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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The quintessential Lovecraft collection
This is basically the essential Lovecraft collection, featuring 16 of his best pieces of fiction and a noteworthy introduction by Robert Bloch, a member of the Lovecraft circle.. Naturally, one can make an argument for other tales that should be included, but the contents as they are represent a compelling cross-section of the master's work over the course of his...
Published on 29 Nov 2002 by Daniel Jolley

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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A unique and haunting vision
Like Poe, Lovecraft is best judged by his complete body of work rather than any one masterpiece. This collection contains his best-known stories and is a good place for newcomers to his work to start. Personally, I think his full-length novel "The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath" is the best thing he wrote and I would recommend you read that if you find you enjoy the...
Published on 11 Nov 2005 by Peter Reeve


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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The quintessential Lovecraft collection, 29 Nov 2002
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre (Paperback)
This is basically the essential Lovecraft collection, featuring 16 of his best pieces of fiction and a noteworthy introduction by Robert Bloch, a member of the Lovecraft circle.. Naturally, one can make an argument for other tales that should be included, but the contents as they are represent a compelling cross-section of the master's work over the course of his literary career. It must be noted that Lovecraft's three short novels, which are of course immensely important, are not among these shorter works, but their inclusion in these pages would result in a much longer book that could potentially turn away potential readers. This book more than any other serves as a beacon to new readers yet to discover horror's greatest writer.
Every story herein deserves it own review, frankly. "The Rats in the Walls," "The Dreams in the Witch-House," and "In the Vault" (one of my favorites) offer traditional horror tales full of Lovecraftian atmosphere. "The Outsider," perhaps the least satisfying read, is an allegorical tale reflecting an isolated individual's view of society and of himself. "The Silver Key" is a solid representative of the dream-myth stories of the author's earlier years and serves as an introduction to Lovecraft's heroic character Randolph Carter. "The Colour Out of Space" is a singular, science fiction/horror tale counted by Lovecraft himself as one of his favorites. "The Picture in the House" is perhaps Lovecraft's most efficiently horrifying story ever, "The Music of Erich Zann" is an unforgettable tale touching on the great secrets of the unknown, and "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" sensationally evokes the horror and depths of influence by unseen agents on this earth. These stories effectively set the stage for the Cthulhu Mythos tales, of which the remaining stories form an integral part. "The Call of Cthulhu" and "The Dunwich Horror" herald the full manifestation of Lovecraft's cosmic horror and describe the ambivalent agency of incomprehensible outside forces on mankind. "The Haunter of the Dark" and "The Thing on the Doorstep" highlight even more mysterious access points of the unknown into man's consciousness. I must give special attention to my two favorite Lovecraft tales: "The Whisperer in Darkness" and "The Shadow Out of Time." Much of the action detailed in the first of these stories is related to the reader by way of letters exchanged between an isolated scholar in the hills of Vermont and the narrator, an expert in folk tales who is compelled to believe the ancient stories of alien influences he once preached against. We see no action first-hand until the latter pages, when the protagonist finally visits his correspondent in Vermont and is presented with facts and examples proving the reality of advanced alien life forms; the evolving conclusion of the tale is perhaps predictable to a degree but the final revelation remains quite effective nonethless. I consider "The Shadow Out of Time," written very near the end of Lovecraft's too short life, to be his masterpiece, and it does effectively tie together many of the themes of cosmic horror and alien influence he devoted so much of his time to. A learned man loses almost five years of his life to amnesia, during which time a wholly secondary personality controls his body and masquerades as his old self. After he returns to his body, he continually dreams of a strange world in which he is a "monster" setting forth a record of earth's history. When he discovers a buried megalithic structure underneath the Australian desert corresponding exactly with his dream-images, he is faced with the realization that he underwent a transfer of consciousness with a Great Race of beings who garnered knowledge of space, time, and the universe eons before man's forebears crawled out of the earth's hot oceans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars H.P. LOVECRAFT A TRUE MASTER, 24 Aug 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre (Paperback)
I first read H.P. Lovecraft at the age of 8, and his stories profoundly influenced my view of the world, especially since I am from Rhode Island and know the land and people he describes very well. This anthology collects some of Lovecraft's finest work, the best of which takes the reader on a mental journey through incalculable aeons into the past. These stories make you think of just how small you are in the size of the universe. My favorites are definitely "The Dunwich Horror", "The Shadow Over Innsmouth", and the mind-boggling "The Shadow Out Of Time." I warn the uninitiated: these stories will keep you up at night. You won't be able to stop yourself from reading everything.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introduction to Lovecraft and supernatural Horror, 2 Mar 2004
By 
Mr. Jr Holt (WEYMOUTH, DORSET United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre (Paperback)
Hi,

I've only had this book for a few days now, but already i'm hooked. The book comprises 16 of Lovecraft's tales, each of varying lengths. Some are very short (The picture in the house, The outsider) but this is great as they can be read in an evening, just before you switch your light off and go to sleep - if you can!!! I read 'the rats in the walls' last night and then was up for an hour trying to ignore a strange creaking at the foot of my bed!!!
Can't wait to begin some of the longer, and more renowned tales like 'The dunwich horror'.
I heartily recommend this volume as a great introduction to the man and his works. There is an excellent forward by Bloch which helps you to understand the author's background and history.
Lovecraft has a great antiquated writing style which really adds to the arcane feel of his tales. First rate stuff 5*
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terror at its spine-chilling best, 31 Dec 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre (Paperback)
I started reading Lovecraft as a kid, before King started the modern resurgence of interest in horror. The more "new horror" that is published today, the more I appreciate Lovecraft's style, which is of course perfectly represented in this book. For those who prefer terrifying mood and atmosphere, with the height of the terror coming from your own imagination rather than spelled out in graphic, gory detail, Lovecraft is the author and this is the book. For those who are accustomed to the modern trend of shock-value splatterpunk horror, try this book and see if you don't find Lovecraft's more subtle brand of terror to be just as satisfying, if not more so. Absolutely recommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pure enjoyment, tainted by a few boring stories., 5 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre (Paperback)
Lovecraft, who probably influenced more writers than Poe, was a genius. His terrible vision of a world controlled by vast Gods with infinite powers shows up in works by Stephen King, Clive Barker, Brian Lumley, and most other modern horror writers. In this book,the greatest horror story ever, The Dunwich Horror, is collected along with The Colour Out of Space, another great tale. Unfortunally, some stories drown under the heavy weight of Lovecraft's highly purple descritions and get rather boring. One can only take so many stories about scholars digging too deep into things they shouldn't be tampering with.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A unique and haunting vision, 11 Nov 2005
By 
Peter Reeve (Thousand Oaks, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre (Paperback)
Like Poe, Lovecraft is best judged by his complete body of work rather than any one masterpiece. This collection contains his best-known stories and is a good place for newcomers to his work to start. Personally, I think his full-length novel "The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath" is the best thing he wrote and I would recommend you read that if you find you enjoy the stories here.
Thematically, his range is rather narrow; he developed a mythos involving primordial beings that lurk in Earth's depths and occasionally intrude into the present world. Almost all his work is a variation on that. Oddly (and ironically, given his name) erotic or romantic elements are entirely absent from his writing. It is as if he were asexual. His great strength is in his style, which is unfailingly elegant and has a musical quality to it. He was a great Anglophile and often employs British English spellings and usages. He is a pleasure to read, and has a unique voice and vision. All lovers of fantasy or horror fiction, or of fine writing, should sample Lovecraft.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep and Original, for the most part., 22 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre (Paperback)
If, when people speak of writing for the lowest common denominator, you are the person they're writing for, or if your idea of great fiction is the stuff that appeals to your basest emotions of lust, blood and action in the most shallow, contrived, and superficial manner possible, then this book is not for you, unless of course you're trying to atone for your literary sins. With the exception of "The Dunwich Horror" and "The Thing on the Doorstep", this collection of stories is among the greatest _literary_ outputs of horror fiction...Lovecraft has been called wordy, long, boring...but if you are truly an intelligent reader, you will, at the very least, realise that even if personally you don't like Lovecraft, this volume is still something extremely special, and very rare in the modern era. Lovecraft writes leisurely at first, he builds up the atmosphere convincingly, establishes a sense of not just the surroundings, but of cosmic outerness, and then slowly, he begins to shatter the reader's preconceptions about the nature of the universe, gradually building, actually describing and intimating the very nature and detail of the violation of natural law, until you can sense it, feel the cosmic forces pushing against you, and the final climax opens the gateway to the outer realms fully. Lovecraft does not write about people, and he does not write what was in his time pulp junk and which in our time is considered great writing; his task was to describe and reveal cosmic forces and outer hideousness, and his style reflects this, and fully complements his ideological position. If you find yourself best captivated by something deeper than Koontz or King, and are a sensitive mind, open to a world where anthropocentrism is dead and morality is a local phenomenon, where vast forces are depicted crushing down upon those who unwittingly have become aware of their presence....then this book is for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ten years of love for HP!, 2 Mar 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre (Paperback)
I bought this book when it first came out in 1987. I was curious about HP Lovecraft, and thought a general overview would be a good place to start. Ten years later, I still own that dog-eared, yellowed, well-thumbed book, and reread it often! Lovecraft's style combines the descriptive, chilling language of Poe with the shocking horror of Stephen King--the reader finds herself sucked into his narration all the way to the always creepy endings. I *highly* recommend this book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best horror writers of this century. . ., 20 Jun 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre (Paperback)
The works of H.P. Lovecraft are among the best horror writings ever written. His works inspired hundreds of modern authors, some of the most famous being Clive Barker, Robert Bloch, and Stephen King. I think that anyone with any interest in horror literature should check into the works of H.P. Lovecraft, because he was one of the original founders of the horror genre. Without him, the genre probably would never have reached the popularity that it has achieved.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of the Master of Horror, 14 Jun 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: The Best of H.P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre (Paperback)
Howard Phillips Lovecraft is truly the Master of Horror. His writings surpass the genius of Poe, and the dread terror evoked by his words leaves King far behind. Lovecraft preys upon the deepest fears of mankind... eldrich horrors of unfathomable evil. Enter the world of Lovecraft, but check your sanity at the door. "Ia, ia Yog-Sothoth!"
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