on 5 January 2014
Until I read the other reviews I must confess I hadn't noticed how many typographical errors were in the text, I don't think it affected my enjoyment but upon reflection there are a lot. Likewise the sticker on the back not removing cleanly was annoying but not a major issue for me.
Despite owning this a while now I am still less than half-way through, and so my comment may not be reflective of the entire book, but for some reason I find it a slightly hard read. The quality of the writing and the groundbreaking nature of Lovecraft's work is undeniable but I don't think it will be entirely to everyone's taste. The stories tend to build slowly and have a relatively short final act. It may be a case of having had overly high expectations but I bought the book thinking that I would love every word and rip through it in no time but it hasn't turned out that way. I find many of the stories a little similar in both their structure and subject matter, and due to the short nature of each one this was a problem for me. If I read two or more stories in the same sitting I definitely lost some of the pleasure. I am now reading it slowly, perhaps one short story a week or even less, and finding it much more enjoyable to do that and spend a bit more of the time that I would have normally spent reading reflecting on the story. I suppose that is not really a problem and in a way it is merely me trying to prolong a good experience, but I am more used to reading large chunks (200+ pages) of books at a time and the time flying by. That wasn't how I found this at all. I would still highly recommend it though.
I did also appreciate the included biography which overall made this a really comprehensive experience of an essential part of horror fiction history. I usually find them superfluous and often fawning, but I really enjoyed this one and recommend skipping to the end to read it before the main text. I found it particularly interesting that contemporary readers of Lovecraft's stories would probably have been exposed to his works the way I ended up reading this compilation, i.e. in installments.
on 21 August 2009
This is a good anthology of Lovecraft's work, but mind!
Some of the reviews make it seem as if it was the complete collection of his novels, which it is not.
(I'm still looking for one)
But it looks fabulous, there is a just dose of atmospheric illustrations and in short: it is certainly worth it's price !
It's big. It's black. It's full of H. P. Lovecraft's peculiarly florid tales of the macabre, gruesome and Gothic. Need one say more? Well, perhaps a little. Lovecraft is, perhaps, best known as the inventor of the world's most famous non-existent book, The Necronomicon, a magical grimoire supposed to be the work of 'the mad Arab,' al Hazred. Despite not existing, the Necronomicon became highly sought after and widely believed in by occultists and other such gullible folk. Not surprising then that the publishers chose it as the title for this collection of Lovecraft's tales.
Here you'll find most of Lovecraft's better known stories, including, of course, all those that feature the Necronomicon and Lovecraft's 'Cthulu Mythos' that formed the background to the mythical book, a mythos in which we all teeter on the edge of an abyss beyond which tentacled creatures of pure evil reach out towards us through the Stygian darkness. If this sort of thing appeals to you, you're in for a huge, black-bound treat as you peruse the fearful pages of this dread and weighty tome.
My son, a massive Lovecraft fan, adds that the illustrations are quite fetching but used rather sparingly and lacking in variation of tone, though not to the extent of becoming too repetitive.
on 28 June 2013
As a person HP Lovecraft was not the sort of man you would enjoy a drink with. Controversial in his racist and anti-Semitic views (even by the standards of the era he lived in) he was the living example of a man's nature reflecting his work. The author Michael Moorcock is quoted as saying that the secret to Lovecraft's success is that everybody else is a better writer than him, that the reader fills the gaps of Lovecraft's writing by the employment of his own imagination. While this may be true to an extent, there is no denying that these are great stories. The language is rich and detailed, springing from a deep well of imagination. The book looks imposing on the bookshelf, and seems to dominate other books (not a bad trait for a work of horror)
Lovecraft's influence on modern horror should not be underestimated, many of the themes and ideas we take for granted spring from his works. Leaving aside these considerations, you are left with a body of work that fires the imagination, is great value for money (thank you Amazon discounts) and is hugely entertaining. For the horror fan, I cannot praise this book any higher.
on 11 November 2010
This is a valiant effort to bring together all the greatest works of the master of all that is weird. It's certainly better than cluttering up the shelves with umpteen smaller books. However, it's a bit like the curate's egg - good in parts. What weakens it as a definitive collection is the inclusion of a small number of less good stories - earlier ones when Lovecraft was still refining his craft; some of these lack any real suspense, horror or shock, with very predictable denouements - "The Outsider", for example. "Completeness" will not do as an excuse, because some stories are missing - "The Picture in the House" and "The Terrible Old Man", for example.
My real criticism of the collection, though, is the editing; Mr Jones needs tp find a better proofreader. There are a large number of typos, mainly the sort that would not be picked up by a spellchecker because they are real words - just the wrong ones. In stories which work best when the reader has pushed his suspension of disbelief to the limits and deeply immersed himself in the narrative, these errors are extremely distracting and annoying.
Otherwise, a great collection.
on 14 January 2009
A superb anthology of Lovecraft's tales, beautifully bound. It even feels impressive as you take this darkling tome from it shelf, to gaze with widened eyes at the horrors blasphemously described therein (whoops, getting carried away there!)
Seriously, if you are a fan of Lovecraft you will already have collections containing the stories featured here, but even then, this book is still well worth buying.
Keep the paperbacks for when you travel, keep THIS one in the home.
on 27 August 2010
The book itself is well produced, a reasonably large readable font and covers all the major works of HP with a detailed biography of the man and the literary legacy he left.
There are some minor typos and the price label at the rear of the end board is surmountable as an issue but overall these do not detract seriously from the publication.
For any one wanting a glimpse of what can be achieved without resorting to the slightly limp depictions of more contemporary authors HP delivers the goods, particularly as he depicts a antediluvian collection of gods and lesser entities not as spectral or mystical beings but rather as the faded presence of ancient and as far as mankind is concerned malign races.This literary jump from the cosy world of fairy tale critters to something that sits on the edge of reality and science is what makes these tales more compelling.Its the type of content that would find itself on blogs or conspiracy websites if the same material was written now and might be taken as seriously as some take the Blair Witch Project even now.
on 28 September 2008
I bought this recently, having never read (but often heard about) Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos.
I'm only about a third of the way through, but it seems pretty good (although the author does seem to have swallowed a thesaurus - and a particularly gibbous and over-nourished one at that, most likely recovered from some Stygian Pit that the mortal mind was not meant to know of). Plus, he does have some rather - ahem - "old fashioned" attitudes to race and class that can seem rather jarring to a modern reader.
This particular edition also does, unfortunately, have a number of typos in the text, some of which ("Necroriomicon", "clay" instead of "day", and "Gthulhu") suggest to me that the publishers had the original text scanned and digitised, but imperfectly. (I'm keeping a note of them as I find them, and will inform the publishers when I've finished the book).
Still, all said, I don't regret getting the book, and if you don't mind those faults, I'd certainly recommend this to anyone interested in the genera.
on 23 April 2012
This book contains most (not all) of H.P. Lovecraft's work...rest assured, the ones left out aren't the best bits at all. If you want the complete collection (includes lots of poems) buy "Eldritch Tales: A Miscalleny of the Macabre" IN ADDITION to this.
Now, let's move on to the review of this book.
I love H.P. Lovecraft's work, this is not even up for debate. He is one of the founding fathers of suspense in literature. However, the sole reason why I only give this book 3 stars is because of something that deeply makes me cringe and almost pull my hair out:
The abundance of spelling mistakes.
Yes, the print is small. Yes, this book has about one thousand pages. And yes, telling somebody to proof read it would drive him insane just like most characters in Lovecraft's stories. However, this is standard procedure is most published books, I don't know why it was omitted here. Heck - a team of 10 people could have divided the book into segments and proof-read it in a short time, but NO, didn't happen.
You're right in the middle of a scary story when all immersion is broken by a blatant spelling mistake...and there's quite a lot, so this is very, very disappointing to me, given that otherwise, I love the Necronomicon so much.
Three stars for the leather-bound hardback book at such an amazingly affordable price, but two stars won't be given for the spelling mistakes.
on 22 September 2010
Was very impressed when I received the leather bound book in the post. Very attractive and high quality. I've just started reading the book and I can't believe I waited this long to read this! The writing is absolutely incredible and it really sucks you in and takes your mind to strange, weird places. Highly recommended!