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H.P. Lovecraft's Favorite Weird Tales: Discover the Roots of Modern Horror! [Paperback]

Douglas Anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

14 Jun 2007
H.P. Lovecraft is one of the best-loved and most recognizable names in the world of horror and fantasy fiction. Lovecraft made several lists of both literary and popular stories that he felt had "the greatest amount of truly cosmic horror and macabre convincingness." "H.P. Lovecraft's Favorite Weird Tales" is a landmark collection of stories, augmented with comments from Lovecraft's own extensive correspondence and newspaper interviews. This volume features a number of well-known classics that have inspired generations, as well as several excellent rare tales by forgotten authors. Contributors include Edgar Allen Poe, Ambrose Bierce, Clark Ashton Smith, Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, H.F. Arnold, and many more.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Cold Spring Press (14 Jun 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593600569
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593600563
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 14.1 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 832,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Douglas Anderson is one of the world's best known and most respected fantasy scholars and anthologists.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, full of classic tales 14 Sep 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent book , full of classic tales.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Collection Of Artful Horrors 10 Jan 2010
By Art Turner - Published on
The premise of H.P.LOVECRAFT'S FAVORITE WEIRD TALES is certainly interesting - take several stories that horror master Lovecraft regarded as his favorite pieces of weird short fiction, based on his correspondence, and compile tham together in one volume. If you think this would yield an enjoyable book, you'd be correct - there really isn't a bad story in the bunch (the closest thing to a clunker is M.P. Shiel's "The House Of Sounds", which struck me as merely bizarre for the sake of being bizarre), but I'll try to discuss what I thought was the crème de la crème as concisely as I can.

- "The Novel Of The Black Seal" by Arthur Machen: Machen was my great discovery in reading this collection. It's amazing to me that his work is seldom discussed anymore except amongst horror aficionados - like Lovecraft, Machen strikes me as a writer of brilliance who just happened to write horror fiction. "The Novel Of The Black Seal" has to be one of the eeriest stories I've ever read, centering around the notion that the legendary "little people" of the British Isles have been (to quote Machen) "called... 'fair' and 'good' precisely because [our ancestors] dreaded them, so they dressed them up in charming forms, knowing the truth to be the very reverse." If you enjoy stories like Lovecraft's "The Whisperer In Darkness", this one will likely knock you out of your chair.

- "The Yellow Sign" by Robert W. Chambers: In which we encounter an early use of what was to become a standard Lovecraftian trope: the Evil Grimoire. The last several paragraphs of this story are uniquely disturbing in a way that's difficult to describe - I found myself re-reading them several times, trying (unsuccessfully, I'm afraid) to pin down how Chambers got his effects. A really good one.

- "The White People" by Arthur Machen: I'm actually not that fond of hyperbole, but it seems to be hard to avoid in describing Machen's work; this might be the most accomplished English-language horror story I've ever read. I described it on my blog as "Ulysses (Penguin Modern Classics) meets Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Unabridged Classics) in Hell", but that only begins to hint at the story's aura of unearthly dread. It's a shame that more critics and scholars aren't aware of this one.

- "The Floor Above" by M.L. Humphreys - a story of enormous subtley, originally published in the pulp magazine WEIRD TALES. I actually had to read this one a couple of times to figure out exactly what was going on.

Well, if you've read this far, you'll probably find this worth picking up, even if you already own a couple of the stories in other volumes. Lovecraft fans will, of course, find it particularly interesting, but I'd recommend it to anyone who'd like a demonstration of how horror fiction can refrain from explicit violence and be all the more effective because of it.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative collection 6 Feb 2006
By Harold Billings - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an absolutely superlative collection -- important for its assemblage of some of the very best of the horror genre and also because it helps provide historical insight into the tastes of H.P. Lovecraft, serving as a reading guide for his classic SUPERNATURAL HORROR IN LITERATURE. It also helps that this has such nice readable type!--unlike many of the collections of similar material released in paperback. Doug Anderson continues providing excellent insight into the literature of the weird and the fantastic.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Introduction to Weird Fiction 8 Dec 2012
By A. Seegert - Published on
Wonderful book. This is the best single go-to collection I've found for pre-Lovecraftian weird fiction. The Machen and Blackwood alone would make this anthology shine but the inclusion of Poe, Chambers, M.R. James, Bierce, and others make it that much richer and more diverse. I used this text for teaching an introductory course on Weird Fiction and it worked very well.
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