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Cthulhu 2000 Paperback – May 25, 1999
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The very best are truly horrible, in the most complimentary sense of that word. "His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood" (Poppy Z. Brite), "The Adder" (Fred Chappell), "Fat Face" (Michael Shea), "The Unthinkable" (Bruce Sterling), "Love's Eldritch Ichor" (Esther M. Friesner) and "On the Slab" (Harlan Ellison) are the keen standouts, but all the rest, practically, are of almost equal quality. However, there are a couple of tales that do not deserve to be amongst this company, and the tome would have been better and tighter by their absence. Certainly, at 398 pages, there's no lack of material.
In "His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood," Poppy Z. Brite deftly invokes a vampric flavor to themes of decay and the forbidden, his writing style as ornate and refined as rococo and in the real spirit of the master. Fred Chappell's "The Adder" draws the dangerous and inimical from the ordinary in a tale delightful for its originality. Bruce Sterling also slings some fresh ideas around in "The Unthinkable," melding modernity and necromancy in a brief, effective story.
Horror gourmands will find a good meal here, but Cthulhu 2000 should have a bit of life outside its traditional genre, for the writing is strong, imaginative and entertaining. --Tamara Hladik
From Kirkus Reviews
Top Customer Reviews
A second theme, in many related to the first theme, is that the universe is vast and probably unknowable by man. Some of the horror from Lovecraft's writings comes from the "finite mind grappling with infinite reality," the results of which are often insanity and/or death. Lovecraft himself said humans live on a "placid island of ignorance" amidst "black seas of infinity," and that mankind was not mentioned to voyage far. Man is better off not knowing the true horrors that lurk in the shadows.
So how well do the eighteen short stories in this volume realize these themes? Pretty well overall I think.Read more ›
But I was even more surprised at the collection of legitimate horror stories, some as genuinely creepy as anything Lovecraft ever penned himself. Not all the stories are strictly Lovecraftian by connection, but most are essentially true to his overriding theme of cosmic terror. Don't expect straight Lovecraft, and you might find yourself really loving this book. I did.
I have not yet read all of the stories in this collection, but standouts thus far are "His Mouth Will Taste of Wormwood," "Fat Face," "Black Man with a Horn," and "The Barrens." The latter tale has the nice feature of adding the New Jersey pine barrens and the Jersey Devil to the Cthulhu Mythos! This is a welcome bit of local color for Philadelphians like me, who have driven through the pine barrens year after year on the way to the South Jersey shore points. Now you don't have to go to New England to be in Cthulhu country! "Fat Face" has a ~very~ frightening look at what the ~shoggoths~ have been up to lately.
The book includes some stories I'd read before in other collections, like "Black Man With a Horn," and "Shaft Number 247," but since they are excellent tales it is nice to have them all together.
This book would make excellent beach reading for the Jersey shore... but you may not want to drive through the pine barrens on your way back.
Why did I only give it three stars? The editor is willing to do this book a disservice, by giving it a cover that tries way to hard and assumes we're gullible and stupid. Why should I reward that type of behavior?
Lets look at the cover, what do we see? Well, the first thing your eye is drawn to is the large, bright white text that says "H.P. LOVECRAFT", a quarter inch taller then the more subdued green title, drowning out the fine print like "A spine tingling collection of the macabre inspired by".
Some of the stories in this book are about as "inspired by" as the Evil Dead trilogy. The only thing in them that is inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos was the name for the evil book that people are foolish enough to read out loud from. (In fact, from what I've read, Sam Raimi hardly knows/remembers who Lovecraft is or what he wrote...If Sam remembers that HPL wrote anything at all.) Does that make them bad movies? No! Does the fact that the connection is tenuous at best mean that if you like old school mythos you won't like these movies? Heck no!
This is a collection, each of the 18 stories is by a different writer, do not expect consistency in the level of Lovecraftianess. (If it wasn't a word before, it is now.)
Some of them make a valiant effort to write in the style and voice of the original Mythos writers. ("The Last Feast of Harlequin" and "I had vacantly crumpled it into my pocket...")
Some try to bring the old school into the present day.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A wonderful anthology of modern Cthulhu tales. Like any anthology it is uneven, but this is one of the better ones I've read. Read morePublished 3 hours ago by Billy Joe
This is a really great collection of Lovecraftian works. From the very beginning with "The Barrens," by F. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is the classic anthology of mythos fiction to me. I know there are older collections of stories but I keep coming back to this one. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Me-not-you
This book has a LOT of very good horror stories, mostly creative and intelligent. The best tales are:
- The Barrens (F. Read more
Jim Turner had a queer relationship with the sub-genre that is known as the Cthulhu Mythos -- and this book is an excellent example of that. Read morePublished on January 7, 2010 by Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire, Esq.
The trouble with most Cthulhu collections (meaning Lovecraft pastiche) is that the authors don't really know what they're imitating. Read morePublished on January 14, 2007 by Alexander Scott
Okay, I admit that I approached this anthology with some trepidation, since I enjoy the "old-school" style of Lovecraftian stories. Read morePublished on September 5, 2005 by Linda Painchaud-Steinman
this collection contains some stories that are almost good (wolfe, copper, wilson, campbell) but in the end are not good enough. i like good pulp. it's not here. Read morePublished on April 8, 2003 by jan erik storebø
The stories in this book were in general rather dissappointing. There were a few good ones, but for the majority of stories were average at best. Read morePublished on April 5, 2003 by Mark Peake