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Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft (Commemorative Edition) Paperback – March 27, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 122 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Preposterous, overblown, absurd in every way - yet with an originality that looks more powerful and convincing each time I dip into it.―PHILIP PULLMAN

You need to read him - he's where the darkness starts―NEIL GAIMAN

Lovecraft opened the way for me, as he had done for others before me―STEPHEN KING

About the Author

Howard Philips Lovecraft (1890-1937) is probably the most important and influential author of supernatural fiction of the 20th century. A life-long resident of Providence, R.I., many of his tales are set in the fear-haunted towns of an imaginary area of Massachusetts, or in the cosmic vistas that exist beyond space and time. Since his untimely death, he has become acknowledged as a master of fantasy fiction, and a mainstream American writer second only to Edgar Allan Poe, while his relatively small body of work has influenced countless imitators and formed the basis of a world-wide industry of books, games and movies based on his concepts.
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Product Details

  • Series: Gollancz SF
  • Paperback: 880 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; Export Ed edition (March 27, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575081570
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575081574
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Those who have spent time researching H.P. Lovecraft are undoubtedly aware that the story collections edited by S.T. Joshi are considered vastly superior to all others. This edition, unfortunately, does not fall under that category, but opts to include the stories as they were originally published. Just the same, do not quickly dismiss this collection, for it still has a number of merits.

To start things out, here is the list of the works it includes:
"Night-Gaunts" (A great sonnet from "Fungi from Yuggoth")
"Dagon"
"The Statement of Randolph Carter"
"The Doom that Came to Sarnath"
"The Cats of Ulthar"
"The Nameless City"
"Herbert West--Reanimator"
"The Music of Erich Zann"
"The Lurking Fear"
"The Hound"
"The Rats in the Walls"
"Under the Pyramids"
"The Unnamable"
"In the Vault"
"The Outsider"
"The Horror at Red Hook"
"The Colour out of Space"
"Pickman's Model"
"The Call of Cthulhu"
"Cool Air"
"The Shunned House"
"The Silver Key"
"The Dunwich Horror"
"The Whisperer in Darkness"
"The Strange High House in the Mist"
"The Dreams in the Witch-House"
"From Beyond"
"Through the Gates of the Silver Key" (with E. Hoffman Price)
"At the Mountains of Madness"
"The Shadow over Innsmouth"
"The Shadow out of Time"
"The Haunter of the Dark"
"The Thing on the Doorstep"
"The Case of Charles Dexter Ward"
"The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath"
"To a Dreamer" (A final Lovecraft poem)
Afterword: A Gentleman of Providence by Stephen Jones

As can clearly be seen, this is quite a hefty and impressive collection, and it comes with a number of excellent illustrations that go a long way to immersing one in the HPL universe.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book in the belief that it was a complete collection of HPL's works (or close to it). Instead it's pretty much just the major stuff found in most big collections, missing a few of my notable favorites (Arthur Jermyn, The Temple, He, The Festival, etc ) as well as missing a lot of the obscure stuff (The Evil Clergymen for instance, plus his really early stuff).

And please note that the description is wrong, it's not over a 1000 pages, it's only 880, including a 50 page essay on Lovecraft. While interesting, I wish that space had been used for some of his missing stories. It could be the regular UK version has more, but Amazon.com seems to be selling the shorter, "Export" edition.

It's got a few stories that the Library of America collection doesn't (but not that many), most notably more of the Dreamlands stuff. But you also don't have any annotations or notes like the Library of America collection. There are some illustrations

This is pretty cheap, but at the same time, it's not the best Lovecraft experience, nor complete. I was really hoping to get all his stories in one big book (as it had been billed in some quarters). But this was a complete waste of my money. The paper and binding is also very cheap.

Only if you are completely new to Lovecraft is it worth a look.
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Format: Paperback
I'm not going to bother reviewing the fiction in the volume. It's by H.P. Lovecraft, it's absolutely fantastic horror fiction that transcends the genre and what's included is all of his best stuff. I will assume, that like any literary type (or horror fan), you are not here to decide - "Should I buy Lovecraft's books?". I'm assuming you know that like Poe, you need a Lovecraft selected (or complete) works on your shelf - the question then is "Which edition is best suited to my needs?"

So, I'm going to focus on why this book is a good purchase - it has 36 stories, including the big ones. It's affordably priced. It looks really nice on a shelf and it's very pleasant to read in the hands and on the eyes. The drawback is it's big and the binding is so-so. The only one-volume competition is really the Library of America "Tales" collection with 22 tales. It has better binding and a better critical apparatus (e.g. footnotes). That one's a bit more expensive though and has some other problems.

I would recommend either this volume or the Library of America to someone looking for a single volume collection. If you're a collector or own the Library of America "Tales" book, this probably isn't worth a purchase because you have most of the stories.

Personally, I prefer this one because the pages are thicker and I find the text easier on my eyes. The Library of America edition is much smaller and has ultra-thin pages with relatively small text. If you have good eyesight, that might be a better choice since physically it's smaller, but I had difficulty reading it. This edition sits like a Bible on the shelf towering above other books. The gold ink on the spine looks very classy and ominous and it's easy to find amongst my bookshelves.
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Format: Hardcover
'Necronomicon: the complete Weird Tales' of H.P Lovecraft in its hardcover edition is a beautiful book - a bibliophiles dream. Suitably tome-like, all it really needed was a tassel to complete the look. The typeset and illustrations are really appropriate and unlike some I appreciated the biography on H.P Lovercraft contained in the rear of the book. Reviewers have also noted that 'Necronomicon: the complete Weird Tales' is not a complete collection of Lovecraft's work - but it never claimed to be, instead it collects those works written for legendary pulp magazine 'Weird Tales.' At 878 pages there's plenty of material for readers to sink their teeth into, and all the classics, such as 'The Dunwich Horror,' 'The Shadow Out of Time,' and 'Call of Cthulhu' are included.

Buy this book and saraband yourself across aeons of time into the curious, antique world of H.P Lovecraft. Park yourself under a gibbous moon and read these eldritch tales of cyclopean architecture and primordial terrors. You will traverse dimensions of time and space and have an indescribably sinister experience of unspeakable horror.
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