I don't think that there's a lot for me to add to what's been said already about the quality of Lovecraft's stories, except to agree with the assessment of Lovecraft as a stellar author of short horror fiction. The real question to ask about a collection of Lovecraft's work, though, is: what distinguishes it from all the other many Lovecraft collections out there? That is why I would give the Penguin collection 5 stars: the selection of stories is very good, arranged chronologically and covering the Lovecraft "hits," as well as some lesser-known earlier works. But what's most impressive about this anthology, as compared to others, is the superb annotation by S.T. Joshi, the premier Lovecraft scholar. There are ample footnotes to each of the stories, describing the backgrounds of the tales, discussing where Lovecraft got his ideas, pointing out thematic links, etc. These footnotes also provide insights into the life of Lovecraft himself, who apparently was not the weird recluse that one might initially suspect when reading his stories. In fact, Joshi includes many quotes from Lovecraft's correspondences, and some of these quotes are even very humorous (one quote deals with Lovecraft's description of his attempts to make a vocal recording in the style of Enrico Caruso, the famous singer). That's why this Penguin collection of stories is so good: you get many classic Lovecraft stories, along with Joshi's illuminating commentaries and annotation.