Customer Reviews: The Essential H.P. Lovecraft Collection
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VINE VOICEon December 2, 2010
This book is a terrific deal and steal for anyone interested in classic horror and sci-fi. I'd heard of HP Lovecraft and knew, generally, that he is one of the grandfathers of those two genres, but I'd never read him before. I'd seen somewhere recently that his story "Mountains of Madness" was the base upon which the movie "The Thing" was created. John Carpenter's 1980's remake was the first hardcore horror movie I ever saw as a kid, and still lives in a dark, shadowy, and very cold place in my memories.

"Mountains of Madness" was written in the '30s. The early 20th century represented a golden age of exploration and discovery. Both poles were "captured"; jungle pyramids and ancient hideaways were discovered galore. Newspapers, newsreels and books were filled with adventure and the promise of something new that tended to be very old. It's in this context that Lovecraft's narrator visits Antarctica and makes a discovery of something of incomparably ancient. It tells the previously untold story of an Antarctic scientific mission gone horribly wrong and is crafted from the perspective of a scientist who was involved in the mission and who's desperate to warn off future efforts to investigate the strange goings-on.

A fascination and passion with exploration and discovery comes clearly through Lovecraft's writing. Lovecraft repeatedly refers to the "Cyclopean" sized objects in the Antarctic...a term used by Hiram Bingham in describing the first Inca-carved stone blocks he discovered in Peru. He even compares one of the ancient discoveries as looking like Machu Picchu.

The richly detailed story is thick with mood- and scene-setting. The story builds slowly and Lovecraft incorporates well-timed and teasing foreshadowing that frames a downright creepy story. More than once, I found myself jumping with shock at a startling noise when reading the story alone at night.

This story collection also includes "Call of the Cthulhu" - another foundational story and theme from Lovecraft. "Mountains of Madness" is a longish short story...about 100 pages total. "Cthulhu" is much shorter, at only about 25 pages, but paints an amazing portrait of an ancient supernatural underwater beast come to life in modern times.

Both stories build extensive myths around fictional beings and religion. The ideas behind the myth-building are very realistic, and go a long way to feed the terrifically detailed stories. Both are presented from an investigative perspective, which builds the stories and characters well and includes deftly developed foreshadowing that intensifies the drama and tension while avoiding details that give too much away. They're creepy, moody and satisfyingly scary.
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on February 17, 2011
The majority (all?) of H.P. Lovecraft's stories are in the public domain and can be downloaded from numerous places on the Internet for free.

SO, only purchase one of these various Kindle "editions" of Lovecraft's works if paying a buck or two is easier and more worth your time than tracking down the stories online and loading them onto your Kindle.
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on January 22, 2013
I read Lovecraft when I was very young. It was great revisiting this authors work. It is easy to see how he influenced so many of the horror writing of today. He weaves tales that keep your interest from start to end.
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on September 21, 2012
This is my first time reading H.P. Lovecraft. My first story was "The Thing on the Doorstep". Needless to say, I barely slept that night O_O His writing is a work of art, I love this book.
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on November 27, 2012
Lovecraft is the original master. I am extremely happy with this purchase and would recommend it to anyone. It is a great compilation of his works and an absolute page turner!
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on November 11, 2012
Im giving Only 4 stars because within reading one story I came across 3 spelling errors. Other than that awesome collection.
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on December 13, 2012
Good book, great introduction to the author, too! Facebook told me I write like him so it was about time to read this.
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on December 4, 2014
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