on 16 May 2012
The copy I received is the corrected edition (2011). In the book, Barnes & Noble give thanks to Martin Andersson for his help in correcting the text. There is one glaring error still to be corrected and that is that the contents page states there is an "about the author" section on page 1099. Unfortunately, the book only goes up to page 1098 and so no such section is to be found (see the 2 photos; the first shows the contents page stating About the Author being on page 1099; the second shows the last page of Supernatural Horror in Literature and then there's the blue endpaper). It doesn't really matter because S. T. Joshi's Introduction does the job very nicely.
There are some things to note.
Firstly, this is not strictly "the complete fiction" and it would have more accurate (truthful) to call it "The Collected Fiction" - because `Collected' usually denotes that items may have been omitted. As one reviewer has written, the story fragment "The Thing in the Moonlight" is missing. I've noted that the story "Poetry and the Gods" is missing too. The book includes one story written in collaboration with another writer and excludes all the other collaborations by Lovecraft. It hasn't been unusual for a book of Lovecraft's fiction to include a chronological list of his fiction. You won't find one here, perhaps because it would highlight what was missing from a book described as `complete.' No explanation is given for the omissions. Another reviewer here gives a useful full list of contents of this book.
Secondly, despite being part of Barnes & Noble's `leatherbound' classics this edition is not leatherbound. It's not even clothbound. It appears to be boards covered in a thick, tough bookbinding paper. Because I didn't buy this book as a `collectable' item, but merely for the convenience of having one book with as many of Lovecraft's stories in it as possible, the points mentioned are not a big deal - but it might be for others so I have noted them here.
All in all, it's a handy convenient edition to read `most' of Lovecraft's fiction, especially as the price I bought it at was a greatly reduced one.
on 21 July 2011
This is a wonderful book that has been highly flawed by a curious incident wherein it was not proofread by Stefan at Barnes & Noble. S. T. Joshi was hired by Arkham House to edit the Corrected Text editions, which are based on S. T.'s examination of the actual Lovecraft mss at John Hay Library and thus restore the fiction exactly as Lovecraft originally wrote it. The amazing Martin Andersson has gone over the texts in this edition and corrected thousands of errors, and his corrections will be used in the newest edition of this book when it is reprinted around September of 2011.
With this book, the amazing leading expert on H. P. Lovecraft has assembled all of Lovecraft's fiction that he wrote on his own, with only one collaboration (with E. Hoffmann Price). S. T. has written a superb Introduction for the book, and then each tale is prefaced by a wee note concerning the writing of the story, date publish'd, &c. The contents of the books is:
The Beast in the Cave
A reminiscence of Dr. Samuel Johnson
Beyond the Wall of Sleep
The Transition of Juan Romero
The White Ship
The Doom That Came to Sarnath
The Statement of Randolph Carter
The Terrible Old Man
The Cats of Ulthar
Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family
The Picture in the House
The Nameless City
The Quest of Iranon
The Other Gods
The Music of Erich Zann
What the Moon Brings
The Lurking Fear
The Rats in the Walls
Under the Pyramids
The Shunned House
The Horror at Red Hook
In the Vault
The Call of Cthulhu
The Silver Key
The Strange High House in the Mist
The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
The Colour out of Space
History of the Necronomicon
The Very Old Folk
The Dunwich Horror
The Whisperer in Darkness
At the Mountains of Madness
The Shadow over Innsmouth
The Dreams in the Witch House
Through the Gates of the Silver Key (with E. Hoffmann Price)
The Thing on the Doorstep
The Evil Clergyman
The Shadow out of Time
The Haunter of the Dark
The Little Glass Bottle
The Secret Cave
The Mystery of the Grave-yard
The Mysterious Ship [short version]
The Mysterious Ship [long version, publish'd herein for the very first time]
Discarded draft of "The Shadow over Innsmouth"
Supernatural Horror in Literature
It's quite wonderful to have the rare and playful "History of the Necronomicon" now included in a definitive edition of Lovecraft's Tales. The stories here have been publish'd in the order that Lovecraft wrote them, and thus read in order they shew how he progress'd as an author. The discarded draft for "The Shadow over Innsmouth" is fascinating in that it provides the narrator's name and includes scenes that were not incorporated in the final story.
Many of the corrections in the texts are wee grammatical things, but Derleth and his scribes were very poor at reading Lovecraft's handwriting and many many errors of words were included in the Derleth editions. Also, Derleth would do strange things such as alter the paragraphing in stories such as "At the Mountains of Madness" and "The Shadow out of Time." And there is Derleth most infamous error, where at the climax of "The Haunter of the Dark" he has "titan blue" whereas Lovecraft wrote "titan blur." My one disagreement with S. T. is his insistence on not including "The Thing in the Moonlight." The tale as we have it is compos'd of a letter that Lovecraft wrote to Donald Wandrei. A young chap obtained this letter and wrote a beginning and end to Lovecraft's letter and sent it to Derleth as a newly found Lovecraft tale. But the main core of this wonderful story is indeed by Lovecraft, and is quite effective. It should be included, as was another letter that is printed as the story "The Evil Clergyman."
These are the tales that Lovecraft wrote on his own. Lovecraft's collaborations and revisions are a separate thing. S. T. has edited and annotated the revisions in two volumes for Arcane Wisdom Press, the first volume of which will be published this year.
on 13 January 2015
A sturdily bound and beautifully presented collection of macabre tales from the outright master of the genre. I have all of Lovecraft's work in three paperback volumes so I had no need to buy this for myself. However, I bought this for my mother on request and she is delighted with the quality of the book, the box it comes in, and the wonderfully hideous stories inside.
She has yet to appreciate, however, that prolonged exposure to the wretched contents of this loathsome volume will, given time, produce a creeping disorientation in her perception of reality, one which, if left to fester, will as surely as the hollow moon casts its sickly glow upon the fetid earth below, result in a permanent madness of the ghastliest kind imaginable.
On a more prosaic note, at under £20 this book is an outright bargain and is proof, if ever there were any needed, that there is plenty of life left in physical books as opposed to their ever-so-convenient, but utterly soulless digital counterparts.
I feel sure that if Lovecraft were alive today he'd create a tale in which purveyors of digital books would be condemned to an eternity of unspeakable horrors inside the bowels of some hitherto unknown abomination, summoned under the will of Lucifer himself to lay waste to the medium once and for all!
Personally speaking, I do enjoy reading a good book on my tablet, which no doubt explains my recent, dreadful nightmares and the complete sense of foreboding that accompanies me during the twilight hours before I temporarily depart this earthly plane.
If these unsavoury manifestations are a truly a portent of things to come, then my soul is already dead. No god can save me now!
on 17 November 2014
This is essentially the entirety of H.P. Lovecraft's work compiled into one colossal slab of a book, and a truly glorious book it is.
Having never read any of the author's fiction beforehand but heard many great things, I began my reading with rather lofty expectations. So far, what I've read has exceeded those expectations. The short stories and the novella which make up this book strike me as extremely original and well written, and the writing style, although a bit difficult to grasp for people of lesser diction such as myself, is charmingly archaic. Old fashioned to a point where it'll teach you a few new words, but won't leave you scratchin your head in confusion
Now, I rarely give much attention to the quality of the book itself (e.g. binding), or other frivolous things such as packaging and the like, but here it simply demands attention. The book itself is hardcover with a cloth surface which feels wonderful to hold and a ribbon for keeping your page. Lovely. The artwork on the box is well-drawn and has a nice sheen to it. Knickerbocker Classics spared no expense here.
For lovers of weird fiction or supernatural horror I can fully recommend.
on 6 December 2014
Unbelievably fine edition, thick card slipcase, spot varnish printing, cloth covered book, silk book ribbon and - joy of joys - it's stitched not glued, i.e. a *proper* hardback, not a paperback in a card cover! Large, thick book, quality paper, beautifully designed and typeset. Oh, and it's full of H.P. Lovecraft - arguably the finest and weirdest fantasy writer of all time. What's not to like. A bargain
on 26 March 2015
What an amazingly presented book. I asked a freind of mine how much they thought i had paid for it, they thought at least £30.00. That in itself explains the beauty of this book. It is all you want from a book by Lovecraft and more. I cannot express how amazing it is to be in possession of this tomb and would recommend it again, again and again.
I was going to buy this book after I saw it in a well known bookshop chain(H2o stones)at the price of £25,but the Amazon price is such a brilliant bargain it's irresistible.Of course,I have numerous copies of HPL's works,most latterly the Gollancz book,which sadly suffers now from yellowed and foxed pages after only 18 months,and have been looking for a copy to keep--well,this is it.It is MOSTLY complete,shame some of the collaborative material is missing(The Loved Dead still has the power to distrurb)and what is missing I already own anyway.But as a nice book for your shelves,look no further.
I find all other writers in the mixed genres of sf and horror and pure horror to pale in comparison to HPL,with the sole exception of Clark Ashton Smith,friend and stable mate of the great man.
If only someone would do for CAS what has been done for HPL!There are the small publishing house efforts,but the typos are considerable,and I resent paying top price for poorly proof read works,especially as they purport to "definitive".
But having said all that,Lovecraft is unbeatable.The modern reader may find him a little wordy and hard going,but for all of us fans,he has a style that is easily recognisable,often copied,but never matched.
Anyone who hasn't read HPL,you are to be envied your introduction,those who are long time readers,this is a really classy volume to own.
At this price,it is surely not even worth a second thought--add to basket now!
on 10 July 2015
It was delivered a few days late, but was completely worth the wait. it has the more short stories than advertised and I was very pleased with this. The packing could have been more protective as the book it heavy and could have been easily damaged, luckily it wasn't. I'm very pleased about ordering this. Such a good price for what you get and I am looking forward to reading this collection.
on 17 March 2013
Some previous reviews had caused me to delay in my purchase of this very fine and beautifully presented book. I read of spelling mistakes and a cover that was card rather than leather. In actual fact...there are no more spelling errors than you find in the average book of this size, and they certainly do not spoil the flow of the stories. As for the cover - it's real leather all right. You can't mistake the smell for anything else.
As for H.P Lovecraft's stories: I am quite a new fan of this author. I heard both "The Mountains Of Madness" and "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" on the radio, and was swept away by the tense and fantastic atmosphere shadowing both tales. Finally, I could not content myself with 'listening again' to just these two works. I had to read more! And I have not regretted a moment of it!
Although, I have not yet finished reading this book, Lovecraft has impressed me with his amazing ability to describe with terrifying effect, and yet continue to carry the story along at a good, even pace. Usually, I have a habit of skipping bits of action to reach the exciting conclusion. But not this book. No, I wanted to read every line, soak up every detail. Without doubt, he is a true master of his art as well as his genre. And whereas most modern horror authors carelessly throw bucketfuls of gore about, Lovecraft can chill the soul with a single drop of blood. He touches on realms we dare not think of, shouldn't think of, or are totally incapable of thinking of! And yet, the behaviour of his central characters is still rooted in normality, responding in a real-world sense - rather than in the Hollywood-style, zero to hero, let's-grab-a-Sherman-Tank-and-blast-it-to-kingdom-come kind of way. (That's so annoying, isn't it?)
And Lovecraft did not just dwell in the world of horror. He also had a fascination for the dream world too, his stories steering towards an early form of the sci-fi genre.
Excellent stuff! It will have you checking for monsters under your bed!
I have just finished reading this book throughout. When writing the above review, I thought this was a collection of mostly unrelated stories that encompassed the horror/fantasy genre. But it's much more than that! What this vastly under-rated author wrote was a single story, breaking it into many facets, telling the tales of a great many people as they see and experience the same threat in different ways around the world. Clever and far ahead of its time. I wonder that American literary critics do not praise this author more highly.
on 8 November 2015
HP Lovecraft created his own mythos of a world which had been visited by the ‘Old Ones’ who had visited the earth in the distant past and the outer deities who could be glimpsed in dream or vision. There were also the Elder Ones who rule chaos, led by the blind idiot Azathoth, worshipped to the blare of a demonic flute. After experimenting along the style of Lord Dunsany and Poe, he developed his theme along with the various ways in which mankind have come into contact with the dreaded beings in lonely places such as bleak hills of New England, the depths of the sea or in the frozen wastes of Antarctica. Men mad enough could reach the Outer Ones via the dreadful grimoire ‘Necronomicon’ written by the mad Arab Abdul Alhazrad. While this ‘Cthulu Mythos’ dominated much of his writing and became somewhat repetitive, his stories have a haunted and credible quality which make them unsettling. While relying on magazines to publish his short stories, he did write three novels on his pet themes – ’The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath’ in his best Dunasanian style; ‘The Case of Charles Dexter Ward’, a successful novel of conjuration and possession and ‘At The Mountains of Madness’, a confrontation with the Old Ones in the gigantic mountains of Antarctica. Lovecraft’s writing has placed him among the masters of supernatural fiction and while the width of his imagination might not have equalled other masters such as Poe, his work is a must for anyone interested in weird literature.