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The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories…
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The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories (Penguin Twentieth-Century… (original 1999; edition 1999)

by Howard Phillips Lovecraft (Author), S. T. Joshi (Editor)

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Frequently imitated and widely influential, Howard Phillips Lovecraft reinvented the horror genre in the twentieth century, discarding ghosts and witches and envisioning instead mankind as a tiny outpost of dwindling sanity in a chaotic and malevolent universe. Love craft's preeminent interpreter S. T. Joshi presents a selection of the master's fiction, from the early tales of nightmares and madness such as "The Outsider" and "Rats in the Walls," through the grotesquely comic "Herbert West-Reanimator" and "The Hound," to the overpowering cosmic terror of "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" and "The Call of Cthulhu." The first paperback edition to include the definitive corrected texts, The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories reveals the development of Lovecraft's mesmerizing narrative style and establishes him as a canonical-and visionary-American writer.… (more)
Member:Strawberrycocaine
Title:The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
Authors:Howard Phillips Lovecraft (Author)
Other authors:S. T. Joshi (Editor)
Info:Penguin Classics (1999), Edition: unknown, 448 pages
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The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories by H. P. Lovecraft (1999)

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» See also 96 mentions

English (51)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (53)
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
Modern İnsan Yaşam Ardındaki Güçler Hakkında Ne Biliyor ki?: Cthulhu’nun Çağrısı (İnceleme):
https://parttimegamersite.wordpress.com/2017/08/24/modern-insan-yasam-ardindaki-... ( )
  SultanNurK_Gucuk | Aug 11, 2021 |
The name of H.P. Lovecraft was well-known to me; but until now, I had never read any of his work. I had read plenty of pastiches; indeed, so many that when I started this collection I found many of the early stories rather over the top, with language as overwrought as some of his protagonists and the horror itself amounting to very little. Perhaps things were different in the 1920s. True, there were a couple of stories that I found effective; and one which sent genuine shivers down my spine despite it seeming a bit too trite and obvious.

The stories are in roughly chronological order of composition; so it was that from 'The Call of Cthulhu' itself (1926) I found the quality of the writing improving, as Lovecraft dropped many of the ingredients of his adjective soup, though he hangs on to a few favourites - 'blasphemous' for one, though how that can refer to a flute is a bit beyond me. But in terms of sheer horror, I found 'The Call of Cthulhu' itself rather an anti-climax. I mean, the account of the encounter with the Great Old One is delivered at third hand!! It's hard to inject genuine terror into the writing when it's an account that your great uncle left, recounting a conversation he had with someone else...

Had Lovecraft lived longer (he died at the age of 47), it is possible that he might eventually have written a Cthulhu story that directly challenged the Great Old One and achieved some answers to the mysteries he hints at throughout the Mythos stories. But he did not, and Cthulhu remains a character behind the scenes.

For me, the most effective stories in this collection here the last four; "The Colour out of Space", "The Whisperer in Darkness", "The Shadow over Innsmouth" and "The Haunter of the Dark". (This last one was written for his friend Robert Bloch, in return for Bloch writing Lovecraft into one of his own stories.) But these are not perfect: "The Shadow over Innsmouth", for example, has a street map as a plot device, and Lovecraft insists in taking us all over it, and telling us precisely where his protagonist is at all times. On the other hand, the same story is one of the few in this collection that has an actual twist. Most of the stories end with the death or descent into madness of either the narrator or the protagonist, but "Shadow" has a different take on the fate of the narrator, one which, for once, he sees coming and willingly embraces.

Another problem is the extent of Lovecraft's racism. This is front and centre in some of the early stories; but even in later ones, there are undercurrents of xenophobia and chauvinism. Malign influences are put down to "foreigners", ethnic stereotypes are regularly promoted, and there is a streak of white supremacy so unconscious that it takes a moment to realise that where Lovecraft writes of "native" myth and legend in his New England setting, he is referring to first generation settlers rather than any indigenous American myth.

Of course, this brings up the eternal argument over whether it is possible to separate the artist and their work. It is an argument which pre-dates Lovecraft and is being waged over works far more recent than these. Lovecraft remains important because of the 'Cthulhu mythos' that he built up, though on the evidence of the stories in this collection, that importance is more to be seen in the works of those who came after him and who used portions of the mythos, possibly without understanding quite where they come from. The worlds of comic book heroes have some responsibility here; even as recently as the tv version of the Batman origin myth, 'Gotham', which has an Arkham Asylum...

This collection has an introduction and copious explanatory notes by Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi; I found the introduction of interest as it gave an insight into the amateur journalism community Lovecraft was active in. Many of his collaborators and peers became well-known names in the world of fantastic fiction; the Amateur Press Associations that Joshi describes later became adopted by the science fiction fan community. As a part of science fiction's own origin myth, Lovecraft is important, even if his work seems definitely out of our time.

(Many of Joshi's notes, however, either state the obvious or are written for a very uninformed audience. And given that Lovecraft often referred back to his English roots in his stories, Joshi's own referencing seems to stop at the American shore.)

Perhaps the best thing I can say about this book concerns the quality of my edition, a 'Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition'. A few weeks ago, I commented that a paperback I had read was "the nastiest book I have handled in a long time"; well, this on the other hand is possibly the nicest fiction paperback I've read in many a year. The jacket has a sensual matt finish; the paper stock is high-quality (though the deckle-cut page edges sometimes made turning over a little tricky), and the jacket design by Paul Buckley, with illustrations by Travis Louie, captures both the period of the tales' setting and some of their weirdness. ( )
2 vote RobertDay | May 31, 2021 |
The Call of Cthulu is chilling still - the story builds gently but keeps a creepy eeriness throughout. Impressed by this little world that Lovecraft built. ( )
  ephemeral_future | Aug 20, 2020 |
I enjoyed this book, as a classic. As an inspiration for tons of D&D/RPG 'horror,' however, I just don't get it. ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | May 18, 2020 |
This is a good collection of Lovecraft but not, I feel, a great one, due to a certain amount of sameness and formula in many of the stories. From what I understand editor Joshi put together three collections for Penguin, so no doubt he had some kind of organization in mind for each, but I would have preferred something that was just more varied. This one focuses largely on Cthulhu mythos tales and while that is a great contribution to literature, the stories themselves are not really my favorites. As is usual in my experience with this author, the longer stories seem to drag on and on and on. (The only longer work by Lovecraft that I think is nearly perfect is "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward," not included here.) I regret selecting this particular volume for my book club, as I don't think it is as new reader friendly as another might have been, and in fact it was not a raging success. The most positive thing that was said from anyone reading him for the first time (which was almost everyone) was that it was interesting to read something from the roots of the genre. But I don't think any of them really liked it. Perhaps [b:The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories|564318|The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories|H.P. Lovecraft|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1327885492l/564318._SY75_.jpg|551435] would have been a better choice. ( )
  chaosfox | May 1, 2020 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
H. P. Lovecraftprimary authorall editionscalculated
Joshi, S. T.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dagon ( [2001])
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I am writing this under an appreciable mental strain, since by tonight I shall be no more.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This work should include the Penguin edition along with other collections containing the following stories:

Dagon -- Statement of Randolph Carter -- Facts concerning the late Arthur Jermyn and his family -- Celephais -- Nyarlathotep -- Picture in the house -- Outsider -- Herbert West--Reanimator -- Hound -- Rats in the walls -- Festival -- He -- Cool air -- Call of Cthulhu -- Colour out of space -- Whisperer in darkness -- Shadow over Innsmouth -- Haunter of the dark

Please keep separate the individual short story as well as collections with differing contents.
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Frequently imitated and widely influential, Howard Phillips Lovecraft reinvented the horror genre in the twentieth century, discarding ghosts and witches and envisioning instead mankind as a tiny outpost of dwindling sanity in a chaotic and malevolent universe. Love craft's preeminent interpreter S. T. Joshi presents a selection of the master's fiction, from the early tales of nightmares and madness such as "The Outsider" and "Rats in the Walls," through the grotesquely comic "Herbert West-Reanimator" and "The Hound," to the overpowering cosmic terror of "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" and "The Call of Cthulhu." The first paperback edition to include the definitive corrected texts, The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories reveals the development of Lovecraft's mesmerizing narrative style and establishes him as a canonical-and visionary-American writer.

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Book description
Contains the following novellas and short stories.

Dagon
The Terrible Old Man
Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and his Family
Nyarlathotep
The Picture in The House
Herbert West - Reanimator
The Rats in The Wall
The Call Of Cthulhu
The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward
The Colour Out Of Space
The Dunwich Horror
The Whisperer In Darkness
The Shadow Over Innsmouth
The Dreams In The Witch House
The Haunter Of The Dark
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141187069, 0143106481

 

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