviewing and recommending this anthology I don t believe this is exactly something anyone can just enjoy and appreciate In fact, upon closer inspection, I found that most tales included in this volume are interrelated, if not indirectly referential of each other This is probably because Lovecraft, like all great literary masters, has created his own fictional universes where these stories breathe For example, mentions of the place Arkham happens frequently, as well as the elusive grimoire known as the Necronomicon This could mean that for a novice, the collection may get alienating here and there If this is the very first Lovecraft material you will ever read, then I think this particular anthology might baffle you at times because the degree of difficulty to his prose that might not be accessible to a reader used to a contemporary and straightforward style of storytelling, particularly when it comes to horror.Speaking of which, I rather found Lovecraft s style challenging myself There are so many adjectives and lengthy phrases his general tonality can be bizarrely bone dry in delivery which sometimes dilutes whatever horrific or terrifying plot thread you re supposed to be following To be perfectly honest, a few of the stories in the volume have rendered me sluggish, mostly because I could predict the ending In addition to that, there are three of four stories that are mostly repetitive, thematic wise I think these are my major criticisms of the anthology in general However, his style isn t necessarily a bad thing though When a certain story being told is unbelievably haunting and evocative, Lovecraft s prose can put you under a terrifying trance What such stories excel in isn t about the gore or the shocking twist, really It s the slow burning build up that leads to the tragedy The Call of Cthulu and Other Weird Stories is ruthlessly engaging when you least expect it to and that s what made the obstacles along the way worth conquering as a reader.I think this anthology would be enjoyable when one s focus is singular You can consume this in a slower pace if it means developing a richer and deeper understanding of what makes Lovecraft s stories so magnetic Personally, I would re read the stories again just so I can spot connections among them After all, I think this volume doesn t even cover the wide expanse of the Lovecraft universe, particularly that of the Cthulu mythos which is a rather influential piece of fiction and a tirelessly imaginative lore that has enchanted other writers across generations to contribute their own works to this perplexing creature of the most visceral and unknowable of horrors ever realized in fiction The story Festival is credited as probably the first time Lovecraft has tried to weave Cthulu mythos for the very first time I highly suggest that you and I check out about said mythos in other collections.I only have five stories that I would consider absolute favorites because they spoke to me in the most unpleasant yet invigorating ways Understandably, I must include the namesake The Call of Cthulhu which was simply the stuff that makes nightmares real Elaborate and layered with puzzles within puzzles, this story leaves so much to the reader s interpretation as it slowly crawls its way into your consciousness right until the moment when you realize that it s irreversibly stuck in the damaged corners of your own mind Two other stories like Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family and The Picture in the House are astounding because Lovecraft has woven them in a way that makes the discovery at the end so dreadful to comprehend The suspense in these stories are unforgivably subtle, as if it only managed to graze my skin, but further reflection of these tales would reveal just how much they made me slightly sick to my stomach.The stories Herbert West Reanimator and The Rats in the Walls really got under my skin The former was definitely the best horror story I ever read about resurrecting dead people that I think rivals even Mary Shelley s classical novel Frankenstein I could imagine watching the story unfold on screen which was why I want to watch the said film version of this story soon enough Meanwhile, the latter story almost, sort of, destroyed me It was an exploration of madness that is so hard to put in words even as I type this review unless one has dabbled in something akin to it which, unfortunately, I once had back when I was less in control of my mental state as a young girl The Rats in the Walls symbolize a rude awakening where there really is no way you can ever go back where a physical manifestation of your fears become a consuming preoccupation that can deteriorate the rest of your soul I think there are many levels to this story that will make for a fruitful discussion It s almost painful for me to read this tale without cringing in revulsion and distress.Some other noteworthy tales to read are The Whisperer in Darkness, The Colour Out of Space, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, and The Haunter of the Dark They are deft and daring in concept and execution and would make you question certain comfortable things in life after finishing them.In a nutshell, H.P Lovecraft s The Call of Cthulu and Other Weird Stories is a worthwhile and challenging reading experience that I can only recommend to people who are prepared for something drastically eye opening The very best of the stories included in this anthology are like itches you can only keep scratching if the relief you garner from it also means that you have to bleed.RECOMMENDED 8 10DO READ MY REVIEWS AT


  10. says:

    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 themselves erudite men of action until they succumb inevitably to madness and occasional suicide a total disregard for dialogue that is strikingly uncharacteristic of 20th century fiction the glaring absence of women weighed with the abundance of subterranean and underwater monstrosities sporting undulating horrors for orifices both admiration and disgust for American architecture a xenophobic loathing that is sometimes successfully sublimated into body horror both nightmarish and sophisticated fictional bibliographies of infernal texts and phonetic transcriptions of evil gibberish New England reimagined as the long standing playground of celestial fiends long passages of atmosphere rendered with a lively, and endearingly consistent, vocabulary a patient and pseudo empirical approach to disassembling a reader s perception of reality and a pessimistic worldview whose pervasiveness is redeemed by an unchecked sense of wonder A truly singular artist deserving of his wealth of supplicants and detractors.