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The Call of Cthulhu Paperback – January 17, 2014

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About the Author

H. P. Lovecraft is one of the seminal horror authors of the twentieth century. He wrote more than one hundred stories, and achieved popular acclaim in such publications as Astounding Stories and Weird Tales. Though he died in 1937, the small press publisher Arkham House was established in 1939 to preserve Lovecraft’s works for future generations. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (January 17, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1495255344
  • ISBN-13: 978-1495255342
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,810 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

30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Luxx Mishley on January 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"...all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom."

I have received numerous recommendations over the years for the work of horror legend H.P. Lovecraft, and have often been met with surprise when I admit that I had never read his work. While I am a horror and gothic enthusiast I always felt apprehensive about Lovecraft's work - after all, how could he possibly compare to such greats as Edgar Allen Poe and Sheridan Le Fanu?

Despite having the Tales of H.P. Lovecraft (edited by Joyce Carol Oates) sitting on my shelf, I decided to download Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu" on my Kindle2 after seeing it mentioned in a group on LibraryThing. ( I apologize now, because I cannot for the life of me remember who brought it up recently, but it inspired me to give Lovecraft a try once and for all).

I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed. "The Call of Cthulhu" is a delightfully dark and twisted tale that has the ability to draw readers in from its first mysterious pages. The tale is presented from the point of view of a secondary source (the nephew and executor of a deceased professor) stumbling upon the research and first-person accounts regarding an ancient and malevolent entity by the name of "Cthulhu." As cult members practice dark arts in order to revive this creature from its watery depths, the narrator realizes with horror that it has already been done, and instills in readers a kind of apprehension that such a thing can be innocently done again, much to the detriment of all living creatures.

Lovecraft's style is at once elegant and non evasive, so his language adds to the understanding and delight of the reader as opposed to detracting from the story with superfluous prose. The evolution from nineteenth-century gothic literature is evident, which helps to ground the short story in a strong literary history, while allowing it to evolve into what audiences now call "horror."
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Gibboni on January 26, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story is all there. This particular version either lacks proof reading or was purposefully seasoned with typos. Still a good story.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By MarloweMaginty on June 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The printing of this is atrocious! It's one of those books they copy-and paste from a PDF on the Internet that's loaded with spelling and grammar errors and make a quick buck on. It's the work of a pure snake oil charlatan! Don't buy, save up for an omnibus of Lovecraft or a hardback.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By prasanna on August 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has earned the reputation of being a classic because of the radical out of the world imagination of H. P. Lovecraft. If you can ignore the racism that was rampant during the time this was written, it shows its colors of telling a scary and grotesque story without detailing every action. This art of engaging the readers imagination without spelling the exact actions has been lost over the years. This comes close to the short stories of Poe and you will like it if you are a fan of the horror and grotesque.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nelson on April 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I only wish the story went on longer. Stories this good and this frightening remind you why you fell in love with the genre.
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By StrangePegs on July 11, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
More than anything else, Lovecraft is known for Cthulhu. That, in and of itself, is extremely interesting because, other than a few other mentionings of the... creature, "The Call of Cthulhu" is the only story he ever wrote about the monstrous deity from the far reaches of space. I would say it's because of the 80s RPG except that that game only came about because "Cthulhu" was already a thing. Even TSR tried to use the character as a deity of some sort in one of their D&D publications.

In fact, I think all of the popular culture reference to Cthulhu have led to a misconception about who or what Cthulhu is or was. Not that I'm going to tell you, because you should read it. Just know that Cthulhu is not just some demon from Hell. It's more complicated than that. "In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming."

The story itself seems to be typical of Lovecraft's style, meaning the action happens to characters other than the protagonist, who is only researching events that have already happened. Sometimes, as in the case of "The Call of Cthulhu," this raises the tension and suspense. Why? Because, as we find out early in the story, our protagonist is expecting to be murdered, and his research into his uncle's supposed accidental death tells us why.

So here's the thing: I don't quite get why "The Call of Cthulhu" has taken on such a mythic quality. It was good, but I wouldn't say it's great. It's certainly apparent that there is a huge tapestry of mythos that this one story was pulled from and, evidently, Lovecraft had some of that worked out.
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Format: Paperback
I had never read HP Lovecraft and since everyone went on and on about this work in particular I went ahead and read it.

I find that:

1) The first half of the book was thoroughly dull. It took me 3 times to read it than the second half;

2) During the second half, we can finally see some action along with all the beautiful prose, the text is engaging and appeals to our imagination, when asking the reader to try and conceive the unconceivable. The descriptions, particularly of R'lyeh, are quite engaging, though I still craved for more;

3) There is some repetitiveness (I lost track of the amount of times I read "when the stars are right" or some variation over the course of 2 or 3 pages) and, overall, there were parts that stretched on and on when they simply did not have to. It did not bring anything new to the table nor increased the suspense or horror for that matter, it was simply tedious;

4) The ending was beyond disappointing. After such a build up, it was a shock that the author could not think of something better. I find it an insult to the reader, actually.

I can see why Cthulhu had such an impact when it first came out, has become such an influence in horror fiction, and why it has so many followers, but I still feel its tale could have been developed a lot better than this.
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