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The Horror in the Museum

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Some tales in this collection were inspired by H. P. Lovecraft, others he revised, two he co-authored – but all bear the mark of the master of primordial terror. The Horror in the Museum –Locked up for the night, a man will discover the difference between waxen grotesqueries and the real thing. The Electric Executioner – Aboard a train, a traveler must match wits with a murd Some tales in this collection were inspired by H. P. Lovecraft, others he revised, two he co-authored – but all bear the mark of the master of primordial terror. The Horror in the Museum –Locked up for the night, a man will discover the difference between waxen grotesqueries and the real thing. The Electric Executioner – Aboard a train, a traveler must match wits with a murderous madman. The Trap – This mirror wants a great deal more than your reflection. The Ghost-Eater – In an ancient woodland, the past comes to life with a bone-crunching vengeance. AND TWENTY MORE STORIES OF UNSPEAKABLE EVIL.


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Some tales in this collection were inspired by H. P. Lovecraft, others he revised, two he co-authored – but all bear the mark of the master of primordial terror. The Horror in the Museum –Locked up for the night, a man will discover the difference between waxen grotesqueries and the real thing. The Electric Executioner – Aboard a train, a traveler must match wits with a murd Some tales in this collection were inspired by H. P. Lovecraft, others he revised, two he co-authored – but all bear the mark of the master of primordial terror. The Horror in the Museum –Locked up for the night, a man will discover the difference between waxen grotesqueries and the real thing. The Electric Executioner – Aboard a train, a traveler must match wits with a murderous madman. The Trap – This mirror wants a great deal more than your reflection. The Ghost-Eater – In an ancient woodland, the past comes to life with a bone-crunching vengeance. AND TWENTY MORE STORIES OF UNSPEAKABLE EVIL.

30 review for The Horror in the Museum

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mir

    I read three in a row stories that Lovecraft wrote with Heald and all three horrors somehow involved being petrified and displayed as an object. Thematically interesting. The narrator in this one is pretty naive to not consider the danger he's placing himself in. (view spoiler)[Regardless of whether you believe a possible crazy obsessive person about an item being supernatural, who friggin' agrees to spend the night alone in a locked, deserted building with no one but the aforementioned obsessive I read three in a row stories that Lovecraft wrote with Heald and all three horrors somehow involved being petrified and displayed as an object. Thematically interesting. The narrator in this one is pretty naive to not consider the danger he's placing himself in. (view spoiler)[Regardless of whether you believe a possible crazy obsessive person about an item being supernatural, who friggin' agrees to spend the night alone in a locked, deserted building with no one but the aforementioned obsessive knowing where they are or having the key?! I mean, "he'll come back in the night and get me" would be my very first thought in this situation, I wouldn't even be worried about the evil waxwork. (hide spoiler)]

  2. 4 out of 5

    Martin

    Oh my God, this was good! I am a bit surprised that this particular story is not featured in my kindle version of ‘The Complete Fiction of HP Lovecraft’ . Apparently complete isn’t always complete. Or it might be the fact that Lovecraft ghostwrote this for another author and it wasn’t considered part of his personal work, I don’t know. Anyway, I found this particular story because a creature in it features in the amazing 2018 game ‘Call of Cthulhu': The Dimensional Shambler The game is really cool, Oh my God, this was good! I am a bit surprised that this particular story is not featured in my kindle version of ‘The Complete Fiction of HP Lovecraft’ . Apparently complete isn’t always complete. Or it might be the fact that Lovecraft ghostwrote this for another author and it wasn’t considered part of his personal work, I don’t know. Anyway, I found this particular story because a creature in it features in the amazing 2018 game ‘Call of Cthulhu': The Dimensional Shambler The game is really cool, by the way, ESPECIALLY if you’re not a gamer and prefer games to be calm and similar in experience to reading. In this short, the main character, Jones, is interested in a wax museum that displays macabre creatures that were handmade by the talented but slightly insane Rogers. Jones returns to the museum again and again to stare at the disturbing figures showing hellish things that are not of these earthly planes. As a regular visitor, Jones gets acquainted with Rogers and the man tells him of his adventurous travels all around the world and the myths and secret knowledge he is slowly collecting. The gist of the story is the fact that Rogers claims that his waxen creatures are in fact real dead things he found in secret places all over the world. However, on a recent trip to a forgotten city of the fabled Elders, he found a sleeping thing and brought it back to London with the intention of waking the creature. He calls it simply ‘It’ and explains to Jones that it is a god that can be revived through a blood sacrifice. Jones considers the man mad and thinks of ways to make him see through his macabre illusions that he considers reality in his mind. Rogers offers a bargain: Jones may stay inside the museum over night and if he still thinks it’s all a scam by morning, Rogers will follow Jones’ advice and reconsider his sanity. Ready to prove Rogers wrong, Jones allows the man to lock him in with countless waxen monstrosities – in complete darkness. I think it’s not too difficult to imagine the path this story will take, LOL. It’s a perfect specimen of horror literature and it has Lovecraft written all over it. I absolutely adored it! Or as they would say in the game: My sanity level is slowly decreasing after reading this!! 5 stars!

  3. 4 out of 5

    ᴥ Irena ᴥ

    This could go two ways (the option of not liking this story not included, of course). I could like this as just another story of this type or I could make note of when it was published. I've decided to treat it with the respect it deserves. If this was written today, I would say it was an okay creepy story. However, we all know when Lovecraft lived so for me it is a marvellous horror story. Even if there are a couple of stories I didn't like (The Street being the worst so far), Lovecraft gets a This could go two ways (the option of not liking this story not included, of course). I could like this as just another story of this type or I could make note of when it was published. I've decided to treat it with the respect it deserves. If this was written today, I would say it was an okay creepy story. However, we all know when Lovecraft lived so for me it is a marvellous horror story. Even if there are a couple of stories I didn't like (The Street being the worst so far), Lovecraft gets a special treatment as far as I am concerned. I could forgive a lot in his case. I shudder to think how many books wouldn't exist if he never wrote anything. The Horror in the Museum is not exactly a mysterious title. You get exactly what the title says. I won't get into the specifics of how it was done though. I've read part of the story before sleep and, I must say, the creepiness factor is higher that way. Stephen Jones is interested to see infamous grotesque wax figures made by the museum owner George Rogers, a former employee of Madame Tussaud's. One visit isn't enough and he ends up visiting Rogers quite often. He doesn't believe his explanations of the origins of the wax figures and they make a bet. Jones will spend the night in Rogers' Museum. This being a Lovecraft's story, you know it isn't going to be a peaceful night. For anyone.

  4. 4 out of 5

    James

    To be honest, this one was a bit of a slog (can't believe that a book that's under 400 pages took me 17 days to read... though to be fair, the font size was fairly small). I purchased this book for two reasons: first off, though being a Lovecraft fan of good standing for nearly twenty years now, I have never read any of his revisions prior to picking up this book, and secondly, I liked the Gahan Wilson cover art (incidentally, I like to collect these old Arkham House editions whenever I can affo To be honest, this one was a bit of a slog (can't believe that a book that's under 400 pages took me 17 days to read... though to be fair, the font size was fairly small). I purchased this book for two reasons: first off, though being a Lovecraft fan of good standing for nearly twenty years now, I have never read any of his revisions prior to picking up this book, and secondly, I liked the Gahan Wilson cover art (incidentally, I like to collect these old Arkham House editions whenever I can afford it, as I like their look). The most horrifying impression given by this book is wondering how bad some of these stories must have been before they were given the "Lovecraft touch." A few are merely uninspired (such as "The Man of Stone," "The Horror in the Burying Ground," and "Two Black Bottles") while others (such as "Medusa's Coil" and "The Diary of Alonzo Typer") are almost laughingly bad. Still, there were some diamonds in the rough. I quite enjoyed tales such as the title story, "The Curse of Yig," the nicely apocalyptic "Till all the Seas," "Winged Death" (despite its very silly ending, which Lovecraft was apparently inordinately fond of), "The Loved Dead" (a gleefully macabre necrophiliac narrative), and, of course, the novelette "The Mound" (which seems like a precursor for ideas he would later explore to greater success in his own "At the Mountains of Madness." Hell, I even managed to learn a few new words (such as "subpedregal," "ocypetian" and "behemothic").

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mouldy Squid

    As one can tell, I collect Lovecraft. Everything I can get my hands on. Hell, if there is an anthology with a new introductory essay, I'll buy it just for that essay. Suffice it to say, the collection is extensive. This volume contains no actual Lovecraft but rather the revisions and ghost writing that he did for other authors. Most of it is pretty terrible, except where one can discern Lovecraft's more or less successful attempts at making something of the chaff. There are a coupe of better tha As one can tell, I collect Lovecraft. Everything I can get my hands on. Hell, if there is an anthology with a new introductory essay, I'll buy it just for that essay. Suffice it to say, the collection is extensive. This volume contains no actual Lovecraft but rather the revisions and ghost writing that he did for other authors. Most of it is pretty terrible, except where one can discern Lovecraft's more or less successful attempts at making something of the chaff. There are a coupe of better than average stories here, but not really enough to justify buying the anthology. If you are a Lovecraft collector, this is of course a must have, since it represents a part of his career that is obscure and unknown. If however, you have just a passing knowledge of Lovecraft, you would be better served by getting one o the Del Rey anthologies. That way you are getting actual Lovecraft stories, not revisions of lesser writers' works.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

    Anyone who reads this story is in for a treat.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Buttons

    Good collection of horror stories.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

    The usual gang of Old Ones shows up in this collection of stories. For me the story that stood out the most was "The Curse of The Yig". This is another good volume for one to add to their Lovecraftian library.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Vatroslav Herceg

    Wordsworth Editions London 2010. *Important note- this is a review of the novella "The Horror in the Museum", not this collection with the same title that is a profile of this book. This is a tale of "fiendishly cunning workmanship." Because it is situated in the wax museum the following movie comes to mind; https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0024368/. I have this film on my computer if someone wants it, because it is hard to download it, but on the Balkans you can do anything... In the sense of the form t Wordsworth Editions London 2010. *Important note- this is a review of the novella "The Horror in the Museum", not this collection with the same title that is a profile of this book. This is a tale of "fiendishly cunning workmanship." Because it is situated in the wax museum the following movie comes to mind; https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0024368/. I have this film on my computer if someone wants it, because it is hard to download it, but on the Balkans you can do anything... In the sense of the form the most interesting thing is that we have an omnipresent third-person narrator. Yes, a third-person narrator in Lovecraft s opus. It is the same thing as to find a trace of sanity in the Democratic candidates for the upcoming 2020 presidential elections. But the vibe is still totally modernistic, so the narration is not some lame realist narration from Balzac s time. You have a good protagonist and an evil madman scientist. A typical topos that can not be more typically but still Lovecraft pulls it. "This showman, he reflected, must indeed be a person of disconcertingly wide scholarship in dark and dubious fields." This sentence depicts the evilm madman scientist, the owner of the wax museum. The language is thrilling and nocturnal, thus beautiful as a bat s flight in the wandering night. ¡Hasta luego!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Matthew J.

    Where does Lovecraft end and the 'co-author' begin? Who can say. This is a collection of stories H.P. Lovecraft 'revised,' or 'co-wrote' depending on who you listen to. I've heard some say that he essentially wrote them, using some kernel of an idea...I don't know. A couple of the stories definitely feel like Lovecraft. Several of them, however, while they might have certain elements, certain references, etc. don't have his 'feel.' And I don't mean that in a bad way at all. Some of the tales in Where does Lovecraft end and the 'co-author' begin? Who can say. This is a collection of stories H.P. Lovecraft 'revised,' or 'co-wrote' depending on who you listen to. I've heard some say that he essentially wrote them, using some kernel of an idea...I don't know. A couple of the stories definitely feel like Lovecraft. Several of them, however, while they might have certain elements, certain references, etc. don't have his 'feel.' And I don't mean that in a bad way at all. Some of the tales in this book are quite good. "The Curse of Yig" and "The Mound," both with Zealia Bishop are probably the most famous, or at least the two I've heard referenced and mentioned the most. "The Horror in the Museum" is a ton of fun and really had me wishing someone would do a good Twilight Zone/Tales from the Crypt type film based on it. Actually, it would have made an excellent American International film. Vincent Price could have played Rogers. Certainly if you're a Lovecraft fan, these stories are a must. And if you're a Call of Cthulhu RPG keeper, "The Mound" has some great material to raid for scenario ideas.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Norman Dunnagan

    First a bit of background on Harold. You have to understand that this man greatly influenced the (good) modern horror you will see today, of any shape or form. Only a handful of people attended his funeral. Yet, now he has a cult following, and inadvertently gave birth to a wide array of classics. There's two kinds of dark fiction. 1- You have entire atmospheres that are mysterious and strange, and no given 'normal' reality; only a serious of relative realities which are personal to each of the First a bit of background on Harold. You have to understand that this man greatly influenced the (good) modern horror you will see today, of any shape or form. Only a handful of people attended his funeral. Yet, now he has a cult following, and inadvertently gave birth to a wide array of classics. There's two kinds of dark fiction. 1- You have entire atmospheres that are mysterious and strange, and no given 'normal' reality; only a serious of relative realities which are personal to each of the characters. 2- Standard horror that gives us a reality resembling our own, then we see the second invading reality (picture a burglar or a murderer, etc) which is to be either surrendered to or defeated by the reality it's attempting to overtake. Lovecraft dominates in the first realm of this fiction that I described, and I feel like it's the best, since it allows your imagination to create the elements that disturb; the text gives you a blueprint and it allows your imagination to run wild. I will tell you that you will probably encounter words that you have never seen before, since they're not commonly used in the English language. Having said this, you will understand the stories in the book; just, it's worth noting that it adds to the coolness factor of these ancient texts. The way he writes and describes things is quite interesting. Here are my three favorite stories from the book, in order. The Mound - The story took my breath away because he created an entirely, separate believable world in a short story; complete with a functioning weird society and entirely strange environment. Out of the Aeons - This is a story that I love, because after it's over, you will be in awe for a little while. It has that kind of an ending, you won't expect it, either. The buildup is classy, horrible, and beautiful all at the same time. Winged Death - This one is great because it offers a different perspective from the perpetrator, it involves revenge, deceit and surprise. You will enjoy it, trust me. Norman

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Beck

    This book is a collection of stories which were revised by H. P. Lovecraft. The numerous authors in this book have a wide range of style, despite the same horror feeling as most Lovecraft stories. This book is great for people looking for anything related to Lovecraft. That being said, there were a number of stories in this collection which simply didn't measure up to the Lovecraft standard. Certain tales seemed to drag on forever without any logical point or message even at the end. Others on t This book is a collection of stories which were revised by H. P. Lovecraft. The numerous authors in this book have a wide range of style, despite the same horror feeling as most Lovecraft stories. This book is great for people looking for anything related to Lovecraft. That being said, there were a number of stories in this collection which simply didn't measure up to the Lovecraft standard. Certain tales seemed to drag on forever without any logical point or message even at the end. Others on the other hand were truly terrifying and made me interested in some of the authors represented within this book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    The book really isn't typical of what you would think of as a Lovecraft book and that's because it's not. The stories in the book were written by different authors and Lovecraft made changes to them as he saw fit. To be honest I wish we had a chance to see the actual story written along side of what Lovecraft did. From what I have read Lovecraft took bits of the original stories and completely rewrote them to fit his vision of his collected universe. There are a few stories written about the God The book really isn't typical of what you would think of as a Lovecraft book and that's because it's not. The stories in the book were written by different authors and Lovecraft made changes to them as he saw fit. To be honest I wish we had a chance to see the actual story written along side of what Lovecraft did. From what I have read Lovecraft took bits of the original stories and completely rewrote them to fit his vision of his collected universe. There are a few stories written about the God Yig and his influence on the world. As someone who doesn't like snakes, I loved the use of the god in the stories and how everything was tied together. I do want to note the following. Please remember the time frame these were written in and don't go all SJW over the stories because it won't matter in the long run. The main story of the book,"The Horror in the Museum" is probably the creepiest story in the book hands down. The description of the museum and everything in it gives you a such a full range of shock as to what was being described for that time. There are select stories I would skip reading, but that is just me. If you are a fan of Lovecraft and want to see how he worked with other authors, here is your chance.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Edward Taylor

    Being a huge HPL fan, I went into this one with my eyes wide open on what to expect of his ghost writings and aside from a few well-placed gems (Hazel Heald's "The Winged Death being one) there is little ground to cover here. When Lovecraft could not sell his own stories, he made money by editing (and sometimes completely rewriting) the stories of lesser known authors at the time to allow him to live by proxy through their (nee his) works. Some are good, some are bad, some are just plain pointle Being a huge HPL fan, I went into this one with my eyes wide open on what to expect of his ghost writings and aside from a few well-placed gems (Hazel Heald's "The Winged Death being one) there is little ground to cover here. When Lovecraft could not sell his own stories, he made money by editing (and sometimes completely rewriting) the stories of lesser known authors at the time to allow him to live by proxy through their (nee his) works. Some are good, some are bad, some are just plain pointless save for a few Ia! additions to make them part of the expanded mythos. If you are deep into Phil, you need to see what marvels he could work with other people' materials but overall, not needed to complete your collection.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bob Zyla

    Some of these were total clunkers (I'm looking at you, The Last Test), and some were essentials. Many were important additions to the Cthulhu Mythos such as The Mound or The Curse of Yig, and some others were great examples of Cosmicism or Lovecraftian Nihilism such as Til A' the Seas or the Night Ocean. The primary revisions were story-by-story better than the secondary ones, which makes some sense, being that the latter were done more for the money than the art. This collection is still critic Some of these were total clunkers (I'm looking at you, The Last Test), and some were essentials. Many were important additions to the Cthulhu Mythos such as The Mound or The Curse of Yig, and some others were great examples of Cosmicism or Lovecraftian Nihilism such as Til A' the Seas or the Night Ocean. The primary revisions were story-by-story better than the secondary ones, which makes some sense, being that the latter were done more for the money than the art. This collection is still critical for the Lovecraft completionist. Other faves include Out of the Aeons, The Loved Dead, The Trap, and The Diary of Alonzo Typer. Eldritch!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    3.5 George Rogers reads forbidden books and has traveled to unknown parts collecting things. He is also a former employee of Madame Tussaud's and is now the proprietor of his own wax museum which makes her museum look pale in comparison. Along comes Stephen Jones whose curiosity is piqued. As this is a Lovecraft story we know that nothing good can come of this. Would you spend the night in a creepy museum that is owned by someone who you think is going mad? Typical Lovecraft. Audible version nar 3.5 George Rogers reads forbidden books and has traveled to unknown parts collecting things. He is also a former employee of Madame Tussaud's and is now the proprietor of his own wax museum which makes her museum look pale in comparison. Along comes Stephen Jones whose curiosity is piqued. As this is a Lovecraft story we know that nothing good can come of this. Would you spend the night in a creepy museum that is owned by someone who you think is going mad? Typical Lovecraft. Audible version narrated by Ian Gordon.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amy Mills

    Enjoyable, though rather pulpy. Arguably, the "foreigner" is the hero of the piece [may not have been Lovecraft's intention with the character, but it's a reasonable interpretation nonetheless]. One wonders (view spoiler)[how the specimens were preserved, and does wax cover the smell of formaldehyde (hide spoiler)] ? Enjoyable, though rather pulpy. Arguably, the "foreigner" is the hero of the piece [may not have been Lovecraft's intention with the character, but it's a reasonable interpretation nonetheless]. One wonders (view spoiler)[how the specimens were preserved, and does wax cover the smell of formaldehyde (hide spoiler)] ?

  18. 5 out of 5

    An Xin

    The exhibits of a horror museum may not all be just the crazed fancies of the owner's strange imagination, as an unlucky man will find out. Worth checking out, a small tale featuring the old ones as expected.

  19. 5 out of 5

    David Sparvero

    Disturbing and ridiculous but to the point of comedy by the end. Some Lovecraft's work just terrifies me to the point of not reading his work for years.. and then there are short stories like this that are delightfully absurd in their horror. It's a great piece and it fits the author well.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    A nice collection of horror stories by authors that are primarily clients or friends of HPL, who either wrote the entire story, made extensive revisions, or merely edited the story.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rizzie

    Decent Lovecraft, though not particularly memorable for me.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Joe Hoover

    Rhan-Tegoth is not as horrifying as a class of 6 year-olds on their first trip to a museum.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Forked Radish

    Better than most Lovecraft, coherent and logical.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Leothefox

    I picked this collection up at a Borders books on a trip to California years ago, just before catching a plane home. I'd already been a fan of Lovecraft for a long time and owned some of the other Del Rey collections, but this is the first one I read straight through. Since Lovecraft is "revising" (really collaborating and in some cases writing entirely) these stories, there's some variance in quality. It starts off really strong with the Elizabeth Berkely collaborations "The Green Meadow" and "T I picked this collection up at a Borders books on a trip to California years ago, just before catching a plane home. I'd already been a fan of Lovecraft for a long time and owned some of the other Del Rey collections, but this is the first one I read straight through. Since Lovecraft is "revising" (really collaborating and in some cases writing entirely) these stories, there's some variance in quality. It starts off really strong with the Elizabeth Berkely collaborations "The Green Meadow" and "The Crawling Chaos", both highly poetic haunting works of horror/fantasy. The title story is, of course, excellent as is Hazel Heald's "Out of the Aeons" (which, as a bonus, is amusingly xenophobic to the point of being a grocery list of nationalities). The secondary revisions contain some weaker material, C.M. Eddy Jr.'s "Ashes" was an especially poor entry, being a squeaky clean mad scientist story with an awkward romance. Some of the others have faded from my memory (give me a break, it was 7 years ago). My favorite by far is "The Mound", which Lovecraft ghost wrote based on a very short prompt from Zealia Bishop. To me, this story is what Lovecraft is all about: a haunting record out of the past telling of unspeakable malevolent worlds that are lost and yet too close for comfort. Really, this story takes you right there, right into the cosmic madness and for that I think it deserves more attention. I put it right up there with "At the Mountains of Madness" and "Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath" for unnameable, indescribable, unbeatable Lovecraft awesomeness. I also rather liked "Till A' the Seas" by R.H. Barlow, which had a lovely finality about it, which I guess is why I thought it was odd that it wasn't put last. But these collections never seem to end on one of the stories I especially liked. This was a great collection on the whole and I had a very good time reading it... plus the John Jude Palencar cover is freakin' sweet!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gaze Santos

    Just to be clear, the cover says by H.P Lovecraft, and to a technical degree, they are mostly right... Let me explain. Any H.P. Lovecraft fan can tell you that his works were't exactly lucrative in his lifetime. He had his circle of acolytes, to be sure, but he was eking out a living as a writer. As explained in the introduction to this book, a large part, if not most, of his income came as a revisionist and editor of other people's written work. This is a collection of some of the more inspired Just to be clear, the cover says by H.P Lovecraft, and to a technical degree, they are mostly right... Let me explain. Any H.P. Lovecraft fan can tell you that his works were't exactly lucrative in his lifetime. He had his circle of acolytes, to be sure, but he was eking out a living as a writer. As explained in the introduction to this book, a large part, if not most, of his income came as a revisionist and editor of other people's written work. This is a collection of some of the more inspired ones. Basically, ones where he took his client's ideas and wrote the story for them.The book is divided into Primary Revisions, and Secondary Revisions. The Primary Revisions are ones were Lovecraft basically wrote the story, taking his client ideas as inspiration. These tend to read like one of Lovecraft's own originals, with many even being part of the Cthulhu mythos. It is in these stories that we first hear mention of Yig, the serpentine God, who is often mentioned in Lovecraft inspired stories, but not in any of H.P. Lovecraft originals. Well, this collection solves the mystery behind that. Some of the notable ones, in my opinion, were "The Mound," "Medusa's Coil," and of course the title story "The Horror in the Museum." The secondary revisions are more varied in their style, and it becomes clear that Lovecraft tried to keep his client's writing more or less intact than in the first batch, to varying degrees of success. "The Tree on the Hill" was particularly memorable to me. I remember it being very spectrally beautiful. An interesting collection, but only recommended to true fans of Lovecraft's work. This is not his best, and arguably not even his. Although, as August Derlerth says in one of the introductions, "Lovecraft wrote the most memorable parts in the stories anyways."

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marissa

    As far as I know, this is the best way to read all (well, very nearly all) of HPL's collaborations and revisions. (Notably missing are "Under the Pyramids," "In the Walls of Eryx," and "Through the Gates of the Silver Key," which can be found in other HPL anthologies). This edition uses ST Joshi's corrected texts, and I feel like there was a missed opportunity to get Joshi to annotate, as he did with the fantastic Penguin Classic HPL books. As for the stories themselves... well, they vary. Great As far as I know, this is the best way to read all (well, very nearly all) of HPL's collaborations and revisions. (Notably missing are "Under the Pyramids," "In the Walls of Eryx," and "Through the Gates of the Silver Key," which can be found in other HPL anthologies). This edition uses ST Joshi's corrected texts, and I feel like there was a missed opportunity to get Joshi to annotate, as he did with the fantastic Penguin Classic HPL books. As for the stories themselves... well, they vary. Greatly. Some of them could stand among HPL's best, and others are utterly forgettable. Diehard HPL fans should definitely read it, but casual horror fans who aren't particularly invested in Lovecraft's work can give it a pass. I'd like to make two quick notes on stories that stood out to me. 1. I know HPL's racism isn't exactly a big surprise or secret to anyone, but "Medusa's Coil" was so shockingly racist that I didn't know how to react. I just ended up choking out shocked laughter at that ending. 2. HPL was pretty much asexual, and his characters were usually stuffy old bachelors with no interest in women. Tentacle hentai jokes aside, HPL isn't really known for anything sexual. So the very obvious necrophilia in "The Loved Dead" came as a pretty big surprise.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Peregrine 12

    Lovecraft's horror is undoubtedly one of the main influences on modern day US horror stories, but this collection of stories wasn't all that great. I wanted to like these stories, but I just couldn't push through this entire collection - they seemed lacking in suspense, uninteresting to me. I'm not a die-hard Lovecraft fan. I picked this one up because I enjoy the atmosphere Lovecraft creates in his horror stories (even if the tension isn't always there), so I was disappointed to learn that H. P. Lovecraft's horror is undoubtedly one of the main influences on modern day US horror stories, but this collection of stories wasn't all that great. I wanted to like these stories, but I just couldn't push through this entire collection - they seemed lacking in suspense, uninteresting to me. I'm not a die-hard Lovecraft fan. I picked this one up because I enjoy the atmosphere Lovecraft creates in his horror stories (even if the tension isn't always there), so I was disappointed to learn that H. P. Lovecraft did not write any of the stories in this compendium. A lot of the ideas put forward in these stories are really cool, no doubt about it, but for the most part the stories are overly long and unsuspenseful. That said, 'Horror In the Museum' and 'The Mound' were my favorites due to their early original ideas. Note: My copy of this book is the 1976 Ballantine reprint; some of the stories mentioned in others' reviews do not appear in my copy. Not sure if we're all reading the same collection here.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Savannah

    Lovecraft had a fantastic imagination and set the mood of his stories with expert fiendishness, but something that always bothers me when I read his work is the telling-not-showing. He seems to think we should believe sea creatures with fish eyes and tentacles to be the most horrible of all evils and, if we don't, we should just trust his characters when they assure us that something was unspeakably evil, or hideous beyond description, or more wretched and horrible than the worst thing on Earth Lovecraft had a fantastic imagination and set the mood of his stories with expert fiendishness, but something that always bothers me when I read his work is the telling-not-showing. He seems to think we should believe sea creatures with fish eyes and tentacles to be the most horrible of all evils and, if we don't, we should just trust his characters when they assure us that something was unspeakably evil, or hideous beyond description, or more wretched and horrible than the worst thing on Earth ever, all of which strikes me as unimpressive and lazy. I really want to find his lore as unbelievably, unimaginably terrifying as he seems to think I should, but it's too bad he can never really take me there.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    (this review is only about the short story with the same name) Not recommended for starting Lovecraft readers, but very recommended for people that want the full Cthulhu Mythos background all at once through a story. For example people that want to play the Call of Cthulhu roleplay game, or people that want to know where games like Alone in the Dark and the upcoming The Secret World MMO are based upon. Apart from being 'a tour through the Mythos', this is the now classical "Spend the night at the (this review is only about the short story with the same name) Not recommended for starting Lovecraft readers, but very recommended for people that want the full Cthulhu Mythos background all at once through a story. For example people that want to play the Call of Cthulhu roleplay game, or people that want to know where games like Alone in the Dark and the upcoming The Secret World MMO are based upon. Apart from being 'a tour through the Mythos', this is the now classical "Spend the night at the haunted place" theme playing, albeit with a few nice twists and turns. Not Lovecraft's best work, but a very nice tale that does a very good job of dragging the reader into the fear.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jay Eckard

    This was an uneven collection; the majority of the stories collected are mostly written by Lovecraft, and are pleasurable reads, very good in the certain, narrow way Lovecraft works best. The lesser number, where he only slightly edited others' work, is not nearly as much fun. The prose is clunkier and less suspenseful -- less suggestible, to steal a favored word. An exception is the very last tale, The Night Ocean, which is an excellent piece of mood, almost a tone poem. Virtually nothing happe This was an uneven collection; the majority of the stories collected are mostly written by Lovecraft, and are pleasurable reads, very good in the certain, narrow way Lovecraft works best. The lesser number, where he only slightly edited others' work, is not nearly as much fun. The prose is clunkier and less suspenseful -- less suggestible, to steal a favored word. An exception is the very last tale, The Night Ocean, which is an excellent piece of mood, almost a tone poem. Virtually nothing happens, but it's expressive, chilly and disquieting the way the author manipulates the reader into the same paranoia of the speaker.

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