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The Book of Cthulhu Paperback – September 1, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Book of Cthulhu Series

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Editorial Reviews


"Gathering Cthulhu-inspired stories from both 20th and 21st-century authors, this collection provides such a huge scope of styles and takes on the mythology that there are sure to be a handful that surprise and inspire horror in even the most jaded reader." -- Josh Vogt, Examiner.com

"There are no weak stories here -- every single one of the 27 entries is a potential standout reading experience. The Book of Cthulhu is nothing short of pure Lovecraftian gold. If fans of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos don't seek out and read this anthology, they're not really fans - it's that simple." -- Paul Goat Allen

"...thanks to the wide variety of contributing authors, as well as Lockhart's keen understanding of horror fiction and Lovecraft in particular, [The Book of Cthulhu] is the best of such anthologies out there." --Alan Cranis, Bookgasm.com

"The Book of Cthulhu is one hell of a tome." -- Brian Sammons, HorrorWorld.org

"...an impressive tribute to the enduring fascination writers have with Lovecraft's creation. [...] Editor Ross E. Lockhart has done an excellent job of ferreting out estimable stories from a variety of professional, semi-professional, and fan venues [...] to establish a sense of continuity and tradition." --Stefan Dziemianowicz, Locus

From the Back Cover

Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Fhtagn!

First described by visionary author H. P. Lovecraft, the Cthulhu mythos encompass a pantheon of truly existential cosmic horror: Eldritch, uncaring, alien god-things, beyond mankind's deepest imaginings, drawing ever nearer, insatiably hungry, until one day, when the stars are right....

As that dread day, hinted at within the moldering pages of the fabled Necronomicon, draws nigh, tales of the Great Old Ones: Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, Hastur, Azathoth, Nyarlathotep, and the weird cults that worship them have cross-pollinated, drawing authors and other dreamers to imagine the strange dark aeons ahead, when the dead-but-dreaming gods return.

Now, intrepid anthologist Ross E. Lockhart has delved deep into the Cthulhu canon, selecting from myriad mind-wracking tomes the best sanity-shattering stories of cosmic terror. Featuring fiction by many of today's masters of the menacing, macabre, and monstrous, monstrous, including Laird Barron, Caitlín R. Kiernan, and Thomas Ligotti, The Book of Cthulhu goes where no collection of Cthulhu mythos tales has before: to the very edge of madness... and beyond!

Do you dare open The Book of Cthulhu? Do you dare heed the call?

Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books; First Edition edition (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597802328
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597802321
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Book of Cthulhu ($15.99 Nightshade Books) edited by Ross E. Lockhart--overall rating--five stars--highly recommended for fans of H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, literary horror in general, and great writing.

27 stories inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, the author who created the Cthulhu mythos many years ago. If you haven't read Lovecraft, or don't know who he is, think of him this way: he's the J.R.R. Tolkien of horror. His fiction is impressive and very readable today, and I've thoroughly enjoyed his short stories. If you haven't read Lovecraft, find a collection of his short stories that features "The Call of Cthulhu" and dive in, then buy this book to see the evolution of the world he created.

The Book of Cthulhu is an anthology of short stories featuring authors who have written tales that carry on the Cthulhu tradition, as Lovecraft wanted. The editor, Ross Lockhart compiled most of these largely literary stories from other sources, packaging them up nicely, and also presents a few new ones. It's hard to review so many stories, but I'll give each one a line or more, and all of the stories had good qualities, but I connected with some more than others. Everyone has different tastes, and if you're looking for lots of gore or crazy action this isn't for you, but if you like to read some of the best authors writing today, check this out.

The stories:

Caitlin R. Kiernan: Andromeda Among the Stones--five stars, (new story). This is arguably the best story in the anthology. It evokes everything that Lovecraft created and more. The alien horror of the otherside and the sacrifices that must be made to keep the evil at bay are real and palpable in this brilliantly written and menacingly beautiful story set (mostly) in the early 1900's just before World War I.
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Format: Paperback
If you are fan of Lovecraft this IS the book for you. I have slogged my way thru dozens of Cthulhu inspired anthologies and this is by far the best! The Editor, Ross J. Lockheart of Night Shade books has assembled an all star collection of stories that buries the competition in its' utter elder goodness. This collection of stories was lovingly assembled from a myriad of sources, spanning from 1976 to today.
This book has many things going for it, including amazing stories and sheer girth. This book is meaty, the kind of meaty that would fill up the ravenous gullet of even the hungriest Deep One. But as we often hear size is not an indicator of success. Lockheart has shown just how much he truly he loves the Cthulhu Mythos with this anthology. I was amazed at all of the collected author's abilities to re-capture the weighty and elaborate writing style that made Lovecraft so amazing. While some of the stories reflect the time period they were written, all of the horrible goodness they contain is timeless.
I enjoyed not only the way the stories were placed in the book, but the veritey of time periods that the stories occurred in. From the Gold Rush to the Cold War and periods on either side of those, this collection covered so many ages it showed just how timeless horror can be.
For me this is the best Cthulhu anthology out there hands down! If you like Horror, you'll love this. I would honestly give this six stars if I could. Buy this it is worth every cent!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am utterly confused by The Book of Cthulhu. According to all the advertising and the introduction this was supposed to be a retrospective of the best Cthulhu Mythos stories. Don't just take my word for it ". . .Lockhart has delved deep into the Cthulhu canon, selecting from myriad mind-wracking tomes twenty seven sanity shattering stories . . ." or "A hand picked selection representing the best post-Lovecraft Cthulhu Mythos literature . . ."

So, based on this I'm looking forward to seventy years of Cthulhu scoured from the depths of rare fanzines ad hard to find paperbacks, topped off with some of the more interesting things published in the last decade.

Sadly not so. This is stuff, good stuff, but not a deep delve into the canon. In fact lets analyze that concept because frankly I claim false advertising. Of the 27 stories 16 are from 2000 or later, 2 are brand new, so more than half of this anthology is less than twelve years old. In fact, the earliest stories are from 1976 both from Disciples of Cthulhu: Lumley's Fairground Horror and Campbell's The Tugging, so the whole thing only spans thirty five years. Two stories from the seventies, three from the 80s, four from the 90s. Wow talk about a slanted pick. What exactly does post-Lovecraft mean? Oh and be clear there is no Derleth, no Carter, no Myers, no King, no Chabon, no Wagner, no Brennan. I mean really, you couldn't include Price's Wilbur Whateley Waiting?

Please don't misunderstand me, these stories are good, most of them, but I don't think its the book that was described. The deep delve was limited to the last 35 years and drew mostly from very mainstream magazines or other Cthulhu themed anthologies.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have read nearly every Lovecraft-inspired collection from text to graphic novels, and this is hands-down one of the most interesting, eclectic, and spot-on accurate dives into the world of Lovecraft. Most collections, while enjoyable in different ways, usually focus on one or two of the stronger themes in Lovecraft's fiction. For example, I've read entire anthologies where the only common theme is psychological madness with a "so weird it sends me to kill myself or die mysteriously" outcome. In The Book of Cthulhu, Ross E. Lockhart shows his understanding of the many themes within other Lovecraft works.

Each story here is not a repetition of the one before, which keeps it fresh. A good example (and my favorite story of the collection), is The Unthinkable, by Bruce Sterling. It's a story that sets itself within a Lovecraftian realm, but instead of merely being a variation of a theme, serves as almost a sequel or continuation of Lovecrafts ideas. "What if the truth got out, and we were able to harness this power as a species?" Instead of being a retread of the same type of story, it builds faithfully on the already establish world that Lovecraft created.

Instead of being just another stale reminder of why we read Lovecraft's work, this collection is a compliment to all the brilliant madness we love to delve into. :)
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