115 of 116 people found the following review helpful
on 12 April 2008
Wow. Wasn't expecting that much. This 900 pages book look so huge and is fantastic with the black leatherbound cover. When first opening it you got a Arkham map illustrated on the inside of the cover. All the great stories of H.P. Lovecraft are in there, even some poems. They all have the original published date and infos on them too. It's like a Lovecraft Encyclopedia! There are just enough illustrations and at the end you got a LONG biography of Lovecraft beautifully written. For this price it's a steal. I must stop writing now, Cthulhu calls me! GET IT!
(For the glue on the back sticker it's pretty easy to remove. First get the sticker off and then stick it again where there is glue remaining. Do that several times and all the glue will be removed)
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 18 April 2008
It appears that I, unlike the other reviewers of this book, am a new edition to the legions of Lovecraft fans that I had until recently been completely unaware of. I have long since been a fan of horror film and have read my fair share of such obvious novelists as King, but never could have dreamt of something as elegant and terrifying in the nowadays all too neglected medium of the written word.
The tome itself bleeds horror; the black leather cover (which alone would suggest a much higher price) and occasional illustrations and even the feel of the pages spark the imagination, but it is undoubtedly Lovecraft's own artful imagery and originality that would be expected long after his time makes this a vital part of the collection of not just any horror fan, but any literary enthusiast.
However, as has been said before me, the sticker is the one blight of this book, and you must be prepared for a strenuous battle. The glue! THE GLUE!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2011
Nothing much else to say what already hasn't been said to be honest. This is an incredible book of some of H.P Lovecraft's finest short story's. They are all different but most of them are connected into the 'Cthulu Mythos' which deals with entity's from other worlds, extra terrestrial and inter dimensional.
''Common themes in Lovecraft's fiction are the insignificance of humanity in the universe and the search for knowledge ending in disaster. Humans are often subject to powerful beings and other cosmic forces, but these forces are not so much malevolent as they are indifferent toward humanity. ''
You've got the terrific short story 'The Statement of Randolph Carter' at only 5 pages long, still manages to be highly creepy with the best end line I've ever read.
Then we have 'At the Mountains of Madness' at around 50 pages which centers on a groups expedition to the antarctic where they find that an ancient race once dwelled there.
You have tales about Rats, Cats, Aliens, and many other things to weird to mention!
Not one bad story here, and most of them are fantastic. I never thought that story's from nearly 100 years ago could be so thrilling and downright creepy, but i was proven wrong.
This is a must by for any fans of horror literature....
The end is near. I hear a noise at the door, as of some immense slippery body lumbering against it. It shall not find me. God, that hand! The window! The window!
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2012
A collection of the best of H P Lovecraft's tales, in a book which is well crafted and beautifully presented.
But the proof reading and sub-editing are abysmal.
Mostly just irritating typos; 'this' instead of 'his', 'flight' instead of 'light' and the word 'he' omitted in error. These 3 examples from one short story alone (The Haunter of the Dark). But in other places the errors are much more serious.
For example, this sort of sentence from 'Cool Air' "My amateur efforts, however, proved of no use; and when I had new piston would have to be obtained." (sic). Shoddy.
Although HPL wrote mostly for the pulp magazines he was a meticulous craftsman. It is as much his style and precision as the sweep of his imagination that make him the important, influential and popular writer that he remains.
He deserves more care than this.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HP Lovecraft is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential horror writers in the genre, and rightly so. Necronomicon is a collection of some of his best work; some 800 pages-worth of suspenseful stories and toe-curling tales. Whilst it doesn't include all of his 96 or so works, it does feature a significant number of them, starting with the shorter, more accessible stories and working up to the longer novellas, including The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath and The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, both of which are around 100 pages long. Lovecraft's work is beautifully written, and his language puts many writers today to shame.
Necronomicon's stories are tales of the unknown, with mysterious and horrible entities, re-animated corpses and odd cults all making appearances. The tales are slow-burners, ramping up the tension without revealing much, until the last minute. They're very satisfying to read, and it's a great genre. Whilst it might not be to everyone's tastes - it can sometimes feel slow and slightly arduous going, it can also be absolutely compelling.
At the end of the book, there's a brief biography of HP Lovecraft and an account of the writers, films and games that his writings have influenced - and it's a long list. The book itself is beautifully set out - it's a large, chunky, satisfying hardback with a few illustrations throughout. The one annoyance, which other reviews have touched upon, is the label on the back - it's quite hard to get off without leaving bits of itself still on the back cover!
44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2008
This is truly a most worthy edition of the master's tales - and the price is laughable! A bargain if there ever was one!
I must, however, give vent to my anger regarding one point. It would seem as though the fine people at Gollancz - unknowingly, I'm sure - have amongst their ranks a daemon! This fiend has revealed its presence to me by its ingenious manoeuvre of making sure that the sticker on the back of the book (combined price- and barcode sticker) has been applied using the most heinous kind of glue heretofore known to Man! Upon having removed the sticker, I found, much to my dismay that the slime, which lay hidden beneath, would not yield without a fierce fight; and it is with sore fingers I now write these words of warning. So either keep the sticker or be prepared to set aside some time for removing the glue.
In conclusion I'd like to express my hopes that Gollancz will follow up this release with similar editions of other authors such as, say, Clark Ashton Smith. Well, one can always hope ...
40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on 14 July 2010
The complaints about the sticker on the back cover draw attention away from a more obvious problem: the fact that the book is appallingly proofed and edited. The text is full of transpositions and typos. Now maybe this is down to it being lovingly reproduced from the original pulps and amateur press publications, but it still looks a bit shoddy next to the beautifully edited and annotated texts of the stories in the collections ST Joshi has put together for Penguin. A lot of people may take exception to August Derleth's overzealous editing of the '60s editions that were probably most UK readers' first encounter with Lovecraft, but at least they didn't have the last paragraph of The Call Of Cthulhu open with the phrase: "Gthulhu still lives..."
For a book costing this much, and which is obviously supposed to be a desirable and cherishable object and the definitive one volume Lovecraft collection, that's downright shoddy. I fear that Stephen Jones needs a good slapping, particularly when this book is compared to the rather finer job he did with the Conan centennial collection. It just looks half arsed. Docked two stars for this blatant contempt for both the author and the reader, which is a real flaw in otherwise beautifully presented collection. Unless you particularly want a one volume hardback, stick to the Penguins.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 October 2012
Lovecraft was well known for his zealous protection of his prose, and would rather have a tale go unpublished than for an editor to mess with his carefully crafted words.
However, for some reason the published of this particular collection decided to throw the budget at the faux leather cover (ruined by a sticker on the back which leaves a horrid residue when removed) and failed to employ anyone to proof read the text. So we have to endure typos and errors which should never have made it to the printing press.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2009
H.P. Lovecraft remains comparable only to Edgar Allan Poe as the most important American writer of the horror story, or as the subtitle of this exhaustive collection puts it, 'Weird Fiction.' To many readers part of Lovecraft's greatness lies in his creation of the 'Cthulhu Mythos' (though the term was coined by his best-known disciple August Derleth) about a pantheon of ancient and terrible deities that can sometimes be invoked by the foolhardy - usually with the aid of 'forbidden' tomes such as the 'Necronomicon' of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred. These loosely connected works of his have been influential on authors ranging from fellow contributors to the legendary pulp magazine Weird Tales, including Derleth, Clark Ashton Smith and Robert E. Howard, to contemporary masters of the genre such as Ramsey Campbell. This volume takes in all the short stories, novelettes and novellas he wrote that can be counted as belonging to the Cthulhu Mythos, along with even more that fall outside it, but work just as well as examples of the supernatural or macabre tale. Besides Poe, earlier writers whose influences can be detected include Ambrose Beirce, Lord Dunsany, Arthur Machen and Robert W. Chambers. An informative afterward by Stephen Jones places Lovecraft in the context of both the writer's own time and subsequent heritage, and completes the most essential volume extant devoted to a most original and strange imagination only now receiving more than cult recognition.