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Classic Horror Stories: Five-Book Bundle by [Various Authors]
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Classic Horror Stories: Five-Book Bundle Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Review

[Luckhurst] furnishes a satisfyingly wide-ranging introduction that situates Lovecraft's work in relation to his scientific materialist views and his rather chilly stance of "cosmic indifferentism". (Julian White, Times Literary Supplement)

For those interested in Lovecraft but unsure of where to start, this book rolls out the welcome mat. Highly recommended for both new readers and seasoned veterans with an eye toward literary curatorship. (Booklist)

About the Author

H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) was an American author of horror, fantasy, and science fiction, known as 'weird fiction'. He published primarily in the pulp magazine Weird Tales and attracted a cult following. He wrote in the Gothic tradition, creating a profound sense of dread, and of contact with unknown spheres and powers. He created the Cthulhu Mythos, a series of interconnected fictions featuring creatures from human prehistory, and the Necronomicon, a fictional textbook of magical rites and forbidden lore. He has influenced writers such as Robert Bloch and Stephen King, and film-makers such as David Lynch. Roger Luckhurst is the author of The Invention of Telepathy (OUP, 2002), Science Fiction (Polity Press, 2005), The Trauma Question (Routledge, 2008), and The Mummy's Curse: The True History of a Dark Fantasy (OUP, 2012). He is an expert on science fiction and Gothic literature, publishing widely and broadcasting regularly on these topics. For Oxford World's Classics he has edited Late Victorian Gothic Tales, Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, James's Portrait of a Lady, and Stoker's Dracula.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4161 KB
  • Print Length: 496 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPerennial Classics (18 Mar. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IRDG7D6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #404,231 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a good scholarly edition of a collection of Lovecraft's `weird' stories edited and with an excellent introductory essay by Roger Luckhurst. Written in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, these stories have long had a cult following but it's only fairly recently (the last forty or so years) that they have been taken more seriously. Mingling gothic with the decadent and what we would now call science fiction, these aren't supernatural in a ghosts `n' vampires way, and instead conjure up images of decay, disgust, insanity and a kind of existential horror.

Greatly influenced by the intellectual climate in which he was living - the challenges of Darwin to the biblical narrative of man's place in the world; the degeneration and racial theories that at least partly sprang from theories of evolution; the growth of scientific knowledge and questions of alien life from space - Lovecraft fuses science and the idea of something far more visceral and `primitive' to inform his own visions of transcendental horror, especially in the Cthulhu stories.

I'd never read Lovecraft before so this was the perfect introduction. With nine long-ish stories plus Lovecraft's own essay on the supernatural in fiction, this is an excellent edition for new and existing readers.
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By Grr VINE VOICE on 30 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This handsome and well presented book brings to mind Greatest Hits albums by major recording artists. Selecting a handful of stories from a larger body of work is always leaving yourself open to criticism if someone disagrees with the choices of what went in and what was left out.

Happily the publisher here has selected nine stories from Lovecraft's collection that most fans would agree represent the master of the weird tale in the best light. The selection contains his better known works, focussing on the Cthulu Mythos and some of the Necronomicon referencing tales. As a place to start these are probably the best stories to get stuck into.

The book is well made with good binding and quality paper and comes with an interesting introduction by Roger Luckhurst who discusses the tales place in the literary landscape.

Of the tales included my personal favourites are 'The Dunwich Horror', 'Call of Cthulu' and the 'At the Mountains of Madness' which, from looking at other reviews, are probably the most loved of all his stories. I'd have enjoyed an excuse to re-read 'Herbert West: Reanimator' or 'The Lurking Fear' but can't say I'd replace any of those included with these choices.

If you enjoy these, do seek out the rest of Lovecraft's work - Wordsworth's Mystery and The Supernatural range have three volumes of Lovecraft's tales available at very cheap prices or some can be found online for free.

To have a good copy of stories you will likely wish to read and read again, for the current price, this book is a steal.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm a great fan of the 'weird fiction' genre and H. P. Lovecraft was undoubtedly one it's most influential writers. I'm particularly impressed that this compilation has been published by Oxford University Press which lends an air of credibility to his work.

There are nine stories:-

The Horror at Red Hook, The Call of Cthulhu, The Colour out of Space, The Dunwich Horror, The Whisperer in Darkness,
At the Mountains of Madness, The Dreams in the Witch House, The Shadow over Innsmouth, The Shadow out of Time.

Plus an appendix; Introduction from 'Supernatural Horror in Literature'.

I particularly enjoyed the opening introduction from Roger Luckhurst which is packed full of background information about Lovecraft and his work. An excellent place to start if you're new to this author and want to find out more. Lovecraft does divide opinion. His 'neurotic' writing style and constant striving to escape into other worlds, other realities, isn't for everyone. If you're hoping for a collection of standard, or contemporary, horror stories you're in for a surprise.

The book runs to a total 487 pages and the quality of presentation, hardback edition, superb.
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By scoon2 VINE VOICE on 23 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
HP Lovecraft's tales of horror have stood the test of time well and this collection of stories really get your imagination working.
My favourite is The Dunwich Horror which is just a great thrilling tale.
Well worth your time.
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By FictionFan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This book brings together some of HPL's stories published from about 1926 onwards. Each story is extensively and interestingly annotated to tell when it was written, where published and how it fits in not just to HPL's own "Cthulhu Mythos" but also the wider landscape of "weird tales". There is also an excellent introductory essay by Roger Luckhurst which tells us about HPL's life and puts his work into the context of the period in which he was writing. Luckhurst's argument in part is that, love him or hate him, HPL has remained an influence on writers of weird fiction up to the present day. He credits HPL with being one of the main writers who moved horror away from the human-centric gothic tale, with its vampires, crucifixes and garlic, to a universe where man is an insignificant and helpless part of a greater whole.

I admit it - I thought the stories ranged from loathsomely mediocre to hellishly poor myself, (even though I've always been partial to mushrooms). Luckhurst quotes Edmund Wilson on the subject of HPL's tendency never to use one overblown adjective when four would do..."Surely one of the primary rules for writing an effective tale of horror is never to use any of these words - especially if you are going, at the end, to produce an invisible whistling octopus." My feelings precisely!

However, whether a fan of HPL's style or not, the introductory essay and annotations provide interesting insights into a genre that has had considerable influence over the years and those alone make the book a worthwhile read, hence my four star rating.

NB This book was provided for review by the publisher.
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