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Tales of H.P. Lovecraft Paperback – September 19, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

A collection of ten prototypical stories by Lovecraft (18901937), the influential myth-and monster-maker of Providence, Rhode Island, whose extravagantly gothic tales have spawned and inspired such latterday disciples as Stephen King and Ramsey Campbell. It's ingenuous for Ecco to claim that ``Now, at last'' we have a representative Lovecraft (considering all that several publishers have done over the years to keep even his ephemera in print). Still, here are some of his best, including such comparatively little-known triumphs as a harrowing depiction of a surrender to madness (``The Dreams in the Witch-House'') and a superb haunted-house tale (``The Shunned House''). Oates's brief, incisive introduction suggestively compares Lovecraft's experiences and temperament with those of his mentor Poe, and helpfully summarizes the content of the former's apparently immortal ``Chthulu Mythos.'' One misses only Lovecraft's hair-raising novella ``The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.'' But even without it this attractive volume offers a fine chance to sample Lovecraft's ghoulish pleasures. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"H.P. Lovecraft has yet to be surpassed as the twentieth century's greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale." -- Stephen King
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; 1st ed edition (September 19, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060957905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060957902
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,593,083 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By R. MCCOSKER on April 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
With so many different Lovecraft collections out there, it may help prospective buyers to know what's actually in this one:
[By Joyce Carol Oates:] Introduction; [by H.P. Lovecraft:] The Outsider; The Music of Erich Zann; The Rats in the Walls; The Shunned House; The Call of Cthulhu; The Colour out of Space; The Dunwich Horror; At the Mountains of Madness; The Shadow over Innsmouth; The Shadow out of Time
This is an excellent introductory selection of short fiction -- Lovecraft didn't write any other kind -- by one of the major figures in the history of what is nowadays called horror fiction (though a very good case can be made that, as with his idol Poe, Lovecraft belongs among the ranks of literary greats, period). Still, there are comparably fine collections available, e.g. THE CALL OF CTHULHU AND OTHER WEIRD TALES, THE THING ON THE DOORSTEP AND OTHER WEIRD TALES (both of which, unlike the collection being reviewed here, have endnotes), THE DUNWICH HORROR AND OTHERS, and AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS AND OTHER NOVELS.
What makes this particular collection a marketing novelty -- indeed, why it was ever published in the first place -- is that it's edited and introduced by a well-established, much-respected mainstream literary fiction writer, namely Oates. The publisher's hope may have been that some of those who wouldn't otherwise consider reading an oldtime pulp horror writer like Lovecraft will finally give him a try, what with Oates's more widely intellectually respected name attached. As one who believes Lovecraft deserves a much higher rank in the proverbial literary pantheon than the literary establishment generally accords him, I have no complaint about trying that approach.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. F. Hornak on July 13, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I found this collection a superb introduction to the works of H. P. Lovecraft, starting with some shorter tales and including such Lovecraft classics as "The Dunwich Horror" and "At the Mountains of Madness". The unitiated can obtain a taste of the unholy,foetid, dripping putrescence of Lovecraftian descriptions to determine if one's interest into further perusal of the Chthulu Mythos, the Great Old Ones, and the works found in the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred's "Necronomicon" is warranted.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stantz on June 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you're just getting into Lovecraft, this is, without a doubt, the best way to get started with your favorite old god, Cthulhu. It contains a perfect list of Lovecraft standards: The Outsider; The Music of Erich Zann; The Rats in the Walls; The Shunned House; The Call of Cthulhu; The Colour out of Space; The Dunwich Horror; At the Mountains of Madness; The Shadow over Innsmouth; and The Shadow Out of Time. You'll love every one, and crave more.

If you're torn between this and the Penguin editions, I'd recommend you start with this. The three Penguin volumes are complete, but each is a mixed bag of great stories with...not so great. Go for those after you read through this.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 10, 1998
Format: Hardcover
While this is an attractive volume, well-printed andwell-bound, and does include a nice selection of Lovecraft's best, Iwould not recommend it. I really enjoyed Ms. Oates' notes in the front of the front of the book: interesting and well-written, so what's my problem? She provides synopses of the stories, giving away the plot and ending. What fun is it to read a novel, when you've been told the ending in advance?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Karin Partsch-Teiml on August 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Oates provides a nice collection of mature HPL stories which might be a nice introduction for everyone who has not made acqaintance with Lovecraft's work yet. Included are stories such as, The Shunned House, Rats in the Walls (great!), The Outsider, The Dunwich Horror -> mature works!
The stories provided by this selction are very dark, true gothic horror stories which won't disappoint any fan of the genre. Reading Lovecraft's language is like looking at a painting by Van Gogh or Da Vinci - overwhelming!
Lovecraft's words are very sensitive for the story they tell, very true to the heart of the darkness within, as haunting as seeing a ghost by yourself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
H.P. Lovecraft is my favorite horror writer. At his best, he is unsurpassed by any current author, including Stephen King. He creates nightmarish worlds which are uniquely his own. However, in regard to consistency, he may be likened to a pure power hitter in baseball: for the most part, he either hits a homerun or strikes out. Fortunately, most of the stories in this collection are homeruns. "The Rats in the Wall", "The Call of Cthulu", "Shadow over Innsmouth", "The Colour out of Space", and "The Dunwich Horror" are arguably five of the best horror stories ever written. Most of the others are almost as good. The one clear strikeout in the collection is "The Shadow out of Time" which I found murky, unfocused, and repetitive in style. Speaking of repetitive, a few of the stories do make you wish that Lovecraft had sprung for a thesaurus at some point: if I read the words "eldritch" or "nameless" one more time, I thought I would scream! At any rate, the collection is a good introduction to one of the true masters of the horror genre.
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