The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories

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Overview

Howard Phillips Lovecraft's unique contribution to American literature was a melding of traditional supernaturalism (derived chiefly from Edgar Allan Poe) with the genre of science fiction that emerged in the early 1920s. This new Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics edition brings together a dozen of the master's tales-from his early short stories "Under the Pyramids" (originally ghostwritten for Harry Houdini) and "The Music of Erich Zann" (which Lovecraft ranked second among his own favorites) through his more ...
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The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories (Penguin Horror)

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Overview

Howard Phillips Lovecraft's unique contribution to American literature was a melding of traditional supernaturalism (derived chiefly from Edgar Allan Poe) with the genre of science fiction that emerged in the early 1920s. This new Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics edition brings together a dozen of the master's tales-from his early short stories "Under the Pyramids" (originally ghostwritten for Harry Houdini) and "The Music of Erich Zann" (which Lovecraft ranked second among his own favorites) through his more fully developed works, "The Dunwich Horror," The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, and At the Mountains of Madness.

The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories presents the definitive corrected texts of these works, along with Lovecraft critic and biographer S. T. Joshi's illuminating introduction and notes to each story.

Author Biography: Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) was born in Providence, Rhode Island, where he spent most of his life. His relatively small body of work-three novels and sixty short stories-has nevertheless exercised an incalculable influence on horror and supernatural fiction.

Dear B&N customer,

I'm very pleased to share with you, Penguin Horror, a series I have curated that features canonical works by authors who have been formative to my life as a reader and who have inspired my creative and artistic endeavors through my whole career.

For me, a lifelong passion for classic horror began partly with reading Penguin Books in English, and one of my earliest loves, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the purest of parables, brought a sense of familiarity and comfort to an awkward adolescent boy growing up in Mexico, who felt, in some sense, a bond with the Creature himself.

The discovery of the horror tale as a young child was fortuitous and, in many ways, it served the same purpose as fairy tales did in my childhood. Internal conflicts are externalized and played out as we enter the worlds written by Mary Shelley or Edgar Allan Poe or H.P. Lovecraft in a similar manner that they are when we read the Grimms or Hans Christian Andersen or Oscar Wilde. These tales allow us to articulate our anxieties and fears in absolute safety. And, just as the fairy tale, the horror tale can serve as both a liberating or repressive social tool, and remains always an accurate mirror to the social climate of its time.

These works of literature collected here in Penguin Horror by masters of the genre including perennial favorites like Mary Shelley, Shirley Jackson, H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, and an author that I trust will be a revelation to new generations of horror lovers: Ray Russell. These titles go hand-in-hand with a collection of classic supernatural short stories from Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates and many others, selected by a true scholar of the Genre: S.T. Joshi. This collection provides new readers with an opportunity to inhabit the haunted castles of our minds, and to look deeply into those dark mirrors that reflect all that we fear.

For to learn what we fear is to learn who we are.

Sincerely,

Guillermo del Toro

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

With a cover as eerie as the stories within, this gathering of a dozen supernatural tales captures the weird power of the short-lived H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1946). Famed horror director Guillermo del Torro (Pan's Labyrinth; Pacific Rim) curates this collection, which features definitive correct texts and introductions and notes on each story by Lovecraft biographer S.T. Joshi. In addition to the title story, the pieces include "The Dunwich Horror," "The Music of Erich Zann," "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward," and "At the Mountains of Madness."

Library Journal
Together, these books offer 30 "weird stories" by our nation's greatest horror writer. In addition to the title piece, Cthulhu includes "Rats in the Walls," "Herbert West Reanimator" (the basis of several fun B movies), and "The Haunter of the Dark." The Thing sports such standards as "The Dunwich Horror," "Pickman's Model," and "Beyond the Wall of Sleep." These corrected texts present the definitive versions of each tale. Each volume also contains notes and an introduction by scholar S.T. Joshi. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780141187075
  • Publisher: Penguin Books, Limited (UK)
  • Publication date: 7/28/2003

Meet the Author

Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) was born in Providence, Rhode Island, where he spent most of his life. His relatively small body of work—three novels and sixty short stories—has nevertheless exercised an incalculable influence on horror and supernatural fiction.

Guillermo del Toro is a Mexican director, producer, screenwriter, novelist, and designer. He both cofounded the Guadalajara International Film Festival and formed his own production company—the Tequila Gang. However, he is most recognized for his Academy Award-winning film, Pan’s Labyrinth, and the Hellboy film franchise. He has received Nebula and Hugo awards, was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award, and is an avid collector and student of arcane memorabilia and weird fiction.

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Table of Contents

The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories Introduction by S. T. Joshi
Suggestions for Further Reading
A Note on the Text

The Tomb
Beyond the Wall of Sleep
The White Ship
The Temple
The Quest of Iranon
The Music of Erich Zann
Under the Pyramids
Pickman's Model
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
The Dunwich Horror
At the Mountains of Madness
The Thing on the Doorstep

Explanatory Notes

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2001

    Another Joshi/Lovecraft must have!

    The second Lovecraft collection released under the Penguin Classics imprint, 'The Thing On the Doorstep and Other Weird Tales' introduces Lovecraft to a reading population that otherwise not considering reading his works. Besides the title tale, 'The Tomb', 'The Dunwich Horror', 'At Moutains of Madness' are among the Lovecraft gems included. Edited by top Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi, the collection includes a wonderful brief biographical sketch of Lovecraft that goes beyond the usual scant information usually seen about the author and marvelously detailed notes that not only discuss references in the story itself but give a short history of that stories publication and further reading suggestions. The number of stories included the Penguin editions may not be as vast as the recent Del Ray trade paperback editions. However the true Lovecraft devotee and those new to the Providence Gentleman will be thrilled with the vast amount of information contained between the covers.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 8, 2014

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