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The Tomb and Other Tales Mass Market Paperback – February 12, 1986


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reissue edition (February 12, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345336615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345336613
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.5 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,658,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

This extraordinary collection features 13 spine-tingling tales of delicious terror by the unquestioned master of the horror genre, as well as portions of stories he never fully completed. Discover how the mind of H.P. Lovecraft worked, and how much his early and late stories tell about this intriguing writer.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
In terms of readability or pure enjoyment, this title ranks low among the myriad Lovecraft titles. However, for the Lovecraft devotee, it offers enlightening insights into the author's writing. There is quite a hodge-podge of tales to be found in these pages. "The Tomb" is a fairly standard horror piece, "Imprisoned With the Pharoahs" is a story ghost written for Harry Houdini which I count among Lovecraft's lesser tales, "In the Walls of Eryx" is a compelling, uniquely Lovecraftian science fiction story set on Venus. "The Horror of Red Hook," while harkening to the types of unworldly themes Lovecraft came to be known for, is a somewhat dense story which I had unaccustomed trouble reading--largely, I feel, because it was written in the third person. "The Festival," "He," and "The Strange High House in the Mist" concern ancient rites and hints of unearthly terrors while also hinting at the dream worlds that Lovecraft so often contemplated; not surprisingly, I find these stories to be the best ones in this collection.
The really interesting parts of this book consist of a number of early tales and fragments. There are four stories Lovecraft wrote during his teens, and it is almost incredible to see the distinctive Lovecraft voice and style so well developed at such an early age. "Poetry and the Gods" and "The Street" are unusual and bear an ethereal air that did not find its way into his mature writings, while "The Beast in the Cave" and "The Alchemist" foreshadow the stories whose fame we now celebrate.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By bdemarzo@earthlink.net on September 9, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I first tried reading this book in high school, I put it down after the third story. About four years later, I read it again - and loved it. You have to get into Lovecraft's style of writing - first-person perspective, typical gothic-horror themes. Once you do, you'll be immersed into the stories. They leave you with something many books don't - thoughts and memories of the stories. A good relaxing read for those who want to sit and immerse themself into a story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire, Esq. on January 15, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I like the old Del Rey mass pb editions of Lovecraft, although they do not contain the Corrected Texts that S. T. Joshi edited for the newer Arkham House and Penguin Classics editions. The covers for the newer Ballentine Books editions are by the gifted artist Michael Whelan, and although some people don't like them much, I find them weird and effective with their muted shades touched, here and there, by diabolic crimson. The contents for THE TOMB are:
The Tomb
The Festival
Imprisoned with the Pharaohs
He
The Horror at Red Hook
The Strange High House in the Mist
In the Walls of Eryx
The Evil Clergyman
EARLY TALES
The Beast in the Cave
The Alchemist
Poetry and the Gods
The Street
The Transition of Juan Romero
FRAGMENTS
Azathoth
The Descendant
The Book
The Thing in the Moonlight

The last named title is no longer included in modern editions of Lovecraft's Works, as it is not a tale written by Lovecraft, but rather a portion of a letter in which he relates a dream. A gentleman published it in his fanzine shortly after Lovecraft's death and added his own beginning and end so as to try and make it a complete short story. Disregarded as it is by modern editors, "The Thing in the Moonlight" is evocative of that which we call "Lovecraftian horror," and this wee fragment has inspired many other horror writers with its imagery. Most recently, an entire novel by Edward Lee, TROLLEY NO. 1852 (Bloodletting Press 2009) was based on the fragment, a novel that is wild and kinky yet authentically and deliciously Lovecraftian in every way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ravenskya VINE VOICE on May 14, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
For years the name "Lovecraft" conjured up images in my mind of wading through "Shakespeare's Unknown Works" Although I love horror, I had for some reason always assumed that his works would be a tedious and difficult read. Finally I decided that I really needed to commit myself to attempting to read some Lovecraft. When I read the first of the short stories in this book "The Tomb" I was thrilled to find that it wasn't difficult to read, it was simply beautiful, lyrical writing in a style that we cannot recapture today. His descriptions are bold, vibrant, and well crafted, but easily read.

I had also been under the assumption that all Lovecraft included things with tentacles... again I was wrong, here we had tale after tale of creepy, eerie, mysterious happenings often told through the first person, that are never fully comprehended by the teller of the tales. Possible Vampires, probable witches, maybe ghosts... you are never sure... is the man telling you the tale mad and recounting the horrors of their deranged minds or have they truly stumbled upon ancient horrors so profound that they defy description.

This book contains no gore, just a creepy vibe and a level of uncertainty that sticks with you after you close the book. Lovecraft is a master of the English language, wielding it as a sword and picking at your doubts. Opening scabs of uncertainty... are there terrible books and beings from "before the age of man" that would summon up the most unholy and terrifying of visions?

I am told that this is NOT one of the stronger collections that you could buy (I read it first because Amazon shipped it first). At the end there are fragments of unfinished tales, and some of his earlier work which make for an interesting read. If you don't read this book, pick up something by Lovecraft so that you can see the true power of the written word. It's beauty and it's ability to evoke emotion.
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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.

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