I started on the HP Lovecraft Omnibus vol 3 - The Haunter of the Dark and Other Tales.
There seem to be loads of short story collections, though, and they're mostly good. Stories to look out for are the Call of Cthuhlu, The Colour Out Of Space, the Music of Erich Zann, The Dunwich Horror, the Dreams in the Witch House, the Shadow over Innsmouth, the Rats in the Walls, the Haunter of the Dark etc etc
Rather shamefully, the only printed HPL I own is TCoC and The Whisperer in Darkness, which came bundled with the Gollancz edition of Against The World... that I got a few years ago. Pretty much everything he ever wrote is available free online - I also got a "complete works" for Kindle on Amazon (not actually complete, but contains all his major stories and most of the more notable minor ones) for the princely sum of 77p.
Slothrop's list is pretty good. I'd say you can't really go wrong with any of the longer, later stories from TCoC onwards, although The Dunwich Horror is arguably a bit silly.
Houellebeqc lists the following as the 'Great Texts' of the Cthulhu Mythos:
* TCoC, obvs
* The Colour out of Space
* The Dunwich Horror
* The Shadow over Innsmouth
* The Dreams in the Witch House
* The Whisperer in Darkness
* At The Mountains of Madness
* The Shadow out of Time
* The Haunter of the Dark
For some reason he omits The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, which is great, and also the longest thing HPL ever wrote - it's really a short novel rather than a novella (though the same could be said of ATMoM and perhaps The Dream-Quest). The Rats in the Walls is probably his best and most fully realized story before TCoC. Other good stuff:
* The Silver Key, and
* Through the Gates of the Silver Key - some seriously psychedelic shit in that one; also
* The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, if you can hack the incredibly flowery prose (he wrote this while he was first in thrall to Dunsany, I think) and the more self-indulgent fantasy elements.
Enjoyable 'minor' stories:
* The Music of Erich Zann - a great shout from Slothrop; one of the few examples where, if anything, HPL errs on the side of telling the reader too little rather than too much - even so, it's a brilliant bit of cosmic horror injected into an otherwise rather Poe-like little narrative;
* The Festival - incredibly creepy, and the 'Necronomicon' quote at the end is just superb;
* Nyarlathotep - very short, a prose-poem really, and more or less a transcript of a dream he once had. Said to have been inspired by Nikola Tesla's touring roadshow of Frankensteinian electrical equipment that HPL witnessed as a young man.
Last edited by Mr. Tea; 29-03-2014 at 04:04 PM.
If you want to see just how bad he could be, read Herbert West - Reanimator. Although Joshi reckons HPL had sufficient self-awareness that this story, and a few others, are at least partly self-parodies.
The early stories are as purple as purple can be - nothing can be hideous without being described as hideous. There's more subtlety in the later stories, and the gathering weight of the mythos. It's all made more fascinating by the knowledge of Lovecraft's character - his misanthropy, his racism, his aversion to sex, democracy, modernity. I think "the haunter of the dark" is the best story I've read. The colour out of space is uncannily creepy too. I don't find any of his stories FRIGHTENING but then maybe I have just grown out of finding stories frightening? I remember being kept awake by "the shining" back in the day.
His prose isn't so much purple as ultra-violet - or perhaps some daemoniac hue unknown to nature and man alike!
I'm really enjoying I Am Providence - anyone else read/ing this? It's HYOWGE, I got it for Christmas and am still reading it, and that's only the first volume.
Mountains and Charles Dexter Ward for me.
What do reckon the chances are that del Toro will still make his intended adaptation? Sounds like it could still be on the cards, although I thought he'd more or less canned it since he started working on Pacific Rim (which I haven't seen, but by all accounts was a massive pile of arse).
Originally Posted by droid
Last edited by Mr. Tea; 01-04-2014 at 12:35 PM.
Probably for the best if it doesn't happen TBH. They should get the lad who did True Detective to direct instead.
I can imagine some of the stuff in Mountains (the penguins e.g.) might come across as a little bit silly in a film, but maybe somebody could pull it off.
You could actually make a good creepy film based on 'The Colour Out Of Space' - just something very bleak and sparse, and with no need for 'EFFECTS' outside of the body-horror of the diseased family and the meteor descending.
Id be interested to see what the adaption of Dan Simmon's 'the terror' is like. Obv not in the same league, but a pretty good tale of arctic (in the very cold sense) dread.
Anyone read any Laird Barron? Think I prefer him to Ligotti. Plus there's the eyepatch.
I'm about halfway through this, droid, thanks for the recommendation.
Originally Posted by droid
How are you finding it? I went through a bunch of his stuff after reading that, and its head and shoulders above the rest. Plus, he's turned out to be a bit of an Orson Scott Card.
Originally Posted by nomos
There's a pretty decent horror film called In The Mouth of Madness which shares themes and locations and (almost) a title with Lovecraft but which isn't actually by him. I'd recommend it for sure.
I'm liking it quite a bit so far. The relentless darkness and snowy dread has made a good mix with an especially bad winter, here. At first I was a bit worried that this entire 800-page historical novel would be told in the present tense, but then he changed it up. Lovecraft said that supernatural horror works best when the supernaturally horrific thing is set against a meticulously researched and highly realistic backdrop. Simmons does this in spades and I think it works. I'm a little less keen on the descriptions of "the thing on the ice" so far. I'd like it to be more spectral/unspeakable (as in HPL or even Blackwood's Wendigo), but we haven't seen too much of it yet either. Mostly it lurks, but when it's shown itself, the details seem can seem a bit too unimpressive in their precision (e.g. its head is three times the size of a man's!). But that's just a quibble. I find myself looking forward to getting back to it each night.
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