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The Essential H.P. Lovecraft Collection

Average Rating 4
( 153 )
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(79)

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(33)

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(25)

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(11)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Creepy and Satisfyingly Scary!

This book is a terrific deal and steal for anyone interested in classic horror and sci-fi. I'd heard of HP Lovecraft and knew, generally, that he is one of the grandfathers of those two genres, but I'd never read him before. I'd seen somewhere recently that his story "M...
This book is a terrific deal and steal for anyone interested in classic horror and sci-fi. I'd heard of HP Lovecraft and knew, generally, that he is one of the grandfathers of those two genres, but I'd never read him before. I'd seen somewhere recently that his story "Mountains of Madness" was the base upon which the movie "The Thing" was created. John Carpenter's 1980's remake was the first hardcore horror movie I ever saw as a kid, and still lives in a dark, shadowy, and very cold place in my memories.

"Mountains of Madness" was written in the '30s. The early 20th century represented a golden age of exploration and discovery. Both poles were "captured"; jungle pyramids and ancient hideaways were discovered galore. Newspapers, newsreels and books were filled with adventure and the promise of something new that tended to be very old. It's in this context that Lovecraft's narrator visits Antarctica and makes a discovery of something of incomparably ancient. It tells the previously untold story of an Antarctic scientific mission gone horribly wrong and is crafted from the perspective of a scientist who was involved in the mission and who's desperate to warn off future efforts to investigate the strange goings-on.

A fascination and passion with exploration and discovery comes clearly through Lovecraft's writing. Lovecraft repeatedly refers to the "Cyclopean" sized objects in the Antarctic...a term used by Hiram Bingham in describing the first Inca-carved stone blocks he discovered in Peru. He even compares one of the ancient discoveries as looking like Machu Picchu.

The richly detailed story is thick with mood- and scene-setting. The story builds slowly and Lovecraft incorporates well-timed and teasing foreshadowing that frames a downright creepy story. More than once, I found myself jumping with shock at a startling noise when reading the story alone at night.

This story collection also includes "Call of the Cthulhu" - another foundational story and theme from Lovecraft. "Mountains of Madness" is a longish short story...about 100 pages total. "Cthulhu" is much shorter, at only about 25 pages, but paints an amazing portrait of an ancient supernatural underwater beast come to life in modern times.

Both stories build extensive myths around fictional beings and religion. The ideas behind the myth-building are very realistic, and go a long way to feed the terrifically detailed stories. Both are presented from an investigative perspective, which builds the stories and characters well and includes deftly developed foreshadowing that intensifies the drama and tension while avoiding details that give too much away. They're creepy, moody and satisfyingly scary.

posted by JGolomb on December 2, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

What a rip!

I paid the 99 cents for the book, but when I downloaded it on my reader it asked for a credit card number in order to open it. 99 cents isn't much, but no way am I paying twice for the same book!

posted by SalemPoe on December 9, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 155 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 8
  • Posted December 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Creepy and Satisfyingly Scary!

    This book is a terrific deal and steal for anyone interested in classic horror and sci-fi. I'd heard of HP Lovecraft and knew, generally, that he is one of the grandfathers of those two genres, but I'd never read him before. I'd seen somewhere recently that his story "Mountains of Madness" was the base upon which the movie "The Thing" was created. John Carpenter's 1980's remake was the first hardcore horror movie I ever saw as a kid, and still lives in a dark, shadowy, and very cold place in my memories.

    "Mountains of Madness" was written in the '30s. The early 20th century represented a golden age of exploration and discovery. Both poles were "captured"; jungle pyramids and ancient hideaways were discovered galore. Newspapers, newsreels and books were filled with adventure and the promise of something new that tended to be very old. It's in this context that Lovecraft's narrator visits Antarctica and makes a discovery of something of incomparably ancient. It tells the previously untold story of an Antarctic scientific mission gone horribly wrong and is crafted from the perspective of a scientist who was involved in the mission and who's desperate to warn off future efforts to investigate the strange goings-on.

    A fascination and passion with exploration and discovery comes clearly through Lovecraft's writing. Lovecraft repeatedly refers to the "Cyclopean" sized objects in the Antarctic...a term used by Hiram Bingham in describing the first Inca-carved stone blocks he discovered in Peru. He even compares one of the ancient discoveries as looking like Machu Picchu.

    The richly detailed story is thick with mood- and scene-setting. The story builds slowly and Lovecraft incorporates well-timed and teasing foreshadowing that frames a downright creepy story. More than once, I found myself jumping with shock at a startling noise when reading the story alone at night.

    This story collection also includes "Call of the Cthulhu" - another foundational story and theme from Lovecraft. "Mountains of Madness" is a longish short story...about 100 pages total. "Cthulhu" is much shorter, at only about 25 pages, but paints an amazing portrait of an ancient supernatural underwater beast come to life in modern times.

    Both stories build extensive myths around fictional beings and religion. The ideas behind the myth-building are very realistic, and go a long way to feed the terrifically detailed stories. Both are presented from an investigative perspective, which builds the stories and characters well and includes deftly developed foreshadowing that intensifies the drama and tension while avoiding details that give too much away. They're creepy, moody and satisfyingly scary.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 18, 2011

    An amazing value awaits you.

    This a very good deal. 822 pages of classic horror for 99 cents. A great collection of Lovecraftian lore, with all his most famous stories, such as The Call of Cthulhu and The Dunwich Horror await you.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 23, 2011

    Very Good Bargain

    To get this many stories for 1.05 w tax is a great deal; although I find some of his writing to be redundant and at times draggy. He does paint a very vivid picture that tend to "stick" with you long after you have fininshed reading.

    I would recomend this for any fan of classic horror fiction.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Great read

    Great stories. I give it 4 out of 5 due to some blank pages between chapters/stories.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 27, 2012

    Horror Classic. Period.

    I started with "The Call of Cthulhu" and instantly became a lovecraft fan. Then I read "At the Mountains of Madness" put my understanding of lovecraft mythos in perspective. Great collection.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    Good Lovecraft collection

    This is a pretty good collection of Lovecraft stories and it's really cheap. Most of the more popular stories are here so if you're just getting into Lovecraft this is a great start!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2010

    What a rip!

    I paid the 99 cents for the book, but when I downloaded it on my reader it asked for a credit card number in order to open it. 99 cents isn't much, but no way am I paying twice for the same book!

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2012

    Fred and george

    " hey emily " george says " wanna help us with a few jokes ?"

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2012

    Emerald

    "Anyone wanna ice-skate?"

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2012

    Hart

    *points at her post on the next page and wipes ink off a desk*

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2012

    Emily

    Spills ink every wear and puts up a banner that says transfigguration sukz

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Ghhhhjjn

    Noam

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    Couldn't finish one of the stories

    Long and rambling and slow plot development. I tried to read a few different stories but half way in i knew little more than i did on page one. Not sure way they are considered scary.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2011

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    Posted November 25, 2010

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    Posted December 24, 2011

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    Posted January 10, 2011

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    Posted December 2, 2010

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    Posted December 25, 2010

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    Posted April 30, 2011

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 155 Customer Reviews
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