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The Complete Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft Hardcover – July 1, 2016
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About the Author
Howard Phillips "H. P." Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937) was an American author who achieved posthumous fame through his influential works of horror fiction. Virtually unknown and only published in pulp magazines before he died in poverty, he is now widely seen as one of the most significant 20th century authors in his genre.
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Top Customer Reviews
The 2008 B&N edition is rather plain and underwhelming, with basic black boards, plain purple end-papers and a rather unattractive dust-jacket. But, at the time, it was the only book that collected all (or almost all, at any rate) of Lovecraft's fiction in one volume. Plus, it was only $12.95.
The 2011 B&N reprint is a much spiffier affair. Bound in faux leather -- which, despite feeling kind of cheap-ish is still very nice -- with silver gilt edging, a satin bookmark and very cool marbled end-papers, it's definitely a step-up from the 2008 edition. I'm not personally thrilled with the design of the cover, but that's just my opinion. It sells for $18.00.
This Knickerbocker Classics edition blows them all away. The slipcase, which boasts a very well-done Cthulhu illustration, is thick and remarkably sturdy. The text on the front of the slipcase is embossed and the Cthulhu illustration is printed in silver, metallic ink. It makes for a very impressive presentation. A minor annoyance is a paper describing the book is glued to the back of the slipcase. I tried to carefully and slowly remove it and some of the paper of the slipcase began to come away with it so I guess it stays. It would be nice, however, if it were easily removed if desired. Unlike the two B&N editions which have glued bindings, this edition has a stitched binding which should hold up better over time. The cloth-bound covers are very impressive in blue and metallic silver, and there is a silver satin bookmark. The end-papers are light grey with a scale-like design, nice, but not nearly as nice as the end-papers on the 2011 B&N edition.
The paper is of a very similar stock on all three editions and is certainly on the thin side; there is a fair amount of text-bleed through the pages. But all three books in question are nearly 1100 pages so thin paper is a bit of a necessity to keep the weight and size at manageable levels.
Overall, this edition is the far superior one. The first B&N edition has cheap written all over it, plus there are the hundreds of typos to contend with. The second B&N edition is decent but the faux leather and somewhat ugly cover design doesn't do it any favors, and it ends up looking and feeling like a book that's trying to be a lot more than what it actually is. The Knickerbocker edition looks and feels elegant. It's really quite beautiful and if it cost twice what it actually does it would still certainly be worth it. A very, very nice book.
These are the typos I've verified so far that are ported over to this volume, left uncorrected from the last B&N volume (please note that the typos are on the left, bordered by hyphens since Amazon doesn't allow formatting, with the correct version on the right):
202.11: sins like Ptolemaism, Calvinism, -anti-Darwinisn-,] sins like Ptolemaism, Calvinism, -anti-Darwinism-,
456.34: The next day they -spoke with- a ship with violet sails] The next day they -spoke- a ship with violet sails
902.11: I made no -progess-.] I made no -progress-.
994.1 I had seen him -one- or twice in my youth ] I had seen him -once- or twice in my youth
The contents don't seem to be listed anywhere, so I'll transcribe from the table of contents:
- "Introduction" [by Eric Carl Link]
- The Beast in the Cave
- The Alchemist
- The Tomb
- A Reminiscence of Dr. Samuel Johnson
- Beyond the Wall of Sleep
- Old Bugs
- The Transition of Juan Romero
- The White Ship
- The Street
- The Doom That Came to Sarnath
- The Statement of Randolph Carter
- The Terrible Old Man
- The Cats of Ulthar
- The Tree
- The Picture in the House
- The Temple
- Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family
- From Beyond
- The Quest of Iranon
- The Music of Erich Zahn
- Ex Oblivione
- Sweet Ermengarde
- The Nameless City
- The Outsider
- The Moon-Bog
- The Other Gods
- Herbert West-Reanimator
- What the Moon Brings
- The Hound
- The Lurking Fear
- The Rats in the Walls
- The Unnamable
- The Festival
- Under the Pyramids
- The Shunned House
- The Horror at Red Hook
- In the Vault
- Cool Air
- The Call of Cthulhu
- Pickman's Model
- The Strange High House in the Mist
- The Silver Key
- The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath
- The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
- The Colour Out of Space
- The Descendant
- The Very Old Folk
- History of the Necronomicon
- The Dunwich Horror
- The Whisperer in Darkness
- At the Mountains of Madness
- The Shadow Over Innsmouth
- The Dreams in the Witch House
- Through the Gates of the Silver Key
- The Thing on the Doorstep
- The Evil Clergyman
- The Book
- The Shadow Out of Time
- The Haunter of the Dark
- "The Life and Times of H.P. Lovecraft" [essentially a condensed timeline style biography]
- "Further Reading"
Seeing it at first, one would be inclined to believe some of the stories are abridged. Trust me on this, when I say that they're probably not. It turns out that a lot of Lovecrafts stories like Reanimator or The Moon Bog are genuinely just around ten pages long, even unabridged. So not only is it the complete works of Lovecraft, but it's also in a superbly compact format.
As for the content of Lovecraft's work, I can not recommend it enough. This is a guy that can make a simple premise like ooooh spooky swamp and turn it into a seven page masterpiece filled with an expert use of the English language that holds up to this day. His multitude of stories also hold to a great deal of variety, but often tend towards concepts of the unknown shown to a narrator who is, most often, accompanied by another more enigmatic or interesting figure.