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H. P. Lovecraft: Nightmare Countries (The Master of Cosmic Horror) Hardcover – January 1, 2012


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Hardcover, January 1, 2012
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 157 pages
  • Publisher: Metro Books; First Edition edition (2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1435141520
  • ISBN-13: 978-1435141520
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,739,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

H.P. Lovecraft - Nightmare Countries - S.T. Joshi

For individuals curious about the writer Howard Philip Lovecraft (1890-1937) and the cult following he has acquired this relatively brief - 157 pages with numerous illustrations - but succinct biography by noted Lovecraft scholar S.J. Joshi will be welcomed. Joshi know his Lovecraft and this book distills in clear prose the essential facts of his short and depressing life. How depressing was it? Many of his stories were rejected for publication and those that were published were in disreputable horror-type pulp magazines. He died dirt poor and starving a recluse in his beloved Providence. The story Joshi tells is truly fascinating.

You should be aware that this is a full sized "coffee-table" book - It's hardbound and measures 10'' x 12" - and as such arrives with definite inbuilt disadvantages and advantages. You can't easily stuff it in your tote or brief case nor does it function easily as a bedtime reader. It does allow for large formatted photographs and illustrations, which complements the text in many respects.

Four stars because of the large format.

Need a Lovecraft recommendation from a long time admirer? Read "The Shadow over Innsmouth".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Dobe on May 4, 2013
The stories of H. P. Lovecraft are well known, and the story of his life should be, too. Prior to finding this volume I only knew the highlights of Lovecraft's life. This book presents a fascinating picture not only of the man, but what it was like to be a bit "different" in the early part of the twentieth century. The book is nicely done; it is a fit memorial to the creator of an imaginary -- and rather horrid -- world. If you like to know the story behind the story, this book is for you.
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When he died in 1937, surely no one could have expected that H.P. Lovecraft would be treated to a two-decker biography, like Henry James or Mark Twain. “Nightmare Countries” is not that book (which was “I Am Providence: the Life and Times of H.P. Lovecraft” by the same author). “Nightmare Countries” is more of a fanbook, coffee table style.

Certainly if any author ever did aspire to a two-decker bio, he could not have done better than Lovecraft did. Possibly the worst case of logorrhea in American letters, Lovecraft wrote an estimated 80,000 letters, many of over 50 pages, in a life that ended at 47.

Not bad for a man so socially inept that he could not attend public school or hold a job or even go outside for most of his life.

In addition to a messed up life that was turned around by the love of a good woman and the New Deal, Lovecraft’s biography opened up to me part of the underbelly of American popular literature that I had not heard of.

Starting before World War I, Lovecraft was an important figure in a tiny but fascinating movement, the amateur press associations. Apparently as aspect of the striving of immigrants (from overseas or the sticks) who were unsure of themselves in the mainstream, the associations lasted a long time, so they must have fulfilled some need.

These associations -- there were two, and Lovecraft was president of both -- operated much like social media networks today, only using the mails. Their members displayed an attractive humility absent from today’s bloggers and tweeters.

Parallel to the amateur press associations were the unorganized fan networks around the pulp story magazines, like Weird Tales. These were lively societies, occasionally breaking out into personal contacts.
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Excellent book, a fine story well told. Product as described, packed well, and shipped promptly--what more is there to a five-star rating?
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By Unicorn on January 17, 2014
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This book is an excellent resource, if you want to learn about Lovecraft.

However, the Book Design is that of a coffee table book. In contrast, it's content is such that it is meant to be held and read rather than flipped through and looked at. If the book design and size had not been so cumbersome I would have given this book 5 stars. The content is excellent.
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