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The Lovecraft Lexicon: A Reader's Guide to Persons, Places and Things in the Tales of H.P. Lovecraft Paperback – May 31, 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A clear, comprehensive guide to Lovecraft's worlds, Gods, creatures, people and places. This guide is a treasure for those newly approaching Lovecraft's works, and old hats who will want to use it as a reference for refreshing one's mind on a particular item, person, place, or story. A truly marvelous compendium." --N. Mara-McKay, Spiral Nature

About the Author

Anthony Pearsall was born and raised in California, where he still lives. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley. The Lovecraft Lexicon is his first book.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 598 pages
  • Publisher: New Falcon Publications; 2nd edition (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561841293
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561841295
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,079,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) was a very productive author, who sometimes used real people, places, and events in his stories, and sometimes completely fictive people, places, and events; but who always managed to describe it so skilfully that the reader (who he didn't have very many of during his lifetime, unfortunately) never quite knew what was real and what was fiction.

Lovecraft is best known for his creation the Necronomicon, a book supposedly written by the "mad Arab" Abdul Alhazred (a name which probably originated in all-has-read, a name Lovecraft came up with at an early age as a joke for his immense interest in reading), but hardcore fans of his macabre yet beautiful stories also know about people and places such as Charles Dexter Ward, Miscatonic University, The Old Ones, Dunwich, Cthulhu, and so on. Anthony Pearsall, a devoted fan since an early age, has now created what more or less should be known as the ultimate Lovecraft lexicon, where numerous locations, people, and large as well as small influences or happenings connected to Lovecraft are described with the utmost precision.

But beware; it's a lexicon, not a traditional book in the normal sense of the word. Reading it all in one go is not recommended, and you won't have much use for it unless you're a Lovecraft fan. But to every fan - myself included - who cannot resist his stories, the book is quite frankly a must. In the beginning Pearsall offers a short yet informative biography of his hero, and then the lexicon begins... Pearsall has been EXTREMELY precise with his work, and since Lovecraft from time to time can be a very difficult author to read the book will prove very useful, for instance since Lovecraft had a tendency to use the same people, places, and events in different stories.
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Format: Paperback
The Lovecraft Lexicon: A Readers Guide To Persons, Places And Things In The Tales Of H.P. Lovecraft is a straightforward resource of names, locations, concepts, and hideous abominations from H.P. Lovecraft's classic horror fiction, such as "The Call of Cthulhu". The bulk of The Lovecraft Lexicon consists of entries in alphabetical order from Abbadon to Yuggoth; entries often contain not only straight definitions of the terms in the realm of Lovecraft's dark fantasy, but also notes regarding historical references of certain words or quotes from Lovecraft himself concerning how he came to imagine some of the more unusual names. An introduction and chronology of selected Lovecraftian works rounds out this superb companion reference to any fan of Lovecraftian horror, whether a casual reader of Lovecraft's books, a literary scholar, or even a role-playing gamer re-enacting horror-themed adventures.
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I found this book to be very good but don't understand why they chose not to include ALL of his tales. They used only 80% of his stories, leaving out:

-Azathoth
-Ex Oblivione
-Memory
-Nyarlathotep
-Old Bugs
-Sweet Ermengarde
-The Book
-The Descendant
-The Very Old Folk
-What the Moon Brings

Granted three of those are only fragmentary, but I still believe they should have all been included for the sake of completeness. Even if they only used the other 7 it still would had made this book that little bit better.
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If you are a writer of Lovecraftian weird fiction, this is an extremely handy tool as well as a source of rich delight. Anthony Pearsall comes from a family of University professors, and his approach with this wonderful book is educated, informed and vastly entertaining. His Introduction is excellent in introducing the reader to the world of H. P. Lovecraft and shews Pearsall well-acquainted with HPL's biography and era. We find no tiresome myths or harsh judgments, only facts and incidents, with choice passages from Lovecraft's Letters and reminiscences from those who knew Lovecraft. Entries reference Lovecraft's many inventions of characters, daemons, mythic cities, &c. Some entries are concise, such as this for the entry on "Aklo Language":

"An ancient, secret writing-system in which certain powerful spells have been recorded. Robert Blake, in 'The Haunter of the Dark,' used Aklo to translate a mysterious book that he found in the deserted Starry Wisdom church on Federal Hill, Providence. In 'The Dunwich Horror,' Wilbur Whateley learned Aklo to perform a 'Sabaoth' ceremony. HPL borrowed the Aklo language concept from Arthur Machen's moody horror story 'The White People,' which he considered to be the 'second-best' weird tale of their time. In Machen's tale a little English girl being trained in the occult writes in her diary:

'I must not write down the real names of the days and months which I found out a year ago, nor the way to make the Aklo Letters, or the Chian language, or the great beautiful Circles, nor the Mao Games, nor the chief songs.'"

Others entries, such as those on "Nyarlathotep," "Dunwich," "Old Ones," and "Providence" are of substantial length.

In "A Note On Sources," Mr.
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This book seems to cover everything that plays a part in the classic tales of H.P. Lovecraft. With so many forbidden books mentioned in his stories the reader needs a guide to sort out which are his and which are the creation of his fellow authors. The "Lexicon" even lists the origins of some of the names and places for the benefit of readers unfamiliar with various myths and legends. The only thing that keeps it from being a five star book is the overlong biography, better to give just a one or two page outline and a list of further reading. One other fault is the author's putting in his personal opinion about some story elements instead of letting the reader interpret them as they see fit. The faults are picky when compared to the book as a whole, which is far superior to the "Encyclopedia Cthuliana", which only covered a portion of his writings. "The Lovecraft Lexicon" is a must for any true fan of HPL.
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