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The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) Paperback – October 1, 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
For those entirely unfamiliar with Lovecraft, this collection serves the additional purpose of explaining why one should read this enigmatic author. Put simply, Lovecraft's merit lies as much in the ideas behind his stories as their actual execution. In fact there are many who argue (with some merit) that Lovecraft wasn't much of an author. He routinely uses far too many words to make his point, an error compounded by his tendency to repeat himself, and many of his plot lines border on self satire. Nonetheless, he is revered because he reshaped the face of modern horror/fantasy. He removes man from the focal point of all previous storytelling, and finds horror in our insignificance. He creates a mythology (perhaps best personified in Cthulhu) in which beings both vastly older and infinitely more powerful than humans have lived and fought over untold eons. It is their complete indifference and capriciousness the mankind that inspires horror.
At his best, Lovecraft captures this fear of the unknowable or unfathomable with an air of palpable menace. By arranging the stories found in this collection in chronological order, Joshi allows the reader to see Lovecraft's growth as a writer, something that makes the final five entries all the more impressive.Read more ›
I had heard a lot about the types of stories that Lovecraft wrote, but I wasn't really prepared for how creepy they would be. A lot of them really shouldn't be as shocking as they are, but somehow Lovecraft gets away with it. He likes to use a lot of frivolous language and has the tendency to take short cuts by saying that the various creatures and entities are too frightening, too complicated, or too alien for the human mind to comprehend. While I'm usually the first person to roll my eyes at this sort of literary cop-out, I was completely enthralled by its use here. Lovecraft's command of language is precise and effective. The monsters and Gods that he describes truly seem fearsome and unnerving.
The actual plots of these stories seem to be vaguely repetitive. Since this is the first collection of Lovecraft that I have read, I'm not sure if these is indicative of his work in general, but it is certainly apparent that many of these stories follow the same basic structure. I didn't really find this to be a problem though. There are enough major differences in the stories that they don't all seem to blend together, despite their commonalities.Read more ›
[First, preliminary material by S. T. Joshi:] Introduction; Suggestions for Further Reading; A Note on the Text; [Hereupon stories by H. P. Lovecraft:] Dagon; The Statement of Randolph Carter; Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family; Celephais; Nyarlathotep; The Picture in the House; The Outsider; Herbert West--Reanimator [a collected magazine serial]; The Hound; The Rats in the Walls; The Festival; He; Cool Air; The Call of Cthulhu; The Colour Out of Space; The Whisperer in Darkness; The Shadow Over Innsmouth; The Haunter of the Dark; [By Joshi again:] Explanatory Notes
Unlike in THE ANNOTATED H. P. LOVECRAFT and MORE ANNOTATED H. P. LOVECRAFT, also edited and annotated (though in the latter case co-edited and co-annotated) by Joshi, the equally copious annotations here are collected at the back of the book (thereby being what are technically known as "endnotes") rather than placed at the bottom of story pages where they're referenced (known as "footnotes"). And also unlike the "ANNOTATED" volumes, THE CALL OF CTHULHU AND OTHER WEIRD STORIES lacks photographs that highlight the relationships between the subjects in the stories and the persons and places of Lovecraft's life; features smaller print, which makes it a bit harder to read but means more stories can be packed into the volume.
THE CALL OF CTHULHU AND OTHER WEIRD STORIES now has out a sequel, THE THING ON THE DOORSTEP AND OTHER WEIRD STORIES, a similarly arranged collection of Lovecraft fiction with an introduction and endnotes by Joshi and put out by the same publisher, Penguin. Each of these Penguin volumes, as well as the two "ANNOTATED" volumes published by Dell, presents its selection of stories in the order they were written, a practical advantage when reading Lovecraft.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Overall, I really enjoyed this collection of stories. I do think some of them suffered from Lovecraft's status as a classic author - a lot of what made them revolutionary at the... Read morePublished 13 hours ago by A. Kujawski
H.P Lovecraft is truly the father of sci-fi and the one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Content Oak
Creepy and weird. Some stories hold up better than others. Some are long winded.Published 2 months ago by The Green Hornet
This seemed to be the best place to start when reading Lovecraft. It is the first of three collections of his work issued by Penguin, the later collections being 'The Thing on the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Phil B
I hoped I would like the stories more than I do. Not much bad to say, just got a bit boring after 10 or so tales.Published 6 months ago by Lucas Beattie
The concept of H.P Lovecraft's work is that of the early 20th century in America, although some aspects of it are outdated.. Read morePublished 7 months ago by 로테군