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The Best of H. P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 66 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted January 25, 2011

    A Great Introduction to Horror's Dean

    This was the book that gave me my first taste of Lovecraft. As such, it has an honored place on my shelves (both real and virtual). I read "The Rats in the Walls" first and decided afterward that I was going to have trouble sleeping (it was that scary). If one has never read HPL before (or perhaps is new to horror in general, which is even better), it's obvious why Lovecraft is the model/inspiration for all the other horror writers that came after, Stephen King included.

    This edition has a few minor content errors (the word "Indian" instead of "Italian" at one point in "The Haunter of the Dark" being an example) but I decided these were overshadowed by the excellent collection of stories. It's been almost a century since HPL did his work, but it's amazing how these tales are just as creepy today as they were when they were penned in a lonely Providence study.

    Recommended? Definitely!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2008

    The Horror writer!!! not just a horror writer.

    H.P. Lovercraft is incredible. the man new how to mess with your mind. the best author in the thriller/horror genres... well best author, lets just put it that way. if your a fan of perfect writing and heavy metal you'll love this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2007

    Amazing

    I recommend this to any Lovecraft fan or anyone who's into horror stories.Some of Lovecrafts best stories can be found here.They include 'The Call Of Cthulhu' , 'The Dunwich Horror' , 'The Haunter In The Dark' , 'The Thing On The Doorstep' , and 'The Shadow Over Innsmouth'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Good

    I liked this book enough to go and buy the complete fiction. I gave it four stars instead of five because some of the stories lead in obvious directions. I found myself anticipating the outcomes a few times without any real twists.
    I enjoyed reading it though and would say Lovecraft is now one of my favorite authors. Next up, Poe.

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  • Posted December 18, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    This book is the best in horror to date. It is a must read for lovers of true horror and the eerily strange. I recommend this read to true horror readers.

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  • Posted April 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Howard Phillips Lovecraft

    I love this book. Many of my all time favorite stories are contiained inside its very creepy cover. Many of Lovecraft's stories take place around New England and Westren Massachusetts.

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  • Posted March 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Classic horror

    I'm of two minds about H.P. Lovecraft. On the one hand, he's a classic, a master at creating grotesque, oppressive atmosphere, and I can see certain seeds of modern horror, science fiction, and even fantasy within his writing. But on the other hand, that writing is fixated on one set of ideas and themes, and his stories read as though they are slight variations on one another.

    Only occasionally in this collection was I surprised by a turn of events or eager to see how Lovecraft would resolve a conflict. Most of the time, I knew exactly what was going to happen, who would be involved, and how it would be described. There was only so much my appreciation for Lovecraft's technique and place in literary history could do to keep me engaged in the text.

    So, five stars in respect for that technique and impact on the writers that followed, but minus one star for not quite having that impact on me.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Brilliantly Wicked!

    Lovecraft surly knows how you give you the creeps. He is a genius when it comes to the macabre. His characters are always on the brink of hysteria and then always end in madness.
    <br>
    The Rats in the Walls.Egh! Creepy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2004

    The excellent horror.

    I was told about H.P. Lovecraft a year ago by my father, but never really bothered to look into him. This year, I finally began to read his work, and I wonder why I hesitated!!! This has got to be the greatest collection of horror tales that I have ever read, making Poe seem like a writer for children.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2004

    Not for me

    I purchased this book hoping it would have 'blood curdling tales.' In no way, shape or form, did it do such a thing for me - talk about boring.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2004

    Great Horror From An Obscure Master

    Writing in the '20s and '30s, and being marginalized by major publishers, H.P. Lovecraft was forced publish his work in various obscure pulp-horror magazines. Unfortunately, his talent as a writer of horror/science fiction wasn't recognized until after his death in the late 1930s, and it was only then that his friends were able to start their own independent publication of his work. Lovecraft's literary talent and the scope of his imagination are well presented in this collection of short stories. Lovecraft admired and emulated the work of Edgar Allan Poe and his short stories follow the same plot structures, themes, and prose as that of Poe's. The narrators are usually avid empiricists such as detectives or scientists who come face to face with the unexplainable. As the story progresses, the narrator's confidence in his logical reasoning or use of the scientific method clashes with the unknown, unfathomable, or unthinkable, and he eventually becomed mad or a nihilist. The stories are almost always in the form of a retrospective narrative whereby the author reassures the reader that he's not mad (i.e. 'After you read what I have to say you will see for yourself whether I'm truly mad...') Many of Lovecraft's stories consist of themes and plots of the occult and his own imagined mythology. Lovecraft developed a mythology (often referred to as the Ctulluh myths) about various races of amorphic aliens who came to live on Earth millions of years ago. Over time, these aliens fought each other and some were vanquished and sealed in their forgotten cities by magic rituals and symbols. Many of the cities, of non-euclidean geometry, are burried in deserts or in antarctic mountains while others lie beneath the sea. Although physically dead, these sentient beings remain active through phenomenal esp powers which they use to control humans. The 'gods' use the humans to spawn and/or to liberate themselves from their prisons. Inspired by his invented mythology of primordial alien creatures, Lovecraft wrote 'That is not dead which can eternal lie, yet in stranger eons even death may die.' So enjoy these wonderful short stories from the master of occult horror. If you love Poe, you will most certainly love Lovecraft.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2003

    sends desperate chills down your spin

    H.P Lovecraft is phenominal, the uniquness and disturbance put together in this novel is brilliant.It will have you on the edge of your bed.Be prepared..for a huge amount on your elctric bill, because you'll be having the lights on ALL the time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2003

    Lovecraft is the ultimate story teller!

    This is GREAT Horror! Lovecraft weaves short stories that you will never forget! Challenging & entertaining - if you like King you'll love Lovecraft!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2003

    The God among all Horror

    I was at a bookstore when i saw this and when i saw the cover my jaw dropped and i knew i had to get this book. This book puts together the elements of occultism, insanity, and fear of the unknown. Hp Lovecraft is a good break from the horror stories with a guy carrying a chainsaw. Lovecraft puts a chill down my spine like no other author. Every person i know who reads Lovecraft enjoyed the stories...even my teacher read some of my Lovecraft book to the class and famous horror writers and directers like Stepen King, Clive Barker, and John Carpenter think of his as an idol

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2003

    He Lived In Brooklyn

    This is the first H.P.Lovecraft collection I've ever read, and believe me, there are thrills and chills galore in this volume. Being a native of Brooklyn, I was especially intrigued by his knowledge of the history of of this Burrough - incredible - to think that I grew up two blocks away from Greenwood Cemetery! And there it was mentioned in one of his stories, along with other fimiliar haunts. His horror is quite brilliant, and draws much from the times before recorded history. It was as if there was a door or a secret well in his imagination that was opened to the 'The Dark Beings' that roamed the earth before humanity was born. And I did get the feeling that they are waiting... Just waiting for their time to come. The cracks are opening - will it be soon?!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2002

    DECENT

    GOOD scary stuff but it becomes a little monotonous. Color out of Space is a little different and therefore better I think.. THE THING is a film based on this story. I agree that HPL does make stuff "scary beyond telling" or other weak metaphors that just do not hit the nail on the head as far as scary stories are considered. He is a master but he lacks that scary detail in some stories and leaves them to the imagination. Maybe that makes them more believable and more frightening...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2002

    Very scary and event filled

    This one will keep you up at night. Only for those who are prepared to be scared!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2001

    HP Lovecraft: political activist disguised as a nerd

    This is a <1000 words summary of this book's review due to this site's restrictions. The complete essay is available for discussion on our website; address available upon request (posting here the web address is not allowed by Barnes & Noble). To summarise it all: Lovecraft is another nice piece of old, nasty anti-rationalist, anticapitalist and antiscientific ideology smuggled through vaguely 'new science' references. Lovecraft stories are unbelievably tedious. They are made up of few, recurring metaphors and boring repetition of patterns: 1) No plot other than the gradual (=pedagogic) discovery of a mysterious, hidden, static and pre-existing truth by one character. The main character in Lovecraft's stories doesn't ever DO anything: occasionally he will kill somebody (or eat him), but most of the time the only business or art in which Lovecraft's human characters are involved in is: GOING MAD; 2) 'Horror', 'terror'; 'terror', 'horror'; 'undefinable terror' and 'unthinkable horror'; 'horrific unspeakable' and 'terror with no name'; no metaphor, no synonyms, no images; total literary monotony and the lack of development; see later for the philosophical implications; 3) no plot, but a 'logical' coup-de-theatre: 'I finally realised' or 'I suddenly understood something that is better not known'. And the guy will never tell what it is! He will never name 'the thing' ('name' in proper terms. Calling it 'Zhulhuhtathothep' is not naming). Suspect: he has no way of telling what 'it' is, not because the author has 'too much' of a 'feverish' imagination, but because he has none. He lacks 'imagination' because his 'imagination' is really escape from mind (not a great way to create ideas and things). The refusal to create is indeed one of Lovecraft's explicit premises: the author doesn't really imagine anything: he dreams his stories: one hell of a devolution of responsibility to 'another' mind, of which the author is the servant and the mere instrument ('master' mind versus 'servant' mind: hu-ho: Plato, starting to show his ugly head). Lovecraft is in fact the translation into images of a stale philosophy. Lovecraft is: somebody who learned Plato through comic books, the 'spirit of the times' and lazy teachers. Isn't it cheap 'Plato-cliffnotes-for-dummies' (something like the Nietzsche-for-Soldiers of Nazi memory), to go on for two decades writing about 'another reality', 'otherworldly', which 'is not perceptible' through earthly, human, knowledge? And to rant about this knowledge belonging to 'pre-human Gods' who speak in tongues or through hieroglyphs? Gods who interfere with human minds only through priests (demons, Nyarlathoteps, you name them), or through dreams, intoxication or mystic experiences? Isn't this the oldest and cheapest way of bankrupting reason in the history of the Western thought: i.e., Plato's creation of a world forever beyond this world as a model for this world (as later updated in anti-enlightenment form by Kant and his followers)? * LOVECRAFT AND HORROR The most interesting issue is the relation between Lovecraft's adolescent Platonism and his easy recourse to 'terror'. Lovecraft writes in the '20s and '30s. Not the most banal decades in recent history, as far as the coexistence of horror, terror and advancements in science and technology is concerned. For all his adolescent self-pity, Lovecraft was never an outsider: he is one hundred per cent mainstream, he is a perfect example of the worst cultural tendencies of the decades in which he wrote his stories: irrationalism, mysticism, cult of evil, belief in the necessity of evil, hence therapeutic indulgence, intoxication, fascination for primitive art and cults. Well, after those two decades this cultural debacle certainly helped the reaction of better-trained, less whiny, more muscular and more focused irrationalists: Hitler and Stalin. Whose irrationalism and Platonic political dream thrived

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2001

    Lovecraft=GOD

    Howard Phillips Lovecraft may very well be the best horror writer ever. Every single one of his stories has a unique frightening quality. The subject of his storys go from strange hallucinations to aliens. The wisperer in the darkness makes any episode of the x-files sound like a disney story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2001

    Crazy bad(really scary and freaky, but good) stories

    This has some really cool stories and scary stories. I like the Call of Cthulhu the best but they are all really good. Perfect for someone just starting to read H.P. Lovecraft.

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