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Eldritch Tales: A Miscellany of the Macabre Hardcover – 21 Jul 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; Col Spl edition (21 July 2011)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 0575099356
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575099357
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 4.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 265,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

""You need to read him--he's where the darkness starts." --Neil Gaiman"

Book Description

A follow-up volume to NECRONOMICON, Gollancz's best-selling hardback of the year!

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Manly Reading TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 4 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you only buy one volume of H P Lovecraft, don't buy this, buy Necronomicon by the same publishers. But if you want to buy more than one volume, make this the second. This is stuff "left out" of the Necronomicon, and while some is good, as a whole its not as good as the contents of that book. Ever bought a "Best of, Vol 2" album? Well, this is a little like that. A few hits, and some "not hits".

The stories are in published order - and includes some early stuff not professionally "published" at all. You can see the beginnings of Lovecraft's style in this early (1916 onwards) work, but it is clearly not his best stuff. There is a fair chunk of poetry here too- probably 50 pages out of 400-odd of fiction- and as a rule there are a lot of very short stories, with some almost fragments of ideas. It is definitely interesting to compare this to Lovecraft's later work, and the later stories get better as you would expect.

There is also an interesting essay on writing horror by Lovecraft himself as well as the history of publishing Lovecraft in England by Steven Jones. All up this adds another 100 plus pages to 430 or so of prose and poetry. The inside covers have the distinctive Virgil Finlay commemorative sketch of HPL in shades of blue, which is a really nice touch.

I finished up my review of the Necromonicon by saying I wasn't going to purchase more Lovecraft; but this Black Book changed my mind. I'm not really sorry about that, but this is a companion piece to a greater work, not a starting point for an introduction to HPL's works. If you are a HPL fan, grab a copy, and treat the review as 5 stars; if you are a more casual reader of HPL, don't shed too many tears if you miss it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sean T. Page on 19 April 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let's be clear, if you are looking for an introductory volume to this author, then buy the brick-like hard back that is the Necronomicon from the same publisher.

This volume is not a part two, this is a collection of fiction, poems and essays for the hardcore fan. And, as a hardcore fan, I think have their have done a valuable job in collecting this content together and getting into one matching volume.

It's not that the quality of the stories or content is somehow 'less' but I would certainly say it is different and not as accessiable to the general reader.

The look and feel of the book is similar to the Necronomicon, we have the black cover, embossed title and spooky feel. The two certainly belong together but rather than a part two or brother, this collection is rather like a bizare and unruly cousin.

Poetry warning - if you can't handle some weird poetry then avoid this. I love it, it's part of the mythos but if you aren't a reader of it, then you can pick up these stories elsewhere although many are widely scattered.

This volume includes Lovecraft's amazing essay on horror which is a set text in the genre and content by Stephen Jones, whose creditionals are impressive.

Some reviewers have rightly warned that this is not a volume for a reader new to this author and I can only agree with this. It's a dark and twisted corner which may not be to everyone's taste so don't go wandering unless you are prepared to mix it up with some of the less well-known stories, some collaborations and poems. You have been warned!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cruncher on 28 Mar. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reading some of the reviews of this book you may get the impression that it is a lesser work than its companion "Necronomicon- the best weird tales of H P Lovecraft". In my opinion, not so.
True, "Necronomicon" contains HPL's most well known, influential and (I agree) best fiction; but as such, these are stories easily found in a hundred other collections and anthologies . The joy of "Eldritch Tales" is the variety of othewise hard to find material that it contains. Sure, some of the early writings included are far from being the author's best works, but they give a fascinating glimpse at the way his style and content developed.
The revisions of other writer's work are similarly fascinating.
For me, the poetry was the most enjoyable aspect of the book. "Fungi from Yuggoth" is a collection of gems. 36 sonnets ranging from wistful homages to his New England home, to little nuggets of the sinister. Some, like "The Well" and "The Familiars" manage to condense a whole horror story into 14 rhyming lines!
The volume also contains his excellent essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature". Who could ask for more.
(This volume is also mercifully free of the many spelling mistakes and other typographic errors that blight "Necronomicon").
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gatanothioa on 23 July 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'll be short and sweet, the book is of very high quality, and looks better than the pictures portray, this alongside the Gollancz Necronomicon is a superb book and the afterword by Stephen Jones, is a wonderful read.

This and the Necronomicon will take pride and place on my lovecraft shelf.

Of all the recent publications of Lovecrafts work, this and the Necronomicon stand head and shoulders above all other editions.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Karen on 23 July 2011
Format: Hardcover
I have only relatively recently delved into Lovecraft, thanks to the wonderful Necronomicon. The quality of the writing in this volume surely doesn't need to be remarked on - if you're a Lovecraft fan, a fan of horror, of the weird, the fantastic, or just some of the best of modern writing, you need to read this.

However, the collection is approximately three hundred pages shorter than this website promises at the time of writing (this review will be deleted if the real number of pages is uploaded of course). This led to a bit of disappointment for me, which I hope others can avoid. The review is still five stars because I really don't want anyone to think the stories are of a lesser quality, or in any way turn off people from reading the Eldritch Tales. I just want people to now know what they're buying; a slightly shorter slice of the work of Lovecraft.
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