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Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos Paperback – September 14, 1998

4.4 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) was the premier horror writer of his time, and continues to exert an influence on practitioners of that dark art. Most of his work is unified by a common theme--the Cthulhu (kuh-tool-ew) Mythos--in which gods furtively control the fate of mortals, and a mere glimpse of the universe, by nature hostile, is enough to drive a man insane. A number of Lovecraft's peers borrowed the Mythos for use in their own stories, launching a tradition that continues in our day. This generous volume, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the founding of Arkham House (established to preserve Lovecraft's work in hardcover), features 22 Mythos stories by Lovecraft and 15 other writers, including the poetic Clark Ashton Smith, the action-oriented Robert E. Howard (creator of Conan the Barbarian), Arkham's co-founder August Derleth and the youngest of the original circle, Robert Bloch ( Psycho ). Modern writers include Colin Wison, Joanna Russ, Richard Lupoff, Karl Edward Wagner; and Ramsey Campbell, Fritz Leiber and Stephen King, who contribute especially fine work (noticeably absent is T.E.D. Klein). James Turner, who edited the volume, supplies a fine introduction.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."
--H. P. LOVECRAFT, "Supernatural Horror in Literature"
Howard Phillips Lovecraft forever changed the face of horror, fantasy, and science fiction with a remarkable series of stories as influential as the works of Poe, Tolkien, and Edgar Rice Burroughs. His chilling mythology established a gateway between the known universe and an ancient dimension of otherworldly terror, whose unspeakable denizens and monstrous landscapes--dread Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, the Plateau of Leng, the Mountains of Madness--have earned him a permanent place in the history of the macabre.
In Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, a pantheon of horror and fantasy's finest authors pay tribute to the master of the macabre with a collection of original stories set in the fearsome Lovecraft tradition:
, The Call of Cthulhu by H. P. Lovecraft: The slumbering monster-gods return to the world of mortals.
, Notebook Found in a Deserted House by Robert Bloch: A lone farmboy chronicles his last stand against a hungering backwoods evil.
, Cold Print by Ramsey Campbell: An avid reader of forbidden books finds a treasure trove of deadly volumes--available for a bloodcurdling price.
, The Freshman by Philip Jose Farmer: A student of the black arts receives an education in horror at notorious Miskatonic University.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Reprint edition (September 14, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034542204X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345422040
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #377,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

H. P. Lovecraft was born in 1890 in Providence, Rhode Island, where he lived most of his life. He wrote many essays and poems early in his career, but gradually focused on the writing of horror stories, after the advent in 1923 of the pulp magazine Weird Tales, to which he contributed most of his fiction. His relatively small corpus of fiction--three short novels and about sixty short stories--has nevertheless exercised a wide influence on subsequent work in the field, and he is regarded as the leading twentieth-century American author of supernatural fiction. H. P. Lovecraft died in Providence in 1937.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
MOST of the stories in this collection are not by H.P. Lovecraft: only 2 out of 22 are actually HPL's work! Nevertheless, this is a good collection of stories written by other authors who followed HPL in writing about the so-called "Cthulhu Mythos" that Lovecraft created. If you're looking for stories by Lovecraft himself, look elsewhere: there are other collections available composed entirely of his work. But if you want to read stories by the many authors who contributed what are felt by many to be the core of the Myhos, then this is a good beginning for you.
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This is an excellent update of this volume (I have the 70s Ballantine 2-volume edition), and is recommended to fans of horror in general and of the Cthulhu Mythos in particular. Most of the stories contained herein would be familiar to even a casual HPL fan, though there are surprises like Joanna Russ' fine tale from the pages of F&SF, a Philip Jose Farmer tale, and Lupoff's sf reinvention. There isn't a clinker in the bunch! My personal favorite is Cold Print, but you can't go wrong with any one of these stories, in a variety of styles and settings neatly encompassing the range of the Mythos. A great book to introduce to those who aren't familiar with this unique shared universe.
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Format: Paperback
To see work like this by so many authors who have been influenced by Lovecraft's writing is a wonderful thing - and when the list includes such names as Robert Bloch, Steven King, Philip Jose Farmer, Fritz Lieber, Brian Lumley and Ramsey Campbell, you know that you're dealing with a true force in literature.
The perspectives on Lovecraft's works are amazing in their diversity - Joanna Russ's "My Bost" is particularly different and beautiful, and Richard Lupoff's "Discovery of the Ghooric Zone" is one of the interesting things that a truely obsessed Lovecraftian scholar will ever read.
There are no bad stories in here - that's not easy to say about an anthology of work like this. My personal favorite is Fritz Lieber's "Terror From the Depths", but other stories like "Cold Print" and "Sticks" bring new dimensions to Lovecraft's great works. Every piece in this book is a wonderful additon to the Cthulhu Mythos.
If you're looking for original work by Lovecraft, this isn't it. But if you're trying to learn a little bit more about his work, and see some perspectives on his work by some of the great authors of our time, please do yourself a favor and pick this up.
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Format: Paperback
The first edition of TALES OF THE CTHULHU MYTHOS was published by August Derleth in 1969 -- this newer edition was edited by Jim Turner in 1990. Two stories from the original version, "The Haunter in the Graveyard" by J. Vernon Shea and "The Deep Ones" by James Wade were dropped from the book (the James Wade story will be reprinted this year in a Mythos anthology that S. T. Joshi has edited for Mythos Books). Vernon's tale was a lot of fun; he told me that he was in the middle of writing it when Derleth sent him a letter asking for a story for his original anthology, and so Vernon dragged in the Mythos/Lovecraftian element and sold the story to Arkham House. It's not a great story, but it's fun. Two of Robert Bloch's stories, "The Shambler from the Stars" and "The Shadow from the Steeple," form a trilogy with Lovecraft's "The Haunter of the Dark," and it was editorial genius to publish all three stories in sequence in this book. Bloch's first tale included a character based on Lovecraft, and thus when Lovecraft wrote his sequel, he dedicated "The Haunter of the Dark" to Bloch. Years later, Bob wrote one of his finest tales, "The Shadow from the Steeple," in memory of Lovecraft -- it remains my favourite Mythos tale by an author other than Lovecraft. The two tales by Derleth are among his better Mythos tales, and Robert E. Howard's "The Black Stone" remains a fine tale in this tradition. When Jim Turner re-edited the book, he included some tales not found in the original edition -- and two of these are extremely fine and important works: Fritz Leiber's "The Terror from the Depths" and Karl Edward Wagner's magnificent "Sticks." It was reading the original edition of this book that made me want to become a professional Mythos writer -- a dream that, coming true, has given the great joy.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
It's hard to fault a "best of" collection - each story is, after all, there because it is the best in some way, or represents a vital contribution. There is no point to my going through the listing and mentioning which stories are my favorites; they are all excellent (or at least important). Collecting the out-of-print books that contain these stories individually would cost hundreds, even when searching for the most recent reprint, so this is quite a valuable addition to your library (although you may wish later to read more by the anthologized authors). The authors below are representative of the pool of literature that Lovecraft drew from for his own stories, his contemporaries who collaborated with him, his post-humous successors, and people like Stephen King who were motivated to begin a career from reading HPL's work.Read more ›
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