Customer Reviews: The Call of Cthulhu
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on January 10, 2010
"...all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom."

I have received numerous recommendations over the years for the work of horror legend H.P. Lovecraft, and have often been met with surprise when I admit that I had never read his work. While I am a horror and gothic enthusiast I always felt apprehensive about Lovecraft's work - after all, how could he possibly compare to such greats as Edgar Allen Poe and Sheridan Le Fanu?

Despite having the Tales of H.P. Lovecraft (edited by Joyce Carol Oates) sitting on my shelf, I decided to download Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu" on my Kindle2 after seeing it mentioned in a group on LibraryThing. ( I apologize now, because I cannot for the life of me remember who brought it up recently, but it inspired me to give Lovecraft a try once and for all).

I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed. "The Call of Cthulhu" is a delightfully dark and twisted tale that has the ability to draw readers in from its first mysterious pages. The tale is presented from the point of view of a secondary source (the nephew and executor of a deceased professor) stumbling upon the research and first-person accounts regarding an ancient and malevolent entity by the name of "Cthulhu." As cult members practice dark arts in order to revive this creature from its watery depths, the narrator realizes with horror that it has already been done, and instills in readers a kind of apprehension that such a thing can be innocently done again, much to the detriment of all living creatures.

Lovecraft's style is at once elegant and non evasive, so his language adds to the understanding and delight of the reader as opposed to detracting from the story with superfluous prose. The evolution from nineteenth-century gothic literature is evident, which helps to ground the short story in a strong literary history, while allowing it to evolve into what audiences now call "horror."
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on June 17, 2013
The printing of this is atrocious! It's one of those books they copy-and paste from a PDF on the Internet that's loaded with spelling and grammar errors and make a quick buck on. It's the work of a pure snake oil charlatan! Don't buy, save up for an omnibus of Lovecraft or a hardback.
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on January 26, 2014
The story is all there. This particular version either lacks proof reading or was purposefully seasoned with typos. Still a good story.
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on August 16, 2014
This book has earned the reputation of being a classic because of the radical out of the world imagination of H. P. Lovecraft. If you can ignore the racism that was rampant during the time this was written, it shows its colors of telling a scary and grotesque story without detailing every action. This art of engaging the readers imagination without spelling the exact actions has been lost over the years. This comes close to the short stories of Poe and you will like it if you are a fan of the horror and grotesque.
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on May 17, 2015
The Call of Cthulhu is a tale told by a narrator from a manuscript that has been given to him by an eccentric person. The Victorian diction is much more complex than contemporary writers have come to use, which lessens the impact of this story as "horror," as it was billed in the version that I purchased. However, this story is one of the granddaddies of tales in which an ancient terror is brought awakened by acolytes who have handed down the secret throughout the eons. When first released, readers would have found the story to be highly imaginative and quite unique. And for that it deserves tremendous credit.
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on March 25, 2014
Ever wondered what lied in the deep dark places of the world? That's the question that is at the heart of this disturbing tale. While it's classified as a horror piece it reads more like an investigation. Thurston, a young academic who had just inherited a strange manuscript from his late uncle sets out to learn more about a very curious phenomenon. People have been dying and strange cults have been revealing themselves all over the world who, despite being apart for thousands of miles, all worship the same strange idols with the same twisted ceremonies.

It leaves a lot to the imagination and only builds it up towards the end. As terrible as Cthulhu's followers are and as bad as their actions they pale in comparison to the monstrosity and his cursed city. Eventually humanity in general feels miniscule at the sheer size of it. Ignorance is bliss as Lovecraft points out and some things are just best left buried away. A good book and it's amazing how much of an impact this short story has had on horror as well as the strong cult following it has gained.
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on October 13, 2015
The original Cthulu story that any H. P. Lovecraft fan should have in their stock. This story started it all. Hard to explain to someone who has not read it. It is an original masterpiece. Read it.

Good book quality. Soft, strong cover and easy to read type.
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on May 9, 2016
I have never read Lovecraft prior to this and thought this would be a good example of his writing....and it probably is. Despite the awesome descriptions (...the smell of a thousand open graves...), I was unmoved emotionally. I wanted to like it. Maybe it was the overwrought emphasis of horror that I just could couldn't relate to. But, I read The Stand by Steven King for the same reasons and came away with the same ...'meh'..feeling. But I have read the Gunslinger/Dark Tower series and am now a huge King fan. Maybe with Lovecraft too?
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on July 9, 2013
This was my first taste of Lovecraft's work. I did like it overall but I had wanted more monster and less talking. That is not to say that it is a bad piece. This is written well and the descriptions are wonderful. I'll definitely be trying more of his work for a complete picture.
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on October 11, 2015
Almost lost my sanity by reading this book, H.P opened a non-Euclidian door of written horror, in the lost city of Ryleh.

If you are looking into a more interesting journey within this book I recommend as a companion one chapter of "The Satanic Rituals" of Anton Lavey, (I'm not a Satan worshiper or anything like that) There's a chapter called "The call of Cthulhu" and has the complete ritual that has been told during the whole HP book.
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