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H. P. Lovecraft: Tales (Library of America) Hardcover – February 3, 2005
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I know, I know - there have been some complaints because the editor (Peter Straub) also selected some of HPL's not-so-great fiction for this collection. I refer to some of the stories Grandpa penned specifically for a pulp magazine audience, such as "Herbert West: Reanimator", "The Lurking Fear", and "The Horror at Red Hook". Why, some readers wonder, sully such a classic collection with stuff that would cause HPL's ghost to die of embarrassment (if ghosts can die)? Well, the eldritch and hideous truth (as Lovecraft might put it) is simply this: Peter Straub was given an 800-page maximum limit for the collection by the Library of America, and there just ain't 800 pages worth of truly classic Lovecraft fiction in existence. I assume Straub was determined to put in as much stuff as possible - right up to the limit imposed on him - and after including all of the great stories, he still had 100 pages or so left over. He chose to fill the space with some of HPL's more "pulpish" efforts.Read more ›
Thinking, like Seinfeld's Cosmo Kramer, that I had "missed my chance" (I held the opinion that Lovecraft was one of those writers one had to embrace in his teens or not at all), I had reconciled myself to the fact that I probably would never read the old master.
Enter Peter Straub and S.T. Joshi.
I list Straub first because he served as the editor for the Library of America volume on Lovecraft, the one that intrigued me enough to start thinking about sampling Lovecraft again. But it was S.T., a Lovecraft scholar's Lovecraft scholar who actually coaxed me to read it.
I contacted S. T. (whose corrected HPL texts were used in the book) seeking a nudge, and a nudge I got.Read more ›
Still, there are a few flies in the ointment. By all that's right and just, this volume should have been edited by the pre-eminent Lovecraft scholar, S. T. Joshi, rather than by the poor man's Dean Koontz. Lord knows Joshi has earned the honor of editing the Library of America Lovecraft edition many times over. Even so, Joshi's indespensible work in establishing the pure Lovecraft texts --the texts that make up this collection-- is fully acknowledged in the end papers. Also, I would have preferred that "The Hound" and "The Silver Key" had been included in addition to/instead of "The Lurking Fear" and "He." Then this one-volume core collection of Lovecraft's "Tales" would be perfect to my mind.
Still, you won't go wrong in getting this book. I can only hope --in vain, I suppose-- that a companion to "Tales" will one day be issued --"Poetry, Essays, Letters." This volume would include, among others, The Fungi from Yuggoth, Supernatural Horror in Literature, and a carefully chosen selection of Lovecraft's most fascinating and insightful correspondence. Editing this volume would be a task well beyond the means of even an avid and appreciative fan like Peter Straub, and could only fall to S. T. Joshi. Publishers of the Library of America series, please take note.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautiful book but came in damaged damaged in the corners :( still a good buyPublished 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
If you're looking for a well bound collection of Lovecrafts best, this is what you want. It's all original and well organized without useless fill or fluff you'll find in others... Read morePublished 1 month ago by C.Mabe
Great.Wonderful collection.Perfect balance between known,unknown and bizarre to induce fear.MPs.
LoA is doing a great job. Read more
There are a lot of Lovecraft story collections available, but this one includes all the most noteworthy works. If you only intend to buy one Lovecraft book, this is the one. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Patrick