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Waking Up Screaming: Haunting Tales of Terror Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."
-H. P. LOVECRAFT"
Welcome to the world of H. P. Lovecraft, the undisputed master of terror. His work has inspired countless nightmares, and this collection of some of his most chilling stories is likely to inspire even more.
Cool Air-An icy apartment hides secrets no man dares unlock.
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward-Ward delves into the black arts and resurrects the darkest evil from beyond the grave.
The Terrible Old Man-The intruders seek a fortune but find only death.
Herbert West-Reanimator-Mad experiments yield hideous results in this bloodcurdling tale, the inspiration for the cult film "Re-Animator.
The Shadow Over Innsmouth-A small fishing town's population is obscenely corrupted by a race of fiendish undersea creatures.
The Lurking Fear-An upstate New York clan degenerates into thunder-crazed mole like creatures with a taste for human flesh.
PLUS TEN OTHER SPINE-TINGLING TALES

About the Author

H. P. Lovecraft lived his life in the moody New England that was the setting for his tales. His writing appeared in some of the most famous “pulp” magazines, but no book of his work was published in his lifetime, and so Lovecraft died in relative poverty and obscurity. Since then he has been recognized as one of the most influential cult horror writers of this century. His influence on American horror has extended to Stephen King, Anne Rice, Clive Barker, and many others.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (January 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034545829X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345458292
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,221,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Tomsho on February 6, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
H.P. Lovecraft is an underappreciated horror writer. Though flawed in many ways, such as his habit of finding a handful of unusual adjectives and using them over and over and over again, he was an incredible storyteller. He created an entire universe of wonder and at the same time mind-blowing fear which became known as the Cthulhu Mythos, named for the behemoth god-like entity which has become iconic of his works.
That said, there are a lot of great stories here to showcase Lovecraft's talent. Cool Air is a particularly creepy story inspired by the fledgling science of cryogenics which was first talked about in the early 20th century. From this first story, the reader is introduced to one of Lovecraft's signature techniques: using the last line of the story as the climax. Though he did not use it in every story, it proved devastatingly effective in so many of his works such as The Lurking Fear and Pickman's Model.
Herbert West- Reanimator gave me chills the first time I read it. It really is quite a brilliant story, taking the concepts in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and putting a darker, more horrible bite to them. Written in chapters, each one but the last uses the previously stated technique. And each one is more bone-chilling than the last.
The Shadow Over Innsmouth, one of the few stories in this book that officially contributes to the Cthulhu Mythos itself, has a few low points, but is overall a very creepy story with an ending that never ceases to entertain no matter how many times I read it. This is one of the stories I highly recommend to those new to Lovecraft and the Mythos, as it gives one a very good idea of what goes on in this universe of horrors beyond the stars.
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By Meggie3667 on December 4, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Well, since the cover dragged me in for I was looking for one of my perfect books (love horror!), I stumbled on the inside cover that had said of both Stephen King and Clive Barker had commented on this book saying is was good- (Stephen King and Clive Barker are some of the best Horror/Fiction writers in HISTORY in my opinion) and so I just had to get this book and that even dragged me in more when I got this book..but havent read it yet...looking for the time to, though :)
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By Bob M on January 22, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This was written by a author that I had never heard of (he was even before MY time), I have read only several of the stories but what I have read is entertaining, if you like scary fiction in a easy to read format then this one is for you
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
H.P. Lovecraft revitalized the Horror genre (too bad it wasn't noticed until after his death). Between Poe and King, Lovecraft stealthily introduced "cosmic" horror; a mix of mythology, science fiction and horror. It is his combination of science fiction and horror that really introduced a new way to look at the fear of the unknown.

Waking Up Screaming has a collection of some fine stories, but some of the themes were a little too repetitive for me. The discovery of an unknown entity or mythical heritage seems to take-up the bulk of these stories. While I appreciate the author's contribution to genre with these stories, my fault lies with the publisher putting too many similar stories together in one collection.

The central theme in most of the stories, besides a strong focus on how family heritage and its bloodlines can warp the family tree, is the knowledge that there are things in this universe that can not be explained. Many stories introduce the reader to terror that is beyond description - literally. Lovecraft purposely does not describe the terror in detail because the characters can not comprehend what they see without going mad.

Lovecraft really brings this theme to the forefront, almost as a guide to the reader, in his story the "The Unnamable". The protagonist in "The Unnamable" attempts to explain to his skeptical friend why he has a "preoccupation with the mystical and unexplained". That not everything has "fixed dimensions, properties, causes and effects...." there are things beyond our imagination that have no motive and can not be processed in our limited reality. The skeptic is of course, just like the reader, made a believer as the two characters are attacked by an "unnamable" or indescribable beast.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's sad that not many horror readers know a lot about H.P. Lovecaft, and what gets me the most is he's actually in Science Fiction genre than horror (though some of his stories do deal with Sci-Fi, but I consider him more as a horror writer.).

Waking Up Screaming deals with sixteen tales that really seemed about that is better off not knowing than knowing, or that man isn't suppose to know such horrors. There are a couple in this collection are not much horror, but they are still worth reading.

The book open up with "Cool Air." It's actually written by Lovecraft that he doesn't like cool or cold temperatures in real life, and he explores his dread in this story as a magazine editor discovering his neighbor upstairs MUST live in cooler temperatures...but why?

"The Hound" deals with grave robbing, and with these two characters' actions might cost their lives as they dug a grave of a strange creature that seems to be a hound with bat wings.

"The Lurking Fear" is one of my personal favorite tales by Lovecraft. And this is one of the gorest he's ever written. What lurks under the ground might kill you during a thunder storm.

"The Terrible Old Man" is one of the shortest stories in this collection. I don't think it's his best works, but it is still an enjoyable read. It deals with three outsiders trying to steal this old man's "collection" and it might cost their lives.

"The Unnamble" is about two guys telling a real life ghost story as they face a house that's connected to their story, and that night they witnessed the strange ghost like creature.

"Beyond the Wall of Sleep" deals with a sleepwalker who murders people and doesn't even know it, and he might be controlled by a different being....
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