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The Book of Cthulhu 2 Paperback – September 25, 2012
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Introduction, Ross E. Lockhart
Shoggoth's Old Peculiar, by Neil Gaiman
Nor the Demons Down Under the Sea, by Caitlin R. Kiernan
This Is How the World Ends, by John R. Fultz
The Drowning at Lake Henpin, by Paul Tobin
The Ocean and All Its Devices, by William Browning Spencer
Take Your Daughters to Work, by Livia Llewellyn
The Big Fish, by Kim Newman
Rapture of the Deep, by Cody Goodfellow
Once More from the Top, by A. Scott Glancy
Hour of the Tortoise, by Molly Tanzer
I Only Am Escaped Alone to Tell Thee, by Christopher Reynaga
Objects from the Gilman-Waite Collection, by Ann K. Schwader
Of Melei, of Ulthar, by Gord Sellar
A Gentleman from Mexico, by Mark Samuels
The Hands that Reek and Smoke, by W. H. Pugmire
Akropolis, by Matt Wallace
Boojum, by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette
The Nyarlathotep Event, by Jonathan Wood
The Black Brat of Dunwich, by Stanley C. Sargent
The Terror from the Depths, by Fritz Leiber
Black Hill, by Orrin Grey
The God of Dark Laughter, by Michael Chabon
Sticks, by Karl Edward Wagner
Hand of Glory, by Laird Barron.
In 2011, Ross E. Lockhart, managing editor at Night Shade Books, put together an amazing anthology of Lovecraft inspired stories titled The Book of Cthulhu. Weighing in at five hundred pages, this tome managed to collect some of the best Lovecraftian stories to be found, and even included a couple original tales. I'll most likely be doing a review at some point, but if I may cut to the chase now it's safe to say that it's a brilliant anthology that should have a place in every Lovecraft fan's library.
The Book of Cthulhu met with enough success to warrant a sequel volume which was published in September, The Book of Cthulhu II. Lockhart has chosen more of the finest tales, as well as giving readers four original tales this time around. The book is a tad bit shorter, at four hundred and forty pages, but should easily satisfy any fan of the first.
The main problem with Lovecraft-inspired fiction is that there is so much of it out there. In a sense, for fanboys like me, this is also a good thing, although it means there is also a ton of not-so-good pastiches. Lockhart has found some of the standout stories over the years, some of which I was already very familiar with and others that I myself have not read.
The tales themselves vary in tone. Some of the stories are horrific, and others are light-hearted and even silly. Thematically, there are stories chosen that represent different aspects of Lovecraft's writing. The vast majority are Cthulhu-Mythos related, or play on those ideas, however there is a tale that explores Lovecraft's dream cycle. Overall, the vast majority of stories are great reads, and the book is a must have for any fan of the Gentleman of Providence.Read more ›
Some, like Neil Gaiman's selection "Shoggoth's Old Peculiar," make direct reference to Lovecraft while at the same time resurrecting the Cthulhu mythos in a modern setting off the English coast. Others, such as "Nor the Demons Down Under the Sea" by Caitlin R. Kiernan, allude to the mysteries of the master with just as much skill and craft. William Browning Spencer's "The Ocean and All Its Devices" gives us the possible origins of such creatures in his heartbreaking tale of loss. Kim Newman even gives us Lovecraft noir in her excellent story "The Big Fish." There are two dozen stories here from some of the biggest names in horror. Laird Barron, Neil Gaiman, Jonathon Wood, W. H. Pugmire, and more serve up a fantastic selection of monsters.
The only catch- you must be a Lovecraft fan. Without that, many of the stories will be a little too odd as they rely on an understanding of the original story. I haven't read the grand original in some time and I took pause to dig it up. I then went back into the stories and they were far richer thematically and symbolically. There are very few weak moments in this one and worth every slithery scale!
Written by: Drake Morgan for HorrorNovelReviews.com
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This collection of stories is as fine as the first. While I have only recently purchased this book, and read it through only once, I can say that the stories are just as diverse as... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dawn Ray
“Boojum” may be the best piece in the whole book; it’s another a lovely sci-fi jaunt from Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette with memorable characters (including one you might not... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Peter Olafson
Some of the book is a little slow, especially the last story, but on the whole, I liked it very much, and still recall the details of some of the better stories from time to time. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Scott Schiffmacher
Very much enjoyed this anthology. Although I had read some of the stories recently, they were all strong and not overly reliant on the cliches of the genre.Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book provided some good reads and not too many already familiar stories - always a problem with anthologies. I enjoyed the E. Bear and S. Monette story "Boojum" greatly; N. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Me-not-you
Ross E. Lockhart has dove through the depths of R'lyeh and collected some of the best treasures the ocean of Lovecraftian fiction has to offer. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Jason Wayne Allen