Loving the craft. — 3 years ago
I’ve had this book for years, but never actually sat down and read it until this year when I went through all the books in my closet; heck, I picked this up back in high school, sometime around 2000. Guess back then I didn’t understand Lovecraft’s archaic language, but now I’ve got a minor in Literature! Whatever.
This lovely collection of H.P. Lovecraft short stories features some of the marque titles I’d heard of, including “At the Mountains of Madness” (awesome, awesome story), “Imprisoned with the Pharaohs” (ghostwritten for Houdini), “Herbert West – Re-Animator” (inspiration for the film), and “The Horror at Red Hook” (darkest imagery ever). There’s a lot of variety here, from the fantastical to Michael Crichton style scientific-based fiction to straight-up sci-fi that seems to be the inspiration for Ray Bradbury. Lengths range from a single page to a novella-length 90-100 pages; the entire collection is a very lengthy read overall.
Obviously, despite Lovecraft’s status as the master of macabre, these stories aren’t for everyone. The imagery is dark and gruesome in nature, much more so than contemporaries like Stephen King or Clive Barker. Also, his use of language is archaic even for his own time (1900-1930s), which is one reason why I didn’t understand it when I was younger. Indeed, I had to read carefully to fully enjoy the stories, sometimes having to do a bit of re-reading when I was away from the book for too long.
Overall, a nice introduction to H.P. Lovecraft and his fiction. Looking forward to checking out the other volumes in Del Rey’s collection.